Cel­e­brat­ing 250:

To cel­e­brate our 250th is­sue we have put to­gether 250 rea­sons to love, and be proud of, Nor­folk

EDP Norfolk - - INSIDE -

We choose 250 great things and places about Nor­folk


Some of the most lav­ish homes in Bri­tain were built in Nor­folk. Ten fab­u­lous ex­am­ples in­clude:

Man­sions which are still fam­ily homes too at:

• Holkham Hall near Wells.

• Houghton Hall near Fak­en­ham.

• Rayn­ham Hall near Fak­en­ham.

• Sen­nowe Hall near Fak­en­ham.

• Raven­ing­ham Hall near Lod­don.

Stately homes looked af­ter by the Na­tional Trust at:

• Blick­ling Hall near Aylsham.

• Fel­brigg Hall near Cromer.

• Oxburgh Hall near Swaffham.

• Then there is the ma­jes­tic home, loved by gen­er­a­tions of roy­als, at San­dring­ham.

• And Earl­ham Hall which was once home to the Gur­ney fam­ily and is now part of the Uni­ver­sity of East Anglia.


Nor­wich is a Unesco city of lit­er­a­ture – here are 10 peo­ple who have helped put Nor­wich and Nor­folk on the lit­er­ary map:

• Anna Sewell was born in Yar­mouth in 1820 and wrote the chil­dren’s novel Black Beauty in Old Cat­ton, near Nor­wich.

• Charles Dick­ens set part of David Copperfiel­d in Yar­mouth.

• Emma Healey, who wrote Elizabeth is Miss­ing, ar­rived in Nor­wich to study cre­ative writ­ing at the Uni­ver­sity of East Anglia, and fell in love with the city

• Sarah Perry’s nov­els in­clude The Es­sex Ser­pent and Mel­moth.

• Philip Pull­man wrote the world­fa­mous His Dark Ma­te­ri­als tril­ogy. He was born in Nor­wich in 1946.

• Henry Rider Hag­gard, born in Braden­ham, near Dere­ham in 1856, wrote ad­ven­ture nov­els set in Africa.

• Luke Hansard, was a printer, born in Nor­wich in 1752. His com­pany pro­duced the record of Par­lia­men­tary de­bates which is still known as Hansard’s.

• Julian of Nor­wich’s ac­count of her re­li­gious vi­sions was the first book by a woman to be pub­lished in English. Another 14th cen­tury Nor­folk mys­tic and au­thor, Margery Kempe, wrote the first known au­to­bi­og­ra­phy by an English woman.

• Arthur Ran­some set some of his Swal­lows and Ama­zons chil­dren’s books on the Nor­folk Broads.

• Jack Higgins was based in Blakeney while re­search­ing his novel The Ea­gle Has Landed.


Nor­folk has the great­est con­cen­tra­tion of me­dieval churches in the world. They are an ar­chi­tec­tural, en­gi­neer­ing, his­toric, artis­tic and spir­i­tual marvel. Visit all 650-plus, or start with these trea­sures.

• Grand St Peter Man­croft, Nor­wich, with its me­dieval stained glass and fa­mous bells.

• Twin-tow­ered Lynn Min­ster which dates back to Nor­man times and once had a spire too.

• The flight of pin­na­cled fancy that is Booton church, near Reep­ham.

• Tiny Houghton-on-the-Hill church, near Swaffham, with its world-fa­mous wall-paint­ings.

• Pil­grims once flocked to Baw­burgh to pray at the shrine and holy well of St Wal­stan who spent most of his life as a farm labourer, renowned for his char­ity and piety.

• Nor­folk has more round­tow­ered churches than any­where else, many dat­ing back more than 1,000 years, like St Mary’s, Had­dis­coe, near Lod­don.

• The flights of an­gels soar­ing high in the rafters of many of our churches are some of the finest in the world. At Caw­ston, near Aylsham, the feath­ered an­gels are 700 years old.

