Blo' Norton

Blo' Norton

St Andrew, Blo Norton
Blo' Norton
 Blo' Norton shown within Norfolk
Area  4.62 km2 (1.78 sq mi)
Population 270 (2001 census[1])
    density  58/km2 (150/sq mi)
Civil parishBlo' Norton
Shire countyNorfolk
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post town DISS
Postcode district IP22
Police Norfolk
Fire Norfolk
Ambulance East of England
EU Parliament East of England
List of places

Coordinates: 52°22′30″N 0°57′28″E / 52.375018°N 0.957870°E / 52.375018; 0.957870

Blo' Norton is a village and civil parish in the Breckland district of Norfolk, England, on the River Little Ouse, not far from Diss. The parish had a population of 270 in approximately 100 households, according to the 2001 census.

Features of Blo' Norton include some attractive fen land and the village church. The unusual name of the village has earned it a reference in the Bill Bryson book Notes From A Small Island and a brief mention on the Channel 4 TV show So Graham Norton. The name reputedly derives from ‘Blae’, old Saxon/Norse meaning both ‘cold’ and ‘blue’. The ‘blue’ could refer to the woad plant that grows in wetter areas and is a source of traditional blue dye. ‘Norton’ is a settlement on the north side of the river.

There is evidence of people living in the area from Saxon times, and perhaps from the Romano-British period. Aerial photographs show outlines of buildings and tracks that are possibly from the Romano-British period, near to Blo' Norton Hall.

Blo' Norton Hall

Blo' Norton Hall is an impressive moated Elizabethan manor, situated at the end of an avenue of lime trees immediately before Blo' Norton Church. In the summer of 1906 Virginia Woolf (1882–1941) came to stay at Blo' Norton Hall. This visit inspired her short story, The Journal of Miss Joan Martyn.[2]

Blo'Norton and Thelnetham Fen

South of the village and along the river is the Blo' Norton and Thelnetham Fen Site of Special Scientific Interest, an important calcarous fen wetland site supporting a range of rare species such as black bog rush Schoenus nigricans and saw sedge Cladium mariscus plant species.[3] The Little Ouse Headwaters Project manages part of this area as well as surrounding wetland areas such as Hinderclay Fen and Suffolk Wildlife Trust also has a reserve on part of the site.[4][5]

Prince Frederick Duleep Singh

Prince "Freddy" Frederick Duleep Singh (1868–1926) lived at Blo' Norton Hall for the last 20 years of his life and is buried in the churchyard of St Andrew's church. For this reason, Blo' Norton is part of the Anglo-Sikh Heritage trail.

Prince Freddy designed the village war memorial situated in front of the church.

Frogstock festival

The village is also the location of the Frogstock festival, which was established in 1995 as a local music festival in answer to the perceived over-commercialisation of festivals such as Glastonbury.

See also


  1. Census population and household counts for unparished urban areas and all parishes. Office for National Statistics & Norfolk County Council (2001). Retrieved 20 June 2009.
  2. "Virginia Woolf's The Journal of Mistress Joan Martyn" Susan M. Squier, Louise A. DeSalvo and Virginia Woolf Twentieth Century Literature Vol. 25, No. 3/4, Virginia Woolf Issue (Autumn - Winter, 1979), pp. 237-269
  3. Blo' Norton and Thelnetham Fen, SSSI citation, Natural England. Retrieved 2013-01-31.
  4. Our sites, Little Ouse Headwaters Project. Retrieved 2013-01-31.
  5. Thelnetham Fen, Suffolk Wildlife Trust. Retrieved 2013-01-31.

External links

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