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Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Putting the south Norfolk market town under the microscope
Where is Harleston?
Harleston is a traditional market town situated on the Norfolk side of the Waveney Valley. Turn off the A143 road at the Harleston bypass roundabout.
One of the beauties of Harleston is its wealth of small shops and lack of national retail chains.
The attractive Italianate clock tower overlooking the Market Place has been restored and the clock face returned to its original colours of gold on blue.
The Magpie Hotel sign (pictured) has also been a prominent feature for decades, and modern-day Harleston is known nationally for its Magpies - the name adopted by the town's hockey club which ranks among the best in England. There is also a healthy population of the distinctive black and white birds living in the vicinity.
Sir Alfred Munnings, born in nearby Mendham, is said to have paid his bar bills in Harleston with some of his early works before he became one of Britain's most revered artists.
The 15th century parish church of St Mary's is situated at neighbouring Redenhall. This is because Harleston used to be part of Redenhall parish. St Mary's treasures include a brass double eagle lectern and Jacobean monument to the Frere family.
Harleston does have St John's Church dating from the 1870s, and two chapels.