• Mag­nif­i­cent Wy­mond­ham Abbey was once cross-shaped. To­day it is half its orig­i­nal length with tow­ers at ei­ther end and a sen­sa­tional glit­ter­ing 1920s war me­mo­rial screen.

• The zig­gu­rat tower at St Mary’s, Burgh St Peter is a mau­soleum for the Boy­cott fam­ily (a land agent son once tried to en­force a rent rise for an ab­sen­tee land­lord and was, well, boy­cotted.)

• Gen­er­a­tions of roy­als have wor­shipped and have memo­ri­als at pretty San­dring­ham church.


• The mag­nif­i­cent Nor­folk Coast Path stretches from Hunstanton to Hop­ton-on-Sea and is a won­der­ful chal­lenge to com­plete in a week, or in sec­tions through­out the year. Once you have ticked that off your list, there are plenty more long dis­tance trails by water, through woods, and in the foot­steps of our an­ces­tors.

• Boudicca’s Way runs from Nor­wich to Diss.

• The Nar Val­ley Way, from King’s Lynn to Gressen­hall, fol­lows the river for much of its route.

• The Wen­sum Way con­tin­ues from Gressen­hall to Len­wade, and is part of a 96-mile walk­ing route right across Nor­folk, fol­low­ing the Nar, Wen­sum and Yare.

• The Wher­ry­man’s Way fol­lows the River Yare be­tween Nor­wich and Yar­mouth.

• Ped­dar’s Way, be­tween Knet­tishall Heath, near Thet­ford, to Holme, near Hunstanton, is part of one of the most an­cient routes in Bri­tain.

• The 61-mile Weavers Way links Cromer and Yar­mouth, via Aylsham, Stal­ham and Acle.

• A new pil­grim­age route is planned from Nor­wich to Wals­ing­ham.

• Get on your bike for the Mar­riott’s Way, fol­low­ing for­mer rail­way lines from Nor­wich to Reep­ham and then Reep­ham to Aylsham, and link­ing with the foot­path and cy­cle track be­side the Bure Val­ley Rail­way be­tween Aylsham to Wrox­ham.

• And for some in­spi­ra­tion for shorter walks fol­low our Ram­blers walk ev­ery month in Nor­folk magazine.


• Eigh­teenth cen­tury land­scape gar­dener Humphry Rep­ton went to school in Nor­wich and de­signed es­tates across the coun­try. See his first ever com­mis­sion as a land­scape gar­dener, for free, at Cat­ton Park in north Nor­wich. He worked on sev­eral more of

the great gar­dens of Nor­folk and is cred­ited with in­vent­ing the term land­scape gar­dener. Other glo­ri­ous gar­dens of Nor­folk in­clude:

• The Old Vicarage, East Ruston.

• Bress­ing­ham Gar­dens, near Diss.

• Man­ning­ton Gar­dens, Man­ning­ton Hall, near Aylsham.

• The Plan­ta­tion Gar­den, Earl­ham Road, Nor­wich.

• Peter Beales Roses in At­tle­bor­ough.

• The laven­der fields at Nor­folk Laven­der, Heacham.

• Good­er­stone Water Gar­dens, near Swaffham.

• The Bishop’s Gar­den in Nor­wich Cathe­dral Close.

• Els­ing Hall Gar­den, near Dere­ham.


• Robert Mar­sham founded the sci­ence be­hind Spring­watch by record­ing when trees bud­ded and flow­ers bloomed on his es­tate at Strat­ton Straw­less, near Aylsham, from 1736 into the 19th cen­tury.

• See snow­drops through­out Fe­bru­ary at Wals­ing­ham Abbey.

• By April our an­cient woods, such as those at Fairhaven Wood­land and Water Gar­den in South Wal­sham, glow blue with blue­bells.

• More than 20 types of or­chid oc­cur in Nor­folk and the com­mon spot­ted or­chid is still wide­spread on com­mons and at the edge of fens.

• The only place in Bri­tain to see swal­low­tail but­ter­flies is the Nor­folk Broads from May to July.

• See thou­sands of pink footed geese fly­ing in V-shaped skeins at dawn and dusk in au­tumn and win­ter, along Nor­folk’s west coast.

