The inland market town of North Walsham in Norfolk. All
roads appear to lead to North Walsham in this part of
North Norfolk, a market town that borders the River Ant
and the Norfolk Broads. With a lineage that
extends all the way back to Saxon Times and a mention in
the Domsday Book, when the town name was written as
'Walsam' and roughly translates from Anglo Saxon, as
Homestead of a Settler.
North Walsham is a busy market town,
whose numbers swell slightly during the summer months,
but its streets at any time of the year are always astir
with locals. Lots of places to eat with restaurants and
pubs/inns aplenty, as well as a good range of shops
including supermarkets. The town sits in the North East
Corner of Norfolk conveniently situated for both the
Norfolk Coast (under 5 miles), the Norfolk Broads and
the City of Norwich, which is just fourteen miles
away. The town has a train station which runs
between Sheringham on
the coast and inland to the City of Norwich with all its
history, shopping experiences and wonderful Norwich
Cathedral and Castle.
For ramblers the long distance
footpath The Weavers’ Way runs through the town of North
North Walsham is a town of slim side
streets, note the narrowness of the depth of the shops
as you wander around, a result of them having begun
their lives as medieval stalls set in the churchyard. On
the south side of the market place is Waterloo House
which dates from 1790 and near it three alleyways
named Bank Loke, Swan Loke and Cross Keys Loke, the word
loke is the old word for alleyway.
The tiny Popes Passage on the north
side of the churchyard was named after one William Pope
who kept the adjoining shop early in the last century.
if you traverse this narrow passageway you will find
yourselves in the churchyard of St. Nicholas. The Church
of North Walsham has a beautiful south porch and a
display of patronage and royal heraldry.
The large opening opposite the church itself is known as
the ‘church opening’, this is where the town crier and
public dignitaries used to make their speeches from.
Up the road is the weaving village of Worstead where
each year they hold the Worstead Festival, the largest
village festival in Norfolk.
The Market Cross dominates the market
square and is both an ancient monument and a grade I
listed building. There used to be a toll house in this
area as early as 391. The market cross was built in the
middle of the 16th century by one Tomas Thirlby who was
then the Bishop of Norwich and lord of the manor of
North Walsham and was used to collect market tolls, it
was destroyed by fire in 1600 and subsequently rebuilt
in 1602. In 1787 John Juler a watch-maker fitted a clock
which had been taken from Worstead Hall and it
subsequently became known as the town clock. It then
passed into the hands of the ecclesiastic commissioners
in 1830 and then was sold to the town and completely
restored in 1899 and then again in 1983. The town clock
is still used as a rendezvous and trysting place for
young people as it probably used to used hundreds of
years before. The adjacent drinking fountain was erected
to commemorate the coronation of George v and queen Mary
on 20th June 1912.
On the west side on
the Market Cross is a stone setting out the history of
are many interesting
tombstones, amongst them is the ornate tomb of Sir
William Paston who founded the Paston School in 1606 an
eminent member of a local family, famed for its letters.
Sir William is shown in repose in armour resting
comfortably on one elbow. The schools best known pupil
was Horatio Nelson who left in 1771 at the age of 13 to
join the crew of the Raisonable.