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Thursday, 11 June 2015

Swaffham and Castle Acre

On our last day in Norfolk, we decided to revisit Swaffham, home of our oldest known ancestors, Jasper James Duffield and Anne Hall. We wanted to visit the Swaffham Museum and Library and walk around the town. On our last visit we spent our time at the church.

Swaffham grew as a market town - a cross roads of trade and agriculture. It is not on a river, but goods could be brought in and out from the nearby river port of Narborough. 

There are Neolithic and Bronze Age artefacts found around Swaffham and some evidence of Saxon occupation as well as Roman. The Museum has a good display of a wide range of finds.
The Doomsday book records two manors in Swaffham, one of which was held by the Normans for 200 years.
The Museum also has a collection of items relating to the discovery of Tutankamum's burial site byHoward  Carter, a citizen of Swaffham. I rather liked the Methodist Church teapot.
The Public Library holds a number of local books on Norfolk. From our time there we realise that it is more than likely that Jasper and Anne had some land - either owned or rented - that would  have been subject to enclosure. The unanswered question is how Thomas Duffield acquired his 93 acres in Heacham. Enclosures forced small farmers to outlying, less productive land, which Heacham probably is. At least this now gives me the right questions to ask. I shall look into hiring a researcher from the Norfolk Family History Society, of which I am a member.

From Swaffham we drove to Castle Acre
- a village within the gate (through which we drove) of an old fortified town
and nearby ruined castle

We had an excellent lunch at The Ostrich.
Before driving back to Latch Cottage through small back roads. It has been a lovely week and a pleasant stay at Latch Cottage. The owner left Sue and I a copy of her recipe book, which is fun.
Until next time.


  1. Latch cottage! What a great name. I see your perfect weather is continuing, with some beautiful skies over that ruin. I think you're having a lovely time!

  2. Definitely enviable weather! I'm certainly enjoying your travels. Thanks for this blog. A wonderful idea.

  3. Had a great time with you. Love the pic of us.

  4. Beautiful pic of the two of you! It's looks lovely, and so very English. K and I are getting very want-to-go-back-y.

  5. Enjoying the travels. The pictures have managed to avoid the motorways and anything that looks less than 100 years old. Not referring to the picture of
    you or the owner of the cottage !

    1. I think that's because we pretty much avoided motorways and anything less than 100 years old! I was surprised at how entirely rural Norfolk is and we have stayed within a relatively small area.