DERSINGHAM HISTORY
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Dersingham Folk
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Site by Mike Strange
Road Name Origin Location
Admiral's Drive Lord Louis Mountbatten was Admiral of the Fleet Map
Alexandra Close Dersingham Railway Station opened in 1862 and The Alexandra Railway Hotel stood directly opposite the station. The railway was closed in May 1969 and The Alexandra closed shortly afterwards; it is now a private residence.  
Balmoral Close Balmoral in Scotland is one of the Queen’s residences  
Bank Road The bungalow on the corner of the road has served at differing times as a bank and at one time was the residence of Doctor Jolley. The Dersingham Surgery was in the tiny building that is first on the left; it remained so until the new surgery was built next to the school in Saxon Way.  
Beech Drift    
Brenda Collinson Close This road was built on land once owned by Decoy Farms Ltd.  
Broadlands Close Broadlands was the home of Lord Montbatten.  
Brook Road    
Burma Close Lord Mountbatten was appointed supreme commander S.E. Asia in 1943and worked closely with General William Slim to reconquer Burma; his full title then becoming Lord Mountbatten of Burma.  
Bush Close Kenneth Bush was a solicitor who lived in Shernborne Road.  
Centre Vale The Vale was an area of open pasture land enclosed by the present day Chapel Road, Manor Road, Post Office Road and Lynn Road. The moat and other earthworks associated with the old Manor House of Brookhall are still visible at its centre. The remains of the sheep washpit can still be seen close to Manor Road. It is possible that the part of this road that is still unsurfaced was once known as Jackson's Lane.  James Jackson occupied the farmhouse that is No. 5 and farmed the area.  
Centre Crescent    
Chapel Road The name of this road was settled by the Parish Council in 1911 and refers to the Primitive Methodist Chapel which was built in 1878 when the road was often known as Sandringham Road.  
Chestnut Close    
Church Lane    
Clayton Close This area was once open pasture with several ponds.  Mr. Jarvis whose bakery was next to the garage at the corner of Post Office Road  tethered his horses here.  
Cow Lane A previous name for Lynn Road; naming was probably related to the Dun Cow inn.  
Crest Road    
Crisp Close From Joshua Shuardson-Hipkin: "This was named after my great grandfather, Horace Crisp (my grandmother's father) who was a carpenter for the Queen. I am told he made King George's coffin! When my grandfather built the Mountbatten estate he named the road accordingly.' Also noted that an E. J. Crisp was President of the Tennis Club in 1933.  
Doddshill Road One of the few places in the village to have retained its name for more than 500 years. Early documents from the 15th century record it as Dodyshill,  A family called Dodys held land and property here. On the Tithe map of 1839 a pasture opposite the Green was called Dotshill Close. In the census of 1861 it is referred to as Dodds Hill and in  1871 as Dods Hill.  
Duck Decoy Close Bryant's map of 1826 clearly shows a decoy on Dersingham Marshes.  The Tithe map of 1839 records *George Skelton occupying a cottage and garden and Decoy on the marshes.  The usual method of decoying was to feed wild ducks using tame ducks called decoys.  A signal would be given and the tame ducks would swim up the dyke which was roofed with netting.  The wild ducks would follow the tame ones and once beneath the nets their fate was sealed. Present day Ordnance Survey still record the Decoy.  Decoy Farms Ltd. used to be in Station Road before the land was sold for housing.   See Brenda Collison Close  
Earl Close Lord Mountbatten was the 1st Earl of that name  
Edinburgh Way Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh  
Fern Hill Older residents refer to this road as Farran Hill.   
Gelham Court See Gelham Manor  
Gelham Manor Gelham Manor was one of the seven Manors that made up the area of Dersingham.  The moated Manor House stood in the open area between the Mountbatten Estate and the bypass recently named The Warren.  The house and land was owned by the de Gelham family until about 1377.  It then passed through many hands until eventually becoming part of the Sandringham Estate.  The house would have been subject to many floods from the sea that occurred over the centuries and was probably abandoned sometime in the 17th century.  
