Parish Summary: Buxton with Lammas

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

The parish of Buxton with Lammas is situated in mid northeast Norfolk on the edge of the Broadland district. Although two separate parishes until the 20th century, Buxton and Lammas have been closely associated since at least the Norman Conquest, Lammas (or Lamas) being included in the valuation of Buxton when recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086. The original meaning of Buxton is from Old English for ‘buck deer enclosure’; the meaning of Lammas is less clear, but is probably Old English for ‘loam (or lamb) marsh’.

The earliest evidence of human activity in the parish comes in the form of several possibly Palaeolithic worked flints (NHER 33860), found by fieldwalking. However, it is not until the Neolithic period that any closely dateable finds occur, and again these are with one exception in the form of flint tools. Examples of finds from the Neolithic include a chipped axe (NHER 15190), a scraper (NHER 24886), a leaf shaped arrowhead (NHER 7622) and an adze (NHER 22876). The exception mentioned is a Neolithic causewayed enclosure (NHER 7690), rare in Norfolk and only visible as a cropmark on aerial photographs.

Flint tools continued to be used well into the Bronze Age, and several examples have been found, including a barbed and tanged arrowhead (NHER 7623), a blade and a scraper (NHER 35647). The people of the Bronze Age have also left some clues as to their burial practices; as far back as 1798, six probably Bronze Age cremation urns (NHER 7684) were discovered in levelling a mound, perhaps itself a round barrow. More recently, aerial photography has tentatively identified the sites of several round barrows; the burial mounds themselves have long since disappeared, but their surrounding ditches are still visible as cropmarks known as ring ditches. Examples of these sites in the parish include NHER 12786, 17237, 30283 and 36750.

It is not uncommon for the Iron Age to leave little or no trace of its passing in the way of archaeological finds, so the amount of material in the parish that has been discovered from this time is well above the norm. A bronze harness fitting was ploughed up in 1978 (NHER 13226), and two silver coins (NHER 35449 and 35814) and a gold coin (NHER 25017) have been found by metal detecting. However, the most exciting (and rare) find came in 1991, with the discovery of a hoard of Iron Age gold coins (NHER 28394). The hoard consisted of fourteen imported coins, dating to around the middle of the 1st century BC, and they had probably been deliberately hidden at the time with the intention of later recovery.

Individual finds from the period of the Roman occupation are quite numerous, and coins in particular have been found on more than ten sites in the parish, including a collection of twenty six coins from NHER 33825, and a massive haul of over one hundred and thirty from NHER 35860. Roman pottery fragments have also been found on several sites, including NHER 7624, 13994, 14310 and 25517. Other selected examples of Roman finds are a brooch (NHER 33825), a seal box (NHER 24295) and a gold finger ring (NHER 36633).

There are a few faint traces of the Roman period left on the parish landscape, including a circular cropmark with an inner ring that has been interpreted as a possible temple site (NHER 36751). Also, limited excavation has revealed evidence of enclosures (NHER 39833). Finally, a Roman road (NHER 7598) supposedly ran through the parish, on its route from Brampton to Thorpe St Andrew, although excavations in several places along its route have only uncovered Iron Age and Roman pits.

Much less material has survived from the Saxon period, but objects found to date include pottery fragments (NHER 25517), a Middle Saxon pinhead (NHER 25614), a Late Saxon furniture fitting (NHER 24295), and box mounts (NHER 25136 and 30336), also Late Saxon. A 10th century silver Arabic coin (NHER 31237) was possibly Viking loot. The excavations that uncovered the Roman enclosures referred to above also found evidence of Saxon charcoal burning pits.

The medieval period following the Norman Conquest has left the parish with its oldest surviving buildings, the churches of Buxton and Lammas, both dedicated to St Andrew. Of the two, St Andrew’s in Buxton (NHER 7662) is the older, its chancel dating to the 13th century. The nave and north chapel are 14th century, and the rest is 15th century. The building later underwent the almost inevitable Victorian restoration. St Andrew’s in Lammas (NHER 7659) is mainly 15th century, but again extensively rebuilt in the 19th century. It has an octagonal medieval font, and its organ came from Scottow Hall.

Lammas Old Hall (NHER 7626) survives from the late medieval period, although of course altered and extended since then. Other medieval houses have since disappeared, like Old Manor (NHER 7625), a moated manor house. The moats can be seen as cropmarks from the air, and much medieval and post medieval material has been recovered from them. The church and hospital of St Mary (NHER 7695), founded in the 13th century, has also disappeared.

In the post medieval period, buildings from the 16th century to survive are Dudwick Lodge (NHER 19472) and Little Hautbois Hall (NHER 7663), built in the Elizabethan style and having a reused medieval staircase. Lammas Hall (NHER 7627), Bridge Farm (NHER 13092) and The Crown Inn (NHER 13694) all date originally to the 17th century, as does The Friends’ Meeting House (NHER 41861), although much altered. The author Anna Sewell is buried in the cemetery to the south, and her headstone was set into a new wall after the burial ground was partly destroyed in 1984. 

Photograph of Buxton Mill, an imposing four storey water mill, of brick and weatherboard, dating originally from 1754, that stands astride the river Bure. It was expanded in the 19th century.

Buxton Mill, an imposing four storey water mill, of brick and weatherboard, dating originally from 1754 but expanded in the 19th century. (©NCC)

18th century survivals are Ashville and the Old Forge (NHER 25821), Oak Lodge (NHER 3555), a good example of Gothick style architecture, and Buxton Mill (NHER 3553). The mill is an imposing four storey water mill astride the River Bure, originally dating to 1754, and expanded in the 19th century. It was later converted to a restaurant, then used by various small businesses until it burnt down in 1971. Rebuilt to award winning standards, it is now a hotel and conference centre. One building that has not survived is Buxton Workhouse (NHER 7666), an early 19th century workhouse, since demolished.

The most historically recent NHER entries for the parish are  sets of World War Two anti tank blocks that were laid across the River Bure in front of Buxton Mill (NHER 3554), and on each side of Upper Mayton Bridge to the south east (NHER 13093).

Pieter Aldridge (NLA), 22 November 2005.


Further Reading

Brown, P. (ed.), 1984. The Domesday Book, 33 Norfolk (Chichester, Phillimore & Co.)

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

Norfolk County Council logo Heritage Lottery Fund logo

Powered by HBSMR-web and the HBSMR Gateway from exeGesIS SDM Ltd, and mojoPortal CMS
© 2007 - 2024 Norfolk Historic Environment Service