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Pudding Norton Saint Margaret Ruin


Pudding Norton Saint Margaret Ruin, or Puddying NortonI ventured out today to take photos of just two ruined churches, the first was at Godwick, The second Pudding Norton. Ruin, the latters access was blocked both with a bolted gate and in accessible terrain to the ruin. I could take long distance pictures but have decided to call back at some later stage. The parish of Pudding Norton is just south of Fakenham.. Pudding Norton comprises some 1,400 acres of arable land and includes Fakenham Racecourse. The parish is first mentioned in Domesday Book (1086) as “Nortuna” (“the north settlement”), entered as land held by the King, with eight heads of households, so the total population was probably about 50 people. By 1329 there were fifteen heads of households. The derivation of the name “Pudding Norton” has always given rise to speculation –– according to the History and Antiquities of Norfolk, published in 1762, “It is supposed to take its adjunct name of Pudding from its dirty scite [site], by a stream of water”.To the south of Pudding Norton Hall, on a gentle slope extending towards a small stream which flows northwards to join the Wensum, undulations in the meadows are all that remain of the medieval village of Pudding Norton, one of the best preserved abandoned village sites in Norfolk. All that survives above ground is the ruined tower of St Margaret’s Church, a landmark visible from the Fakenham to Dereham road. As early as 1600 the church was described as “wholly ruinated and decayed long since, unknown by whom it was pulled down”. The cause of the depopulation and ruin of the church was not the Black Death, as is often suggested, but the change over from arable to sheep farming around Fakenham in the middle years of the sixteenth century. This was largely due to the Fermour family of East Barsham Hall just north of Fakenham, who had acquired land belonging to nearby Hempton Priory after its dissolution by Henry VIII in the 1530s. The Fermours were periodically brought to court accused of destroying houses, stopping up common ways, establishing new fold courses for sheep at the expense of tenants and generally behaving in a tyrannical manner. In his will in 1557 Sir William Fermour left 20 shillings to repair Pudding Norton Church, and 11 pence to each household, but there were probably few inhabitants left by then. By 1570 Sir William’s dissolute nephew Thomas had sold Pudding Norton to pay his debts. John Drewe, was rector here, 1387-9 afterwards he was rector of Harpley and Northwold. he died 1426. Henry Kays came to Norfolk from the diocese of Coventry and Lichfield, in 1405, he was rector of Fakenham and archdeacon of Norwich, 1405-26; clerk of the King's Chancery and keeper of the hanaper 1409; he and others grantees in a fine relating to manors in Raynham, Pudding Norton and many other places, and lands in South Lynn, etc, 1410 rector of Pudding Norton, 1415-18; one of the patrons of Oxwick, 1416; rector of Massingham Magna, 1421-6; proctor of thomas Polton, Bishop-elect of hereford, 1420; proctor of the same on his translation to Chincester 1422. In the latter proctorial commission. Kays is styled archdeacon of Norfolk, but this seems to be a clerical error as William Sponne held this office at that date. Kays died in 1426, and his will (proved, P.C.C., in that year) describes him as of London, Fakenham in Norfolk, and Horsley in Derbyshire. Both Blomefield and Farrer ascribe to him a much damaged brass in Fakenham chancel on which is engraved the effigy of an ecclesiatic in a cope.

Pudding Norton Saint Margaret Ruin