Worstead

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{land, century, early}
{son, year, death}
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Coordinates: 52°46′59″N 1°24′47″E / 52.783091°N 1.413116°E / 52.783091; 1.413116

Worstead is a village and civil parish in the English county of Norfolk. It lies 5 km south of North Walsham, 9 km north of Wroxham, and 20 km north of Norwich. The village is served by Worstead railway station on the Bittern Line.[1][2]

The civil parish has an area of 10.65 km² and in the 2001 census had a population of 862 in 365 households. For the purposes of local government, the parish falls within the district of North Norfolk.[3]

In the Domesday Book, Worstead is called Wrdesteda and Ordested. King Canute gave the village to the abbots of St. Benet's Abbey on the River Bure in the Norfolk Broads. The village became very prosperous from the twelfth century when weavers from Flanders arrived in the area. They had been encouraged to settle in Norfolk by King Edward III of England who had married a Flemish princess.

Worsted cloth derives its name from this weaving heritage, although it is no longer manufactured in the village and the last weaver, John Cubitt, died in 1882 at the age of 91. The oldest Act of Parliament kept in the House of Lords Record Office is the Taking of Apprentices for Worsteads in the County of Norfolk Act of 1497. Weaving and spinning demonstrations are part of the annual Worstead Festival on the last weekend in July.[4]

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