Trowse was created (or more accurately expanded) by the Colman family during the 1800s for workers at Colman's mustard factory. The family still owns much of the surrounding land. It is also home to another great, old-established Norfolk family business - May Gurney - a major civil engineering and construction company.
The parish is in the deanery of Brooke and the archdeaconry of Norfolk. The parish church is a small flint building, in the Perpendicular style, comprising a chancel, nave, and square tower with a bell and a clock; the chancel was restored in 1879. The church is dedicated to St Andrew.
The parish formed part of the Henstead Hundred, until 1834 when the Hundred expanded to become the Henstead Union. Source: Kelly's Directory 1883 and 1927.
The name Trowse derives from the old English/Scottish word trouse, for a grating of wood or iron which could be raised or lowered (like a gate) to allow water out of a dam into a mill race (the original village grew up round the local water mill - now Trowse Millgate).
Trouse (or Trews north of the border) was also the slang name for the leggings warn by Scots (since they too went up and down like a gate to allow water out) - and hence the word Trouser. Source: Kelly's Directory 1883, Oxford companion to place names, English Gazetteer and others.
National Grid ref: TG2406
Trowse (pronounced Trouse if you come from Norwich, the same way you would say "house", or Troose if you are an elderly resident of the village, as you would say "loose", or even, if you live in Trowse Magna, Trise as in "nice") actually consists of six parts:
Trowse Common, the main village, clustered around the Common;
Crown Point (or Upper Trowse), the high ground round the historic Crown Point pub, site of the original Newton and where the new Hopkins Homes estate was built in 2003;
Trowse Millgate, around the River Yare, half of which is in the City of Norwich;
Trowse Magna, the name given to the gated development at Whitlingham Hall (a former mental hospital) and known locally as "Trice Superior";
New Newton, an extension to the village, centred on Newton Close, built in 1968 to accommodate police from the newly built County Hall;
and Nether Trowse, the area at the far end of Whitlingham Lane, which was once recognised as the hamlet of Whitlingham (until the church burnt down and the tower collapsed).
The original Newton, of Trowse with Newton, was the row of cottages on Block Hill behind the Crown Point pub, which was the model village (or new town) built by the Coleman family for workers in its mustard factory at Trowse Millgate. Some of the properties still have the tell-tale mustard yellow front doors.
The Crown Point pub takes its name from the Crown Point estate, of which it was originally part, which centred on Crown Point Hall (now called Whitlingham Hall), which was originally built by General Money who fought at the battle of Crown Point during the American War of Independence.
The River Tas joins the River Yare a short distance to the west of the Trowse Mill at an artificially created confluence, however, the old bed of the River Tas can still be seen by the church but it just ebbs and flows with the tide and is gradually silting up. The mill was demolished in 1967; what can be seen today was built recently in a style and layout remarkably sympathetic to the old mill.
Since the building of the Norwich southern bypass and associated Trowse bypass in 1992 the village, which was once divided by the A146 is now a suburban dormitory village right on the edge of Norwich. The village is still growing, with a recent development of 60 houses heralded as an exemplar of high-quality house building, locally know as the Dry Houses (since they are above the local flood plain). These were built on the former training ground of the Norwich City Football Club.
Further development is almost certain since the surrounding area has been identified by the Greater Norwich Development Partnership as one of the areas suitable for "large scale essential growth" over the next 20 years (as set out in the Join Core Strategy).
The village is awaiting the imminent announcement that it will become part of the Greater Norwich unitary authority (when this comes into being sometime in 2009) and cease to be a rural parish in South Norfolk.
There are two pubs, the White Horse Inn and the Crown Point Tavern. (the White Horse has now set up a free Wi-Fi hotspot for their patrons along with free internet access); a village shop/post office, a recording studio and a café.
The café is currently called The Panary (reflecting its former use as a bakery). However, in November 2007, the owners (Tony and Marie) received planning permission to redevelop the outlet as a family-friendly bistro (called Unwind) serving light meals, wines and beers. Rumours that it was to be a 24-hour pizza bar or nightclub were unfounded gossip. The site is also a Wi-Fi hotspot for patrons.