The twin churches
Reepham shown within Norfolk
|Area||19.09 km2 (7.37 sq mi)|
|Population||2,455 (2001 census)|
|- Density||129 /km2 (330 /sq mi)|
|OS grid reference|
|- London||126 miles (203 km)|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||East of England|
|EU Parliament||East of England|
|UK Parliament||Mid Norfolk|
Reepham (pronounced "Ree-fum") is a small market town in the English county of Norfolk, England, situated on the B1145 road between the Bure and Wensum valleys. The B1145 runs between King's Lynn and Mundesley. The town is 12 miles (19 km) north west of Norwich. As of the 2001 census the civil parish had a population of 2,455 residents in 970 households and covers an area of 1,909 hectares (4,700 acres).
The town is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 and is listed as Refham meaning the bailiff's or reeve's manor from the Old English gerafa (bailiff) and ham (homestead). Reepham has had market town status since 1277; a sign to mark this has recently been erected. The town has undergone significant development throughout its life, with the housing in the area showing a mix of vintages, styles and purposes.
Recent housing developments have mostly been on brownfield land so have not significantly expanded the perimeter of the town.
The town has both a secondary school Reepham High School and College, which achieved the highest grade—Outstanding—in every category in its 2008 Ofsted inspection, and a primary school (containing over 300 pupils).
Reepham has three churches on the same site and is one of only two places in Europe to do so. Reepham's church of St. Mary is joined by its choir vestry to St. Michael’s and the third church belonged to Hackford. However, this third church burned down in 1543 and now only a fragment of the tower wall remains on the left of the path as you go towards the market place.
Shrine of Our Lady of Reepham
In medieval times, Reepham Church was an important place of pilgrimage. Whilst not as famous as the Shrine at Walsingham, nevertheless, people came on pilgrimage to Reepham to visit the image of Our Lady of Reepham, which had many miracles attributed to it.
What form this image took is unknown. It may have been a statue, or perhaps a wood carving. There is evidence to suggest that it was an important place and it is mentioned in the 15th century will of Alice Cook of Horstead who wrote that after her death, in order to smooth her passage from this world to the next, she would “Have a man goo a pilgrimage to our Lady of Reifham.......”.
The town sign was designed by the local high school and installed in 1992. It depicts three of each of the following elements: churches, villagers, farm labourers, sheep, lambs and "sisters" and refers to a myth that three sisters were each responsible for building a church. In fact, the three churches were built over several generations.
By 1882, the town had two stations, located on different tracks and each managed by a separate railway company.Whitwell station was on the M&GNs, Norwich City station to Melton Constable station branch line. Reepham station was situated on the GENs, Wroxham station to County School station line. In 1960, the tracks were joined by the construction of the Themelthorpe Curve. The work was carried out by British Rail to facilitate the movement of concrete products from Lenwade. Today, the railway trackbed forms the Marriott's Way long distance footpath. Both former stations are notable stops on the footpath.
Sanders and Eastons Coaches provide bus services to and from the town.
- Stephen Fry, comedian and television presenter, grew up in the adjoining village of Booton
- George Goodwin Kilburne (1839 – 1924), artist
- Keith Simpson, Conservative MP for Mid Norfolk
- County A to Z Atlas, Street & Road maps Norfolk, page 230 ISBN 978-1-84348-614-5
- Towns and villages of Broadland Retrieved 17 November 2008
- 2001 Census Retrieved 17 November 2008
- Rye. J. Popular Guide to Norfolk Place Names (1991) p30 Larks Press ISBN 0-948400-15-3 Retrieved 11 November 2008
- "Reepham High School". Ofsted. 24–25 September 2008. Retrieved 27 June 2009.
- The Reepham Society
- Norfolk heritage- Railways
- Bus services Retrieved 25 November 2008
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Reepham, Norfolk.|
|Sparham, Bawdeswell||Great Witchingham, Lenwade||Brandiston|