Norfolk lavender in full flower at Heacham
- Credit: Ian Burt
Up on the coast, there's a scent of the Mediterranean in the air.
Lavender is in full flower at Heacham, where Norfolk Lavender has been growing the iconic herb for almost a century.
Legend has it the plant was brought to our shores by the Romans, who established several outposts in north Norfolk.
Soldiers carried first aid kits of herbal remedies and herbs were planted where legions set up camp.
In Medieval and Tudor times, lavender was valued for everything from cleaning teeth to sweetening the air with its scent.
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It became feashionable as a perfume by Victorian times, while during the First World War it supplemented supplies of antiseptics.
After the war, lavender fields around London were ploughed yup for development.
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Lavender came to Heacham in 1932, when three men and a boy planted six acres. It's been harvested every summer since.
Norfolk Lavender, on the A149 coast road, now houses the national collection of more than 100 species of the plant.
It also has around 100 acres under cultivation. Oil from the flowers is distilled to make cosmetics and other fragrant products.