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VS #118 Melton Constable

A cache by kareninwb Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 09/18/2014
1.5 out of 5
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size:   other (other)

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Geocache Description:

Melton Constable lies six miles south-west of Holt.  The cache is placed close to the village sign which commemorates the town's Railway history. You are looking for a nano container so you will need to bring. your own pen or pencil.  Please replace exactly as found.  Parking is available at GZ.

Melton Constable reached its heyday about 1911; in the census of that year it had a population of 1,157. It was a new town built in 1880s at the junction of four railway lines, which came from Cromer, North Walsham, King's Lynn and Norwich and linked Norfolk to the Midlands. A station with a platform 800 feet long was constructed with a specially-appointed waiting room for Lord Hastings, the local squire. The Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway's main workshops and factory were also situated in the village, helping to give it the character of a rural industrialised village. The workshops were often called the Crewe Works of North Norfolk. When in M&GNJR hands the works built 19 steam locomotives. Under LNER ownership the works was gradually degraded until 1934 when they closed completely. Between 1959 and 1964 British Railways closed the lines and withdrew both passenger and goods services from Melton Constable, which resulted in the slow decline of the village; it now lies stranded in the middle of a vast agricultural area which uses other forms of transport. In 1971 the station was demolished and the works were converted into an industrial estate. , by the middle of the 20th century, the lines began to close - with the Cromer line being the last to go.

Melton Constable Hall was once the home of the Astley family (for seven centuries) and was built  around 1670. It is located in extensive parkland and was one of the oldest enclosures in England (1290). The illustration below shows the hall in its heyday.

It was used as the principal location for Brandham Hall in Joseph Losey's 1970  film of "The Go Between". The film, which was based on the novel of the same name by L.P. Hartley, starred Julie Christie and Alan Bates as the doomed lovers. The screen play was written by Harold Pinter. The film makes great use of the house, the parkland and the surrounding countryside and, even today, portrays the beauty of the county in summer time.  Sadly, the hall is now derelict.

Between the church and the hall there stands a tower known as Belle Vue, which has a view of Norwich and the sea. It was a smock-mill that was built by Sir Jacob Astley, 1st Baronet, of Melton Constable Hall in 1721. The mill wasn’t  used much. Sir Edward Astley, the 4th Baronet, replaced the wooden tower with a brick one c. 1775. The new tower which was built over the existing three-storey brick, octagonal base, is the only one of its type in the county and is the oldest base in the county. It fell into dereliction and remains on the English Heritage at Risk register, as do a number of outbuildings on the estate.


If anybody would like to expand this series please do. I would just ask that you let SmokeyPugs know first so they can keep track of the Village Sign numbers and names to avoid duplication..


Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Lbh arrq gb rknzvar gur oevpx fgehpgher pybfr gb gur ivyyntr fvta.

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)