Signpost in Ringstead
|Area||11.13 km2 (4.30 sq mi)|
|• Density||29/km2 (75/sq mi)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||East of England|
Ringstead is a village and civil parish in the north-west corner of the English county of Norfolk. It covers an area of 11.13 km2 (4.30 sq mi) and had a population of 355 in 155 households at the 2001 census, reducing to 324 at the 2011 Census. For the purposes of local government, it falls within the district of King's Lynn and West Norfolk.
The village is referred to as Ringstead by the Ordnance Survey. The longer form of the name is Great Ringstead, which is preferred by the parish council. Historically, this was to distinguish the village from the neighbouring deserted medieval village of Barrett Ringstead, also known as Little Ringstead or Rinstead Parva. This was just to the west, and is now in the parish of Old Hunstanton.
The village had two parishes in the Middle Ages, which were consolidated in 1771 and so one church was abandoned. The surviving church is dedicated to St Andrew, and has a 13th century tower, 14th century nave and a 15th century chancel. There was a major restoration in 1865, which involved the partial rebuilding of the tower and chancel east wall, as well as the addition of a south aisle and porch.
The other church was dedicated to St Peter. Apart from its late 11th century round tower, it was demolished in 1772 but the tower survives in a private garden at the end of Hall Lane, near Ringstead Bury House. 
The lost village of Little Ringstead had a church dedicated to St Andrew, which survives as a roofless ruin in an arable field to the west of Downs Farm. The remains have a rectangular plan, are 13th century and might comprise the chancel of a larger church. The village was depopulated by plague in 1349, but the church continued as a private chapel until it was converted into a barn in the 17th century. The ruined Chapel of St Andrew is Grade II* listed.
Apart from the two churches, Ringstead has fourteen other listed buildings. These comprise the farmhouses at Bluestone, East End and Geddings Farms; the War Memorial; the Gin Trap Inn (the 17th century village pub), the village windmill, the Ringstead Gallery, 22-26 High Street and residences called Old Rectory, Ringstead Bury House, Ringstead Bury Stables, Rose Cottage, The Lodge and The White House.
The Ringstead Downs comprise a partly wooded chalk ridge to the south-west of the village, and is important for it unimproved chalk grassland. A permissive footpath runs through it and links Ringstead to the nearby resort town of Hunstanton.
The village is isolated. Although country lanes radiate to neighbouring villages, there is no A or B road, no direct route to the nearest town of Hunstanton and no public transport.
There has been no bus service since the shutdown of the Stagecoach in Norfolk bus company in 2018. Before this, the village was on the route 31 from Fakenham to Hunstanton, allowing for connections to Norwich at the former place and King's Lynn at the latter.
- Julian Mond, 3rd Baron Melchett (1925 -1973) - former chairman of British Steel Corporation
- Sonia Mond, Sonia Melchett, Baroness Melchett - (1928; socialite and author
- Peter Mond, 4th Baron Melchett - (1948- 2018) former Lord in Waiting, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State and Minister of State
- Census population and household counts for unparished urban areas and all parishes Archived 2017-02-11 at the Wayback Machine. Office for National Statistics & Norfolk County Council (2001). Retrieved 20 June 2009.
- "Parish population 2011". Retrieved 29 August 2015.
- Ordnance Survey Landranger map 132, North West Norfolk
- "Great Ringstead Parish Council". Retrieved 5 September 2019.
- White: History, Gazetteer and Directory of Norfolk 1835 p635
- White ibid. p634
- "British Listed Buildings, Church of St Andrew Ringstead". Retrieved 5 September 2019.
- Batcock: Ruined and Disused Churches of Norfolk 1991 p52
- "Norfolk Churches: St Peter, Ringstead". Retrieved 5 September 2019.
- Batcock ibid. p51.
- Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1077919)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 13 August 2020.
- "British Listed Buildings Ringstead". Retrieved 5 September 2019.
- "Buses and Coaches Serving Fakenham". Retrieved 8 September 2019.
Media related to Ringstead, Norfolk at Wikimedia Commons