The Society
Home ] [ The Society ] local contacts ] Parish Magazine ]Meetings ]

 

yesteryear
publications

The Reepham Society (Page last updated 29/10/2011 )

logo photo.jpg (13362 bytes) This photograph of the side of the Market Place opposite St Michael's church shows the origin of our logo (missing the left-most building - apologies!). At the left of the photograph is HSBC Bank. In the middle is Robertson the Butcher's shop, while on the right is Mott's Pharmacy. Pity about the cars.

Society Overview

A registered charity, the Society was established as a local amenity association in 1976 to stimulate public interest in Reepham, Hackford, Kerdiston, Salle, and Whitwell. (These are small parishes in rural Norfolk, England - about 12 miles North West of Norwich. Our District Council is Broadland.)

Although independent, we are a member of a national organisation representing similar interests but on the larger canvas. This national body is the Council for the Protection of Rural England; its local county branch is called  CPRE Norfolk.  Its web site can be found at http://www.cprenorfolk.org.uk

The Reepham Society's prime objects are to promote high standards of planning and architecture, as well as to secure the preservation and improvement of features that are of historical interest. We also keep a watch on activities and developments that are likely to affect our area.

We are non-party political, non-sectarian, and non-profit making being financed entirely by members' subscriptions (For 2012 £5.00 p.a. per person). Membership stands at around 170 households, about 240 people. Although most members live locally, residence is not a criterion of membership. Some members live outside the locality; at least one family lives outside the UK. In 2012 the Society's meetings will be on the second Tuesday of the month and will be a St Michaell.

 

Please Note We are not a historical society and are not usually able to answer genealogical enquiries.


The Town

(To see a map of Reepham click here. The map will open in a different web site "streetmap.co.uk" and may take a few minutes to download.)

George's painting.jpg (18881 bytes)

On the left, a painting by ex local Post Master, Mr George Johnson, showing part of our Market Place.

The town & surrounding area have an ancient history, but information is scarce until after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The first recorded vicar of Reepham & Kerdiston was in post in 1261, of Hackford in 1317, and of Whitwell in 1321. All three churches were built in the same churchyard. Hackford church was destroyed in the Great Fire of Reepham, 1543.

 Churches 1.jpg (12387 bytes) This photograph clearly shows the remaining two churches. St Mary's in the foreground, St Michael's behind. St Mary's is now the single parish church; St Michael's, although still a consecrated building, is mainly used for meetings and similar community purposes.
Churches 2.jpg (19009 bytes)

The tower of St Mary's is just visible behind the churchyard. St Mary's contains an important and beautiful monument of Sir Roger de Kerdiston, 1337, recumbent on a bed of large pebbles. The meaning of this is not certain; it may be self-mortification or may be allegory. Pevsner says "His attitude is singularly tense. The r. hand grips the sword on the l., the l. crosses over and touches the pebbles. Against the tomb-chest eight small figures of mourners or weepers. They must once have been of a delicate, lyrical character."

Churches photographs by our Former Rector, Canon Michael Paddison.

Church Hill.jpg (20877 bytes) A corner  opposite St Michael's Church. View with other images on this page for a photographic tour of Reepham's Market Place.

Reepham Market was founded in 1277 when Sir John de Vaux, whose lordship of Hackford extended into the parish of Reepham, obtained a charter from King Edward I for a weekly market. Reepham remains proud of the fact that it is a Market TOWN, notwithstanding that it nowadays equates in size to a rural village (around 1200 households).

Present day Reepham Market Place is mostly 18th century. As a conservation area containing mainly Georgian architecture, the Society seeks to ensure that the best of the old is retained and that any modifications are suitably integrated. Examples of the success of this policy are our two Market Place pubs shown below.   (The local history page makes clear that pubs' histories are currently under research so it would be premature to give a great deal of information here.)    

Old Brewery House.jpg (32111 bytes)

The Old Brewery House Hotel

This listed Georgian building was built in 1729 and originally named the "Dial House" because of a large sun dial over the front door. This can be seen as a white square in the photograph opposite. In 1972 the house was converted to a commercial hotel and renamed The Old Brewery House Hotel to recognise its previous rôle as residence of the family that, for generations, had run a brewery in Reepham, and because one of the hotel's   principal rooms used to be the brewery.

 

Kings Arms.jpg (18910 bytes)

The King's Arms

(This photograph shows that we have also preserved the "old" style telephone box!) The King's Arms is another of our listed buildings, but older than the Old Brewery House Hotel. We are not yet certain when its oldest parts were built, but much is timber framed, suggesting at least 16th century. It was a "coaching" inn until the demise of stage coaches in the middle of the 19th century. (The doorway through which coaches entered can be seen behind the white car.)

Pub photographs by Jackie Heath of the Reepham & District Photographic Club

 

public meetings    publications   yesteryear

Back to top of page