Norfolk, Interesting Information and Facts
Norfolk is a county in East Anglia, that has borders with Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire. The County of Norfolk is made up of quaint villages, historic market towns, beautiful coastal holiday resorts and the manmade wetlands of the Norfolk Broads and The Fens. Norfolk is a county filled with pubs churches and castles and it has the Cathedral City of Norwich as its capital.
Norwich, Norfolks Cathedral City
Does Norwich have more churches than pubs?
Norwich is the UKs most easterly city and has over 1500 historic Buildings within its boundaries. Known as the City of Churches , Norwich supposedly had 52 churches, one for every Sunday, this figure today is supposed to be nearer to 30.
On a slightly different note Norwich was also reported to have 365 pubs, one for each day of the year and the most pubs per square mile in England ! Again today this number is probably less but there are still plenty to choose from! Keeping with the beer theme, Woodfordes brewery is located just outside Norwich and sells a range of beers and ales including Wherry bitter and our favourite ale Norfolk Nog!
Norwich Football Club, The Canaries
Norwich Football Club are known as the Canaries and play in canary yellow (originally it was blue and white). The name the Canaries is supposedly linked to the popular pastime of breeding canaries (originally bought to the region by the Dutch) in Norwich and Norfolk . The Dutch also bought us Dutch Gables a feature found on many buildings in Norfolk and Suffolk . This is a curved gable wall often built higher than the roof to protect the pantiles from the wind. Our Surveyors are very familiar with these Gables and can tell you all about them.
Football is very important to the supporters in Norwich and there is a great local rivalry between Ipswich Town Football Club (known as the Tractor Boys) supporters and The Canaries. The chant sang by supporters at Norwich matches, ‘on the ball City', is reported to be the oldest in the country.
As Surveyors Norwich is one of our favourite cities, not only because of the football but because of the old historic buildings such as the Dragon Hall and Surrey House that can be found here. There are also beautiful residential and commercial p roperties that range from Tudor buildings that have been converted into shops in the historic cobbled street of Elm Hill to the elegant Georgian and Victorian homes along the Carrow Road . We have carried out surveys on many older style properties in the area and of course we are familiar with the older traditional Norfolk building techniques and materials such as clay lump and knapped flint. We are also familiar with more modern materials that are often used by developers to make properties look as if they are traditionally built.
Why use us for your building surveys?
Why you have never seen any building surveys or structural surveys like ours
Norwich Castle and Castle Mall
Norwich has its own Castle on Castle Hill which now has a shopping centre, Castle Mall, built beneath it. We believe that a Surveyor and his team found cellars and air raid shelters beneath the castle that assisted in being able to plan and develop the shopping centre under Castle Hill.
The Castle was originally built for William the Conqueror between 1066 and 1075. Norwich was a very important city in the times following the Norman Conquest and Norwich Castle is the only one that William the Conqueror had built in East Anglia.
Today Norwich castle has exhibitions that include Art and Natural History. Norwich castle also houses the largest ceramic teapot collection in the world! We have never carried out a Building Survey on a castle but maybe we will one day!
Norwich Market, bargains galore!
Norwich has the largest open air Monday to Saturday market in Britain with over 190 stalls. Norwich marke t was founded in Norman times but has been on its current site for over 900 years. The market stalls sell a wide range of goods including fresh produce, clothes, books and pet foods.
Norwich Market is located opposite the Art Deco style Town Hall with the Guildhall to its right and Gentlemen's Walk to the front. Leading off from Gentleman's Walk is the stunning Royal Arcade. This Art Noveau Victorian Arcade with its stained glass windows, Doulton tiles, and vaulted roof was built in 1899. Although it was restored in the 1980's many of the original features including some of the stained glass windows remain.
If you prefer shopping under cover then Norwich market is close to both Shopping Malls. Castle Mall is the older of the two shopping areas with Chaplefield being the newest and housing nearly one hundred shops, cafes and restaurants. Shopperholics are well catered for in Norwich!
Other markets that you may wish to visit in Norfolk include:
Great Yarmouth Market. This is open Monday to Saturday.
Kings Lynn Markets. There are three markets in King Lynn held on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday.
Swaffham. This is held on a Saturday only.
Wymondham Market. This is held on a Friday with a Farmers market every third Saturday of the month.
Downham Market. There is a market here on a Friday and Saturday.
Norfolks Major Towns
Thetford is a bustling market town with a good selection of shops, pubs and restaurants and with the vast Thetford Forest bordering Norfolk and Suffolk . For fans of the BBC Dads Army series Thetford was used as the fictional town of Walmington on Sea. There is a statue of Captain Mainwaring sitting near the town bridge over the River Ouse to commemorate the Dads Army connection with the town.
