Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Nestled near the Suffolk/ Norfolk border this is a tiny but attractive village
Where is Barnham?
Off the A134 Thetford to Bury St Edmunds road, Barnham is only divided from nearby Thetford by a mile or two of common land covered in twisted pines, and heathland marking it as part of the ancient Breckland. It is quiet and out of the way.
There's quite a lot for the keen historian and it is one of the more lovely Suffolk rural villages whose beginnings lie in farming.
It is within a Special Site of Scientific Interest.
It has 11 thatched houses and a wonderful avenue of beech trees leading into the village from Euston.
It is also one of the nine parishes which meet at Rymer Point at nearby Honington
All that is left of the former St Martin Church is a tower but 13th Century St Gregory Church is still standing. Villagers raised 47,000 to keep the 14th-century tower shipshape and in the 1860s the Duke of Grafton paid for extensive refurbishments.
Barnham was divided into two parishes and was called the Barnhams until the 18th Century.
It became Barnham when it lost St Martin's Church.
It did have a railway connecting to Thetford and Bury St Edmunds but that disappeared in the Sixties.
A great deal of Barnham was bought by the second Duke of Grafton, whose estates are at Euston, in 1730, and it has been considered part of Euston Estate since that time. Now there are only a dozen houses owned by the estate but the land is still the Duke's.
RAF Barnham was originally built in the Fifties to store and maintain atomic weapons.
Part of RAF Barnham's function was to convince the Soviet Union that Britain had more weapons at her disposal, Weapons were moved off in the early Sixties and the bomb store was converted to an industrial estate.