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Elsing Church south view.JPG
St Mary's Church
Elsing is located in Norfolk
Location within Norfolk
Area6.34 km2 (2.45 sq mi)
Population229 (2001 census)
• Density36/km2 (93/sq mi)
OS grid referenceTG051166
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townDEREHAM
Postcode districtNR20
AmbulanceEast of England
UK Parliament
List of places
52°42′30″N 1°02′05″E / 52.70833°N 1.03475°E / 52.70833; 1.03475Coordinates: 52°42′30″N 1°02′05″E / 52.70833°N 1.03475°E / 52.70833; 1.03475

Elsing is a village and civil parish in the English county of Norfolk. The village is approximately 5 miles (8 km) miles north-east of the town of East Dereham and 12 miles (19 km) north-west of the city of Norwich.[1] The nearest village is Lyng, 1 mile (1.6 km) to the north-east.

The civil parish has an area of 634 hectares and in the 2001 census had a population of 229 in 105 households.[2] For the purposes of local government Elsing falls within the Upper Wensum Ward of Breckland District Council and the Elmham and Mattishall Division of Norfolk County Council.


Elsing in the Domesday Book is listed as "Helsinga"; this name derives from an Old Scandinavian person name with 'ingas', meaning a "settlement of the family or followers of a man called Elesa".[1] His image is depicted on the village sign together with a hunting hound.

At the Norman conquest, the manor was given to Earl Warren and then passed by inheritance to the Foliot, Hastings and Brown families. [2]

In the medieval era Elsing was a town with a population of over a thousand,[citation needed] and had its own market and guildhall.

Notable buildings[edit]

St Mary's Church, built in 1347, has the widest pillarless nave in East Anglia.[citation needed] There is a brass commemorating the life of Sir Hugh Hastings, the lord of the manor.[citation needed]

The Hastings family built the moated Elsing Hall in 1470. The hall incorporates a priest hole used during the 16th century to hide Catholic priests from persecution.[citation needed]

Other historic landmarks include the gardens at Elsing Hall, the Guildhall, the Rectory, The Mermaid Inn public house (c.1540) (now closed), and Elsing Mill on the River Wensum.[citation needed]

BBC reporter Bob Simpson (1944 – 2006) lived in the village and is buried in the churchyard.[3]


  1. ^ Mills, Anthony David (2003); A Dictionary of British Place Names, p.175, Oxford University Press, revised edition (2011). ISBN 019960908X
  2. ^ "Eynford Hundred: Elsing Pages 201-203 An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 8. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1808". British History Online. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  3. ^ "SIMPSON". Telegraph. 2006.

External links[edit]