VILLAGE HISTORY

Litcham Village 

 

The village has its own website 

Litcham is mentioned in the Domesday Book under the name Licham, Lecham or Leccham as 'a Market Town in the centre of Norfolk'. Other known spellings are Lucham, Lycham, Luychesham to mention but a few.

Edward, I granted Litcham the right to hold a weekly market, but it did not thrive and had ceased by 1836. However, it has left its mark on the layout of Litcham and is probably the reason why Church Street widens out so dramatically just below All Saints Church.

In Elizabethan times the village was the centre of the local tanning industry. The Collinson and Hallcottis families made considerable fortunes and became country squires. The Hallcottis' were local benefactors, building almshouses and paying for a church bell. Mathew Hallcottis is shown on the village sign with his tanning equipment.

In 1831 its population reached 771; more than a third of these were agricultural workers.

 

In 1977 it was designated a conservation village and boasts eleven listed buildings plus a church and priory that date back to the 12th century. The village sits astride a major crossroads of country lanes, the most important of which is the B1145 which stretches between King's Lynn and Norwich and was once the King's Lynn - Norwich - Great Yarmouth stagecoach route. Horses would have been changed at the 17th-century Bull Inn, which also served as the local law court until the late 18th century. On the green in front of the Bull Inn there once stood a row of old cottages and a chapel, which were demolished in 1968.

 

Litcham Common is situated the south of the village and is a managed nature reserve consisting of 28 hectares of lowland heath and mixed woodlands. The Nar Valley Way long-distance footpath runs across the common, is never far from the river, and offers a variety of scenery along the country lanes and tracks. The path follows farm tracks through Lexham Estate; at each end, it passes through commons managed as nature reserves at Litcham and Castle Acre. A Bronze Age burial mound or tumulus was discovered on the common and Roman settlements and roads have been found just outside the village.

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