Wood Dalling

Charles and Joy Boldero take a five-mile walk around Wood Dalling. This is another easy five-mile walk. The tracks and field edges were in good order, there were no stiles and the route was well signed.

Charles and Joy Boldero take a five-mile walk around Wood Dalling.

This is another easy five-mile walk. The tracks and field edges were in good order, there were no stiles and the route was well signed. We parked by the pond and church in Wood Dalling which is situated on a minor road three miles north of Reepham.

With the church, pond and village sign on the left we walked along the country lane and very soon, at the grass triangle, we turned left along Church Lane. As the road went right, we kept straight ahead along the hedged track with a house on the right.

The track went left and we ignored a signed grass path ahead. Later, we ignored a signed track on the left and went right along the hedged track. We then kept along the track as it turned left, again ignoring a signed grass path ahead.


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At the yellow marker by the stream and a wood, we turned left along the wide field edge path with the stream on our right.

Reaching the hedgeline in the adjoining field, we went right over the narrow earth bridge (marker sign lying on the ground) and continued along the field edge with the hedge on our right.

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With the disused farm house and barns on the right, our path led to the track where we went left along it. At the T-junction of tracks we turned right, then right again along the country lane. At a holly tree beside the entrance to the field, and by a yellow marker, we turned left along the field edge with the tree/hedge on the right and, further along, a notice which read 'Please keep dogs on leads'.

At the yellow marker sign we went over the earth bridge, turning left with the stream on our left. We kept along this path until we reached the plank bridge and, going over it, we continued along a field edge with a ditch on the left.

At a finger post sign, the path went left around the field until it reached the country lane. Here, we turned right to the T-junction, then left along the country lane, Heydon Road. At the cross roads, we turned left along Church Hill back to the start of the walk.

There is no pub in Wood Dalling. However, the Earle Arms, Heydon, is not far. Drive along Church Hill, right at cross-roads - Heydon Road. At the cross roads, with a bus shelter in a hedge on the left, turn left into Heydon village.

t PLACES OF INTEREST:

1. Along these tracks catkins, which are said to herald the start of spring, could be found daintily hanging from the branches of the hazel trees and primroses in the banks. In days gone by, the plant was much used in medicines. A concoction made from the primrose was used as a remedy for gout and rheumatism and an infusion of the roots was taken for nervous headaches.

Salle's St Peter and St Paul's Church will be seen ahead along here. It was built in the 15th century. The interior is of immense height and volume. There is an elegant font cover suspended by a large bracket projecting from the bell ringers' gallery in the tower. Beneath the cover is one of the best seven sacrament fonts in Norfolk. The roof is a plain arch-brace with angels at the junctions of the rafters. This gem of a church is associated with two famous names, the Boleyn family and Margaret Fountaine (1862-1940), who was aptly known as 'the butterfly lady'. Her fantastic collection can be seen in the Castle Museum, Norwich.

2. Wood Dalling also had famous residents. Tom Higdon (1869-1939) and his wife Kitty (1864-1946), who was headmistress of Wood Dalling School in 1902, became famous as the leading protaganists in the notorious Burston School strike.

The village once boasted a number of pubs. The Plough and the Jolly Farmers have long since closed and the last 'pub' was at Wood Dalling Hall, an Elizabethan manor house, built by the Bulwer family of Heydon in 1562. In the early 1980s a Moslem community bought the hall. Sold again, it became a popular 'pub' before becoming a private residence again.

The village, although scattered, is an active one. It boasts a village shop and post office.

During the first world war an incendiary bomb fell at Norton Corner, having been dropped by a Zeppelin. One resident at the time described the bomb as being the size of a hurricane lamp!

The name Wood Dalling means 'The wood belonging to Dalla's people'.

The Earle Arms, Heydon is a free house. Food is not served Monday lunch times nor Sunday evenings. We understand it is a popular venue, but it was closed the day we did this walk.

t MAP REFERENCES:

OS Landranger 133, Explorer 238:

090270, 085265, 085261, 090259, 090254, 099253, 095255, 096264, 101262, 099274, 091276, 090270.

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