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A Potted History of Thursford

Engine yard School Cricket Club ShopStation

The village of Thursford is mentioned in the Domesday Book, the survey of England made in 1086 at the request of William the Conqueror. In Domesday the village is called ‘Turesfort’ and ‘Tureforde’ and this name was believed to originate from the ford which crossed the Thur.

At the time of Domesday, Thursford belonged to the King with ‘Godric’ being steward of it. When Queen Elizabeth I was on the throne, the estate was possessed by the Haydons of Baconsthorpe and then by Sir Thomas Guybon and it was during this time that Thursford Old Hall was built. 

By the mid 19th century Thursford was an active village with c.350 inhabitants and covered about 1,400 acres. There was still a corn mill, plus three public houses, a shoemaker, a saddler, a blacksmith, a carpenter, bricklayers and a village shop. 

The church of St. Andrew is mainly medieval, with the doorway being c.1200 in date and the tower being early 14th century. As with many rural churches, it was rebuilt in the 19th century although a small 15th century window has survived in the vestry. The stained glass in the east window of the church was designed by Rev. Arthur Moore in 1862 and has been described as being one of the most beautiful windows of its time in England, if not in Europe, and better than the later William Morris-style designs of the 1920s.

Thursford Wood is managed by the Norfolk Wildlife Trust and contains a small piece of consecrated ground. Mr M. Anderson was buried there in c.1900 and some years later the ashes of his wife were also placed there. Mr Anderson gave the land to the NWT. The plot is edged in metal railings and encloses an evergreen tree, a large wooden cross and a small stone slab inscribed 'This is consecrated ground'.

Author: Di Dann