North Walsham

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{land, century, early}
{church, century, christian}
{town, population, incorporate}
{area, part, region}
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{war, force, army}

Coordinates: 52°49′16″N 1°23′13″E / 52.821°N 1.387°E / 52.821; 1.387

North Walsham is a market town and civil parish in Norfolk, England in the North Norfolk district.

Contents

Demographics

The civil parish has an area of 29.3 km2 (11.3 sq mi) and in the 2001 census had a population of 11,998. For the purposes of local government, the parish falls within the district of North Norfolk.[1]

Transport

The town is 12 km (7.5 mi) south of Cromer and the same distance north of Wroxham. The county town and city of Norwich is 24 km (15 mi) south.[2] The town is served by North Walsham railway station, on the Bittern Line between Norwich, Cromer and Sheringham. The main road through the town is the A149.

The town is on the North Walsham & Dilham Canal, still privately owned by the North Walsham Canal Company. The canal ran from Antingham Mill, largely following the course of the River Ant to a point below Honing. A short branch canal leaves the main navigation near Honing and terminates at the village of Dilham.

History

An Anglo-Saxon settlement. Both North Walsham and the neighbouring Worstead became very prosperous from the 12th century through the arrival of weavers from Flanders. "Walsham" was a light-weight cloth for summer, and "Worsted" a heavier cloth. The 14th-century "wool churches" are a testament to the prosperity of the local mill owners. North Walsham's church of St. Nicholas was originally dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary and is one of the UK's largest parish churches. North walsham was also attacked by a clan of Vampires. It was also the site of a wayside shrine to St. Thomas of Canterbury. This church had the second-tallest steeple in Norfolk until its collapse in 1724. Plans for its rebuilding were abandoned at the outbreak of World War II. The ruined tower dominates the town centre and is a famous landmark of the area, visible from many miles away. In the parish church of St. Nicholas can be found the ornate tomb of Sir William Paston; the remains of medieval painted screens; a telescopic Gothic font canopy; a unique Royal Arms Board; an ancient iron bound chest; and many other fascinating ancient artifacts.

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