Why not let your imagination take you back into a
Bygone Time as you take a leisurely stroll around the
Village. A Charming unspoilt cluster of Picture postcard
Cottages, with its Blacksmiths Shop (no longer open), Pub, Hairdresser,
Tea Room & Village Shop and Church surrounding
the Village Green with its Well. Unchanged by new
buildings since 1887.
Heydon Hall and HeydonVillage
is popular with film makers as settings for some of there
productions some of the best known being: “The Go
Between”, The Peppermint Pig”, Backs To The Land”,
The Woman In White”, “Vanity Fair”, “Riders”, “Love
On A Branch Line” and “The Moonstone”. Heydon Hall
was also the setting for one of the Upper Crust cookery
Heydon was created Norfolk’s first Village
conservation Area in 1971 and has Won The Best Kept
Village Twice The Village has about 100 inhabitants
THE EARLY YEARS
Fresh water, food and timber influenced the siting of very early settlements..
Archaeological finds in this area, local landscape (roads etc.) and Norfolk records office confirm the Romans held a settlement and burial site in the area called Stinetuna. Probably conquered from a tribe, which later linked to the Iceni, under the leadership of queen Boudica at war.
The land had various owners over the next few centuries, partly due to various wars and conquering of East Anglia in general.
The Doomsday Book shows the now called “Stinton Manor”, owned by the Saxon Lord Whither, and living the old timber hall.
It was seized in the confiscations and given to William de Warrena. Passing then through various owners who later adopted the name of Heydon, meaning “people from the hey down” (a high Vantage point).
With the timber hall in bad repair, plus other obscure reasons, the Heydon family then moved to Baconsthorpe and began to build the castle there as their new family home.
The castle remains and tomb remnants in the church can still be seen today.
In 1460 the ancient Pagan church was rebuilt in the new “perpendicular” style by local prominent man John Dynne. His later descendent Henry Dynne purchased the surrounding land and had the present hall built between 1581-86. The builder being the same at that which built neighbouring (and less Grand) Wood Dalling hall for the Bulwer family. They having moved from Guestwick.
The three ancient and powerful families in the Salle parish of the 14th century were listed as the Earles, the Fontaines and the Briggs.
Erasmus Earl (Sargent at law to Oliver Cromwell and very powerful) purchased the hall and it’s land from Dynne in 1643.
With much increasing wealth, further great land purchases followed (including Mickle hall and Lound hall both now disappeared), and the building of Heydon village, much as it remains to be seen today. The well head being the last completed building to celebrate Queen Victoria’s jubilee year in 1887.
Apart from one difficult period with the whole estate being in chancery, it has and remains mostly privately owned with no outside funding, being one of only eleven in the UK.
Death duties payable at various history points however have reduced the estate size to current.
Erasmus Earl also “changed sides”, and bought his pardon from King Charles 11 for the huge sum of œ15,000.
For the reason of Genealogy, the first known ancestor of the family was Turold de Dalling. A knight who fought for William 1 at the battle of Hastings. A later descendent being John de Dalling who for unknown reasons chose Bulwer as alias.
Five generations used the alias of Bulwer until it became primary in the 16th century. Due to numerous marriages of family members (both direct and indirect) into other great houses, various names are retained for prosperity.
At its height the estate covered 22,000acres (currently 4,000 acres), and included 13 farms and 3 whole villages. Bordering on one side alone with Melton Constable. It was completely self sufficient and “exported” goods such as timber for the navy ships and employing some 2,000 people. Families being paid higher allowances for having children, and widows living rent-free on the estate.
The Norfolk regiment (now the Royal Anglian) were at one point based in Heydon Park, and paid for by the family.
THE LATER YEARS
After varying fortunes over the generations the estate now has only approx. 200 population the estate school now closed, 3 working farms and 3 private businesses. With the two wings added by squire by William now removed the hall is now as originally built to look. The village is largely unchanged from its original look. There are two privately owned properties, the Rectory and the Old Cottage belonging to a family member.
Tragically, the original family seat home of Wood Dalling now sold, with Irmingland village and church long since disappeared, and Corpusty village recited at the time of the great plague, the estate outer landscape has much changed. However Cropton hall is still present on the estate. The church in Heydon is still in use and the parish room (WW1 Hut) is used regularly for venues.
The blacksmith having deceased, leaving the village forge closed.
By concession the public are allowed to walk or cycle through the park grounds, but the hall is not open to the public other than by prior family arrangement and permission. The estate remains in trust for the future and the family children’s security.
The hall and estate have been used as settings for many films and TV programs and just missed being the setting for a “soap opera”. The pub with its unusual external wall carving and traditional d‚cor has an excellent food reputation, and is well attended.
The village teashop is a traditional tea-room offering liquid refreshments light lunch and traditional home baking.
The private gardens are open for 1 day each year with the proceeds going to usually charity.
This potted history was copied from a document that was found left in the teashop. There is no identification as to the author so no credit can be given.