Tag Archives: Kirby Debon

Hidden history at Kirby Bedon


Julian White led a walk for Hike Norfolk from Whitlingham through to the historic village of Kirby Bedon. Hike Norfolk is one of the ten groups in Norfolk Area Ramblers which offer a range of walks across the county, and beyond, every week.

For anyone interesting in attending a walk please visit http://www.norfolkra.org.uk/ to see what is available. Alternatively Hike Norfolk have their own group at http://www.hikenorfolk.org.uk/.

The walk was six miles long and started from Whitlingham before going into Kirby Bedon. The walk goes by the ruins of hidden church of St. Andrew’s at Whitlingham which most walkers would never know were there. The walk also went by the site of an old manor house of which no visible traces remain although the cellars are still present.


Outside the old Stracey Arms, the village’s last pub which shut in 1967.


The beautiful Whitlingham Lake


The old tower of St. Mary’s Church in Kirby Bedon, situated opposite the current church. Both churches were once used at the same time although St. Mary’s became disused by around 1700. The shape of the graveyard remains with the nave dating from the twelfth century and the tower from the thirteenth century. Unfortunately access is currently not possible.

Over the road is St. Andrew’s, which is still in use as a church. Although originally a Norman church it was heavily rebuilt in the 1880s.

In the graveyard is a small mausoleum which remembers Sir Robert John Harvey. He was once the MP for Thetford and was later elevated to the Peerage. He was a director of the Crown Bank (their prestigious Norwich Head Office became the Post Office and later Anglia TV) but this got into financial difficulties and he shot himself dead.


The thirteenth century doorway of St. Andrew’s Church.


The huge old lock on the main door of St. Andrew’s.


Inside St. Andrew’s Church, very peaceful.


Opening the original twelfth century door.


Gravestone in St. Andrew’s