Moregrove Manor 2012

Not really a find, but a lot has been found there!

Moregrove Manor is probably the oldest settlement in Martham.  Jeremy Moore, whose family have owned the manor in the past, attended our March 2012 meeting.  As the main aim of the meeting was to hear the memories of people who lived in the parish in 1952/3, at the Queen's accession and coronation, we could allow only a small amount of time.  This a topic to which we will certainly return.


Jeremy told us how Moregrove Manor has been in existence for at least 900 years, starting with the timber-built hall of a Norman nobleman in 1120 AD.  During the 12th and 13th centuries this was replaced by a stone house which subsequently “disappeared”, to be replaced by the present buildings.  Several of these are Listed barns built in the 17th to 19th centuries.  Seven years ago Jeremy bought the property back into his family and started on a rebuild.  He found himself “tripping over archaeology”:  the tusk of a wild boar and a flint  axe head from the New Stone Age; post holes from a possible Iron Age roundhouse; an entire wall from the Norman house lying on its side underneath the pond. 

He had so much to tell us in so little time.  We look forward to seeing how Jeremy is getting on when we pay him a visit.

A fragment of history

You never know what you might find at the bottom of your garden, or lurking in the hedgerow nearby.

This piece of pottery was

found in Martham during

2011 - on the roadside bank

of Ferrygate Lane halfway

to the river.  Being a

member of the Local

History Group the finder

retrieved it with a great

deal of care and, naturally,

took it to Ann Meakin, our

Chairman.  It is obviously a

handle, but of what and

from when?

Ann, in no time at all, was off to the Norfolk Archaeological Service.  She came back with the news that we have found the handle of a jug made at least 400 years ago, perhaps even 550 years.  The experts can see so much more than we can and one could suggest that the jug possibly was glazed - making it quite a posh pot for its time.  By comparing it with other finds they can estimate dates and even suggest how the whole jug may have looked.  Here is their official record and sketches of existing similar jugs:

“Complete narrow strap handle with concave outer face and attached parts of neck and lower body of Late Medieval and Transitional ware pottery jug.  Oxidised orange fabric with pale brown surfaces.  A few specks of lead glaze with copper specks.  Width of handle 30mm.  Weight 131g.  Mid 15th - late 16th cent.”

The Archaeological Service suggested that the handle came from pot 456 - the ringed number third down on the left.  What do you think?


Call from Consett, 2012


An unexpected call last week from a Leslie Rutherford of Consett, County Durham, led to him visiting and donating to us farming diaries kept in 1855 and 1871 by William Laws, a farmer in Martham.  We also received copy books and an arithmetic book belonging to his daughter, Mary Ann, which she completed in  Martham School in 1867 and 1868.  Book-keeping exercise books completed by her son in 1901 were also received, although these may have been completed in County Durham.


The donor has already undertaken some research into the family, the results of which he has also donated.


We are delighted to have received such interesting and perhaps valuable documents.  We will be consulting with specialists regarding their value and safekeeping, as well as discussing how we can make them accessible to the general public, especially in Martham.


It was through our website that Mr Rutherford, who had owned the books since the death of Mary Ann’s grand daughter in 1995, was able to find their origin.

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We meet at the Methodist Church, Martham