We have produced an 80 page book entitled‘Walks Around Edingthorpe’, which describes twelve walks, ranging from one to five miles, using rights of way along the ancient tracks, Quiet Lanes and arable fields in the area. Most begin either in the church car park or in a parking place on The Green (Knapton Road). The walks include Bacton and Pigneys Woods, the North Walsham and Dilham Canal and the old Norfolk and Suffolk joint branch railway line that once ran from North Walsham to Mundesley. There are great views, rich wildlife and interesting wild flowers and butterflies in the summer.
The churches of Edingthorpe, Knapton, Bacton, Witton and Paston are all visited, as well as the coast at Bacton.
Each walk has a map and directions, together with notes on local history, the natural environment and other interesting features that might be found on the way.
All profits from the sale of the book will go towards the upkeep of the church.
Copies are available from Showcase Galleries and the Information Centre, both in North Walsham, priced at £5.99. They are also available from Edingthorpe church (please place money in the wall safe) and the egg barn at Green Farm on the Bacton Road, where they are priced at £5.00.
Excerpts from the Edingthorpe Circular walk are shown below:
2.3 miles, 1 hour approx.
Starting at the lovely Edingthorpe Church and returning via Edingthorpe Green, enjoy the local countryside using field paths and quiet lanes. On Rectory Road you will pass thatched cottages, some dating back to the 17C, and The Old Rectory where the war poet Siegfried Sassoon spent his summer holidays as a child.
Points of Interest
The Church of All Saints, Edingthorpe
The Grade 1 listed, thatched church of All Saints dates from late Saxon or early Norman times. It has a round tower which is topped by an unusual late medieval octagonal belfry. On entering the church through the medieval south door you will see a 14C octagonal font and hanging behind it, the remains of the 12C north door, which was replaced in 2000.
Of particular note are the paintings on the north wall dating from the 14C. They show St. Christopher carrying the Christ Child on his left arm and his flowering staff in his right. Fish are swimming around his legs to indicate that he is wading through water. The Christ Child sports a halo and an orb of the world, and is giving a gesture of blessing. Further on is the remains of a tree with scenes on its branches depicting the Seven Works of Mercy, and a niche with a red and black floral surround. There may be yet more paintings under the plaster.
The rood screen, which separates the body of the church from the chancel, also dates to the 14C, and is one of the earliest surviving in Norfolk. The six panels show figures of saints, largely painted in red and green, and on top are arches with black and white spiral decorations with two tracery wheels in the centre. In the chancel is a striking modern sculpture of the Virgin Mary fronted by the Christ Child with outstretched arms. This was made by pupils at North Walsham High School.
Behind the church there is a splendid view towards Knapton, Paston and the Bacton Gas terminal. The peaceful churchyard is full of wild daffodils in spring.
The lych gate is very special, being classed as a Commonwealth War Grave. It commemorates Lance Corporal Bernard John Muriel who died in the Great War. He was the son of Harvey Muriel the Rector of Edingthorpe from 1903-1922, who died in 1924 and is buried in the churchyard. His son Lance Corporal Muriel served with the 1st battalion (9th foot) Royal Norfolk Regiment from 1904, went to France in August 1914 and took part in the retreat from Mons, the battles of Le Cateau, Marne and Aisne, and the first battle of Ypres. After being invalided home, he rejoined his regiment and in April 1915 was gassed at Hill 60. On his recovery he was transferred to the 1st battalion Essex Regiment, and was drowned in August 1915 when his transport ship HMT Royal Edward was sunk by an enemy submarine on its way to Gallipoli. Others lost in WW1 are commemorated on the reverse side of the gate. A remembrance service is still held at the gate each November.
The Old Rectory
The Old Rectory, on Rectory Road, is Grade II listed and dates from 1720, with further wings added in 1791 and 1850. Built of cut and uncut flints with brick dressings giving it a grey colour, it has a red and black glazed pantile roof. The interior has many original features.
As a child, the war poet Siegfried Sassoon spent several summer holidays at the Old Rectory with his mother and two brothers. When he revisited the village as an adult in 1937 he wrote, ‘Edingthorpe, thank goodness is still a straggling hamlet’.
He described the drive from North Walsham to Edingthorpe:
‘Slower and slower I drove, until I came to the signpost where four lanes meet. There was the black stagnant pond with a few ducks on it… Leaving the car at the crossroads, I strolled up the lane. The Rectory was only a couple of hundred yards away now, and I felt quite excited…’
The signpost (or perhaps a replacement!) is still there, as is the pond, and you will pass this on the walk.
Where to park
Park at All Saints Church, Church Lane, Edingthorpe NR29 9TN.
Grid ref: TG 32277 33127
After taking the opportunity to visit the church, start the walk by going back down the track to the T-junction. For part of this walk you will be following the Paston Way, which is signed by a white arrow on a pink background.
Turn right onto a grass track with a distant view of Knapton Church on the left. After about 200 yds, you will see a short signpost pointing left across the corner of the field, again signed Paston Way. Follow this and pass through a gap in the hedge and turn left, still following the Paston Way signs. This path has lovely open field views, with the Old School House ahead on the left. This was the village school, built in 1877 and closed in the 1960s. There is a new barn conversion ahead on the right.
When you reach the gap in the hedge that leads to the road, remain in the field and turn right, keeping the hedge on your left, still following the Paston Way signs. At the end of the path, turn left onto the road by the converted barn (not sharp left back the way you have come). At the T-junction ignore the right turn to Paston and Knapton, and turn left for a short distance on the road.
As the road bends round to the right, join a track that runs more or less straight ahead. This is a restricted byway called Boundary Lane and it is signed on the left after entering the track. Continue along this track, ignoring a footpath sign to the right across a field. Look out for a wide track on the left, signposted Paston Way and restricted byway. This is Stable Lane; take this and carry on past the stables until you reach the crossroads at The Street and Rectory Road. This is called Stone Corner, part of Edingthorpe Green.
Go straight ahead into Rectory Road, signposted Bacton, Edingthorpe via Quiet Lanes, with a pond on your left. Shortly you will see the hexagonal top of the tower of Edingthorpe Church ahead of you, framed by trees. Over the horse paddocks on the right there is a distant view of Edingthorpe Hall, an early C17 house built of flint with brick quoins, now a smart holiday let for up to ten guests.
As you come into Edingthorpe village you will reach the crossroads with Church Lane as noted in Siegfried Sassoon’s memoires. On the left is the site of the village shop, run by Myrtle Pestell, and now replaced by a modern bungalow. On your left after Church Lane are a pair of listed late C17 thatched cottages, built of flint with brick dressings. The roof gable shows the characteristic ‘tumbling in’ of bricks set in a triangular pattern, used in buildings at this time.
Continue straight along Rectory Road with the village pond on your right. Just past the postbox on your left is The Old Rectory, which is described in the introduction above.
Look for the signpost set in the hedge pointing to a public footpath, signed Paston Way, Edingthorpe Church, on the left that takes you through Church Farm.
Ahead of you is a modern barn; take the narrow path that leads to the right of the barn and turn right when you reach the farm track. There is a beautiful view of Edingthorpe Church from here, also a distant view of Paston Church ahead of you, Bacton Church on the right, and further along, the sea. Turn left onto a narrow path in front of the churchyard, signposted Paston Way – where there is a convenient dog waste bin – walk past the lych gate and back to the car park.