• Take a boat from Morston or Blakeney to see the seals. Or walk from Win­ter­ton to Horsey to see the colony which raises its young here ev­ery win­ter.

• Find Bri­tain’s big­gest spi­der, the fen raft spi­der, near Diss.

• Marvel at a mur­mu­ra­tion of tens of thou­sands of crows at dusk at Buck­en­ham.

• Hear a bit­tern boom across the marshes at Strump­shaw.


Cley Marshes is the old­est of many hun­dreds of Wildlife Trust re­serves across Bri­tain. It it at­tracts more than 110,000 visi­tors a year and is one of the best bird­watch­ing sites in the coun­try. It also hosts walks, per­for­mances, ex­hi­bi­tions and fes­ti­vals. The Nor­folk Wildlife Trust (NWT) now has 34 re­serves, in­clud­ing sev­eral of the fol­low­ing:

• Hethel Old Thorn, near Wy­mond­ham, pro­tects just a sin­gle tree and is the small­est re­serve in the coun­try.

• Blakeney Point is owned by the Na­tional Trust and home to Eng­land’s largest grey seal colony. More than 3,000 seal pups are born here ev­ery win­ter.

• Sculthorpe Moor, near Fak­en­ham, is run by the Hawk and Owl Trust and has wood­land, fen, reedbeds and water plus board­walks and bird-hides.

• Snet­tisham RSPB Na­ture Re­serve is renowned for the wad­ing birds on its salt­marshes and mud­flats, which take to the skies as the tide races in.

• Hick­ling Broad is home to a sig­nif­i­cant pro­por­tion of Bri­tain’s com­mon crane, bit­tern and marsh har­rier as well as the mag­nif­i­cent swal­low­tail but­ter­fly and Nor­folk hawker dragon­fly.

• Nar­bor­ough Rail­way Line is an em­bank­ment along the dis­used Lynn to Dere­ham line and alive with but­ter­flies ev­ery sum­mer, in­clud­ing the rare, and rather trag­i­cally named, dingy skip­per.

• Strump­shaw Fen RSPB re­serve, be­side the river Yare, east of Nor­wich, is packed with wa­terlov­ing wildlife, and or­chid-rich mead­ows in the sum­mer.

• Titch­well Marsh RSPB re­serve is a wa­tery won­der­land where av­o­cets, bearded tits and marsh har­ri­ers nest.

• Ran­worth Broad Na­ture Re­serve in­cludes a float­ing vis­it­ing cen­tre and a packed pro­gramme of ac­tiv­i­ties for all the fam­ily.

• Weet­ing Heath is the best place in the coun­try to see the rare stone curlew – also known as the Nor­folk plover and gog­gle-eyed plover. It’s ac­tu­ally a wad­ing bird, rather than a curlew, and the only Euro­pean rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the thick-knee fam­ily. Plus the knob­bly-kneed avian’s huge goo­gly eyes are bright yel­low.


• BeWILDer­wood .

• Get muddy slip­ping and slop­ping in the coastal creeks.

• Camp out un­der Nor­folk’s big skies and do some star gaz­ing.

• En­ter a cart in the Cromer soap box rally.

We can’t boast any moun­tains, but that doesn’t mean we can’t moun­tain bike in Thet­ford For­est.

• Go Dippy – see the fa­mous di­nosaur at Nor­wich Cathe­dral this sum­mer.

• Spot birds from finches to flamin­gos at Pen­sthorpe – and en­joy a pad­dle in the stream which links its play ar­eas and ponds .

• See ex­otic an­i­mals in­clud­ing crocodiles, tigers and mon­keys at zoos and wildlife col­lec­tions in­clud­ing Thrigby Hall, Ama­zo­nia and Ban­ham Zoo.

• Li­braries run free song, story and craft ses­sions for tod­dlers.

• Ride the minia­ture rail­way at Ea­ton Park, Nor­wich.


Hun­gry? You’re in the right place. Here are 10 ways to get a taste of Nor­folk food.

