Heritage

Having already embarked upon a number of projects such as the building of the Millennium Village Hall and the planting of the Community Orchard, residents of Wood Norton sought to extend their programme of activity and their commitment to community values by exploring the heritage of the village, and the Wood Norton Heritage Project was formed in June 2015.

In the History section of the Heritage webpage we will have tried to build a picture of life in early Wood Norton or Nortuna as it was then called (in the Domesday Book). In those days the church and its institutions featured greatly in the every day life of everyone in the village.  Some of this information has been assembled by others over the years and is to be found in old books and manuscripts, but we are exploring new ways of interpreting the heritage of Wood Norton.

Much research has been done on the War Memorial and we have been fortunate to be contacted by and met relatives of some of the WW1 servicemen, which is very rewarding.  We were able to have the biographies produced to commemorate the servicemen who died in WW1 published on the Norfolk in World War One website.

We mount exhibitions of our research and about our village life in our church (see the Exhibitions webpages to see pictures of past events) and we have received very positive feedback on our displays – ‘some fine heritage work’, ‘a fascinating historical display’.

If you are interested in Wood Norton’s past try visiting this site http://www.heritage.norfolk.gov.uk.

Please take time to support our venture.  If you have any photos, stories, or information, or would like to contribute to the Wood Norton Heritage Project, please contact Ivor Wells ([email protected]) or Joanne Burd ([email protected]).


Heritage Project Updates

August 2021

To coincide with Open Churches Week, in August 2021 the church hosted an exhibition on the history of the village, our own ‘Bluestocking’, Edmund Stillingfleet (born in Wood Norton in 1704), together with a display on the playground area, our scarecrow weekends, and a brief history of the Wood Norton Players.


September 2020

Following the reopening of the church we were able to host an exhibition in September 2020 of Wood Norton in WW2, and were able to showcase some of the village history and lives of some of the men and women who lived in, or were associated with, the village at that time.  It was based on the work undertaken to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of VE day and was displayed to mark the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.


March to July 2020

Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, remembrance events and exhibitions were suspended due to the closure of the church.  However, we marked the 75th anniversary of VE Day with a virtual’ commemoration on our website – see our Commemorating VE Day 2020 webpage.


January 2020

We are continuing to mark the anniversaries of those servicemen who died in WW1 throughout the coming year with exhibitions including our new stained glass poppy plaques.  Further information on the servicemen can be found in the church, or via the War Memorial tab on our website (see the subheading Memorial Names).


September 2019

We will be holding an exhibition in the church from the beginning of September on Churchyard Wildlife, following the successful Wild About Wildlife day, held on Sunday 28th July, in the beautiful conservation areas of the churchyard and community orchard.  We were pleased to host the Norfolk Wildlife Trust at the wildlife day.

We will be holding an exhibition in the church from the end of September on Wood Norton and the 1939 Register.  The Register was taken on the 29th September 1939, and transcribed into the Registers by the enumerators from the household schedules completed at the 29th September date. Designed to capture every member of the civilian population, the information was used to produce identity cards and, once rationing was introduced in January 1940, to issue ration books.

Registration of members of the armed forces was dealt with by the military authorities, so the 1939 Register does not include service personnel in military, naval and air force establishments, or members of the armed forces billeted in private homes, including their own homes.  However, since conscription did not begin in earnest until January 1940, most people who subsequently served in the armed forces during the Second World War were still civilians in September 1939.


July 2019

We will be holding an exhibition in the church from Wednesday 3rd July, to mark the 75th anniversary of the death of Robert Martin Bell, who was killed in action on the 4th July 1944, in Normandy.  He was a Warrant Officer Class II C.S.M. (Company Sergeant Major), serving with the 1st Battalion, Royal Norfolk Regiment.  He is buried in La Delivrande War Cemetery, Douvres.  Robert is the only WW2 serviceman to be recorded on our war memorial.


November 2018

We will be hosting a Wood Norton Remembers weekend of events to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of WW1 on the 10th and 11th November. There will be exhibitions in the Church and Village Hall, an illustrated talk, Reflections on Remembrance, the Remembrance Service on Sunday 11th November, followed by a WW1 walk to see how the village looked 1918, and where the servicemen lived.  The commemorative beacon will be lit on Sunday evening, followed by the ringing of the church bell.  The event will culminate in a celebration in the Village Hall.


September 2018

We will be holding an exhibition in the church from Thursday 13th September 2018 to mark the 100th anniversary of the death of George Thomas Dawson, who died of illness (probably malaria) in Salonika on the 19th September 1918, aged 40.  George was with the 14th Battalion, The Queens (Royal West Surrey Regiment).

An article on George Thomas Dawson has been submitted to the Norfolk in World War One website, for publication on the anniversary of his death.


August 2018

We will be holding an exhibition in the church from Friday 10th August 2018 to mark the 100th anniversary of the death of Stanley Sadler, who was in the Royal Navy and was killed when the ship that he was serving with, HMS Scott, was torpedoed off the Dutch coast. Stanley was 21 years old when he was killed.

