Copyright © 2017
Dersingham Folk
All Rights reserved
Site by Mike Strange
An Invitation to the Ailesway Clump
Mike Strange  ©
This invitation card must have been well received by Albert Firth, headmaster at Dersingham School, when it dropped through his letter box at "The Shrubbery" in Manor Road; it reads:

The King's Avenue.
The Planting of the Ailesway Clump
Their Majesties The King and Queen
and the Royal Family
November 10th, 1902 at 2:30 p.m.
When first reading this we were somewhat puzzled as to where was the Ailesway and exactly what was to become the Ailesway Clump? Although this involved an event concerned within Sandringham rather than Dersingham it remained relevant as it involved a Dersingham resident; a man who was held in some high esteem. Also, we discovered that the Ailesway passes through our parish of Dersingham and that this was referring to the Ichnield Way in its northern section of the Roman Road to the north Norfolk coast.

There are numerous theories as to the precise route of the Ichnield Way, however, in support of the western route, a road at Dersingham near Hunstanton was named Ykenildestrethe and Ikelynge Street in the 13th century. [Source Wikipedia]. This route crosses what we know as King's Avenue to the east of Sandringham House, travels north across the Dersingham parish boundary, Ling House Road and then leaves Dersingam. A little later it meets the Shernborne Road at a sharp 'S'-bend. It appears to end near Hunstanton. At that time this route apparently had the additional name of Eaglesway; only the newspaper article below has revealedl this so far.

A further reference to the connection between Ailesway and Icnield Way is found here:
The Project Gutenberg eBook, The Icknield Way, by Edward Thomas, Illustrated by A. L. Collins where he writes in ,
(Cambridge Antiquarian Society, Proceedings, VII) "Mr. Beloe suggests an easterly line beyond Newmarket by a supposed junction with the Ailesway from Newmarket, by Brandon Ferry and Narford to Hunstanton."
Pages of the original book can be found in the Internet Archive here:

The newspaper account below tells us about the visit of the German Emperor, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany  and events that took place. The tree planting activity occupies parts 2, 3 and part of 4.

Royal Group at a 'Tree Planting' on the Sandringham Estate to mark the 61st birthday of King Edward VII.

Location: The Sandringham Estate, Norfolk, near the 'Coronation Oval' in the centre of the 'King and Queen's Avenue', presented by the tenants, residents and work people of the Sandringham Estate as a 61st birthday present to the King.

Occasion: The birthday of King Edward VII, 9 November 1902; the Kaiser's visit to Sandringham 8-15 November 1902.

This image was reporoduced in:
The Graphic (Supplement), 22 November 1902, p [? CK]; The Illustrated London News, 22 November 1902, p 780;
The Car Illustrated, 26 November 1902, p 5;
The Queen, 29 November 1902, p 887".

Full acknowledgemt as to the Copyright of this image is afforded to the  © Victoria and Albert Museum, London. It's collection reference is the Lafayette Collection, GP 3665. The photographer was Lafayette Ltd., 179 New Bond Street, London. 
[Ref 1]

(Front row, left to right):
HRH Princess Royal, Countess of Harewood (1897-1965), when Princess (Victoria Alexandra Alice) Mary of Wales;

King George VI (1895-1952), when Prince Albert of Wales;

HRH Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester (1900-1974), when Prince Henry of Wales;

HRH Duke of Windsor (1894-1972), when Prince Edward of Wales.

(2nd row),
King Edward VII (1841-1910);

Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany (1859-1941);

Queen Alexandra (1844-1925);

King George V (1865-1936), when Prince of Wales;

HRH Princess Victoria (1868-1935).

Ivan D Margary provides an excellent route mapping of the Ichnield Way (Ailesway, Eaglesway or Roman Road 333) on his web site - Anglo Saxon History  [Ref 2]; this map shows a small section of the road.  Full acknowledgement is given to Ivan's work and should be consulted for more information.

It's certainly worth having a look at the map of the Ichneild Way on this page of Anglo Saxon History

On the adjacent map here the Ailesway goes past Captain's Close right at the point where it crosses King's Avenue at the Clump.

The ©  Google Street View, at the time of publishing in Jan 2020, clearly shows the colour of the Purple Beech of the Clump against the green of the adjacent Sycamore trees.

Arriving at some answers always lead to more questions and this investigation is no exception.  Can anyone out there throw some light on:
1. Where and what was the "Coronation Oval"? The group photograph refers to it being between King's Avenue and Queen's Avenue but where was the latter?

2. What is the origin of the names Ailesway and Eaglesway as alternatives for this section of the Ichnield Way?


Ref 1: Photo

Ref 2: Wikipedia - Icknield Way

Ref 3: Saxon History - Roman Road 333, Icknield Way, Babraham to Holme-next-the-Sea near Hunstanton.