With just over 2,000 inhabitants, Shipdham is one of the largest villages in Norfolk.  Lying on the A1075 about midway between the market towns of Watton and Dereham, it is a long, thin village stretching for almost two miles roughly east-west along the main road.  Most of its housing is off to the southern side but there is some to the north and the main road is bordered with houses and some shops and businesses.  Part of the village is a designated Conservation Area under the 1967 Civic Amenities Act. Norwich is about 18 miles to the east while King’s Lynn is to the west, a little further away at about 23 miles.

 

The earliest known reference to Shipdham is in the 11th Century soon after William the Conqueror’s entry into Britain.  However, it was not then known as Shipdham but is thought to be the village recorded as ”Thorpe” – an old Norse word for “village”.  As such, it is mentioned in the Domesday Book and was relatively important.

 

 

The construction of All Saints’ Church was begun in the 12th Century but the wooden superstructure on the tower did not appear until the C17th.  Some vestiges of the Norman heritage still exist in the church in the form of the restored font and a classic Norman doorway.

 

 

 

 


 

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