Heydon is a village and civil parish in Norfolk, England.

St peter and St Paul's Church Heydon, Norfolk.JPG
St Peter and St Paul's church
Heydon is located in Norfolk
Location within Norfolk
Area8.02 km2 (3.10 sq mi)
Population89 (2001 census[1])
• Density11/km2 (28/sq mi)
OS grid referenceTG113273
Civil parish
  • Heydon
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townNORWICH
Postcode districtNR11
Dialling code01263
AmbulanceEast of England
EU ParliamentEast of England
UK Parliament
List of places
52°48′07″N 1°08′02″E / 52.802°N 1.134°E / 52.802; 1.134Coordinates: 52°48′07″N 1°08′02″E / 52.802°N 1.134°E / 52.802; 1.134

It is located 3 miles (4.8 km) north of the market town of Reepham. The village can be accessed by the public only from the south, resulting in the only road, called The Street, effectively being a cul-de-sac for general traffic. At its centre is a green, surrounded by the parish church and traditional English rural buildings.


The village is not referred to in the Domesday Book of 1086, and it is considered that it was at that time part of the manor of Stinton, a settlement long since depopulated, located in the neighbouring parish of Salle.[2]

The name is believed to derive from "high down" or similarly "plain on the hill". It is written in 1196 as Heidon.[3]

A market charter was granted in 1311.[3]

The 14th/15th century Church of St Peter and St Paul is a grade I listed building[4] and contains some notable wall paintings, rediscovered in 1970.[3]

Erasmus Earle, one of the most noted lawyers of his time, was lord of the manor in the early 17th century. The 19th century lord was William Earle Lytton Bulwer (1799–1877), elder brother of the author Edward Bulwer Lytton.[5] The village is still owned by the Bulwer Long family, one of only around a dozen English villages that are entirely privately owned. The Elizabethan Heydon Hall, built in 1582 by Henry Dynne and extended in the late 18th and early 19th century,[5] is at the head of the estate and is located just northeast of the village within the private Heydon Park.

There was a common, located to the northwest of the village, until enclosed into Heydon Park by the mid-19th century. The early 19th century expansion of the Park also resulted in the closure to the public of the through-road, shown on the Tithe map (c. 1836-50)[6] that ran from the northwest at Corpusty Road, along/through the common, passing the parish church and Earle Arms coaching inn (along a stretch that remains a highway), then across/around the village green and then passing Heydon Grange and Park Farm to the southeast; resulting in the village since being only accessible by public highway via the one road from the south.

The green, church and well house

Heydon became Norfolk's first conservation area in 1971, having won the county's Best Kept Village in 1967 and 1968. This conservation area covers the village,[3] and in 1991 a further conservation area was designated which covers the wider landscape setting to the village, including a part of the neighbouring parish of Salle.[7]

The village retains an old-fashioned character with no new buildings having been added since the well house commemorating the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria was built in 1887.[8] The Jubilee Memorial Well House is an example of Tudor Revival architecture and is grade II listed.[9]

By the village green there is an 18th century public house — The Earle Arms — which is grade II listed[10] and has a "Regionally Important Historic Interior".[11] It was until circa 1845 called the Lion and Lamb.[12] It is believed that a pub has existed at this location since the 16th century, and was a coaching inn. The front elevation of the building features a wood sculpture of Mary Read, an 18th century pirate, believed to originate from that century.[13]

The village was served by the Bluestone railway station from 1883 to 1916; the line, now dismantled, ran through the northeast edge of the parish, roughly parallel to the B1149 road. Other nearby stations were at Cawston (closed 1952) and Corpusty (closed 1959).

The Parish Room is a World War I soldiers' accommodation hut which was re-sited to the village in 1922; it serves as the village hall and was restored in 2013.[14]

The village's blacksmith workshop closed in 2007.[15]

Filming locationEdit

Heydon has on several occasions been used in television and film productions. The village was used as the setting for the Anglia Television soap opera Weaver's Green. Films partly shot in the village or at the Hall include The Go Between (1970), Riders (1993), Hitler's Britain (2002), Vanity Fair, The Woman in White, The Moonstone (1996), The Peppermint Pig, and A Cock and Bull Story (2005).[8][16] A Monty Python's Flying Circus sketch about village idiots was filmed here.[17] The Earle Arms was used as the "Winterman Arms" in the ITV sitcom Rising Up (1999).[12]


An entrance to Heydon Park, at Dog Corner, in the form of a gatehouse with lodges either side

The civil parish consists of the village together with Heydon Hall and its parkland, and several outlying farms and houses including the grade II* listed Cropton Hall, dating from 1702.[18] The village is at an elevation of approximately 45 metres (148 ft) above sea level.

1.5 miles (2.4 km) to the south is the small village of Salle. The other neighbouring parishes are Thurning, Corpusty and Saxthorpe, Oulton, Cawston and Wood Dalling.


Due to its small population, the parish has a parish meeting rather than a parish council.[19]

The parish forms part of the ward of Eynesford, which elects a councillor on Broadland District Council.[19] Although Eynesford is named after a hundred, Heydon formed part of the neighbouring hundred of South Erpingham.


As of 2020, at the centre of the village there is a traditional pub, a tea room, a bakery (operating from the former blacksmiths) and seven small retail/service businesses located in the buildings that have in recent years been converted from Church Farm. The village no longer has a post office or convenience shop. The church continues to be used for regular Christian worship[20] and the parish room is in frequent use.

Annual public events, held on the green and attracting visitors from beyond the parish, are the tug of war competition in May[21] and traditional Guy Fawkes Night (bonfire night) celebrations.

Notable peopleEdit


  1. ^ Census population and household counts for unparished urban areas and all parishes. Office for National Statistics & Norfolk County Council (2001). Retrieved 20 June 2009.
  2. ^ British History Online An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 6 (1807)
  3. ^ a b c d Heydon Conservation Area Character Statement (March 2009) Broadland District Council
  4. ^ Historic England Church of St Peter and St Paul
  5. ^ a b William White (1845). History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Norfolk.
  6. ^ Norfolk County Council Tithe maps
  7. ^ Heydon / Salle Rural Conservation Area Character Statement (March 2008) Broadland District Council
  8. ^ a b "Heydon". Literary Norfolk.
  9. ^ Historic England Jubilee Memorial
  10. ^ Historic England The Earle Arms, Heydon
  11. ^ WhatPub Earle Arms
  12. ^ a b Norfolk Pubs Earle Arms - Heydon
  13. ^ flickr
  14. ^ Eastern Daily Press 24 June 2013
  15. ^ EDP End of an era for blacksmiths workshop October 2007
  16. ^ "Filming locations, Heydon". imdb.com.
  17. ^ Larsen, Darl (2008). Monty Python's Flying Circus: An Utterly Complete, Thoroughly Unillustrated, Absolutely Unauthorized Guide to Possibly All the References From Arthur "Two Sheds" Jackson to Zambesi. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0810861312.
  18. ^ Historic England Cropton Hall, Heydon
  19. ^ a b Broadland District Council Polling districts, wards and parishes (2019)
  20. ^ Church of England Heydon: St Peter & St Paul
  21. ^ [1]
  22. ^ "PETER BECK Headmaster who caned Prince Charles — twice" (obituary) in The Times dated 4 June 2002, p. 27, from The Times Digital Archive, accessed 16 September 2013

External linksEdit

  Media related to Heydon, Norfolk at Wikimedia Commons