• Eat sam­phire from the salt­marshes.

• Buy a fresh dressed crab in Cromer.

• Feast on chips and mushy peas from Great Yar­mouth mar­ket.

• Nor­folk can still lay claim to Col­man’s mus­tard – the seeds are still grown here, even if pro­duc­tion has moved away.

• Fill a cheese­board with Nor­folk cheeses in­clud­ing Wen­sum White, Nor­folk Dap­ple, Nor­folk White Lady, Nor­folk Tawny, Nor­folk Mardler, Wals­ing­ham, Baron Bigod, Deopham Blewe, Bin­ham Blue...

• Nor­folk ice cream mak­ers in­clude Lak­en­ham Cream­ery, Ron­aldo, Par­ra­vani and Danns.

• Nor­folk black and bronze tur­keys are not nec­es­sar­ily just for Christ­mas, although they are ob­vi­ously ideal for the fes­tive lunch.

• Half of all the sugar in the UK comes from sugar beet, and most of that starts life in Nor­folk. The first sugar beet fac­tory in the UK opened at Cant­ley in 1912.

• Dine out at So­cius in Burn­ham Mar­ket, which holds the EAT Nor­folk Food and Drink Awards top restau­rant award.

• Eat at Brasted’s in Fram­ing­ham Pigot, near Nor­wich, which won our EAT Nor­folk out­stand­ing front of house cat­e­gory.


• The English Whisky Com­pany opened the first whisky dis­tillery in Eng­land for 100 years at East Har­ling and has been pro­duc­ing award-win­ning whisky since 2006.

• Take a tour of one of Nor­folk’s vine­yards – try Win­birri in Surling­ham or EAT Nor­folk award-win­ning Flint vine­yard.

• Treat your­self to a sam­ple of beer from all our lo­cal brew­eries. Nor­folk has the most mi­cro­brew­eries of any county in the coun­try and pro­duces Eng­land’s best malt­ing bar­ley.

• Try an ap­ple juice or cider made from some of the scores of dif­fer­ent ap­ple types in Nor­folk or­chards.

• Boadicea, Black Shuck, Ar­changel, Bullards, St Giles and Nor­folk are all gins made in the county.

• De­duce which ale is lo­cally brewed at the Hill House Inn in Hap­pis­burgh. Sir Arthur Co­nan Doyle took a sab­bat­i­cal here in 1905 and was in­spired to write The Ad­ven­ture of the Danc­ing Men.

• En­joy a pint at The Nor­folk Lurcher, Colton, near Nor­wich, which won our EAT Nor­folk beer qual­ity award.

• En­joy a meal at the Wilde­beest, Stoke Holy Cross, where chef Fabio Miani won the EAT Nor­folk chef of the year prize.

• Visit the Bris­ley Bell in Dere­ham to find out why it was named pub of the year in our EAT Nor­folk Food and Drink Awards.

• Visit the White Horse Up­ton – run by the com­mu­nity for the com­mu­nity.


Love shop­ping? Try these Nor­folk in­sti­tu­tions and in­spi­ra­tions:

• Jar­rold – 250 years old this year.

• Bak­ers and Larn­ers of Holt – also cel­e­brat­ing its 250th.

• Nor­wich Mar­ket.

• The Nor­wich Lanes, in­clud­ing trea­sures rang­ing from Thorns to The Book Hive.

• Our EAT Nor­folk Food and Drink Awards win­ner Back to the Gar­den in Holt.

• Lots more in­de­pen­dents in the Holt Yards.

• And in the Diss Her­itage Tri­an­gle .

• Dale­gate Mar­ket, Burn­ham Deep­dale.

• Farm­ers Mar­kets across the county.

• Our mar­ket towns with their range of shops and tra­di­tional mar­ket stalls. Swaffham Mar­ket is more than 800 years old, then there’s Down­ham Mar­ket, Fak­en­ham, Dere­ham, Yar­mouth, Thet­ford, Wat­ton...


• For our sea­far­ing past –

Time and Tide Yar­mouth.