Kings Lynn is an ancient port full of historic buildings including the Trinity Hall which is a grade 1 listed building. The town of Kings Lynn and the neighbouring towns and villages have some English Heritage and National Trust sites that may interest you including St Nicholas' Chapel, St Georges Guildhall and Oxburgh Hall. As Surveyors we have carried out Building Surveys on listed buildings and historic properties all over Norfolk and Kings Lynn has more than its fair share of these. Problems we have come across in these old buildings include deteriorating roof timbers, dampness and structural problems.
Great Yarmouth is a traditional English Seaside town in Norfolk and if you travel north along the coast you will reach Cromer and Sherringham which are both charming towns. Great Yarmouth has plenty of the usual seaside attractions such as amusement arcades and funfairs but it also has plenty of historical places of interest. These include the houses built in old narrow streets known as The Rows. Two of these old houses have now been restored by English Heritage. We have included other English Heritage and National Trust locations in Norfolk further down in the article as places you may enjoy visiting while in Norfolk.
Before you read the next section of the article, this is a light hearted advert about our Surveying Services. Our Independent Building Surveyors have compiled several articles. Here are a few that may be of interest to you.
How can we help you?
What is an Independent Survey?
Builders, building problems and roofs and how a Surveyor can help
Norfolk and Norfolk History
Norfolk and Suffolk
The name Norfolk derives from ‘place of the North Folk' in Anglo Saxon and the neighbouring county of Suffolk, with its friendly rivalry, derives its name from ‘place of the South Folk'.
Norfolk also known as Nelsons County
Norfolk's famous son, Lord Horatio Nelson, was born in Burnham Thorpe in Norfolk and once claimed ‘ I am a Norfolk ma n and glory in being so'. The village also has a local pub called The Lord Nelson which has no bar and serves its beer from the tap room straight from the casks.
When we were carrying out Building Surveys in Burnham Thorpe we enjoyed seeing the Georgian and knapped flint properties. Knapped flint is very popular in Norfolk and is known as a local or vernacular building material.
Knapped Flint defined
This is cut flint.
We use definitions like the one above within our Building Surveys to explain technical words or unfamiliar terms to our clients.
Norfolk is well known for its pubs and you will find many are CAMRA pubs with some selling locally produced ales. There is again a friendly rivalry with Suffolk as to whose breweries produce the best beer. Norfolk breweries include Woodfordes, Humpty Dumpty and Tipples to name a few. Strangely we cannot remember the name of the Suffolk breweries!
Many of Norfolks pubs are historic buildings and are set in stunning locations with sea views or in the beautiful Norfolk countryside. We have carried out many building surveys in pubs in Norfolk over the years both freehold and leasehold as Schedules of Condition. Some have been sprawling country pubs with roof problems such as woodworm or dampness and others have been on the coast where we have had to deal with the problem of coastal erosion.
Norfolk has more Medieval Churches then the rest of Great Britain . There were once over a 1000 of which 679 remain. Most of Norfolk 's churches are built of local flint and many have round towers. The roofs on churches can often have problems and we have carried out Specific Defect Reports on churches and other places of worship with regard to these issues. We have needed to arrange scaffolding to gain access to high level work required and to check the roofs to assess if they need re-roofing. In one case we found that a church that had been quoted for a new roof was actually in acceptable condition and so didn't need one.
Swaffham also known as Market Shipborough
Swaffham, an attractive Georgian Market Town in Norfolk was the birth place of Howard Carter, the archaeologist that discovered the tomb of Tutankhamen.
Swaffham was also the setting for the TV series Kingdom, although it was known as Market Shipborough in the programme. Kingdom featured actor Stephen Fry in the lead part and we were lucky enough to bump into him in a local shop whilst we were in the area surveying. We can provide commercial surveys on shops both leasehold and freehold all over Norfolk and also advise you with regards to full repair and insuring leases known as FRI leases and help you to understand the importance of avoiding ‘put and keep clauses' in leases.
Norfolk is one of the largest counties in England and it's also the driest with lovely warm summers. The county of Norfolk also has over 90 miles of coastline much of which is a designated area of natural beauty making it a perfect holiday destination.
Norfolk beaches are mainly sandy and are some of the best in the UK . The North Norfolk coast resorts of Holkham, Wells next the sea and Old Hunstanton, or Sunny Hunny, as it is known locally are some of our favourites. Cromer and Sheringham are also popular and a little livelier, especially Cromer. There is nothing better than sitting on the sandy beach eating a tasty Cromer crab. You can even try catching your own off the edge of the pier. If you are an expert crab catcher you could try your luck in the world pier crabbing championship at the Cromer and Sheringham Crab and Lobster festival usually held in the spring each year on Cromer pier.
