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St Thomas, Foxley, Norfolk - - 321036.jpg
St Thomas, Foxley
Foxley is located in Norfolk
Location within Norfolk
Area6.66 km2 (2.57 sq mi)
Population285 (2011)[1]
• Density43/km2 (110/sq mi)
OS grid referenceTG039218
Civil parish
  • Foxley
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townDEREHAM
Postcode districtNR20
AmbulanceEast of England
List of places
52°45′19″N 1°01′16″E / 52.755412°N 1.021042°E / 52.755412; 1.021042Coordinates: 52°45′19″N 1°01′16″E / 52.755412°N 1.021042°E / 52.755412; 1.021042

Foxley is a village and civil parish in the English county of Norfolk. The village is about 15 miles (24 km) north-west of Norwich and 9 miles (14 km) south-east of Fakenham. It covers an area of 6.66 km2 (2.57 sq mi) and had a population of 279 in 113 households at the 2001 census,[2] increasing slightly to a population of 285 in 125 households at the 2011 Census. For the purposes of local government, it falls within the Upper Wensum Ward of Breckland District Council and the Elmham and Mattishall Division of Norfolk County Council.

The villages name means 'Fox wood/clearing'.

The village is effectively divided into East and West Foxley by the A1067 road that was built as a bypass of it and the nearby village of Bawdeswell. The nearest rail station is at Norwich while the nearest major shopping complex is located in Holt, roughly 14 miles north of the village.

Much of the nearby northern sea coast is part of the Norfolk Coast AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty). The community of Cromer, on the coast, is approximately 40 minutes from Foxley by automobile; Hunstanton, also on the coast (but further north), is a slightly longer drive.[3][4]

Historic sites[edit]

A Norfolk County Council report discusses the archaeology of the Parish and states that there is evidence of a settlement here in the Saxon period. "The earliest prehistoric finds date to the Neolithic ... there was activity in the parish from much earlier than the Saxon period". The oldest building is the former Chequers Pub (NHER 19249) from the 1700s but a survey found carpenters' marks in the interior from 1624.[5]

A report in the early 1870s provided this description of the village:[6]

3½ [miles] E by S of Elmham r. station. Post town, Bawdeswell ... Acres, 1,620. Real property, £2, 570. Pop., 278. Houses, 59. ... The church has a pinnacled tower, and is tolerable.

The same report also mentions the site of a WW II plane crash (NHER 20528), involving two bombers of the US Air Force that were stationed at Wendling, Norfolk.

Grade II listed structures within the community are the Foxley War Memorial,[7] the Church of St Thomas and Foxley Lodge, a former rectory constructed in the early 1840s. The style of the Lodge is Georgian, described in 1984 as "brick with slate roofs. Roughly square in plan. 2 storeys. 3 bays to each of 3 facades".[8] The manor was restored in the 1930s; the property was operated as a dairy farm until some time before 2017. The property includes the seven bedroom manor, outbuildsings, orchards, and three gardens which were planned by Verity Hanson-Smith.[9][10]

The current Church of St Thomas was first built in the 1100s, probably on the site of a previous church from the Saxon period.[11] The structure was extensively modified through the 1400s; some additional work was done in the 1600s and in the early 1800s. In the Listing Report of 1960, the church was described as "Flint with ashlar and some brick dressings. Slate and pantile roofs".[12][13] In 2018, the Church of England was hoping that the care of this church would be accepted by The Diocesan Churches Trust.[14]

A five-minute drive from the village centre, Foxley Wood is a site of special scientific interest and the largest remaining area of ancient woodland in Norfolk, England. Operated by the Norfolk Wildlife Trust,[15] parts of the 123 hectare (300 acre) reserve are thought to be over 6000 years old, dating from the end of the last ice age.[16] The reserve is a Nature Conservation Review site and a National Nature Reserve.


  1. ^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
  2. ^ Census population and household counts for unparished urban areas and all parishes. Office for National Statistics & Norfolk County Council (2001). Retrieved 20 June 2009.
  3. ^ Foxley Lodge
  5. ^ Parish Summary: Foxley
  6. ^ Foxley Norfolk
  7. ^ Foxley War Memorial
  8. ^ Foxley Lodge, Other nearby listed buildings
  9. ^ The country home of Percy Bysshe Shelley and his family comes up for sale, along with 111 rolling acres of Sussex
  10. ^ See inside this period rectory for sale for £1.195m
  11. ^ Parish Summary: Foxley
  13. ^ St Thomas' church]
  14. ^ [ Church of England, Diocese of Norwich, Foxley, St Thomas]
  15. ^ Visit Foxley Wood
  16. ^ "Foxley Wood National Nature Reserve" (PDF). Natural England. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 January 2011. Retrieved 31 December 2010.

External links[edit]

Media related to Foxley at Wikimedia Commons