• For the coun­try’s only sur­viv­ing town gas works – The Fak­en­ham Mu­seum of Gas and Lo­cal His­tory.

• For brush­mak­ing and a model prison Wy­mond­ham Her­itage Mu­seum.

• For ev­ery­thing from Celtic, Vik­ing and Ro­man trea­sures to the last Ma­haraja of the Pun­jab and wartime pulp­ware – The An­cient House Mu­seum, Thet­ford.

• For na­tion­ally im­por­tant arte­facts and art in a royal palace - Nor­wich Cas­tle Mu­seum.

• For a recre­ation of some of our ru­ral past – Gressen­hall.

• For the finest seashell col­lec­tion in the UK – The Shell Mu­seum, Gland­ford, near Blakeney.

• For fish­ing boats and lifeboats, gansey jumpers, the pho­to­graphs of pi­o­neer­ing Olive Edis, and art col­lec­tions - Sher­ing­ham Mu­seum at the Mo.

• For the story of Howard Carter who dis­cov­ered the tomb of Tu­tankhamun in 1922 – Swaffham Mu­seum.

• For an idea of the as­ton­ish­ing va­ri­ety of prod­ucts once made in Nor­wich – the Mu­seum of Nor­wich at the Bridewell.


• “I am a Nor­folk man and glory in be­ing so,” said Ho­ra­tio Nel­son who was born at Burn­ham Thorpe, in 1758 and died while lead­ing one of Bri­tain’s great­est naval vic­to­ries in 1805.

• Boudicca, Queen of the Ice­nis, who led an up­ris­ing against Rome. Her forces de­stroyed Colchester, Lon­don and St Al­bans and the Em­peror Nero con­sid­ered with­draw­ing from Bri­tain.

• Elizabeth Fry, the 18th cen­tury prison and so­cial re­former and Chris­tian phi­lan­thropist cam­paigned for more hu­mane treat­ment of pris­on­ers, opened a night shel­ter for the home­less, and in­spired Florence Nightin­gale.

• Robert Kett of Wy­mond­ham led 16,000 peo­ple in a re­bel­lion against the seiz­ing of com­mon land in 1549. He was hanged for trea­son at Nor­wich Cas­tle but is now recog­nised as a hero of the poor and dis­pos­sessed.

• Edith Cavell was the nurse born in Swarde­ston and ex­e­cuted by the Ger­mans in 1915 for help­ing Al­lied ser­vice­men es­cape.

• The most dec­o­rated lifeboat­man in Bri­tish his­tory was Henry Blogg of Cromer who helped save more than 800 lives.

• Ted El­lis was keeper of nat­u­ral his­tory at Nor­wich Cas­tle Mu­seum. He lived at Wheat­fen Broad, Surling­ham, near Nor­wich, which

David Bel­lamy called “In its way, as im­por­tant as Mount Ever­est or the gi­ant red­wood forests of North Amer­ica. It is prob­a­bly the best bit of fen­land we have be­cause we know so much about it...be­cause one man gave his life try­ing to un­der­stand it – Ted El­lis”.

• Thomas Er­p­ing­ham led Henry V’s archers to victory against France at the Bat­tle of Agin­court.

• Thomas Browne was the Nor­wich philoso­pher, writer, sci­en­tist, doc­tor and his­to­rian and in­ven­tor of words. Ap­prox­i­mate, coma, dis­rup­tion, elec­tric­ity, ex­haus­tion, fe­ro­cious, gym­nas­tic, hal­lu­ci­na­tion, mu­cous, pre­co­cious, pubescent, ul­ti­mate – all his.

• Thomas Paine helped in­spire both Amer­i­can in­de­pen­dence from Bri­tain and the French rev­o­lu­tion. Born in Thet­ford, he worked as a corset-maker and tax col­lec­tor be­fore writ­ing some of the most in­flu­en­tial works on hu­man rights ever pub­lished.


There are more ar­chae­o­log­i­cal and trea­sure finds in Nor­folk than any other county in Bri­tain in­clud­ing:

• The Snet­tisham trea­sure in­clud­ing Iron Age gold torcs.