Burnham Market holiday homes and second homes
Burnham market is known as the Chelsea of Norfolk and is located about four miles from the North Norfolk coast. With its village green, combination of traditional and trendy shops, gastro pubs and tea shops Burnham market is one of the most expensive second home / holiday home destinations in England . We have been carrying out Building Surveys in and around this area for many years. Recently we carried out a survey a few miles away at Holme-next-the-sea, a pretty village close to Hunstanton (Sunny Hunny). This village has many houses that have been built using traditional materials such as Clunch (hard white chalk) and Carrstone (red sandstone) but with flint or cobbles added.
Norfolk Broads Holidays
The Norfolk broads are manmade and were created by rising sea levels that flooded the peat beds. The se had originally been excavated for fuel by the Romans and then again in the Middle Ages.
Today a holiday on the broads is a relaxing experience. Whether hiring a boat or renting one of the properties along the water's edge or both! With 127 miles of waterways to navigate and picturesque Broadland villages and towns to visit The Broads really are one of Norfolks greatest treasures.
Experience navigating through the reed beds and passing by churches and windmills along the way including the Berney Windmill near Reedham and Horsey Windpump in Horsey. We have surveyed quite a few windmills in our time as Surveyors and we have also inspected properties that have literally been feet away from the broads. In some cases the broads have actually flooded the house and we have been able to help with insurance claims.
Over time we have discovered our favourite places to visit on the Norfolk Broads. Here are some of them for you to read about, visit and enjoy:
Wroxham is the main village in the Norfolk broads. Wroxham is quite lively and is perfect for both land based and water based holidays. Wroxham is also home to Roys, the largest village store in England, which is more of a department store really; it's even got its own MacDonald restaurant!
Horning is often said to be the prettiest village on the broads. It has a good selection of pubs, shops and restaurants. If you want to see the broads without hiring a boat then you can take a trip on the paddle boat known as the Southern Comfort. Along the way you can see some of the beautiful thatched properties in the area. We have carried out building surveys and specific defect reports on properties where the thatch has deteriorated or where fixing rods are exposed and we have been able to advise on patching and repair.
Acle is a small village with a train station on the Wherry Line that runs from Norwich to Great Yarmouth. The village has not changed much over the years which adds to its charm as does the Church of St Edmund with its part thatched roof.
Reedham in the Southern broads is home to the Yare Navigation Race. This is held in September for sailing cruisers. There is a Victorian swing bridge at one end of Reedham village that takes the railway across the River Yare and at the other end is a vehicle chain ferry. Reedham also has its own animal adventure park and a pub named after Norfolks favourite son Lord Nelson. Hickling has the largest area of water in the Norfolk Broads and is a National Nature reserve. This is a wonderful day out where you can climb into one of the observation towers and try to spot rare species of wildlife including swallowtail butterflies or the Marsh Harrier. This broad is particularly well known for its sailing and its sailing club.
The Fens and the Bedford Estates
Another manmade landscape and one that covers four counties, including Norfolk, is known as the Fens or Fenlands. This is now fertile agricultural land but was once mainly wetlands and marshes. It was reclaimed and drained by the Earl of Bedford with the help of the Dutch engineer Vermuyden and with the backing of Oliver Cromwell. The Earl of Bedford with twelve other investors, known as the ‘Adventurers', were rewarded for this huge undertaking with 43,000 acres of land. More recently the descendants of the Earl of Bedford, now known as Bedford Estates, have become property developers and landlords. In our line of work as Surveyors we often work for landlords providing schedules of conditions and property reports in Norfolk.
Sandringham Estate, country home of the Queen
Sandringham, the country home of Queen Elizabeth II is in West Norfolk about six miles from Kings Lynn. The Royal family spend Christmas at Sandringham every year. We have been to Sandringham at Christmas to see the Royal Family walk to St Mary Magdalene Church.
Sandringham is also linked to another much loved Royal; Diana Frances Spencer, later to become the Princess of Wales, was born in Norfolk in 1961 and lived in Park House near Sandringham.
Norfolk Rural Life and Norfolk Country Shows
Every summer everything that is great about Norfolk is celebrated at the Norfolk Show Ground at Costessey. The Royal Norfolk Show is a two day family event that attracts 100,000 people each year offering a wide range of events from dog shows sheep shearing, cookery demonstrations to RAF free fall parachute displays.
Although the Royal Norfolk Show is the agricultural highlight of the year Norfolk has many other events throughout the region. These include:
Sandringham Game and Country fair in Sandringham
Holkham Country fair (every other year) in Holkham
North Norfolk Country fair in Weybourne
Wayland Agricultural Show in Wayland
Places of Interest in Norfolk
Norfolk has numerous places of interest to visit. Here are a few of our favourites.
