History of the village and it's buildings



Today, Colkirk is a parish of 1496 acres and 250 households. It lies on a boulder clay ridge, 250 feet above sea level and 140 feet above the River Wensum. Stand and look across to Fakenham 2 ½ miles to the north east and your eyeline is on a level with the top of the church tower in the town.

In the beginning

There is no evidence that Colkirk existed before the Norman Conquest in 1066. The first building was almost certainly a church from which the village takes its name. Colkirk is a Scandinavian word meaning the church of Cola. Kirk means "church". Cola was probably the name of the builder or owner. The original church was built about 900 years ago. The present day St Mary’s church is thought to stand on the same site. The font dates back about 800 years.

Opposite the church was a rectangular green of about 12 acres. By the1200’s, a few cottages had been built around 2 sides of the green. By the end of the 13th century, people were also living near the assarts (woodland cleared for arable land) at the eastern end of the parish.

The manor of Colkirk originally belonged to the Bishop of Elmham and is recorded in the Domesday Book in 1086. The remains of the Bishop’s cathedral can still be seen at North Elmham today. His moated manor house in Colkirk lay off Longland’s Lane (now the bridleway just past the entrance to Manor Farm and on the opposite side of the road). The manor buildings included a private chapel, great barn and dovecote. There was also a fish pond. The house backed on to Colkirk Wood, a managed oak woodland of around 120 acres. The wood had originally been part of the royal manor of Fakenham but was annexed by the Bishop into his own manor.

In the early 1100’s, the Bishop gave the manor to one of the knights in his private army. The knight took the title "Richard of Colkirk. He and his successors lived at the manor house until about 600 years ago after which it fell into decay.

Growth of the village

By about 1600, there was a blacksmith and 6 cottages on the green. The green was also the home of the Campyngland.

Campyng was a traditional Norfolk game played between two villages. A token – often a gauntlet – was hurled by one team or "camp" at the other. They had to return it as quickly as possible as, whilst they still had possession, the opposition could rush across and drag them back as "prisoners". The game continued until one team had captured all the opposing players. Campyng was a rough game, played by up to 300 men at a time, with deaths not being uncommon. The Campyngland moved across the road to its triangular site east of the church in the late 1600’s.

Near the northwest corner of the green was a watering place, (now the village pond). Much of the original wasteland, small areas of woodland and pasture surrounding the village centre had now been converted into arable land. The only large fields were those owned by the main farms. Small scale farmers and nearly every family in the village either owned or rented one or more narrow, long strips of land known as furlongs, each being about 200 yards long by 40 yards wide with no visible boundary between them.

By 1600, a few dwellings had also been built along Town Lane (now Dereham Road), and towards the bottom of what is now Hall Lane; this small cluster of cottages with its own green and watering place was known as Nethergate.


Colkirk in 1600

Places of interest

1 – The rectory        2 – The church        3 – The blacksmith after which Smethygrene was named.

                         4 – John Goram’s house after whom Gorman’s Lane was named. 

              5 - The original Manor House whose fields extended south from the farmhouse and west beyond Salters Gate.

      6 – Hall Farm        7 – Home Farm         8 – Moor Farm          9 – Hazelwood Farm            10 – Site of the moated manor house.

Tracks and roads

The modern day roads through Colkirk were, in 1600, just dead-end, rough tracks leading out to the surrounding fields. 



Market Gate – a footpath linking Colkirk to Fakenham Market Hill and Colkirk Hill.
Tofts Road The bridleway beyond the church.
Hollane and Norton Lane Hall Lane
Town Lane Dereham Road
Longlands The bridleway just past the entrance to Manor Farm and on the opposite side of the road.
Whissonsett Lane – a footpath leading from Colkirk to Whissonsett Whissonsett Road
Salters Gate Raynham Road
Rayners Gate The green lane downhill from Fakenham View and on the opposite side of the road.


There were also over 50 pits in the area. Some were used for digging marl – a clay-silt mix rich in calcium carbonate that was used to improve the fertility of soil that was low in lime. Other pits were ponds used for watering livestock, sheep dipping and fishing.

To the east of the village lay Colkirk (Moor) Common. The common was used by villagers to graze their livestock. There were often boundary disputes with the people of Oxwick, whose common adjoined that of Colkirk, to the point that in 1646, four villagers from Colkirk and four from Oxwick were ordered by the courts to meet and negotiate an agreed boundary line.