Glebe Close See Glebe Road  
Glebe Road Glebe was land assigned to the incumbent of a parish as part of his benefice and the endowment of the church. The Tithe Map, 1839, shows the area as Glebe Allotments. In 1895 the Parish Council interviewed the vicar and his tenant in reference to letting the whole of the Glebe land for allotment purposes.  On the 1905 map the area is designated Glebe Garden Allotments.  
Greenwich Close    
Hawthorn Drive    
Heath Road Walking up Heath Road from the Lynn Road the Open Common is on the left while on the right is the Shut-up Common  At the time of writing both are administered by the Dersingham United Charities.  
High Street A colloquial name that was used for Lynn Road.  
Hipkin Road Roy Hipkin was a local builder who built much of The Mountbatten Estate and other properties in the village.  
Holyrood Drive Palace of Holyrood house is the official residence in Scotland of the reigning monarch  
Hunstanton Road    
Iveagh Close Edward Guiness 1st Earl of Iveagh founded The Guiness Trust, which operates the Hanover Court complex in 1890.  
James Jackson Road James Jackson was a local farmer.  His large farmhouse still stands in Centre Vale. Villagers remember Mr. Jackson Senior pedalling his old black three wheeler, tapping a stick on the handlebars as he drove his cows from the milking parlour to the pastures.  
Jubilee Drive The estate was built during the time of the Silver Jubilee  1977  
Kerrich Close Samuel Kerrich vicar of Dersingham 1729 -1768 buried in the Chancel.  Thomas Kerrich his son and a talented artist, vicar of Dersingham 1784-1828  
Kings Croft    
Ling (or Lyng) House Road Ling House farm and cottages is situated 3 miles to the east on the edge of the parish boundary.  The Stanton family are recorded as farmers here in White’s and Kelly’s Directories of 1836 through to 1937. They  record that all letters should be addressed to Anmer,Lynn  
Lynn Road The part of Lynn Road that runs from the present supermarket towards King's Lynn was during part of 20th century known as Cow Lane.  Had also been known as High Street. The site of the supermarket was once that of The Dun Cow Inn and farm. The Turnpike Road of 1811 terminated at The Dun Cow Inn.  
Manor Road Westhall Manor House , built 1671, still stands at the beginning of this road.  In the late 17th and early 18th century it was the village workhouse.The southern part (from the current Sandringham Road to Lynn Road) was formally called Sandringham Road.  
Manorside A 20th century development off Manor Road.  
Mill Road There were at one time three windmills in the village.  The one that stood on the site of Hill House, half way up Sugar Lane, was destroyed in a gale in 1808.  The second one at the top of Mill Road was taken down in 1907.  The third mill stood about where Dersingham Station is; it is recorded on Faden's map of 1797 but does not feature after that.  The land where it stood is recorded on the Tithe Map as Mill Hill.  
Mountbatten Road Named for Lord Louis Mountbatten of Burma  
Old Hall Drive This refers to Dersingham Hall now Jannoch's Court built by the wealthy Pell Family about 1671.  It could also reference the Moated Manor House that once stood in the Pastures at the back of the estate and was known as Brookhall or Oldhall , the home of the Brookdish family from the 12/13th centuries.  The moat is still visible.  
Onedin Close Perhaps this was named for the popular television drama The Onedin Line popular at the time  
Orchard Close The land on which these bungalows stand was once Reynold's Nursery.  The large house and shop stood on the corner of Post Officer Road and Chapel Road with several greenhouses facing onto Post Office Road. There was indeed an orchard here.  
Pakenham Drive Pakenham Manor was one of the seven Manors that made up Dersingham.  The Manor House stood in what is now the playground of the old school at the bottom of Dodds Hill Road. It was demolished in 1935 to enlarge the school playground and much of the stonework was used in the wall that was built to surround the extended churchyard.  
Pansey Drive    
Paige's Close Frederick Albert Paige was Station Master from 1890 to 1900  
Park Hill This area in the 17th century was recorded as Mr. Roger's Park. Thomas Rogers and his son, also Thomas, lived here. They were obviously wealthy and Thomas Rogers Senior became High Sheriff of Norfolk. Older villagers remember it as an open space where they played and gathered blackberries.  
Pell Road The Pell family were wealthy wool merchants who are recorded in the village from the late 15th century until the 18th.  There are many monuments in the church to this family.  
