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Bowthorpe can be found on the western outskirts of Norwich, 5 miles from the city centre and there is evidence of early settlements with the discovery of tools and coins that are now kept in the Castle Museum. It is divided into four distinct areas: Clover Hill, Chapel Break, Three Score and Bowthorpe Industrial Estate.

The name Bowthorpe came from either Denmark or Norway and was originally spelt Boethorpe but, over the years, its spelling has changed to how it is today.

In 1966 the Bell School of Languages leased Bowthorpe Hall, initially as an experiment for a summer school, founded by Frank E. Bell. The school soon became popular with foreign students and it was able to purchase the hall, gardens and five acres of land to become a permanent school, for foreign students from all parts of the world. It shut its doors to students in 2006 and Bowthorpe Hall ceased being a school.

Bowthorpe has a shopping centre with a large Roy's store, Boots the chemist and a variety of other shops and a café. There is a health centre and doctors' surgery, village hall and public houses and is served by a frequent bus service.

The FDC is a modern, state of the art football facility in Bowthorpe that features 5-a-side 3G pitches, 7-a-side 3G pitches, 11-a-side grass pitch, two air conditioned rooms for meetings and conferences, a fully licensed bar, function room for private parties, 7 large TV screens, changing and shower facilities, floodlights and CCTV monitored car park for over 200 vehicles.

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