County town of Norfolk, situated on the river Wensum, and a cathedral city since 1094. It is not recorded before 900, yet by 1066 it was one of the three or four most important towns in England, a position it retained until late Georgian times. The Normans transformed the city by building a castle and cathedral, and laying out a new French borough. In the 16th and 17th cents. it overtook its rivals to be the largest and wealthiest English town after London, its economy sustained partly by a massive immigration of refugees from the Spanish Netherlands who introduced the New Draperies. In the late 18th and early 19th cents. the textile industry declined in the face of Yorkshire competition, and Norwich reverted to its traditional function as a marketing and trading town with only modest industries.