An article on Stanley Sadler has been submitted to the Norfolk in World War One website, for publication on the anniversary of his death.


May 2018

We will be holding an exhibition in the church from Thursday 17th May 2018 to mark the 100th anniversary of the death of Arthur Robert Buck, who was killed in action at th

e Somme on the 25th May 1918.  Arthur’s occupation in the 1911 census (Wood Norton) was listed as a gardener.  Arthur was 41 years old when he was killed.

An article on Arthur Robert Buck has been submitted to the Norfolk in World War One website, for publication on the anniversary of his death.


March 2018

We will be holding an exhibition in the church from Friday 23rd March 2018 to mark the 100th anniversary of the death of Thomas Walter Doughty, who was killed in action at the First Battles of the Somme on the 24th March 1918.  Thomas was a rifleman with the Royal Irish Rifles.  His body was subsequently re-interred at Bouchoir New British Cemetery in November 1919.

An article on Thomas Walter Doughty has been submitted to the Norfolk in World War One website, for publication on the anniversary of his death.


January 2018

We will be holding an exhibition in the church from Friday 26th January 2018 to mark the 100th anniversary of the death of Edward Barber Leeder, who died in a submarine accident on the 31st January 1918.  Edward was serving on the submarine K-4, when it was one of eight vessels involved in five collisions during a naval exercise, resulting in the loss of 104 lives, an incident that became known as the Battle of the Isle of May.

An article on Edward Barber Leeder has been submitted to the Norfolk in World War One website, for publication on the anniversary of his death.


November and December 2017

We will be holding two exhibitions in the church:

  • from Saturday 25th November, to mark the 100th anniversary of the death of Nicholas Robert Colman, who was killed in action on the 30th November 1917, aged 20, during the Battle of Cambrai.  An article on Nicholas Robert Colman has been submitted to the Norfolk in World War One website, for publication on the anniversary of his death.
  • from Thursday 7th December, to mark the 100th anniversary of the death of Alfred Wright, who died of wounds received on the 8th December 1917, aged 22, during the battle for the capture of Jerusalem.  An article on Alfred Wright has been submitted to the Norfolk in World War One website, for publication on the anniversary of his death.

October 2017

We will be holding an exhibition in the church from Saturday 28th October, to mark the 100th anniversary of the death of Robert Cecil Burlingham, who was killed in action on the 2nd November 1917, aged 21, during the Third Battle of Gaza.

An article on Robert Cecil Burlingham has been submitted to the Norfolk in World War One website, for publication on the anniversary of his death.


September 2017

As part of our research into Wood Norton’s WW1 war memorial, we have been in contact with the Norfolk in World War One project, which is run by the Norfolk Library and Information Service.  We have submitted three articles to them which will be published on their website:

We hope to submit further articles for publication relating to our WW1 servicemen.


October 2016

Our research into Wood Norton’s WW1 heroes progressed further with the visit of Peter Ducker, nephew of Alfred Ducker.  Peter and his wife were thrilled to learn many hitherto unknown facts about their relative.  We look forward to exchanging information about this former resident of Wood Norton.


September 2016

The Wood Norton at Domesday and Down the Village Street displays continue in the Church, together with the Renewal in the Community display, which gives information on the building and renovation work to be undertaken in the church as a result of successful funding bids.  We have had very positive feedback on our displays – ‘some fine heritage work’, ‘a fascinating historical display’ – so do take the opportunity to come and see them and leave your comments in the book provided.

Work on the Heritage Project continues, with research being undertaken to produce a new church guide, and updating the information on our WW1 servicemen (for example, updating the biography for William Forbes Norris to include the 54th Cyclist Company war diaries, where he is mentioned).  We are also taking the opportunity to make a photographic record of the old headstones on the churchyard before they deteriorate further, and link them with the memorial inscription information already held.  We have been contacted, following up from the displays at the open gardens event on the 3 July, by a relative of Alfred Ducker (WW1 soldier, killed in action), which is very rewarding, and we have already been in touch with two other great nephews and one great niece of our WW1 servicemen.  We are looking forward to meeting them when they visit the village.

A look through our archives shows that at the church service held on the 4 August 1916, the Revd C.B. Lipscomb remarked a ‘very good congregation, second anniversary of the war’, and on 10 September 1916 that £5 18s 4d was collected for the ‘Lord Kitchener Memorial’ (a fund set up following the death of Lord Kitchener, which was put to good use by giving relief to the casualties of war).  Our next display in the church will be a commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the death of Wilfred George Lake (killed at the Somme, 10 September 1916).


August and September 2015

Our first heritage exhibition took place in August 2015 when the church hosted a small display in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the death of the first of those men who lost their lives in Word War 1 – William Forbes Norris – who was killed in action on the 25th August 1915 at Suvla Bay, Gallipoli, aged 21.

Following on from this, and to mark Remembrance Sunday (8th November) the church hosted a larger exhibition as part of the Heritage Project.  The focus of the exhibition was to explore how the village looked during 1914-1918, drawing on a 1906 map of the village and using photographs to pinpoint the locations of some of the houses, school, post office and other buildings associated with the village.


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