Norfolk History



  • By the 1500s Norfolk was divisible into 5 regions so far as population and industry were concerned.
    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, and Yarmouth. Most of this strengthening was in preparation of the Spanish Armada fleet, which was defeated long before it reached Norfolks coast.
    Many of Norfolks 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


  • Family from Drayton so far I have tracked back our family to Drayton, Norfolk circa 1800s. We married into a farming family before moving into Norwich in the 1830-1840s


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