Norwich City Centre to Whitlingham (and back)

One of the locations that I wanted to visit was Old Lakenham parish church, so that was where Nathan and I headed today on a minor little walk.

The Cock at Lakenham is looking ever more derelict and it’s got easy access via that open window. Well, not necessarily easy access for me, but for anyone who can climb things.

This is St. John the Baptist and All Saints Church that I had been meaning to visit and it’s located on top of a hill in a prominent location. Unfortunately, the church is now surrounded all on sides by housing and feels a bit forlorn. It was also not the pretty building that I was expecting, it’s covered in render which makes it look like a house extension from the 1970s. Given the remote and interesting location on a hilltop, it was slightly disappointing.

One of the most unimpressive priest’s doors that I’ve seen on what is a medieval church.

This is perhaps the most beautiful angle possible for this church, but that aisle extension is out of place.

The church tower which is a fifteenth century rebuild, with the main part of the church dating from the thirteenth century, albeit with many ugly additions.

I found it hard to see behind the render to see the beauty if I’m being honest. St. Mark’s church was opened in the 1840s as a Chapel of Ease and that meant that St. John’s lost a little of its relevance. The two churches are relatively far away from each other, St. Mark’s is up near the Rose pub, but this was nearer to where the centre of Lakenham had moved to.

There were several interesting graves I’ll write about later on. There are six war graves here, although we could only find three of them. Some of them don’t have the distinctive war grave style, so finding them all would have been challenging.

Standing at the bottom of the hill, it all felt more of a castle site than a church. There have been some Roman finds at the top of the hill and I can imagine that the Saxons had some dealings here as well.

The River Tas at Old Lakenham, where it meets the River Yare a little further upstream.

Fancying a little adventure, we decided to see if we could walk down the riverside path and it did prove to be possible. Although, only just, and it did involve wading through some rather large puddles of water. And indeed some minor lakes rather than puddles. We agreed between us that we had been very brave and noted that no-one else seemed stupid enough to try and make their way along the flooded path.

Normally it’s possible to walk across this field, which connects back into Whitlingham Lane. We were able to walk some of it, but it had only just opened up as there was a closure order marked up which had just expired.

Despite having written about this structure earlier in the year, I forgot the history here, and this is the former Trowse Newton Hall and its associated chapel.

The fields at Trowse, which look quite peaceful. In reality, there were a lot of people around and it’s one of the reasons that I rarely go to Whitlingham now. Cars are given priority along Whitlingham Lane, making it quite hard to socially distance whilst walking down the pavement.

Nathan had brought a few beers with him, which we had sitting on a bench drinking out of KFC cups. Not the most decadent and I think we rather gave false hope to some people that there was a KFC nearby. The cafe at Whitlingham Lake is still open, although there was a long queue, and rather helpfully the toilets were also open. Drinking on a park bench isn’t ideal, I’ll be pleased when pubs are open once again.

And the sun which was starting to set…..

This wasn’t a long walk, just under nine miles, but we have agreed that we will have to rather up our walk distances in preparation for the LDWA 100….