Sunset over Dersingham by Tom Morris

Dersingham - a village on the outskirts of Royal Sandringham

Dersingham is a growing village on the outskirts of the royal Sandringham estate and close to the sea and it is one of the largest villages in the Borough of King's Lynn and West Norfolk. The village is situated some 9 miles from King's Lynn, 42 miles from Norwich, and 1.5 miles from Sandringham House.

Today, Dersingham has many local amenities and is served by a Post Office, two supermarkets, florists, a garden centre, garages, a true cobblers, chemist, dentist, opticians, chiropractors, hair and beauty salons, butchers, newsagents, takeaway outlets and soft furnishings outlets.  Four of the public houses established in Dersingham more than a hundred years ago have long since disappeared - the Dun Cow and the White Horse have been demolished, while the Alexandra and the Albert Victor are now private houses.  Happily Dersingham continues to be served by two other public houses: The Feathers (previously the Cock Inn); and the Coach & Horses.

Although Dersingham now provides home to many people who have moved into the village, there is strong continuity with the past, for many families can trace their roots back into the history of Dersingham.  Hopefully, the village will continue to provide the opportunities and the pleasant and convenient environment that will persuade the children living here today to make Dersingham their home for life. 

Early settlers felt Dersingham was the ideal place to live because it was on the coast yet high enough to avoid flooding and had a ready supply of fresh water from its numerous springs.  The village's population has grown over the years and is now in excess of 5,000.  The village covers roughly 1,500 hectares is some 50 metres above sea level.

The older houses in the village are mostly constructed of carrstone and flint and a few with bathstone dressings. The village has a number of listed buildings.  Among them are the Church of St Nicholas in Manor Road which is constructed of carrstone with stone dressings. The nave and chancel roofs are slate, while the aisles are roofed in lead. The chancel and nave were built in the early fourteenth century, with the decorated nave, clerestory, aisles and west tower being dated around 1470.   Records indicate that the Church of St Nicholas was thoroughly restored between 1877 and 1879 at a cost of £5,000; the Rev J Bellamy (President of St John's College, Oxford) defrayed the cost of the restoration of the nave and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners that of the chancel, supplemented by £300 raised by subscription. The work included completely re-seating the church with open pews. At the same time a new rectory was built in carrstone and red brick.

The Tithe Barn, adjacent to the Church, was built in 1671 in clunch and carrstone and features brick dressings and a pantiled roof. Despite its name, it was never used to collect tithes but was built as an ordinary agricultural store. It is owned by the Sandringham Estate and leased to Norfolk County Council; it is currently used for the storage of artefacts from buildings in Norfolk.

Dersingham Hall (opposite the Tithe Barn on the corner of Chapel Road) was converted to a hotel at the end of the 1980s but now has planning permission for conversion into apartments. It was originally constructed in the sixteenth century in stuccoed brick and carrstone rubble. The 1870's Directory records that this was one of five manors and describes it as "a large plain building". It was occupied by John Goggs Esq. The lords of the manors were the Prince of Wales and the Rev Bellamy and they, with Mr Goggs, were also the principal landlords.

West Hall Manor Cottages in Manor Road (near the junction with Lynn Road) date from the seventeenth century and were formerly a Manor House - the manor of West Hall; they have also been used as a workhouse. Other buildings of interest include the Dersingham Community Centre on the corner of Dodds Hill and Manor Road. This was previously the Public Elementary School, built in 1875 on land provided by the Prince of Wales and with the cost of the buildings - some £500 - being met by Dr Bellamy. The schoolmaster in the 1880s was Alfred Firth, who later became the first Clerk of Dersingham Parish Council in 1885.

The Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Hall in Lynn Road is owned by the Parish Council and leased to the Dersingham Social Club. The Recreation Ground in Hunstanton Road was handed over to the Parish Council in 1920, having previously been owned by the Dersingham United Charities. In approving the change, the Charity Commission specified that the land should continue to be used "as a place for exercise and recreation". The Recreation Ground was registered as a village green in 1968. The ten acre sports field in Manor Road is leased by the Parish Council from the Sandringham Estate and then sub-let to the Dersingham Sports Ground Committee.

 


Dersingham Village Sign Dersingham Hall by Stella GoochTithe Barn by Stella GoochDersingham Park by Stella GoochDersingham Bog by Stella Gooch

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