There was a postmill recorded in 1331, at the original Manor Farm, in the centre of the village.

The following extract was taken from the Norfolk Mills website on www.norfolkmills.co.uk with permission from Jonathan Neville

On an inquisition taken April 16 in the 4th Edward III (1331) Robert Baynard was found seized of it for life ...
The lordship than had a capital messuage, 100 acres of arable land at 4d. per acre, 3 acres of meadow at 12d. per acre, 10 acres of pasture at 1d. per acre, 20 of underwood at 6 years growth 3s. per acre; rent of assise 53s. 4d. payable Christmas, Whitsuntide, & Michaelmas; a windmill valued at 10s. per annum etc ...

Blomefield's History of Norfolk, Vol. IX - Launditch


There has been mention of another mill, to the west of the village, but no written evidence can be found.

Victorian times

By 1840, there were 48 dwellings in the village together with a Methodist Chapel,the Crown pub (which had been rebuilt and taken over by the Parish in 1827),a blacksmith, a brewhouse and a bakehouse.

A school for 90 pupils was built by the Rev. Ralph Tatham in 1851. In 1858,the church was restored.

By 1861, Colkirk had expanded to some 470 people living in 96 houses and cottages. The quality of homes varied enormously. Some were built of brick with tiled roofs. Others were still very basic dwellings being constructed of just wattle and daub with thatched roofs and commonly housing from 6 -10 people.

Most of the village men and boys still worked as agricultural labourers for the local farmers but there were an increasing number of professionals and tradespeople:

                                                                                                                   Professions and trades of Colkirk residents 1861

Rector (James Bradley Sweet); clergyman (William Chapman);

3 schoolteachers, 2 shoemakers; publican (William Rutland of the Crown);

cattle dealer; grocer and draper; straw hat maker;6 dress makers; 4 shepherds;

2 tailors; 2 wheelwrights; 2 bricklayers; fishmonger; blacksmith;

master gardener; basketmaker ; baker, a hawker of second hand goods

 – and a castrator!

In the 1870’s and 1880’s, the then Rector, W.M.Hoare built a terrace of model cottages adjoining the school together with a village shop, a sexton’s house and a parish room (today’s village hall). By now, most small farmers had sold their land to the larger landowners creating just the few large farms that surround the village today. The chief crops were wheat, turnips and barley. The Marquis of Townshend owned the manor.

Colkirk Common was enclosed in 1870 and Colkirk Wood felled in the mid 1800’s.                                                  


Places of interest


Hall Farm

Hall Farm can be traced back to 1443.

In 1489, it was bought by John Barsham and by 1577 was still the biggest house in the parish. By 1592, it had passed into the hands of William Barsham. The farm traditionally became the home of the Catholic Timperley family, Nicholas Timperley having inherited the manor of Colkirk in1624 although he actually lived at the adjoining Home Farm. Hall Farm became known as Colkirk Hall for some time. The Barshams continued to live at the farm until 1637 when it passed into the hands of Samuel Smyth who had married into their family.

Samuel Smyth (his memorial is in the church) was a lawyer but a bit of a rogue. He had ditches dug across several areas of land hoping to acquire these for himself. He quarrelled with his wife’s family and to prevent her or them benefiting on his death, instead left all his property to his son and daughter.

The Timperley family, after whom today’s Timperley Estate is named, forfeited most of their land in the mid 1600’s as a penalty for helping to defend Kings Lynn against the Parliamentary troops during the Civil War. Nicholas Timperley was then forced to sell the remainder of his land but escaped further punishment by becoming a monk.

Colkirk Hall has been associated with the famous Baroque violinist Nicola Matteis, who is thought to have purchased or leased this property in 1714. However, recent research has suggested that this may not have been the old master himself, but rather his son or grandson (both named Nicola), also musicians and composers of some repute.


Home Farm

Home Farm dates to the same period as Hall Farm. It originally belonged to another member of the Barsham family, Thomas, before becoming the home of Nicholas Timperley.

In 1740, both farms were purchased by Lord Townshend and the following year merged into one. The buildings of Home Farm now lie under those of the present day Hall Farm.


Hazelwood Farm

Hazelwood Farm lay to the east of Moor Common. The farm dates back to 1484 when Richard Holland leased land for 10 years from the lord of the manor. Originally a sheep farm, it was converted to oats and barley in the early 1600’s.


