Bawburgh The Village

The population of Bawburgh was pretty static during the 20th Century and despite developments during the past few years (four houses were built in 2000 in Warmans Close behind the Kings Head, and three more on the site of the old Village Hall) the Census of 2001 shows little change, in fact a small decline, from ten years before (466 compared with 489 in 1991 and 389 in 1901).  During 2007/8 three more houses have been developed on Hockering Lane, on land sold by the School.  2008 also saw dramatic changes beside the centuries old Kings Head, when the Bowling Green was developed into a row of six cottages (see below).

July 2002. The Village Sign depicting Saint Walstan, erected in 1977, following Queen Elizabeth II's Jubilee, on the approach to Church Street, has just been refurbished with an anonymous donation.

 

The scene above shows the entry into Bawburgh from the south and the Watton Road (B1108).  The upcoming bridge is the centre-piece of our attractive village.  To the right of the picture is Corner Cottage, one of many listed buildings in the village and leading right is Hockering Lane which leads to the School, built in 1876. (Click here for history on the School) 

Church Street is to the left, and this leads to the tiny flint church, with a round Saxon tower, which has been there for at least 1,000 years.  For Church Home page click here - this will provide links to activities of the Church, where a service is held nearly every Sunday, in spite of small congregations.  Saint Walstan's well, is close to the Church, and has been the subject of pilgrimage for centuries (see Saint Walstan Home page).  A Methodist Chapel also existed in Church Street from 1866 to 1994.

Unfortunately there are currently no shops in Bawburgh.  Up until 1993 there was a post office, housed in what is now an attractive family home and listed building, overlooking the river just over the bridge.  Shortly after the post office closed, the only butchers shop also closed, and Bawburgh was left with just one public house - the Kings Head housed in a 15th Century building, which has been a hostelry since 1784.  Its quaint interior was restored in the 1970s, and a Squash Club added, and during 2004 was subjected to further restoration  (click here for more information on the Kings Head). A golf course was created to the north of the village in

July 2001, Bawburgh Mill

1991, which boasts stunning views across the valley of the River Yare (see www.bawburgh.com)

The river flows west to east, through the Mill building, which is now a community of four townhouses.  There was a Mill mentioned at Bawburgh in the Domesday Book, but the present brick building was built in 1876, following a major fire of the previous wooden paper mill.  (See History Page for The Mill) The new Close nearby, named during 2000, is named after the last Miller, Clifford Warman, who ceased work at the Mill in 1967.  There is also the millstone set on the River Green, as a memorial.  The river creates an attractive link for the village and the Green is a popular place especially during the summer for paddlers, artists, fishermen and villagers just in need of a mardle!  There is always a collection of ducks and geese to add to the ambience.  Up until the 5th September 2001, the Green also had a rare Black Poplar tree as its centre-piece, which was originally one of three. Unfortunately it fell overnight, after around 200 years as a favourite and curious symbol of Bawburgh.  Below, one of the last pictures of the tree.

 

 

 


July 2001.  Not much green on The Black Poplar, The Kings Head middle, and Blacksmiths Cottage on the right. 

 


March 2008.  The Langtry cottages beside the Kings Head public house, near completion.

 

Close by the old post office building, once stood Bawburgh Hall, which was built in 1634, but demolished in 1963.  This was built by the Jerningham family, when its Estate stretched from Costessey, where they had the magnificent mansion of Costessey Hall, to much of Bawburgh. The Estate was sold up, and many of the old cottages in the village, in 1919.  Two follies which were in the garden of the Hall, however, remain standing, and became part of a small development called Hall Farm Place around 1980.

July 2001. The view as you leave the bridge - typical village cottages, from the left, Rose cottage, Fair View, Bridgefoot cottage, with nearby new developments visible

 

 

During the 1970s many old cottages were becoming derelict and would have been demolished if it had not been for the forward-thinking Conservation Report of 1973, which designated Bawburgh a Conservation Village, and saved it from further decline and unsympathetic development.

The village sits to the west of Norwich, about five miles from the centre, but close to urban sprawl.  It has therefore become a popular commuter village and, although many of the original family members still remain, there have been many incomers during the past twenty years.  Firstly the building of the nearby University of East Anglia, attracted students and lecturers alike, and now the recently opened Norfolk and Norwich Hospital at Colney is even closer.

All residents and visitors alike claim Bawburgh to be a very attractive village - and we have to agree!!

For accommodation see the website for the local Bed and Breakfast hostelry www.theoldlodge.co.uk

 

The old follies of Bawburgh Hall nestle amongst new properties in Hall Farm Place.  Left, the Garden House - or Slipper Chapel, said to have been used by pilgrims to Saint Walstan's Well, and right "The Hermits House".