Hingham, Norfolk

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Georgian Houses, Hingham (696611 f9c2dc32-by-Evelyn-Simak).jpg
Georgian houses gave Hingham its nickname, 'Little London'
Hingham is located in Norfolk
 Hingham shown within Norfolk
Area  14.98 km2 (5.78 sq mi)
Population 2,367 (2011)
   – density  158/km2 (410/sq mi)
OS grid reference TG 022 021
Civil parish Hingham
District South Norfolk
Shire county Norfolk
Region East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town NORWICH
Postcode district NR9
Police Norfolk
Fire Norfolk
Ambulance East of England
EU Parliament East of England
List of places

Coordinates: 52°34′45″N 0°58′58″E / 52.57910°N 0.98284°E / 52.57910; 0.98284

Village sign in Hingham

Hingham is a market town and civil parish in the Forehoe district in the heart of rural Norfolk, in England. The civil parish covers an area of 14.98 km2 (5.78 sq mi) and had a population of 2,078 in 944 households at the 2001 census,[1] increasing to 2,367 at the 2011 Census.[2] Grand architecture surrounds the market place and village green. According to an 18th-century source, a fire destroyed many of the towns buildings, leading the better off local families to build the handsome Georgian homes for which the town is known. The same source claims that the Hingham gentry were "so fashionable in their dress that the town is called by the neighbors 'Little London'".[3]

Hingham is 17 miles (27 km) from Norwich, Norfolk’s county town. While many Hingham people now work in Norwich, commuting by car or bus, the town has maintained a strong base, providing work in a wide range of commercial businesses in its industrial estate on Ironside Way.

The many and varied local shops have the special character of a small market town but are up-to-date in what they provide. Despite the influence and attractions of neighbouring Norwich, an active and independent town life continues to thrive and grow in Hingham. A fair visits every year, setting up on the historic Fairlands (an area of several triangular greens). There is a state-run school, providing education for children from the ages of 4-11. For the purposes of local government, the parish falls within the district of South Norfolk.[4]

The nearest railway stations are Wymondham and Attleborough, both on the Breckland Line.


East window, St Andrew's Church, Hingham, one of the largest such windows in England, contains stained glass from a German monastery

In the early 17th century, a number of Puritan residents of Hingham, led by Hingham's former vicar Robert Peck[5] and his associate Peter Hobart, emigrated to the then colony of Massachusetts, where they founded the town of Hingham. Peck had been censured by religious authorities for his Puritan practices, and his daughter had married the son of another well-known Puritan minister, John Rogers.[6] The parishioners who left Hingham with Peck and Hobart had been so prominent in the community that the town was forced to petition Parliament for help, claiming that it had been devastated by the loss. Amongst their number were Samuel Lincoln, ancestor of President Abraham Lincoln, and Edward Gilman Sr., ancestor of Nicholas Gilman, New Hampshire delegate to the Continental Congress and signer of the U.S. Constitution.[7] Memorials to the Gilman family, ancestors of those who went to America, are still visible in St Andrew's Church in Hingham,[8][9] which also has a bust of Abraham Lincoln on the wall.[10] (Several centuries later, the Gilmans of Hingham supplied two mayors of Norwich.)[11]

In 2000, it was reported that Adrian Semmence, whose family had farmed at Hingham for three generations, was opening a woodland park (to be funded by the sale of 36-square-foot (3.3 m2) plots, mainly to Americans having connections with Hingham) to commemorate the links between his village and Hingham, Massachusetts.[12]

The Caterham F1 team, previously Team Lotus was based here, but left Norfolk to the old Arrows team factory near Silverstone Circuit. It used to be based in nearby Hethel, but after its bankruptcy in 1994 there wasn't much activity until Lotus was resurrected as an F1 team in 2010.


Hingham is part of the electoral ward called Hingham and Deopham. The population of this ward at the 2011 Census was 2,908.[13]


  1. ^ "Hingham parish information". South Norfolk Council. 4 January 2006. Retrieved 20 June 2009. 
  2. ^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Retrieved 8 September 2015. 
  3. ^ Armstrong, Mostyn John (1781). History and Antiquities of the County of Norfolk. J. Crouse. p. 104. Retrieved 17 March 2016. 
  4. ^ Office for National Statistics & Norfolk County Council (2001). Census population and household counts for unparished urban areas and all parishes. Retrieved 2 December 2005.
  5. ^ "Peck, Robert (PK598R2)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  6. ^ Reynolds, Matthew (2005). Godly Reformers and Their Opponents in Modern England. Boydell Press. p. 135. 
  7. ^ Samuel Lincoln's mother Bridget was the sister of Edward Gilman Sr., who emigrated to America.
  8. ^ The Church Heraldry of Norfolk: A Description of All Coats of Arms on Brasses, Monuments, Slabs, Hatchments &c., and now to be found in the county, Rev. Edmund Farrar, 1887
  9. ^ Searches into the History of the Gillman or Gilman Family, Alexander Gillman, London, 1895
  10. ^ Morris, Jan. (1999). Lincoln: A Foreigner's Quest. London: Viking Press. ISBN 0-670-88128-7; (2000). New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-684-85515-1.
  11. ^ The Gilman family came from nearby Caston in Norfolk to Hingham in the 16th century.
  12. ^ Family Tree Magazine, September 2000.
  13. ^ "Hingham and Deopham ward population 2011". Retrieved 8 September 2015. 

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