Place:Besthorpe, Norfolk, England

Alt namesBesthorpsource: Domesday Book (1985) p 186
TypeParish (ancient), Civil parish
Coordinates52.516°N 1.033°E
Located inNorfolk, England
See alsoShropham Hundred, Norfolk, Englandhundred in which it was located
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Besthorpe is a village and civil parish in the Breckland district of Norfolk, England, about a mile east of Attleborough, on the A11 road. According to the 2001 census it had a population of 561.

The village school has long been closed and is now a private dwelling. The church is located in a remote part of the parish, giving rise to the belief that plague aka The 'Black Death' once decimated the original community, resulting in the destruction of many local dwellings. Although no factual evidence exists to support this theory, the plague hit Norfolk very badly.

The village possesses two Halls; the 'Old Hall' and 'New Hall'. The Old Hall is located close to Burgh Common and was also known as Plassing Hall. For many years it was a farm but has recently been converted into a private dwelling. It still possesses a section of moat and some original stained glass.

New Hall was built between 1560 and 1593 by the Drury family, who gave their name to Drury Lane in London. One of the daughters from this family was rumoured to have been drowned in the lake at Lord Byron's family home, Newstead Abbey. Many reference books on factual ghost stories claim that she was murdered along with a coachman with whom she formed a relationship; the 'phantom coach' is said to haunt the Abbey. The Hall possesses one of the few surviving 'tilting grounds' in England; tilting grounds were used for jousting by medieval knights.

Somewhat notoriously, the village possesses a road known as Sluts Hole Lane, although this is most likely a spelling mistake made by late Victorian census takers which has passed into relatively modern usage. Attempts to restore the original name - Slutch Hole Lane - have been opposed by local historians. 'Slutch' is an old English word meaning slushy or muddy, and as part of the road remains in its original state, it would seem to be the correct term. Furthermore, maps and census documents held at Norwich's Library 'The Forum' prove that it was originally known as Slutch Hole Lane. However, this has not stopped local historians and media from making capital out of the misnomer.

Research Tips

  • GENUKI provides a list of references for Besthorpe. Some entries lead to free online transcriptions of registers and censuses.

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[[Category:Shropham Hundred, Norfolk, England]