Moor Farm (later Manor Farm)

The original Manor Farm had been located in the centre of the village. Today’s Manor Farm, in Dereham Road, was originally called Moor Farm. It too dates back to the mid 1400’s. It was bought by the Holland family in 1553 who then sold it to the Barshams in 1562. Like Hall Farm, Moor Farm also passed into the hands of Samuel Smyth in 1637.

Moor Farm and Hazelwood Farm were then both acquired by Lord Townshend when he became lord of the manor in 1740 after which the whole holding was re-named Manor Farm.


Colkirk House

Colkirk House, in Hall Lane, was built in 1837 for the fashionable young man, William Rowland Sandiford whose coat of arms can be seen over the front door. The house enjoyed long views over the Wensum valley and featured a miniature park, ice well and large stable block. A sales document of 1841 attributes the house to "an architect of eminence" although it does not name him.


Gable End

The following has been reproduced from a picture that hangs on a wall at Gable End

Tradition says that this property was Colkirk Old Hall, built about 1550 by John Walpole, a lawyer of some eminence, to take the place of the old moated hall. It was a small manor house with champered beams and big arched fireplaces, which was superseded as a manor house when the present hall was built about 1595.

From about 1697 to 1719 it was in the possession of the Godfrey family. From 1719 to 1767, Samuel Collison, a small farmer and woodman, married to a Miss Godfrey, owned the property, adding other nearby cottages in 1752-6. When he died, Collison left £100 to the parish ( which was spent in buying the Crown Inn ) and his property to his nephew Samuel Leggett.

On Leggett's death in 1770, it went to another Samuel Collison and in 1779 Collison's widow sold it to Robert Elgar, farmer,

On the death of Elgar's widow, it was sold in 1803 to their kinsman, James Harpley.

On the death of Harpley's widow in 1820, ( she being buried along with members of the Collison, Leggett, Elgar and Harpley families in Colkirk churchyard ), the property was split up.

The Lord of the Manor, Lord Townshend, then became the owner, and by 1839 the house had been converted into three cottages by kitchens being added, thatch replaced by tile, window frames renewed, the great open fireplaces blocked up and wooden mantels inserted. Being in need of money, Lord Townshend sold the property in 1850 to A.A.Heitland, the owner of Colkirk House, and it continued in the hands of the owners of " the big house " until the estate was broken up.


The Campyngland

Campyng was an early ball game (during the Napoleonic Wars the game may have changed its name to "Prisoners' Base") played by bare-foot or soft-shod peasants.

The two "camps" were of unlimited number but of even strength and set at opposite ends of the field. From one end a "token" (traditionally a gauntlet but later a small hand ball) was flung with a shout of challenge into the opposing camp, whose objective was to field it as swiftly as possible and hurl it back because while the "token" remained in the enemy camp, the opposing side could rush across and drag back as many "prisoners" as they could lay hands upon before the ball was thrown back to reverse the challenge. The game continued until one side had captured all their opponents as prisoners. Later, when it was played in hard shoes with a larger ball, local political feeling ran high and the inter-county contests became serious.

A tough old glove, or a soft shoe, made for a swifter game than did a ball, which takes too long to follow and retrieve.

In the eighteenth century three hundred men took to the field on Diss Common, between Norfolk and Suffolk, and nine deaths ensued!

Because most games wear out a field in patches, the encouragement of "campyng" is of interest. The game did not wear out any special portion of the field as the players stampeded evenly from end to end all over it, firming and levelling the land.

The Campyngland in Colkirk used to be on the opposite side of Church Road.


St Mary's Church


Burials in alphabetical order up to 2000

1538  Church Registers began

1676  Earliest dated stone in the churchyard to a Lynn shipmaster's daughter.

1767  Samuel Collison's stone with a medallion portrait of the deceased couple

1850  Primitive Methodist Camp Meetings held on the Camping Land ( which was glebe )

1857  In the first week of Rev. Sweet becoming Rector he dispensed with the orchestra in the west gallery and installed a harmonium and a choir in the chancel.

In his first year Rev. Sweet commenced a church restoration. The chancel was re-roofed with slate and pitch-pine. The church was re-seated with open pews, stretching from the pulpit to the west end. This project was helped by a grant of £40 from the Incorporated Church Building Society of which Mr. Henry Hoare was treasurer. A new pulpit, lectern, altar rails and choir stalls were erected. The building was re-floored in red and black tiles and a coke stove installed in the nave. The east window was filled with bright glaze showing scriptural scenes and texts in memory of Rev. Tatham. The ancient iron work of the south door was replaced by floral wrought iron hinges and the porch was closed by big, rather nice, Gothic gates in wood and iron.