Philip Nurse Road Philip Herbert (Duke) Nurse was 28 years old when he died in a tragic building site accident in January 1983.  “Duke” as all his family and friends called him was born the youngest son of Herbert and Eileen Nurse, of 10 Chapel Road and attended Dersingham Primary School and St. George's Secondary Modern School. As a young lad he would often be seen wearing a very oversized white apron making deliveries with Norman Towers (the butcher who had the shop in Chapel Road just before the traffic lights  which became Scoles Butchers and is now private housing.) later as a teenager he would help out at Vawser's farm in Ingoldisthorpe.  After leaving school Duke started by working on the land, later transferring to the Furniture factory in Snettisham, and then as an employee of Bob Riches at Stafford House Builders.  He then worked for Ingoldisthorpe construction firm H.C.L. for three years leading up to his death. Duke played darts for the Coach and Horses, being involved in a competition between that pub and The Dun Cow (on the site of the Co-op Supermarket), played football in both Saturday and Sunday leagues. The accident occurred whilst he was employed by a sub-contractor on a building site in Grimston Road Wootton, when an 11-foot trench collapsed around him, leaving him trapped up to his neck.  Rescue workers, including 6 firemen and a doctor from Gayton Road health centre arrived at the scene at about 3.30p.m. and are reported to have worked for over an hour to free him, but he later died in hospital, having suffered a fractured skull and brain haemorrhage.  At the inquest following his death, Station officer Paddy Barrett said “It was a very difficult operation, we had to use compressed air and spades to move some of the soil which had trapped him.”  Mr. Barrett paid special tribute to the digger driver on site, Mr. Derek Lovett, who throughout the rescue bid held back the walls of the trench with his digger bucket. Two wreaths at his funeral were reminiscent of his life in that one was of white chrysanthemums in the shape of a football, and another in white, gold and yellow flowers, styled as a glass of lager on a beer mat.  The service conducted by the vicar of Dersingham Rev. Hugh Pollock was in a packed chapel at Mintlyn Crematorium where 245 mourners some standing three deep around the walls paid tribute to a well respected and loved local man. (Village Voice 30 September/October 2004)  
Post Office Road When known as Middle Road the Post Office opened here in about 1890 with Enoch Beckett as postmaster.  He had previously run the business with his shop in the long cottage that is now a private house on the corner of King's Croft.  
Prince Charles Close For The Prince of Wales  
Prince Andrew Drive For Queen Elizabeth II's second son  
Queen Elizabeth Drive For Queen Elizabeth II  
Reg Houchen Road Reg, with his brother Thomas, ran a motor car and coach hire business from the late 20s and 30s; their garage was in Bank Road.  During the war years Reg's wife, Dora, organised concert parties and called the group The Dersingham Premiers.  Reg used to transport the cast with all their props in one of his coaches to the surrounding villages for the performances to raise money for the war effort.  Both were active in the village for many years after the war.  
Reynolds Way John Charles Reynolds was a nurseryman and florist.  His nursery was in Post Office Road where Orchard Close has been built.  The house stood on the corner of Post Office Road and Chapel Road.  
Robert Balding Drive Balding is a well established village name.  Baldings can be found in all the census returns from 1841. They have been glovers, cattle dealers,  a grocer and draper, and farmers.  
Sandringham Road Queen Elizabeth II's Norfolk estate appears in Domesday as Sant Dersingham and has passed through many hands before being bought by Queen Victoria in 1862.
Formally called Sandringham Hill
 
Saxon Way A historical period. In these times land was held here by men called Ricwold and Skeet before William the Conqueror dispossessed them and gave the lands to his nephew Peter de Valognes.  
Senters Road Hannah Senter, a shopkeeper and milliner ran her business from the house on the corner of Manor Road and Lynn Road in the 1890s and early 20th century.   Walter Read Senter was a cycle agent .  Others of that name in later years include, Leah Senter, confectioner, and Martin Senter, boot repairer,  
Shernborne Road The road that leads to the village of Shernborne which lies 3 miles beyond..  
