South Walsham

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South Walsham
South Walsham St Mary - 13 Mar 2010.JPG
St Mary's Church, South Walsham
St Lawrence Church, South Walsham - - 1320695.jpg
St Lawrence Church, South Walsham
South Walsham is located in Norfolk
South Walsham
South Walsham
Location within Norfolk
Area11.43 km2 (4.41 sq mi)
Population845 (2011)[1]
• Density74/km2 (190/sq mi)
OS grid referenceTG364130
Civil parish
  • South Walsham
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townNORWICH
Postcode districtNR13
AmbulanceEast of England
List of places
52°39′50″N 1°29′42″E / 52.664°N 1.495°E / 52.664; 1.495Coordinates: 52°39′50″N 1°29′42″E / 52.664°N 1.495°E / 52.664; 1.495

South Walsham is a village and civil parish in the English county of Norfolk. It covers an area of 11.43 km2 (4.41 sq mi) and had a population of 738 in 303 households at the 2001 census.[2] increasing to 845 living in 345 households at the 2011 Census. For the purposes of local government, it falls within the district of Broadland. Historically, the village comprised two separate parishes, that of St Mary and of St Lawrence[3]. After fire damage in 1827, the church of St Lawrence slowly fell into disuse and the two parishes were combined in 1889.[4]

The village has a primary school[5], a pub[6] and the disused St Lawrence's church, the tower of which collapsed in 1971[4], has been repurposed as the St Lawrence Centre for Training and the Arts, hosting various music concerts, art exhibitions, craft fairs and charity events.[7] The parish is also home to the South Walsham estate, purchased in 1946 by Major Henry Broughton, 2nd Lord Fairhaven, which remains in the ownership of the family[8]. Large parts of the estate are opened to the public as the Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden. Throughout its history, South Walsham has been linked with the wealthy St Benet's Abbey located just outside the parish.[9]

The parish of South Walsham includes the hamlets of Town Green and Pilson Green, and South Walsham Broad lies adjacent to the village.


South Walsham is recorded in the Codex Diplomaticus Aevi Saxonici as Súðwalshám[10] in a document produced during the reign of Edward the Confessor[11]. Early documents suggest that land in the present parish was owned by a freeman named under Guert, the brother of Harold Godwinson[12] at the time of the Norman conquest of England, before passing under the stewardship of Godric the Steward. Its entry in the Domesday Book shows land ownership divided between William the Conqueror, William, Bishop of Thetford, Godric the Steward and St Benet's Abbey[13] - in total, there were around 124 villagers excluding women and children.[9] During the middle ages, much of the land in the parish was used to produce peat for fuel, and records of turbary show that around two hundred thousand turves were sold per annum, yielding an average income of around seven pounds per annum.[9][14] These revenues dropped rapidly, from over eight pounds (and 250 000 units) in 1268-69 to around two pounds (and 56 700 units) in 1290-91[14], as the former peat cuttings began to flood and The Broads were formed. There are references to flooded land (or Broddinge) as early as 1315.[9][14]

After the English Reformation, the abbey at St Benet's remained in use for some time, but had fallen into decay by the early stages of the reign of Elizabeth I.

In the twentieth century, war memorials list 14 deaths from within the parish during World War I.[9] The tower of St Lawrence's church, damaged by a fire on the 30th May 1827[9], collapsed on the 18th March 1971, with little damage to the church itself.


  1. ^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  2. ^ 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,
  3. ^ "Norfolk Parishes K-Z". FamilySearch Wiki. Retrieved 16 June 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Norfolk Churches". Retrieved 16 June 2020.
  5. ^ "Fairhaven C of E VA Primary School : Welcome". Retrieved 16 June 2020.
  6. ^ "The Ship Inn South Walsham, Norfolk Broads pub, Norfolk pubs, Norfolk restaurants". Retrieved 16 June 2020.
  7. ^ St Lawrence Centre website
  8. ^ "About | Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden". Website. Retrieved 16 June 2020.
  9. ^ a b c d e f Amos, G. S. A history of South Walsham. Field View, South Walsham.
  10. ^ Kemble, John Mitchell (1848). Codex Diplomaticus Aevi Saxonici, Volume 6. Cambridge University Press. p. 338. ISBN 978-1-108-03590-3.
  11. ^ Kemble, John Mitchell (1846). Codex Diplomaticus Aevi Saxonici, Volume 4. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-108-03588-0.
  12. ^ "Walsham Hundred: South-Walsham | British History Online". Retrieved 16 June 2020.
  13. ^ "[South] Walsham | Domesday Book". Retrieved 16 June 2020.
  14. ^ a b c Lambert, J. M.; Jennings, J. N.; Smith, C. T.; Green, Charles; Hutchinson, J. N. (1960). The Making of the Broads: A reconsideration of their origin in the light of new evidence. London: Royal Geographical Society.

External links[edit]

Media related to South Walsham at Wikimedia Commons