• The Thet­ford hoard of Ro­man jew­ellery and ta­ble-ware.

• The Honingham hoard of Iceni coins.

• The mys­te­ri­ous tim­ber cir­cle which ap­peared on Holme beach, near Hunstanton, in 1998. Dubbed Sea­henge turned out to be more than 4,000 years old. It is be­lieved to have been used for cer­e­mo­nial pur­poses and you can see the re­mark­able tim­bers at Lynn Mu­seum.

• Look out to sea at Holme at low tide – another Sea­henge still lies be­yond the shore.

• The ear­li­est ev­i­dence of hu­mans out­side Africa are the foot­prints of five peo­ple from 850,000 years ago. They were found at Hap­pis­burgh, near the old­est hand axe in north west Europe.

• The Sedge­ford His­tor­i­cal and Ar­chae­o­log­i­cal Re­search Project (Sharp) is one of the UK’s largest and long­est-run­ning digs, train­ing ar­chae­ol­o­gists in ex­ca­va­tion and record­ing. The west Nor­folk dig has un­earthed Iron Age jew­ellery, 2,000-year old coins hid­den in a cow’s horn and a 4,000-year-old burial.

• More than 4,000 years ago peo­ple were min­ing flints from be­neath Thet­ford For­est at Grimes Graves.

• Warham Camp, near Wells is a huge Iron Age fort.

• Blood­gate hill fort, near South Creake, was once sur­rounded by four me­tre high banks.


• The ru­ins of Burgh Cas­tle, near Yar­mouth, were once a Ro­man fort. See more Ro­man rem­nants at Bran­caster and at Cais­tor St Ed­mund, near Nor­wich.

• Let­ters writ­ten by the Pas­ton fam­ily, who lived around Pas­ton, near North Wal­sham, from the 14th cen­tury, have been called the rich­est his­tor­i­cal source for re­search­ing the lives of English me­dieval gen­try.

• For sev­eral years in the 19th cen­tury Nor­wich MP Sa­muel Peto is said to have em­ployed more peo­ple than any­one else in the world. He helped bring rail­ways to Nor­folk, build the Houses of Par­lia­ment, re­built Somer­ley­ton Hall, and fi­nanced Lon­don’s Great Ex­hi­bi­tion – be­fore be­ing made bank­rupt.

• Nor­folk’s cas­tles range from pic­turesque ru­ins to homes, and from Cas­tle Ris­ing in the west to Cais­ter Cas­tle in the east.

• Ru­ined abbeys, pri­or­ies and fri­aries still dom­i­nate land­scapes in vil­lages in­clud­ing Cas­tle Acre, Bin­ham, Langley, North Creake, Pent­ney and Wals­ing­ham, re­veal­ing the ex­tent of Henry VIII’s de­struc­tion 500 years ago.

• Many of the world’s low­land chalk streams are in Nor­folk, in­clud­ing the Mun, Hun, Burn, In­gol, Babin­g­ley and Gay­wood.

• The long­est chalk reef in the world stretches for 20 miles just off the north coast of Nor­folk.

• The spec­tac­u­lar red and white striped cliffs of Hunstanton were named in the top 10 geosites of the coun­try.

• A nine-mile ridge be­hind Cromer was prob­a­bly the lead­ing edge of an ice sheet.

• The Great East­ern Pingo trail near Wat­ton is a walk through some of Bri­tain’s best pin­gos – or small lakes, formed as ice sheets re­treated.

BE­LOW: Blick­ling Hall near Aylsham

ABOVE: Hap­pis­burgh Light­house is painted in tra­di­tional red and white colours BE­LOW: King’s Lynn Min­ster

The Plan­ta­tion Gar­den, Nor­wich

RIGHT: The Tow­er­ing Tree­top Tan­gles at BeWILDer­wood

Two of the Nor­folk beers ready for the 2019 Great Bri­tish Win­ter Beer Fes­ti­val at St An­drews Hall.

Cant­ley Sugar Fac­tory

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