Village Sign & Church of Great Dunham, Norfolk

Norfolk is full of wonderful churches and Great Dunhams Church, St Andrews, is a little gem.  This lovely little church is more Saxon than everything else, so it has a right to be on the village sign, which is great for my ‘Village Sign & Church Category’.   I haven’t be able to find anything out about the sign, but its the church that is really interesting… to follow soon.

January 2016 ‘Village Sign & Church’ Category 

Duntulm Castle, Skye, Scotland

Duntulm Castle with spectacular views of the Outer Hebrides, you can understand the reason they built it there, and no, not just for the view, although I would have done.  The castle, with sheer cliffs on three sides, stands ruined on the north coast of Trotternish, on the Isle of Skye in Scotland, near the hamlet of Duntulm.  We were on our round the ‘Island Road Trip’, a week ago on holiday and I suddenly noticed the ruins, not sure how I missed them in pervious years…..most probably busy looking at the view.  We didn’t have time to stop, as we had a ferry to catch and we still had a long way to go, so the photos were taken out of the car window….. again.


A little history…..Duntulm is believed to have been first fortified in the Iron Age, and the site continues to be associated with the name Dùn Dhaibhidh or “David’s Fort”.  Later in life it was fortified by the Norse, and subsequently by their successors, the MacLeods of Skye. It would have been while it was under the MacLeod’s tenure that James V visited the castle in 1540, where he was impressed by its strength and the quality of the hospitality on offer.  In the 17th century it was the seat of the chiefs of Clan MacDonald of Sleat.  The MacDonalds abandoned the castle in about 1730 in favour of nearby Monkstadt House and then Armadale Castle in Sleat.  We did visit Armadale Castle, which has a lovely garden, and I will post about it later.  

 A little haunting for you…. a nursemaid accidentally dropped the baby son of the clan chief from a castle window above the cliffs.  The ghost of the nursemaid, killed in retribution, is still said to wander the ruins. She is apparently kept company by the ghost of Hugh MacDonald, who plotted against the rightful clan chief in the 1600s, and who was starved to death in the dungeon at Duntulm.   

There were quite substantial ruins left in the 1880, a large keep several stories high, which would have looked quite impressive on the cliff top.  But, as with many of theses castle ruins, the stone work was removed for building projects and other parts eroded away, or just fell into the sea.  

May 2017


Village Sign & Church, St Nicholas, Potter Heigham, Norfolk

 Potter Heigham (pronouced Potterham) in Norfolk has had a new village sign. a two sided one.  What is nice, is that the sign depicts two sides of the village and on both sides, the medieval bridge is shown.

Potter Heigham Bridge is a medieval bridge, believed to date from 1385, famous for being the most difficult to navigate in the Broads.  The bridge opening is so narrow that only small cruisers can pass through it, and then only at low water.  We have visited Potter Hingham many times, but I have never seen a boat going under the bridge, maybe one day.

The church is St Nicholas and has a 12th century round tower (which I still have to post about)  and the font is the only brick one in Norfolk.  It appears to be 15th century, there are banded details which have eroded, but may have been trefoils.  

The potters on the sign………The village was just simply named Heigham, but the extensive manufacture of Roman pottery taking place in the ‘Pothills’ area in the very northwestern corner of the parish.  By 1797 the village had become known as Potter Heigham, though the marshes retained the older Heigham Potter name.

Looking at the other side of the sign, which indicates Hickling Board, where you can fish, walk, cruise on the water and really enjoy the outdoor life.

St Peters Church Tower, Bastwick, Norfolk


We had driven through Potter Heigham in Norfolk in March 2016, looking for the Parish Church, and totally missed it.  Husband did not really want to turn back, as the weather looked like it was about to turn quite nasty.  I agreed with him, the church could wait until another day…… but could we go and have a look at a church tower that I had just spied over in a field…..there was a deep sigh, but he agreed.

We drove around to where I thought we might be able to visit the tower, but then realised it’s on private land……in someones back garden.  I knew nothing about the church, only that we were in the village of Bastwick.  So after some investigation, I only found a very small amount about the church, but I did out that the cottage and tower had been up for sale.  I found a little bit on the website, ‘The flint tower which stands in the grounds, was originally the tower to St Peter’s church. The church was built during the time of Edward the Confessor, in the 11th century. A stone christening font and a cross base, with apostles standing on either side, remain in the grounds’.

From the little that I found out about the church…… the church was in ruins by 1618, although the webpage says the church was 11th century, it seems that the tower is 14th century…..I think if the tower was 11th century, it would have been round.  But it was a nice find, and I just wonder if this is is the new owner in the below photo, pottering about the garden.