Parish Summary: Ketteringham

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

Ketteringham is a small parish close to the town of Wymondham.  The small village is next to the A11, and to the south of the village is the park that surrounds the Hall. Ketteringham comes from the Old English meaning ‘homestead of the family or followers of a man named Cytra’.

The earliest find from the parish is a Palaeolithic flint scraper (NHER 9477). Other prehistoric finds include Mesolithic flint blades (NHER 22871, 23829, 28413), Neolithic axeheads (NHER 9462), scrapers (NHER 25513), a knife (NHER 28163), flint flakes (NHER 22816, 22821, 22872, 23829, 32303, 32304) and other flint implements (NHER 9478, 9479, 28415). Several Bronze Age round barrows (NHER 9481, 9482, 9483) were recorded in the parish in the 19th century, and one of the barrows (NHER 9481) was excavated in 1846 and fragments of Roman pottery were discovered (NHER 5009). A ring ditch, probably the remains of another Bronze Age barrow, is visible as a cropmark on aerial photographs (NHER 18558).

A miniature Iron Age terret (NHER 28162) and a fragment of Iron Age pottery (NHER 32303) are the only Iron Age finds to be recovered so far. Although no Roman settlement sites have yet been identified in the parish metal detecting and fieldwalking have recovered a number of finds. These include fragments of Roman pottery (NHER 9484, 22820, 22821, 28156, 31274), coins (NHER 21009, 28156, 28161, 28411, 28412, 28416, 28504, 28505, 28506, 28707, 28710), brooches (NHER 28163, 28415, 31274), a spindle whorl (NHER 28163), a terret (NHER 28413), a buckle (NHER 28416), a dolphin mount (NHER 28776) and a mount from a piece of military equipment (NHER 28776).

Metal detecting has also recovered Early Saxon brooches (NHER 28416, 36680), a Middle Saxon strap-end (NHER 28416), a pin (NHER 28505), and an unusual Middle or Late Saxon cast head that may have come from a crucifix (NHER 36680). Late Saxon finds include a Viking openwork brooch (NHER 21009), a silver hooked tag (NHER 28159), a strap-end (NHER 28161), a disc brooch (NHER 28164), a ring (NHER 28416), a bridle cheek-piece (NHER 32304) and a box mount (NHER 36171). In 1086 the Domesday Book recorded Ketteringham as a fairly substantial holding with a church and a mill that was held by Roger Bigot.

 

A headstop at St Peter's Church in KetteringhamA headstop at St Peter's Church in Ketteringham

Headstops at St Peter's Church in Ketteringham.

St Peter’s Church (NHER 9515) dates back to the 13th century and was extensively restored in the 19th century. The church contains a number of interesting memorials, including one to Charlotte Atkins who died in poverty in Paris after several doomed attempts to rescue Marie Antoinette from prison. Metal detecting and fieldwalking has recovered medieval and post medieval pottery, coins and metal finds including a late medieval ring (NHER 21009), a casket mount (NHER 28157), a mirror case (NHER 28161) and harness pendants (NHER 28165, 28414).

Wellgate Cottage (NHER 34070) is a 15th or 16th century timber framed house that may once have been an open-hall house. Hall Farmhouse and Pelican House (NHER 14206) is a 16th century brick house that was extended in the 18th century and is now divided into two. The house, which may originally have been a rectory, has crowstepped gables, diapered brickwork and a two-storey stair tower. Unusually the house had a first floor corridor linking the stair tower to the first floor chambers. An 18th century game larder stands close to the house. High Ash Farmhouse (NHER 16215), Ivy Farmhouse (NHER 20450), Avon Cottage (NHER 34068) and the Thatched Cottage (NHER 34069) are all 16th century timber framed houses. Church Cottage (NHER 14205) is a 16th and 17th century timber framed hall-house that may have been an early vicarage. Juniper House (NHER 44275) also dates to the 17th century and may be timber framed. Appletree Cottage and the White House (NHER 44273) is an 18th century clay lump house that is now divided into two houses.

Ketteringham Hall (NHER 9501) is a late 16th century house that was extensively rebuilt in the Gothick style in the 19th century. The hall has battlements, buttresses, pinnacles and arched windows and doorways. The house also has a conservatory, dating to about 1840, and a gazebo. The late 19th century stables have two octagonal gate turrets with inset Greek marble stelae dating to the 2nd century BC. Fragments of medieval tracery taken from Norwich Cathedral (NHER 14207) stand in the gardens of the Hall. The formal gardens (NHER 44336) include a late 17th century terrace and a 19th century cast-iron pergola designed by the architect Thomas Jekyll. The 18th century walled kitchen gardens (NHER 44334) contain an 18th century octagonal gardener’s cottage and a 19th century gazebo. The house was surrounded with a landscape park (NHER 44333) by the late 18th century, and has an ornamental lake as well as perimeter belts of trees and several plantations. Within the park is a 19th century icehouse (NHER 14208) with a brick entrance arch flanked by two piers topped with pinnacles and a 19th century folly (NHER 20449) incorporating fragments of reused medieval stonework. Norwich Lodge (NHER 44277) is an early 19th century Gothick style lodge built at the north entrance of the park.

Stanfield Hall (NHER 9457) stands on the parish boundary between Wymondham and Ketteringham. The hall is surrounded by a medieval moat, and is on the site of a medieval manor house.  The present hall dates from the late 18th or early 19th century and is built in a mock Tudor style. The Hall was the scene of an infamous double murder that shocked Victorian England. On the night of 28 November 1848 Isaac Jermy left the house to take the evening air after a dinner party. He was ambushed and shot by a masked man, who then proceeded to shoot Isaac's son, his wife, and a maid. Isaac and his son were killed, and the two women were badly injured. James Blomfield Rush, who was heavily in debt to Jermy, was arrested and put on trial in Norwich. During his trial Rush defended himself, and his closing speech to the jury lasted 14 hours. The jury took just ten minutes to find him guilty of murder, and he was hanged at Norwich Castle on 21 April 1849. Between 12,000 and 20,000 people attended his execution, and special train services were run from London to Norwich for the occasion. Charles Dickens observed that it was 'a grand place for a scoundrel's exit'.

Sarah Spooner (NLA), 19 April 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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