Real Rural Vernacular – Norfolk’s DNA

In the previous post I described a house-builders’ vernacular which despite some superficial stylistic references to rural architecture has led to housing estates that are nothing like real villages. I was recently asked to lead a two-day tour of Norwich and Norfolk for a London-based developer promoting a large development-site on the outskirts of the city.  I was born in Norwich, grew up in Wymondham, and moved back here eight years ago after a decade each in London and Brighton, so I reckon I know Norfolk fairly well…but it was really interesting to look at its landscape and settlement pattern critically, as if from the outside.

The city leg of the tour took in Norwich’s ‘Golden Triangle’, from the dense Victorian and Edwardian terraces either side of Unthank Road out to the leafy ‘Homes for Heroes’ suburb the Colman Estate and Eaton Park. The rural tour started at Hus 22 in Drayton then took in Horsham St Faiths, Frettenham, Aylsham and Horstead before swinging south across Reedham Ferry to Tayler and Green territory around Loddon. During my preparation for this I ended up identifying four key ‘archetypes’ in Norfolk’s rural settlements: the Nucleated Village, the Non-Nucleated Village, the Wide-Fronted House and the Farmstead. Posts on each coming up…

Norfolk DNA: The Nucleated Village

Four rural 'archetypes': the nucleated village, the non-nucleated village, the wide-fronted house and the farmstead

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