Walk: We’re ram­bling around the Buck­en­hams

An an­cient cas­tle and a mas­sive mill are two of the high­lights on this walk with Nor­folk Ram­blers

Norfolk - - INSIDE -


1 Start­ing at the war memo­rial, cross the road to the large com­mon. Turn left then, fol­low­ing the path to the trees, turn right then take the path be­tween the trees to bring you out to the road. Take Green Lane ahead pass­ing the wind­mill on your left, pass the en­trance to the mill, take the wide track on the left down to Grove Road, turn right; at the junc­tion bear left then take the next left. At the bend in the road take the track to­wards Win­ter Pad­docks Stud. Fol­low the path be­side War­ren Plan­ta­tion; this will bring you to Ban­ham Road. 2

Turn left, fol­low the road to a fin­ger­post on the right. Fol­low the field edge path to the woods, pass through to the bridge. Cross then turn right, cross­ing stiles till you come to Doe Lane. Pass through the gate, over the stiles then fol­low the field edge path be­hind the houses; at the end turn right out on to the road. Turn left; at the junc­tion cross, fol­low­ing the foot­path around the cor­ner to the fin­ger post. 3

If you wish to visit the cas­tle the key can be ob­tained from the vil­lage store a short walk down the road. Re­turn­ing to the fin­ger­post take the path be­side the build­ings; you will then see the moat and ram­parts for the cas­tle on the right. The gates are over the bridge. If not en­ter­ing, fol­low the moat round tak­ing the path to the right. This will bring you to Cuf­fers Lane. If you are re­turn­ing the key, you can pick up the route by turn­ing right out of the shop, fol­low­ing the road

around the cor­ner then straight on, pass­ing the church. To re­join at No4 fol­low the lane.

4Turn left; at a sharp right turn take the path to the left. Over the stiles, fol­low to the road. Turn left to a track on the right then take the path to the left. Cross the bridge, turn left then right; at the pad­dock the path goes di­ag­o­nally but there is a per­mis­sive path round the out­side. Turn right by the pad­dock; this will bring you to the church yard. Fol­low the path round the church. This will bring you to the green and back to the start of the walk.

AFrom out­side the cas­tle you see lit­tle more than the fine moat, but if you go in­side it is hard to be­lieve the im­pres­sive earth­works and the ru­ins of the keep are so well hid­den. New Buckenham was founded in the 12th cen­tury by Wil­liam D’Al­bini to ser­vice his new cas­tle at Buckenham, with a com­mon to the east and a lim­ited area of arable land (the Haugh field) to the south.

The town it­self was planned on a grid pat­tern and sur­rounded by a sub­stan­tial moat that con­nected it to the cas­tle. In some places the moat was up to nine me­tres wide and three me­tres deep with an in­ter­nal bank.

New Buckenham re­mained a mar­ket cen­tre and was joined to Nor­wich by a turn­pike road in 1772. How­ever, it never grew into a larger set­tle­ment. This has meant not only that it has re­tained its orig­i­nal lay­out for which, ac­cord­ing to the re­vised Pevs­ner for Nor­folk, ‘it de­serves to be bet­ter known’ but also that there has been very lit­tle de­vel­op­ment be­yond its medieval bound­aries.

New Buckenham is de­scribed as ‘a rare ex­am­ple of a Nor­man planned town that has not sig­nif­i­cantly ex­panded out­side or shrunk within its orig­i­nal bound­aries’. There is a wealth of half-tim­bered hous­ing hid­ing be­hind 19th cen­tury brick frontages and over 60 dwellings are Grade II listed.

BOld Buckenham Wind­mill is a tower flour mill. It is a Grade II listed build­ing, no­table for be­ing the largest di­am­e­ter wind­mill in the coun­try.

The tower was built in 1818. Orig­i­nally fit­ted with eight plain sails, it was con­verted to use four patent sails. Milling ceased in 1926.

The mill is nor­mally open to the public on the sec­ond Sun­day of each month from May to Septem­ber.

ABOVE:Left is Old Buckenham wind­mill. Old Buckenham church is on the right

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