1860-70  Rectory barn demolished

1863  The church spire was removed.

1864  Rev. Sweet claimed the Camping Land as Glebe and enclosed it to prevent trespass of cattle and games on Sundays.

1871  Rev. W. M. Hoare added the North aisle and Vestry-cum-organ Chamber, the cost being £389. The old nave roof was replaced at the cost of £120. The money was raised by selling the old lead from the roof. Also, in this year, the churchyard was extended to the North and East.

1873  Opening of the church organ.  Building as we see it today.

1875  The Sanctuary Chair, a gift from the Rev. W. M. Hoare was made by Halliday of Wells, Somerset.  The churchyard gate was made by the village carpenter, James Nelson and the village blacksmith, William Eastwick.  The Nelsons were the village carpenters for nearly 250 years.

1876  Three South windows filled with coloured glass by Henry Hughes of London - scriptural scenes and texts, with angels walking on purple clouds in the tracery lights.

1883  Rev. W. A. Chapman's stone is dated this year. It is interesting as the inscription is on the back and the face is used for texts so that persons entering the churchyard can read them.

1912  The present rood screen was placed under the Chancel arch by W. M. Hoare and his family. The architect designer was Percy Fielding, the screen being made in London. The plain oak cross was local work. The figure of Christ was carved in the Black Forest.  The cost of the whole was £100.

1930  Electric light installed.  Brass candle holders on wooden stems were removed from their sockets on every other pew.  The remainder were used until the end of WW2.  Organ enlarged by a gift from Capt. F. S. Burrows.

1939  Rev. Garnier curtained off the Vestry from the aisle. The Sanctuary and Chancel floor were reduced in height

( Brass plaque reads: The Riddells, Dorsel, Posts and Altar Frontals as well as improvements to the Sanctuary and Chancel floors and curtains to the Vestry are a memorial to Thomas Vernon Garnier.  M.A  O.B.E Rector of Colkirk 1930-9. Dedicated October 15th 1939.)

1940's  A 17th century monument, an early 14th century stone coffin lid and a small organ for use in Sunday School were brought to Colkirk from Oxwick  church when it closed. 

1953  Church organ was overhauled and an electric blower added.

1998  " New " Organ from Blofield Church.

( Brass plaque reads: Dedicated in memory of Fred and Eve Wayne. 1912-74 and 1913-96. Both Churchwardens of this Parish. )

2001/2  Re-roofing and replacement of guttering downpipes.

2003  Interior decoration.

The School


1847  School built.

1872  Earliest Logbook

1884  99 children on roll. Children fined sixpence for breaking school rules, ( e.g. being absent after leave had been refused ). Children left school at the age of 13. Rector caned children when they needed to be punished. Rector signed attendance cards as teachers were paid according to the number of children present. In later years the Rector signed the registers weekly.

1885 Timetable had to be passed and signed by Government Inspector. In March, boys granted leave for crow scaring. Children were also kept off school for farm work, news selling, helping drovers, housework, grave digging etc.

1886 Teachers allowed one months leave for childbirth.

1887  August 10th - School holiday given for Queen's Jubilee.

1895  School enlarged for 118 children.

1896  134 children on rol.

1902  November - Girls porch started.

1903  January - Girls porch completed.

1934  Mr.Jarvis came to Colkirk as Head Teacher.

1939  School reopened after Easter as a Junior School, Seniors ( 11 and over ) have left to attend Fakenham Senior School

1955  July - Building of School Kitchen started.

1956  February - School Kitchen first used.

1958  Mr.Jarvis died on Boxing Day.

1959  September - Mr.Batchelor arrived.

1964  May - Building of indoor toilets started, first used in October.

1975  September - Mrs.Cox arrived.

1976  School put on mains sewer.

1977  Playground re-surfaced with tarmac.

1977  December - Mr.Batchelor retired. Miss Speed came as Supply Head for one term.

1978  Easter - Miss Brooks appointed as Head Teacher.

1979  January - The Caravan, providing temporary Accommodation and storage space, arrived on site. February 15th - Teaching staff unable to reach school ( all roads blocked by snowdrifts ), school closed until after half term ( 22nd Feb ). July - Drinking fountain installed. Aug - Caravan organised as Office and Stock Room.

