The Forncetts

The Forncetts

Forncett was described in the Domesday Book of 1086, which refers to four settlements; Fornesseta, Kekelingtuna, Tuanatuna and Middletuna. Fornesseta can be recognised as Forncett St. Mary, Tuanatuna and Middletuna occupied the land now known as Forncett St. Peter, and Kekelingtuna lay in the west of the parish, now known as Forncett End.

As early as the 13th Century the name Forncett was applied to the whole area, and Forncett St. Peter appears to have been the "centre" of the parish. The Saxon church of St. Peter's was built in around 1000 AD, with St. Mary's church founded later, in the 13th or 14th Century.

Forncett St. Mary occupies the north-east part of the present parish. It is bounded to the north by Hapton Common, to the east by the river Tas and to the west by what was then known as Deepmore Beck. The boundary with Forncett St. Peter to the south is not determined by any natural feature and may have been defined much later.

Forncett St. Peter occupies the rest of the parish. It was bounded in the south-west by Bunwell Beck and in the south and east by lanes (called Processional Way and Stubbing Lane) that now exist only as footpaths. At the western extremity was the extensive Forncett Common which lay either side of what is now Common Road. A significant and discrete community developed in the west of the parish and by the time that Faden's Map of Norfolk was published, in 1797, we find the term "Forncett End" being used for this settlement. The settlement of Bustards Green, in the east of the parish, is also shown on Faden's map. The layout of roads within the parish is essentially unchanged today from that shown in Faden's map. In short, the major features of our parish have apparently changed very little for many centuries!

The growth and development of the Forncetts from the end of the 18th C to the present day can be seen in the maps below (click on images to enlarge). By 1939 the parish had a total of 205 dwellings with a population of 723 individuals, and after the war Forncett continued to grow steadily with the majority of the new development concentrated in Forncett End.