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Signpost in Garboldisham
Garboldisham Mill.jpg
Garboldisham Windmill
Garboldisham is located in Norfolk
 Garboldisham shown within Norfolk
Area  11.17 km2 (4.31 sq mi)
Population 721 (2001 census[1])
   – density  65/km2 (170/sq mi)
OS grid reference TM005815
Civil parish Garboldisham
District Breckland
Shire county Norfolk
Region East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town DISS
Postcode district IP22
Dialling code 01953
Police Norfolk
Fire Norfolk
Ambulance East of England
EU Parliament East of England
UK Parliament South West Norfolk
List of places

Coordinates: 52°23′42″N 0°56′53″E / 52.395°N 0.948°E / 52.395; 0.948

Garboldisham is a village and civil parish, part of Guiltcross (hundred) in the Breckland district, in Norfolk, England, near the boundary with Suffolk. In the 2001 census the parish had a population of 721.[2]

Origin of name[edit]

A D Mills (2003) says it was a 'homestead or village of a man called Gǣrbald'.[3] It appeared in the Domesday Book (1086) as Gerboldesham. The traditional view of Gaerbold is that it is an Old English name, i.e. homestead of Garbold. Others argue it has a Viking origin with Garbold being a famous Viking.[4] As described above, the boundary between Anglian, Viking and possibly even Iceni is blurred in the light of recent genetic and linguistic research.

To the south of the village sit the small affiliated hamlet of Smallworth and Broomscot Common, the name of the latter according to some recalling the village's ancient pagan past but more likely, so Carole Hough thinks, an affiliation to a Scandinavian with the surname Brun.[5] This name might reflect the Viking invasions or Scandinavian connections of the Wuffingas, founders of the kingdom of East Anglia. It might even go further back in time if you believe theories that the pre-Roman Iceni inhabiting this area were Old English speakers rather than Cymric/Welsh.[6]

Notable buildings[edit]

St John's Church

The village contains a Post Office with shop, selling a range of groceries as well as East Anglian regional "gourmet". On Church Road is Garboldisham Church of England School, a Primary School about 90 pupils strong serving Garboldisham, surrounding villages and also Thetford. It feeds into Diss High School and Old Buckenham High School. The school sits next to Garboldisham St John the Baptist Church and opposite the village hall. About 200 yards north is the ruined Garboldisham All Saints Church, where the 14th century western face collapsed into the nave in 1734. There is also a small Methodist Chapel, situated south of the A1066. The Fox Public House, on the crossroad of the A1066 and Hopton/Harling Road, closed in 2007.

Village life[edit]

There are active cricket and football teams. Village rumour has it that the Australian Cricket team played at the cricket ground at some point in the 19th Century.

There are few famous notables from Garboldisham, despite the active Amateur Dramatic Society. However, the "Garboldisham Road" was mentioned in the infamous Fry and Laurie sketch "Strawberries and Cream".[7] Queen Boudicca was also reputed to be buried in Soldier's Grave, a 10-foot 10,000-year-old burial mound. The Garboldisham Hoard, discovered by Basil Brown in the mound during excavations circa 1956, can be found in the British Museum. John Winston Spencer-Churchill, 7th Duke of Marlborough and grandfather of Sir Winston Churchill, was born in Garboldisham Hall in 1822. Of more contemporary note, the mother of pianist of folk rock band Moishe's Bagel Phil Alexander lives in the village. Alexander has also played for Salsa Celtica and the Eliza Carthy Band.