Shouldham Close Shouldham Priory Manor was another of the 7 Manors here.  Shouldham Monastery was founded in 1135 by St. Gilbert.  He formed labourers into a monastic order and founded a nunnery for destitute girls.  This manor probably covered the area where the present Manor House stands. Christiana de Mandeville Countess of Essex gave lands and property from Dersingham to the monastery.   At the dissolution of the monasteries the Manor was granted to John Dethick who in 1547 transferred the ownership to John Pell and his heirs.  Over time the area became part of the Sandringhan Estate.  
Silver Drive Built during the Queen's Silver Jubilee.  
St Nicholas Close Some distance from the church but associated with our church which is dedicated to St. Nicholas, Patron Saint of youth, merchants, sailors, travellers and thieves.  
Stanton Road The Stanton family have farmed in the village for several generations at Manor House Farm and Ling House Farm  
Station Road Dersingham Station opened for the first train services in 1862 and closed on May 1969  
Stratford Close After the Second World War when Dersingham Hall had been released from military requisition Mr. G.W.Stratford   bought and converted it into Dersingham Hall Social and Camping Club.  The grounds were well used and one week were occupied by a large contingent from South Emsall Colliery.  
Sugar Lane Efforts have been made to trace the origin but so far it is unknown; it is probably a corrupted form of its original spelling.  
Thomas Drew Close Thomas drew was born in Dersingham in 1865.  His mother and Stepfather were licensees of the once Albert Victor Inn located in Manor Road. As a young man Mr. Drew served in the First World War in the Coldstream Guards and he suffered from enemy gas attacks, the effects of which affected his later life. He eventually started in the building trade and in the 1930s and 1940s he built for the private sector and the Council.  Some of the plots which he built in Dun Cow Lane (now Lynn Road) cost £30 per plot. Tom Drew took an active interest in village life having served many years in the 1930s and 1940s on the Parish Council.  After the war, with tight restrictions and controls in the supply of scarce building materials he had a brush with the red tape rules.  He had supposedly built his family bungalow without a permit but this was disproved when he proved that he had built the house from surplus materials from his other building sites.  Mr. Drew died in 1954 and has two daughters who still lived in Dersingham. (Village Voice 27  March/April 2004)  
Tudor Way An historical period  
Valley Rise    
Viceroy Close Lord Mountbatten was the last Viceroy of India in 1947  
Wallace Twite Way Wallace Jack Twite was born in King's Lynn in April 1903, moved to Dersingham in 1911, married his wife Gladys at St. Nicholas Church and then raised a family in the village until his death  in 1981. Wallace worked on the Sandringham Estate from 1917 for 51 years in the Woods department, being mainly responsible for the boundary fences and acting as beater on the Royal shoots (45 years)  being in the position of Deputy Forester at the time of his retirement.   He had served four monarchs and held the Royal Victorian Medal (silver), the Coronation Medal, and the Long Service medal with three bars.  He acted as Special Police Constable from 1939 to 1945. He had a major interest in sport, playing football as goalkeeper in the 20s and 30s, then acting as referee after the end of the war.  He was also involved with the cricket club as a scorer before the war becoming an umpire afterwards.  In addition to this he was a keen bowls player with the Dersingham Institute Club. One anecdote, which identifies with him is that, at the time he played football the team used to travel to away matches on a farm wagon pulled by a horse.  Having completed one match at Burnham the horse, having been coupled up to the wagon, refused to move.  Whereas when unharnessed the animal would walk along as requested.  The ultimate result of this was that the team ended up taking it in turns to travel the whole of the way home hauling the wagon, whilst the horse walked alongside! Wallace was Clerk to the parish Council, a member and Clerk to the Board of Trustees, Branch Secretary for the national Union of Agricultural Workers (21 years) and was Governor of the Middle School.  In addition to all this he was on the committee of the Sports Club (13years) and of the Football Club for many years, also undertaking the responsibility, jointly with his wife, to act as Village Correspondent for the Lynn News (30years) under the pseudonym of “Drifter”.  A keen churchgoer he sang with the choir at St. Nicholas for 60 years (the organist at the time was Teddy Rye of West Newton and one of his friends in the choir was Roland Linford who owned the grocery store which was located at what is now the Fish and Chip shop.)  He was still in the position of verger when he died at the age of 78.  He was a member of a group of enthusiasts who would spend hours on the upkeep of the churchyard. Wallace's son Bernard continues to live in the area. (Village Voice 29  July/August 2004)  
West Road See West Hall Road  
West Hall Road Westhall Manor House built 1671 still stands in Manor Road and its lands would have covered this area.  