Horsey Windmill and Horsey beach
Horsey is a small village in the Norfolk Broads situated about a mile from the coast. There is a five stor ey wind pump located on Horsey Staithe. The Wind pump is open to the public and is maintained by the National trust. The beautiful beach at Horsey is home to hundreds of Grey seals during the winter months. They come ashore to breed and you can get within about 10 feet of them without bothering them as long as you are quiet.
This beautiful building is now Wymondhams Anglican Parish church but was originally a Benedictine Priory. Th e Abbeys twin towers are a local landmark and help to attract 20,000 visitors to the town each year. Inside Wymondham Abbey you can see the Georgian Organ and the Norman Nave. If you look up at the Hammerbeam roof you can see the wooden angels that appear to be supporting it.
Wymondham Abbey stands in the Tiffey Valley which now has scenic trails to follow and is the perfect area for dog walking on a Sunday morning.
Holkham Hall was built in the 1750's by Thomas Coke and is a Palladian style Country House located in North Norfolk . It is part of the Holkham Estate and is still lived in by the descendants' of Thomas Coke. In our line of work as Independent Surveyors we were interested by the architecture of this building as externally there is very little decoration or ornamentation whereas in contrast internally the Hall has been described as one of the finest Palladian interiors in England.
The estate now stages open air concerts in the deer park and also opera and recitals in the stunning marble hall. Every other year one of the biggest country fairs in Norfolk takes place with around 40,000 visitors attending.
Holkham Hall was built on the North Norfolk coast. The beach at Holkham is stunning with four miles of golden sand and is part of one of the largest nature reserves in the country.
Strangers Hall Museum
This a grand Tudor house in Norwich dating from about 1320. The Hall has a crown post roof that was added in 1525. Within the house is a series of corridors and hallways leading to rooms that have been period dressed to show the different styles and times of the Tudors and Stuarts. Guides are traditionally dressed and explain what life would have been like then. You can even try and make a bed up Tudor Style.
National Trust in Norfolk
Here are some of Norfolks National Trust properties / attractions that we have visited and enjoyed in the past:
St Georges Guildhall, Kings Lynn
Oxburgh Hall, Kings Lynn
Blickling Hall, Gardens and Park, Blickling, Norwich
Elizabethan House Museum, Great Yarmouth
English Heritage in Norfolk
We have included some of Norfolks English Heritage sites. These are all locations that we can highly recommend from personal experience:
Grime's Graves Prehistoric Flint Mine in Thetford
Castle Acre Priory in Kings Lynn
Cow Tower in Norwich
Row Houses and Greyfriars Cloisters in Great Yarmouth
Baconsthorpe Castle Ruins near Holt
Weetings Castle Ruins near Brandon
Thetford Priory in Thetford
Norfolk Building Surveyor
If you are purchasing a property in Norfolk please ensure that you have a building survey carried out on it. A building survey, prepared by a building surveyor could literally save you thousands of pounds. Independent Surveyors at 1st Associated.co.uk are all members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors who can carry out a Residential Building Survey or Commercial Building Survey in Norfolk . The survey only needs to uncover one potential problem with the property and the cost of the building survey is more than recovered.
Home Surveyor in Norfolk
If you book a building survey in Norfolk with 1st Associated Surveyors you will find that we take great pride in the quality of our building survey and produce a very detailed building survey report, whether it be for a residential property or a commercial property. We use plain English in our building surveys to explain any problems with the property to ensure that you understand the problems and how to resolve them.
Articles written by Surveyors
Here are some other articles we have written that may be of interest to you when considering purchasing a property or having a Building Survey carried out in Norfolk .
What do Surveyors do?
Victorian and Edwardian properties and their common problems
Traditional Tudor timber frame properties and their common problems
Landlords, what can we do for you?
Whilst most of this is written from local knowledge of the area, here are some websites that we think may interest you, some of which we have used for information and we would like to give them credit for this. We are only human so if there are any amendments or additions or updates we would be pleased to receive your feedback so we can keep our website up to date.
Whilst most of this is written from local knowledge of the area, here are some websites that we think may interest you in the Norfolk area, some of which we have used for information and we would like to give them credit for this. We are only human so if there are any amendments or additions or updates we would be pleased to receive your feedback so we can keep our website up to date.
visitnorfolk.co.uk, tournorfolk.co.uk, aboutbritain.com, visit norwich.co.uk, historicalnorwich.co.uk, nationaltrust.org.uk, english-heritage.org.uk, royalnorfolkshow.co.uk, holkham.co.uk, great-yarmouth.co.uk