Norwich Keyboard – Norwich, England - Atlas Obscura
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Norwich Keyboard

This imprint of an old computer keyboard has a very unique backstory.  

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On the corner between Princes Street and Elm Hill, visitors will walk past a beautiful old church and a strange imprint on the ground that resembles a keyboard. The imprint has been at this location for several decades. Some believe it’s a computer keyboard, others swear it’s an 18th-century print plate from a monastery. 

The Norwich keyboard is actually an imprint of an old Amstrad PC. The most popular urban myth surrounding its creation is that a keyboard fell from a truck into wet cement. Of course this was not possible, as then the imprint would be an inverse.

In May 2020, Peter Leigh (aka the Nostalgia Nerd) uncovered the truth behind the local legend. The keyboard imprint was created during the 1990s by a then Norwich University of the Arts student named Molly Sole. As part of her final art project, she had made a mold of an old computer and created porcelain casts that then were bent into strange shapes. This created an illusion of the keyboards being washed, dried, and hung on a laundry line.

The keyboard imprint came into existence on one fateful day when Sole walked past the street and saw a wet patch of cement. She took her mold and pressed it into the concrete, creating the iconic imprint. As all stories do, the details slowly got lost over time and several theories arose about the imprint’s origins. 

Know Before You Go

The keyboard is freely accessible.