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You are in: Norfolk » A Sense Of Place

28 August 2002 1617 BST
Ludham to St Benet's Abbey with tea
St Benet's Abbey, Ludham
This superb walk takes you through the very pretty village of Ludham and beyond to visit a Norfolk landscape of windmills, together with Abbey ruins, making it near perfect in its beauty and tranquility.

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MAP: Landranger 134.

STARTING POINT: Start in the free car park by the Staith along Horse-Fen Road. This is also the location of the Wherry Trust.


On leaving the car park turn left and proceed until you reach a T-junction.

Turn left here walking through the village towards the Church. St Catherine's is a 15th Century church with a 14th Century chancel.

There is much here that is interesting and unusual and an excellent leaflet about the church and its history can be obtained once inside.

On leaving the church through the pretty lych-gate, turn right into Staithe Road and continue along it until the second turn on the right.

There are charming cottages and house along here. Mowle Cottage on the left is especially eye-catching. Bread for the ducks will be most useful along this road. Further on, again on your left, there are two very fine houses showing Dutch influence.

The brickwork of one of these 17th Century houses is very beautiful. Take the second turn on the right, signposted Horning, into Hall Common Road, then take the second turning on the left signposted St Benet's Abbey.

Continue straight ahead for about one mile, crossing the Hundred Dyke and arriving at the remains of the Abbey.

St Benet's Abbey was founded in the 9th Century by the hermit Suneman. In the 10th Century Wolfric built a cell on the sight of Suneman's chapel and under King Canute the cell grew into the Monastery of St Benet-at-Holm.

The Abbey was the only monastery in Britain not included in the dissolution. The Bishop still retains the title of Abbot of St.Benets.

Retrace your steps as far as Hall Common Road then turn left then first right at the finger post walking past Ludham Hall. Ludham Hall was once a palace for the Bishop of Norwich.

The Hall was partly destroyed by fire in 1611 but was restored with an adjoining chapel, now disused. Continue past the Hall until reaching the main road.

Turn right and walk along the footpath to return to the village. The Alfresco Tea-Rooms can be found opposite the church. This family-run establishment welcomes children and is open Tuesday-Sunday 10am until 5pm and Tuesday to Saturday evenings. These times are extended from mid May to include Bank Holidays.

by Marilyn Taylor and Anita Delf

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