White Horse Drive The White Horse was a public house with farm attached standing in Jubilee Court where the Estate Agents is situated.  There are records dating back well into the 19th century and beyond.  
Wiclewood Close Richard de Wiclewood vicar of Dersingham from 1344 to 1349.  His initial R can be found carved into the ancient wooden chest at the front of the church  
Willow Drive A very new addition to the village built in the grounds of the adjacent house.  
Windsor Drive The Royal Family adopted the name Windsor in 1917 as George V thought the Germanic surname Saxe-Coburg- Gotha was inappropriate in view of the circumstances of the time.  
Woodside Avenue See Woodside Close.  
Woodside Close The Plantation now known as Life Wood but once recorded as Mr. Hoste's Plantation borders this area.  
Roads of Dersingham
Their Origins and Locations
Elizabeth Fiddick
There are only a few places that have retained the same name for more than 500 years; Doddshill is one such. It was called after the family Dodys, Other places mentioned in old documents are Emlotts and The Park. Emletts Hill Common features on the 1839 map opposite The Feathers, the site of the present day property called The Emblems built around 1810. The Park, or Mr. Roger’s Park, extends from Park Hill to the village boundary. Thomas Rogers Senior and his son also Thomas, lived here in the 17th century and are listed on the Poll Bill of 1692 to raise money for “carrying on a vigorous war against France”. The money was payable quarterly for one year. Thomas Senior was charged 11shillings and his son 12 shillings. Only one other resident paid more and that was John Pell the wealthy wool merchant who built Dersingham Hall and lived in a fine Tudor Mansion near our present surgery. John Pell, gent paid £1. 1s while his wife and two children were charged 3d. Rogers was to become a friend of 'Turnip' Townsend and to serve the last few months of his life as High Sheriff of Norfolk.

Many old street names and land names can be found in old documents and although it is possible to work out for some a possible location no maps exist to show conclusively where they were. Southgate, Eastgate, Streetgate, Snetyshamgate, Chalkgate, Haresgate, Ffychamway, Anmer Way, Bircham Way and Newton Way are just a few.

Mention is made of, “A path by the swamp leading to Doddshill called Wadgate” while, in another document, there is mention of a track called Morgate that led onto Gelhamhall Moore which seems likely to be the present day Centers Drift (also referred to as 'Hurry Home' Drift) opposite Manor Road

Old land names include Mykyhyll, Mydelhyll,  Poolkpyt  Urchynsmeer  Chalkgatemeer  Processyonmeer  Woodamnyag,  Le Brynk  Chyllhow (how = hollow)  Blakland  Wateryland.

Marketstye probably refers to a market place possibly held near the present cricket pitch. The Rev. Lewis in his book in the library records that a Mr. Parker told him that the lane between the Foresters Hall and his cottage used to continue along the back of his cottage and down by the hedge near the cricket pitch. On the deeds of his house it was referred to as Market Lane.

In the census returns of 1861 and 1871 the same roads are given varying names. The present day Manor Road is termed as Lynn Road, then Sandringham Road and at another time Heathside. Chapel Road is sometimes Snettisham Road and then at another time Shernborne Road.  Doddshill is always consistent, however.

On June 9th 1911 the Parish Council met and as this was after the census of that year had been taken it is clear they were a little frustrated by this confusion and determined to clarify the situation.  The reports states, “ Some of the roads having acquired two or three names  it was decided to re-name them viz:  Eight Mile stone to Lye Wood as Lynn Road; Temperance Hotel to Church Corner as Chapel Road; Church Corner to Sandringham Hill corner as Church Road; continuing on to Lynn Road as Manor Road; Post Office Road, Station Road, Mill House Road and Heath Road.

Post Office Road had been known as Middle Road and Lye Wood is what we call Life Wood; this may have been just a typing error of course. The Temperance Hotel was the large house, now called Ashdene, on the corner by the traffic lights. Since 1911 there have even been further changes; Church Road is now a continuation of Manor Road and from the traffic lights Lynn Road is now Hunstanton Road.