the 1500’s Norfolk
was divisible into 5 regions so far as population and industry were
The area to the west (later to become the fens) was still mainly marshland
and was less populated. Some of the area was grassland and supported the
grazing of bullocks and sheep. To the north the area was mainly heathland
and today there are still large areas of heath at Kelling and else where.
However the land varied in the region and crops were grown and were
rotated between corn and grass, which supported sheep. Much of the area
was enclosed (fenced). To the south was Breckland, a poor sandy area that supported
sheep and some cropping. The North East area was more highly populated the
land was fertile producing high quality grain and good beef cattle. The
long established and wealthy weaving towns of Worsted, Aylsham and Cawston
were in the area together with the City of Norwich
and the port
of Great Yarmouth.
The south east from Great Yarmouth and inland to Diss was known for its
rural textile industry and dairy farming.
Many foreign immigrants settled in Norfolk
during the period most of whom were Dutch and some French all driven out
of their homeland, the Low Counties, by the Duke of Alva.
The fortifications along the Norfolk coast
were strengthened with a fortress near Kings Lynn and additional
fortifications at Weybourne, Sheringham, Mundesley, Winterton,
Most of this strengthening was in preparation of the Spanish Armada fleet,
which was defeated long before it reached Norfolk’s coast.
Many of Norfolk’s
great houses were built or extended during this period financed by new
found wealth due to increasing trade and industry and the redistribution
of monastic lands. Norfolk history from www.about-norfolk.com
– so far I have tracked back our family to Drayton, Norfolk circa 1800’s. We married into a
farming family before moving into Norwich
in the 1830-1840’s