Wednesday, April 14, 2010
There's more than a taste of the past in this village steeped in history
Where is Litcham?
In mid-Norfolk, eight miles north-west of Dereham, on the B1145.
Litcham is a conservation village with many listed buildings. It is mentioned in the Doomsday Book as a market town in the centre of Norfolk.
But its history goes back much further than that. Roman settlements and roads have been found just outside the village.
Later it was on the Kings Lynn-Norwich-Great Yarmouth stagecoach route, now the B1145. Horses were changed at the Bull Inn, which still stands today.
The 12th-century All Saints Church with its square tower was largely rebuilt in the early 15th century. The stone font dates from then, and is decorated with shields with the heraldic arms removed.
There are 22 images of saints on the unusual red and green painted rood screen, completed in 1536. Outside, the clock is dated 1725 and was made by the Swaffham blacksmith.
Litcham Village Museum, in a Grade II listed coach house, (right) shows Roman coins and artefacts, and more than 1000 local photographs, dating from 1860.
You can ask to see the underground lime kiln, also Grade II listed, which was found in the grounds and lovingly restored.
What to do in and around Litcham
Litcham has plenty to offer walkers and nature lovers. Theres a nature reserve at Litcham Common, or you can take a walk along the Nar Valley Way. You can get a free history walk sheet from the museum. Or why not try a spot of fishing?
Just half a mile west is the village of Lexham. The Grade II listed Lexham Hall has a large 18th and 19th century park and woodland, restored in the mid-20th century.
The River Nar flows through the park, and there is a formal garden, yew walk, woodland garden and a Saxon round-tower church.
One mile east of Litcham is another conservation village, Mileham. It also has a fine church and the remains of a castle.