19th century Dragon Hall was a far cry from the grandeur of the fifteenth century.
The site was divided up. Extra floors, staircases, windows and chimneystacks filled the Great Hall and small cottages were crammed into the space between the hall and the river.
Trade and industry spread along King Street and the wealthy residents gradually moved out. As the population of Norwich grew so did the need for low cost housing. This was solved by dividing the once grand houses into tenements and filling the yards at the rear with poor quality housing.
The inhabitants of the yard behind Dragon Hall had many occupations. There were small shopkeepers, cowkeepers who grazed cattle over the river and workers employed by the breweries which lined lower King Street. The occupants of Old Barge Yard seem to have enjoyed their drink. Over the years the ground floor rooms of Dragon Hall were host to the 'Black Horse', the 'Three Merry Wherrymen' and the 'Old Barge' public houses.
By the 1930s, the City Council was looking to build new council houses with modern amenities. It saw the Norwich Yards as slums and began a clearance programme. The yard behind Dragon Hall was cleared in 1937. Only one cottage survived the slum clearance. Today it is part of the Dragon Hall complex.