VS #???? Wretham
Wretham is a civil parish and village in the English county of Norfolk. The village, which is also referred to as East Wretham, is situated some 6 miles north east of the town of Thetford and 25 miles south west of the city of Norwich.
The Village Sign.
The money for the Village sign was raised in 1977 by residents of the village.Melinda Raker drew up the preliminary designs to include the ram’s head, the partridges, the chovy and the forestry.David Fitt suggested the inclusion of the which.Harry Stebbings of Great Hockham finalised the design and made the sign itself.Mike Woodrow and Mike Pickering built the base.
The Ram’s Head.
The Estate of East Wretham at the time of the Domesday Book was owned by Ralph de Toesni.He was standard bearer to William the Conqueror at the battle of Hastings , and for his services was given 19 lordships in Norfolk , the largest in Wretham he gave to the abbey of Bec(France).According to Blomefield, from the Register of the abbey of Bec “When the harvest work was finished by the tenants, they were to have an acre of barley, and a ram let loose in the midst of them; if they caught him, he was their property but if he escaped then the Lord claimed him”.This ram hunting disappeared about 1780. Eton college who owned much of the estate, continued this custom at Eton for many years.
The shooting at Wretham was well known – especially in the 1800’s.
At Wretham, there is a particular kind of Beetle, about double the size of a ladybird, known locally as “chovies”.The chovies come out in myriads early in the summer.
Traditions of witchcraft persisted at Wretham (as with most other villages) until the 19th century.
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.