North Walsham - Encyclopedia

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NORTH WALSHAM, a market town in the eastern parliamentary division of Norfolk, England; 131 m. N.E. by N. from London by the Great Eastern railway. Pop. of urban district (1901) 3981. It lies in a pastoral district near the river Ant, a tributary of the Bure. The church of St Nicholas is a fine Perpendicular structure exhibiting the flint-work common to the district, and possessing a beautiful south porch and the ruin of a massive western tower which partly collapsed early in the 18th century. A grammar school was founded in 1606, and reorganized and moved to new buildings in modern times. There is a market house of the 16th century. A considerable agricultural trade is carried on, and cattle-shows and fairs are held. The river Ant provides a route southward to the Norfolk Broads. The coast village of Mundesley, 5 m. N.E. by a branch railway, is in favour as a watering-place, having fine sands beneath the cliffs. In the district between this and North Walsham are Paston, taking name from the family which is famous through the Paston Letters, and the fragments of Bromholm Priory, a Cluniac foundation. These are of various dates from Norman onwards, but are incorporated with farm buildings. The rood of Bromholm was a reputed fragment of the Cross which attracted many pilgrims. To the south of North Walsham is North Walsham Heath, whither in June 1381 a body of insurgents in connexion with the Peasants' Revolt were driven from before Norwich by Henry le Despenser, bishop of Norwich, and defeated; after which their leader, Geoffrey Lister, and others were sent to the scaffold.

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