Hingham, Hardingham, Hackford and Deopham Heritage Trail

A map of the Hingham, Hackford and Deopham Heritage Trail.

A map of the Hingham, Hackford and Deopham Heritage Trail. (© NCC)

Take a walk around these beautiful South Norfolk villages and discover two areas of medieval settlement, three beautiful churches and a 19th century water mill powered by natural streams.

The walk is mostly on quiet roads and footpaths and is around eight miles long. The Victoria Inn at Deopham is a suitable place to stop for lunch or you could picnic at Deopham Playing Field.

The walk highlights buildings and sites of historical interest but take time to explore the villages more thoroughly on the Norfolk Heritage Explorer database as each has a fascinating past. You might like to read the Hingham, Hackford and Deopham parish summaries. Unless stated sites are privately owned and not open to the public.

1. Medieval to post medieval mill mound at Mill Farm - NHER 33835

A large earth mound much altered and cut about, originally built as a mill mound. A mill is marked on 19th century maps.

2. White Lodge, Hardingham Road - NHER 43878

An early 19th century two storey yellow brick farmhouse with a modern tiled roof and overhanging eaves. The central doorway has a wooden trellis porch.

3. Hardingham Hall - NHER 2969

An early to mid 18th century house with important early 19th century alterations. The main façade has giant stone pilasters with carved Corinthian capitals. The house contains original plasterwork and elaborate wood panelling thought to come from the Old Hall. The stables date from the late 19th century. There is also an 18th century brick dovecote with original nesting boxes in the grounds.

4. Possible medieval tofts - NHER 32931

A series of rectangular enclosures are visible as earthworks on aerial photographs. The enclosures may be medieval tofts and small enclosures.

5. St Mary's Church, Hackford - NHER 8928 (open to the public)

The chancel of this church dates to around 1300 but the presence of a Norman doorway  which has been reused in the building suggests an earlier church probably stood at the same spot. The nave, west tower and south porch are all constructed in Perpendicular style and bequests for the construction of the tower date from 1423 to 1471. 

6. Medieval tofts and tracks - NHER 21116 (open to the public)

Earthworks of ditches, enclosures, tracks and house platforms can be seen on aerial photographs of this site. An earthwork survey revealed that these were related to medieval tofts and tracks. Roman medieval and post medieval pottery has been found here along with brick and tile.

The four stage tower of St Andrew's church was started in the 13th century and altered in the 15th century.

The impressive 13th and 15th century tower of St Andrew's Church, Deopham. (© NCC)

7. St Andrew’s Church, Deopham - NHER 2983 (open to the public)

This mainly 14th century church has a very impressive four stage tower. There are traces of an earlier Norman church, such as the head corbels either side of the western door, and other architectural fragments. In the 13th century the tower was added to this Norman structure, and the nave and aisles were built in the early 14th century. The chancel was added in the late 14th century. The 13th century tower was encapsulated in the four stage structure in the late 15th or early 16th century. The tower window arrangement and bell frame are especially interesting

8. The Water Mill - NHER 12495

This 19th century watermill, which stands on the site of earlier mills, is remarkable in that it is fed not by a river or stream but by a number of natural springs. The mill is a three storey building built of clay lump, of which few examples survive. The attached 19th century miller's house is also three storeys high, but built of brick. The mill ceased working in the 1930s and its machinery is long gone. It has now been converted to residential use.

9) St Andrew’s Church, Hingham - NHER 2979 (open to the public)

A big church, more than 50m long, with a huge west tower that is a landmark for miles around. It is a notable building in that it is virtually all of one construction, having been built in the later years of Remigius of Hethersett, rector here from 1319 to 1359. New windows, a clerestory to the nave and a vestry were added in the 15th century. Alterations followed in the 17th century and the Victorians carried out an enthusiastic restoration in the late 19th century, most of the interior being from that time. The tower is very imposing, having large windows at three levels on its west face over a decorated doorway. Indeed the windows throughout the church are of great size, particularly the enormous east window, one of the biggest in England. This is entirely filled with early 16th century glass imported from Germany, bought by Lord Wodehouse in 1813.The interior of the church is striking, the soaring nave being crowned by a very good hammerbeam roof of 1872, and those of the aisles with winged angels. Probably the most impressive feature is the huge 15th century red stone memorial to Thomas, Lord Morley and his wife, on the north wall of the chancel, and reaching its full height. Some think the memorial is reminiscent of the Erpingham Gate at Norwich Cathedral.The most famous person commemorated in the church is Abraham Lincoln, whose bust was placed in an alcove in the north aisle in 1919. He himself was not from the village, but some of his ancestors lived there before emigrating two hundred years before his presidency.

M. Dennis (NLA), 8 March 2007.

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