Parish Summary: Hardingham

This Parish Summary is an overview of the large amount of information held for the parish, and only selected examples of sites and finds in each period are given. It has been beyond the scope of the project to carry out detailed research into the historical background, documents, maps or other sources, but we hope that the Parish Summaries will encourage users to refer to the detailed records, and to consult the bibliographical sources referred to below. Feedback and any corrections are welcomed by email to heritage@norfolk.gov.uk

Hardingham is a small parish in central Norfolk. The modern settlement pattern is quite dispersed; the village of Hardingham is in the south, and the small hamlets of Low Street and Danemoor Green are in the north. Hardingham comes from the Old English meaning ‘homestead of the family or followers of a man named Hearda’.

There is some evidence of prehistoric occupation. Prehistoric pot boilers (NHER 2965), and Mesolithic flakes and cores (NHER 15596) have been found, as well as Neolithic flint implements (NHER 1046, 2943, 15594 and 15596) and Neolithic axeheads (NHER 2942, 2944, 8889 and 36241). A Bronze Age copper alloy axehead (NHER 2949) was found in 1949 and a Late Bronze Age suspension ring made in southern England or northern France (NHER 15595) was found by a metal detectorist in 1999.

Iron Age pottery (NHER 2949) has been found in the area near St George’s Church (NHER 8862). A Roman coin (NHER 2949) and a Roman brooch (NHER 15174) were recovered by metal detectorists.

Middle Saxon (NHER 1046, 8850) and Late Saxon (NHER 1046) pottery have been found near St George’s Church (NHER 8862). No other Saxon finds have been recovered from the parish. Although Hardingham is not recorded in the Domesday Book, the deserted settlement of Flockthorpe (NHER 2966) is mentioned. Flockthorpe may have been located to the north of the modern village of Hardingham, although the earthworks on the site have now been destroyed. In 1086 Flockthorpe was a fairly substantial manor, held by the King. The manor was worth £10, and included an outlying settlement named ‘Manson’ or ‘Mantatestona’, and another un-named settlement. The exact location of ‘Mantatestona’ (NHER 11523) is unknown, although it may have been located near Manson Green in the south of the parish.

St George’s Church (NHER 8862) dates mainly from the 13th century, and contains a late 13th or 14th century octagonal font. The church is now isolated from the main areas of settlement in the parish, which are clustered along the edges of former commons, some of which are shown on Faden’s map of 1797. The Old Hall (NHER 2968) stands close to the church, and is probably on the site of an earlier house. The present building dates to the early 17th century and is next to the site of a medieval moat. The earthworks of a circular medieval moat (NHER 2973) are close to Gresham’s Farm. The moat surrounded a house belonging to Sir Thomas Gresham, who founded the Royal Exchange in London in 1566. A series of medieval rectangular enclosures are visible on aerial photographs near Nordelph Corner. The earthworks of probable medieval tofts have survived to the south of the village of Hardingham. Medieval pottery and metal finds including a seal matrix (NHER 2955), coins (NHER 18290 and 18292), a spur (NHER 18290) and a strap fitting (NHER 18431) have been found in the parish.

Two houses in Danemoor Green (NHER 21611 and NHER 42021) are 16th century timber framed house with thatched roofs. Hardingham Grove (NHER 25788) is also a 16th or 17th century timber framed house, and was extensively remodelled in the 19th century. The Bird in the Hand (NHER 42019) is an early 18th century timber framed building with later brickwork. 

The School House was built in about 1860 in the Gothick Revival style.

The School House, Hardingham. (© NCC.)

Hardingham Hall (NHER 2969) is a late 18th century house with early 19th century alterations. The façade has giant stone pilasters with carved Corinthian capitals. In the grounds of the Hall is an 18th century dovecote (NHER 2970) with original nesting boxes. The Old Rectory (NHER 24434) is a large 18th century house with 19th century alterations. Hardingham Watermill (NHER 8859) is shown on Faden’s map of 1797, and was rebuilt in the 1830s. The mill was deliberately burnt down in the 1960s during the filming of ‘The Shuttered Room’, which starred a young Oliver Reed. The Old School (NHER 42607) was built in the 1860s in Gothic Revival style with arched windows and octagonal chimneys. Danemoor Farmhouse (NHER 42020) is a late 19th century farmhouse with giant brick pilasters.

Sarah Spooner (NLA), 8 February 2006.

 

Further Reading

Brown, P. (ed.), 1984. Domesday Book: Norfolk (Chichester, Phillimore)

Mills, A.D., 1998. Dictionary of English Place-Names (Oxford, Oxford University Press)

Rye, J., 1991. A Popular Guide to Norfolk Place-names (Dereham, Larks Press)

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