From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

St Mary's church - geograph.org.uk - 1406281.jpg
St Mary's church, Ditchingham
Ditchingham is located in Norfolk
Location within Norfolk
Area8.56 km2 (3.31 sq mi)
Population1,635 (2011)
• Density191/km2 (490/sq mi)
OS grid referenceTM 340 910
Civil parish
  • Ditchingham
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townBUNGAY
Postcode districtNR35
AmbulanceEast of England
List of places
52°28′00″N 1°26′37″E / 52.46676°N 1.44351°E / 52.46676; 1.44351Coordinates: 52°28′00″N 1°26′37″E / 52.46676°N 1.44351°E / 52.46676; 1.44351

Ditchingham is a village and civil parish in the English county of Norfolk. It is located across the River Waveney from Bungay, Suffolk near to The Broads National Park.[1] The civil parish has an area of 8.56 km2 (3.31 sq mi) and in the 2001 census had a population of 1614 in 695 households,[2] increasing to 1,635 in 707 households at the 2011 Census.[3]

Ditchingham is the home of the "Chicken Roundabout",[4] a traffic roundabout inhabited by a colony of chickens which has survived the construction of a bypass through their home. An attempt by the authorities to move them led to protests by local residents.


The villages name origin is uncertain but could mean 'Homestead/village of the Dicingas (= the dwellers at the ditch)' or perhaps, 'homestead/village of Dic(c)a's people'.


In the middle ages Ditchingham consisted of the manors of Ditchingham and Pirnhow.[5] In the Domesday Book of 1086 the lord of the manor of Pirnhow was Roger Bigot. The town or village of Pirnhow was demolished long ago.[6] The exact site of the manor house of Pirnhow Hall is unknown.[7]

In 1855 Lavinia Crosse founded the Anglican Community of All Hallows in Ditchingham.

The novelist Sir H. Rider Haggard, author of King Solomon's Mines, lived in Ditchingham, at Ditchingham House on the Norwich Road, and was churchwarden there for several years.[8] He was born in Kessingland and had connections with the church in Bungay.

Lilias Rider Haggard, the novelist's daughter, edited I walked by Night, being the life and history of the King of the Norfolk Poachers, published in 1935 by Nicholson and Watson, London. She also edited The Rabbit Skin Cap, a tale of a Norfolk countryman's youth, first published in 1939 and reprinted by the Norfolk Library, 1974, 1975, 1976, which is the life story of George Baldry, a local inventor and poacher in the early C20. The picture on the front cover of the hardback edition was of a Ditchingham school boy, Douglas Walter Gower, taken from a painting by the artist Edward Seago. The boy later in life found a mammoth's tooth in a gravel pit near an ancient long barrow on the Broome Heath (see Prehistoric Norfolk), which is now in the Norwich Castle museum.

Victoria Cross recipient Victor Buller Turner lived at Ditchingham from after the Second World War until his death in 1972, and his ashes are buried in St Mary's churchyard.


For the purposes of local government, the parish falls within the district of South Norfolk.[9]

A new two-member electoral ward in the name of Ditchingham and Earsham was created for the 2019 district council elections. The electorate of the ward for that election was 5,132.


Parravani's ice creams were established in the village in the early C20 and Lamberts Coaches are another long established local company.

Much of the land surrounding the village belongs to the Ditchingham Hall estate, the seat of Earl Ferrers. The current owner is Robert Shirley, 14th Earl Ferrers.


  1. ^ Ordnance Survey (2005). OS Explorer Map OL40 - The Broads. ISBN 0-319-23769-9.
  2. ^ "Ditchingham parish information". South Norfolk Council. 4 January 2006. Archived from the original on 5 September 2008. Retrieved 20 June 2009.
  3. ^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  4. ^ "Chicken Roundabout website". Archived from the original on 16 May 2009. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  5. ^ "White's History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Norfolk". GENUKI. 1883. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  6. ^ Blomefield, Francis (1809). "Loddon Hundred: Pirnhow". An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 10. British History Online. pp. 128–134. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  7. ^ "Record no. 10643". Norfolk Heritage Explorer. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  8. ^ Literary Norfolk - includes images of the village Haggard's novel, "Montezuma's Daughter" is introduced: "Little things lead to great, men say, but here great things lead to little, for because of these tidings it comes about that I, Thomas Wingfield, of the Lodge and the parish of Ditchingham in the county of Norfolk, being now of a great age and having only a short time to live, turn to pen and ink. Ten years ago, namely, in the year 1578, it pleased her Majesty, our gracious Queen Elizabeth, who at that date visited this county, that I should be brought before her at Norwich. There and then, saying that the fame of it had reached her, she commanded me to give her some particulars of the story of my life, or rather of those twenty years, more or less, which I spent among the Indians at that time when Cortes conquered their country of Anahuac, which is now known as Mexico. But almost before I could begin my tale, it was time for her to start for Cossey to hunt the deer, and she said it was her wish that I should write the story down that she might read it .... Then I made bold to give her a great emerald that once had hung upon the breast of Montezuma's daughter, and of many a princess before her, and at the sight of it her eyes glistened brightly as the gem, for this Queen of ours loves such costly playthings. Indeed, had I so desired, I think that I might then and there have struck a bargain, and set the stone against a title; but I, who for many years had been the prince of a great tribe, had no wish to be a knight. So I kissed the royal hand, and so tightly did it grip the gem within that the knuckle joints shone white, and I went my ways, coming back home to this my house by the Waveney on that same day.
  9. ^ Office for National Statistics & Norfolk County Council (2001). Census population and household counts for unparished urban areas and all parishes. Retrieved December 2, 2005.


External links[edit]