1981  March - Work started on remodelling of school. School Sports Afternoon held on the new Colkirk Village Playing Field for the first time. July - Mrs.Cox retired. September - Newly modelled building now fully used. October - Caravan removed and sold to the Playing Fields Committee.

1982  Junior children started swimming lessons at East Dereham Pool.

1984  New activities introduced: Cooking, computer work, gymnastics club, short tennis, stamp club each month, chess club each wet dinner time.

1985  New Mobile Classroom delivered ( school has a useable hall again ).

1986  School acquired a colour television and video recorder by donations from Friends of Colkirk School. A photocopier was rented.

1987  Miss Brooks, Head Teacher, retired. September 7th - 1st Baker Day!  53 pupils on roll.

 October 16th - School closed, hurricane force winds, trees down, roads blocked, electricity supplies cut, school re-opened on the 19th.

1988  January 5th - Mr.Willetts started as Head Teacher.

1990  58 children on roll.

1991  63 children on roll.

Past School Staff

Mrs.Aldis ( Infants Supply 1963-1964 ), Mrs.Allison ( 1957 ), Mrs.Armiger ( 1992 ), Mrs.Atkin ( 1959 ), Mrs.Bagshaw ( Class 2 Asst. 1960-1962 ), Mrs.Bailey ( Canteen Asst. 1956 ),

 Miss Barnes ( 1926 ), Mr.Bartholomew ( Head Teacher 1932 ), Mr.Batchelor ( Head Master 1959-1977 ), Mrs.Batchelor ( Temp. Supply Asst. 1968 ), Mr.Bevis ( Supply Head, 1971-1972 ),

Mrs.Bird ( 1972-1973 ), Miss Boatwright ( Class 2 Supply 1959-1960 ), Mrs.Bradshaw ( 1955 ), Miss Brady ( 1941 ), Miss Bruce ( 1935 ), Miss Brooks ( Head Teacher 1978 ),

Mrs.Boucher ( Temp. Supply Asst. 1971 ), Mrs.Bussey ( 1943-1944 ), Mrs.Bussey ( Class 2 Asst. 1962-1968 ), Miss Codling ( 1944-1946 ), Mrs.Colls ( Infant Teacher 1960-1963 ),

Miss Colman ( 1986 ), Mrs.Coombes ( 1977 ), Mrs.Cox ( 1975-1981 ), Mrs.Cubitt ( 1991 ), Mrs.Davies ( Infants Asst. 1966-1969 ), Mrs.Debbage ( Meals Asst. 1964-1971 ),

Mrs.Dixon ( 1979 ), Mrs.Ebberson ( 1940 ), Mrs.Elvin ( 1972 ), Miss Emery ( 1973-1975 ), Miss Flegg ( 1934 ), Miss Gates ( 1927 ), Mrs.Graver ( 1992 ), Mrs.Gray ( 1941-1943 ),

Mrs.Hammond ( Canteen Asst. 1962-1964 ), Mrs.Harrison ( 1940 ), Mr.Jarvis ( Head Teacher 1934-1958 ), Mrs.Jarvis ( 1937-1954 ), Miss Jolly (1983-1987 ), Miss Lown ( 1979 ),

Miss Matthews ( 1955 ), Mrs.Middleditch  ( Class 2 Asst. 1968-1971 ), Mrs.Miles ( 1979 ), Mrs.Millatt ( 1957 ), Mrs.Moore ( 1944 ), Miss Nelson ( Infants Asst. 1964-1966 ),

Mrs.Nelson (Canteen Asst. 1956-1962 ), Mrs.Pennell ( 1927 ), Mrs.Pickering ( 1956 ), Mr.Quintin ( Head Teacher 1932 ), Mrs.Reynolds ( Canteen Assistant 1964-1970 ),

Mr.Russell ( Head Teacher 1927 ), Mrs.Russell ( Supply Asst. 1972 ), Mrs.Saunders ( Temp. Canteen Asst. 1967 ), Miss Sayer  ( 1926 ), Mrs.Simkiss ( 1987 ),

Mr.Simpson ( Supply Head 1972 ), Mrs.Smyth ( 1992 ), Miss Speed ( Acting Head 1978 ), Mrs.Stranack ( Supply Asst 1974 ), Mrs.Teage ( 1992 ), Mrs.Thatcher ( 1983 ),

Miss Thorn ( Infants 1956-1959 ), Miss Timbers ( 1933-1941 ), Mrs.Tunbridge ( 1959 ), Mrs.Walden ( Canteen Asst.1974 ), Mrs.Watson ( 1979 ), Mrs.Watts ( Supply Asst, 1972 )

Mr.Wheatley ( 1927 Head Teacher ), Mr.Willetts (1988 ), Mrs.Wilson ( 1926 ), Miss Worship ( 1937 ), Mr.Yaxley ( 1977 ) 


The Crown

People have been enjoying a pint at the Crown for 250 years, thanks to local farmer and woodman, Samuel Collison.  When Samuel died in 1767, he left £100 in his will for the Parish to buy the Crown (whether the building was already operating as a pub is unknown).

