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Buildings of a Norfolk town
A visit to Walsingham

On Saturday 20 May 20 a group of eleven society members visited Little Walsingham in Norfolk. This was a joint meeting organised by the SLHA Building Recording Group (RUBL) and the Norfolk Historic Buildings Group.

RUBL's interest in Walsingham was triggered by the Norfolk Group's excellent study of Little Walsingham published in 2015. This could well be a model for studies of buildings in some of Lincolnshire's urban settlements.

The visit started in the village hall where members of the Norfolk Group presented the building recording work they have done in the county since their formation in 2000 and gave a detailed look at the buildings we were to see in the afternoon.

After lunch we divided into two groups to walk through the village, stopping to look at buildings we had heard about in the morning. Little Walsingham has been a pilgrimage centre since medieval times.

The Norfolk group have recognised a class of buildings not usually seen elsewhere. These are two-storey buildings with exceptionally long, undivided first floors. These buildings cluster around the religious houses and are interpreted as pilgrim hostels. Now that they have been identified we expect more will turn up.

The high point of the village walk was a visit to Friday Cottage in Friday Market where the owner generously allowed us to look around the building's interior.

The afternoon finished with a round-up of the day's activities in the village hall. The Norfolk Group will be visiting Lincoln in 2018 to look at RUBL's activities. Already there is co-operation between the two groups.

Norfolk are starting a study of the Norwich company Boulton and Paul who, in the nineteenth century, developed a large range of flat-pack corrugated iron buildings which were exported all over the world. (An example of a Boulton & Paul building in Lincolnshire is the Cottage Museum in Woodhall Spa.) One of our members has a keen interest in corrugated iron and will be meeting members of the Norfolk group in July.

All agreed that this had been a very successful visit. All SLHA members are welcome to attend any RUBL activity. Details are in the quarterly mailing or from the secretary Ken Hollamby, ken@abbeyside.co.uk.

The group at Friday Cottage, Friday Market, Walsingham


Assembled at Common Place

May 2017

Discovering Spalding
A walking tour with an expert guide

On Saturday 22 April a group of fifteen SLHA members were led by Neil Wright on a walking tour which included many important buildings and features close to Spalding’s town centre.

Beginning in the Market Place we traced the few surviving fragments of the medieval Priory and paused to look at the enigmatic Abbey Buildings, a brick range with stone dressings. Passing the former Sessions House built by Charles Kirk in 1842, we spilled on to the platform of the railway station, once the hub of frequent services passing in six directions from the town, now barely used.

A steady walk along the line of the former Westlode Drain – with several stops along the way - took us to Chain Bridge Forge where we were given an informative talk about the smithy and its history by Geoff Taylor.

Turning south and following the banks of the Welland, we passed fine houses and impressive warehouses on our way to the town bridge, the parish church of St Mary & St Nicholas and our final destination of Ayscoughfee Hall.

Two hours had sped by in which we had learned a great deal about this fenland town and had seen to a wide range of attractive historic buildings.


Viewing the Abbey Buildings


On the station platform

April 2017