Forncett History Notes

Since early 2020, Forncett History Group has published regular short articles in the village magazine, the Forncett Flyer. These articles have now been collected here on our new blog - Forncett History Notes. This new initiative offers the opportunity for these articles, and other news from the Group, to be read more widely and also provides a forum for us to publish short articles which don't fit easily elsewhere within the structure of the website. Please share this new page with anyone who you feel might be interested. If you would like to be added to our email distribution list please Contact Us and then you will receive an alert when any new article appears.


A recent message to the Forncett History website, from a descendant of the Austin family, encouraged me to revisit the story of this family and to find (on the Ancestry website) a couple of rare photos of Forncett blacksmiths.

Forncett has two well-documented links to famous poets. Dorothy Wordsworth lived at St. Peter's rectory between 1788 and 1794, when her uncle, Rev. William Cookson, was the rector. Her more famous brother, William Wordsworth, also visited her here on a number of occasions. Nearly two hundred years later Philip Larkin, who was staying nearby at...

In these history articles we often discuss things that happened in Forncett very many years ago, but this month I want to celebrate something much more recent but equally historic – the twentieth anniversary of the Forncett Flyer.

At the meeting of Forncett History Group on 15th November, Mike Merrick, gave an illustrated talk about the history of Church Farm in Low Road, Forncett St Peter. This comprehensive story was made possible only by the foresight of a previous owner, Jill Gilleberg, who lodged the deeds of the property, which date back to 1795, with the Norfolk...

In general, the naming of farms in Norfolk was a simple affair. Examples here in Forncett include two Corner Farms, both predictably located on a corner, or Church Farm, near St. Peter's church. However, there are some notable exceptions and the origins of their names recall a war on foreign soil.

The meeting of Forncett History Group on Wednesday 19th July attracted an audience of over forty people to listen to a talk entitled "The changes in houses between the medieval and post-medieval periods, illustrated using examples from Forncett". Every chair in St. Edmund's was occupied!

As proposed changes to the 37A bus service are an active topic of debate at the moment, it seems a good time to take a look at the history of the bus service from Forncett to Norwich. From 1850 until the early 1900s, transport into Norwich from Forncett was provided by carriers using a horse-drawn carriage. The trade directories of...

The May meeting of Forncett History Group was held at the village hall as a joint event with the Friends of St Peter's church. The Friends provided refreshments (tea, coffee and wine) before the talk. Entry was free and the audience was encouraged to make donations to support the ongoing restoration programme at St. Peters.

Members of Forncett History Group and friends recently visited a remarkable historic site in nearby Stoke Holy Cross, which served as an RAF radar station during WW2. We were the guests of Derek Bales (born in 1933) who has lived in the village all his life and whose home is a converted building on the original site.