THE VILLAGE

The Street, 1926 - not so different today!
The Street, 1926 - not so different today!

Today, Flordon is a small village with about 300 residents. The houses lie alongside minor roads leading from the B1113 to the west, the A140 to the east, from Mulbarton to the north and Tasburgh to the south (see 'Where we are'). The main line railway from Norwich to London passes through the village, but the station is long closed. So are the shops and the pubs. But the historic church building has become the focus of the whole community, for village activities as well as church services. Most of the land is farmed - but Flordon Common is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a fantastic place for observing wildlife. The village also protects its roadside verges as part of the Norfolk Roadside Nature Reserves scheme. Flordon is a village with more history than you might think - so enjoy a nostalgic look back at village life here and on all the other pages....

FLORDON IN THE (VERY DISTANT) PAST

Flordon is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as 'Florenduna', and a settlement called 'Raynthorpe' is also listed. But people have lived in or passed through Flordon long before then. An article about Flordon Common written in 1910 referred to Neolithic flint implements found there, and Prehistoric pot-boilers were found at a site in the east of the parish. Air photos have revealed two ring ditches which maybe the remains of Bronze Age barrows. In 2009 a Bronze Age flint scraper was found, believed to date from between 2350 - 1000BC (above). In 1997 a metal detectorist found a Roman coin from around 200AD in the south of the parish, where some pieces of pottery were also found. [See more about them at the Norfolk Heritage website.]

Domesday Book entry (1086) for Rainthorpe Manor and Flordon ('Florenduna') Manor.
[Above Flordon there is mention of Newton ('Niwestuna') = Newton Flotman]

FLORDON IN THE (NOT QUITE SO DISTANT) PAST

From the Post Office Directory of 1869: 'FLORDON is a scattered village, parish, and station on the Eastern Union Railway, 7 ½ miles from Norwich, 106 from London and 6 from Wymondham.... The church of St Michael is an old flint and brick building, with nave, chancel and south porch; it is in a dilapidated state. The register dates from the year 1558. The living is a rectory.....in the gift of the Rev Sir William Robert Kemp, Bart, M.A. and held by the Rev Gascoigne Frederick Whitaker, M.A..... Rev Sir William R Kemp... is lord of the Manor and chief landowner.'

(Above) sketches of Flordon - artist(s) and date unknown

Take a 'virtual' walk through Flordon to learn more about the sights of Flordon, and see how they look today.

Some Directory entries also comment that Flordon has no school but the children attend Hapton School. Whilst most did, some walked to Bracon Ash and any near Rainthorpe Hall would have gone to Newton Flotman. 

Class at Hapton School - early 1920s (starred* names indicate Flordon children)
Back row, L>R: John Taylor; Maurice Cook; Herbert Drake; Herbert(?) Bunn; Charlie Anscombe
Middle row: Phyllis George*; - not known -; Ida Arnold*; Violet Whitham; Marjorie Drake
Front row: Emma Arnold*; Mabel Bunn; Marjorie Thorndyke; Joan Fish; Emily Thorndyke; Margaret Bunn


Today, Flordon children have their own play area in a corner of the Common accessible from The Street which is not part of the area designated as a SSSI. 

Read more about special events and fun & games in Flordon.

To find out who lived in Flordon from 1841 to 1911 and in 1939, go to the LINKS page for a link to transcripts of all the censuses and the 1939 Register

FLORDON FLOODS

The Street flooded regularly when the stream alongside it overflowed and/or water from a tributary of the River Tas poured down the hill from the Hapton turn. 'People didn't realise how deep it could get: Mr Bishop from the Black Horse regularly towed cars and vans out with his tractor.' Mrs Allison remembered seeing a canoe being paddled along The Street. Jean Cook was given a 'piggy back' through the flood to get to work at the mushroom farm. Flooding is a feature of the Parish Council Chairman's Report at the 1981 Annual Meeting. After the big flood of 1987 something had to be done....
In the 1970s, the Upper Yare & Tas Water Authority removed a dam on the river so that water ceased to flow along the old millstream. It solved the flood problem, but the old water course became a mass of weeds and the water levels of plant-rich Flordon Meadows (a SSSI) dropped about a metre. In 1996 Flordon Parish Council sought funding to divert some of the water back to its former course 'so we can reinstate the stream as a focal point', as Council chairman George Fincham explained. Work was completed, without further risk of flood, and the green by the stream became home to the village sign.

Below: The 1987 floods (Photos A Mallen)

Flooding was an old phenomenon:

Norfolk News, 17 April 1897 4-year-old Frank Smith, son of Mr Walter Smith, foreman porter at Station, playing by the river overbalanced and fell when it was in full flow and nearly drowned, leading to request for 'a strong substantial paling fence'.
The following August, 3-year-old Alice Larter, daughter of Charles Larter, had a similar narrow escape.