A Parish Charity was set up to manage the pub. In 1827, they had it rebuilt at a cost of £324. The pub has changed little in its appearance since then.  Beer was drawn up from barrels in the cellar and there was one public bar for men and a small room for couples.  

In 1836, William Harper became the landlord as well as being a butcher. Five years later, William Rutland took over. He and his wife Phillis, whom he had married just the year before in 1840, ran the pub for the next four years.  Phillis’s father, Edward Phillippo, a local cattle dealer, was licensee from 1845-46. William Rutland returned as landlord in 1850 (there is no information on who managed the pub from 1846-1850).  

William and Phillis continued to run the pub until 1862 when William died. Phillis then managed the Crown on her own for the next two years. She then married George Bartaby in 1863, after which they ran the pub together until 1878 when George also died. Phillis was presumably once again faced with managing the Crown on her own until her death a year later.  

The new landlord, John Howe, ran the pub from 1879 until his death in 1888. Harriet Howe (her relationship to John is unknown) took over in 1890 and then handed the pub over to John’s wife, Elizabeth, a year later. Elizabeth was there for just 12 months. There is no information as to who ran the pub for the next five years but, in 1896, John Nobes became the new landlord.


Gertie Nobes outside The Crown 

John managed the Crown for the next 27 years before handing over to Arthur Goodman in 1923 who it seems ran the pub until 1933 when Alfred Colman was to become the landlord.

Alfred moved there with his wife, Doris, two year old Janet and 3 month old baby, Pamela. Their son Louis was born there in 1936

From 1936 -1939, a Mr Myhill ran a butcher’s business in that part of the pub that now forms the toilets. Also in 1936, a bowls green was installed on what is now the beer garden ( the bowls club relocated at some later date to its present site alongside the Parish Hall ).

By 1952, the Parish Charity had owned the pub for nearly 200 years. The annual rent - around £30 at that time - was used to provide financial help to the poor of the Parish. However, the costs of maintaining and repairing the Crown had now outstripped the income. Donald Jarvis, the former head master of Colkirk C. of E. Primary School and a Parish Charity trustee, told the Parish Council that there was a balance of £73 but essential repairs were going to cost £98. The landlord, Alfred Colman, said he doubted if £20 had been spent by the Trustees in the 15 years he had been there - the windows were still tied up with string although he had been told these would be repaired, and the ceiling in one bedroom was still shored up with timber.   

It was therefore proposed that the pub - still a free house at that time - should be sold and the capital invested so that the charities could continue to provide assistance to the needy of the Parish.  

So, in 1958, the Crown was sold by public auction to Greene King for £1500.


The signing of the agreement in 1958 to sell the Crown to Greene King (Donald Jarvis on left).


Alfred Colman then retired and moved with his wife, Doris into the bungalow next door owned by her father, George Brunning.

Lancelot ( Lance ) Potter arrived as the new licensee.


Lance Potter and his wife at the Crown in 1958


John Tredinnick took over in 1964. He had previously worked for a mining company in Zambia and displayed a lot of the copper items he had brought back with him in the pub. 


John Tredennick and his wife at the Crown in 1965


John was followed by William Cameron ( Jock ) who arrived in 1968. William was a recovering alcoholic; he died of a heart attack in 1971 ( a year after he had handed over to new landlord George Frost ) whilst attending an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.  

In 1971, a Mr Marshall from Devon donated a horseshoe that had originally been made in Colkirk. It contained an inlaid photo of its maker, Edwardian blacksmith Frank Wright.  

George Frost told Mr Marshall that he would display the horseshoe in the bar in a prominent position - but nobody knows where that horseshoe is now.  

Rosemary and Patrick Whitmore took over the Crown from 1979 - 2001, undertaking extensive renovations, including building the dining room and kitchen.

Roger and Bridget Savell arrived in 2001. Roger decorated the pub walls with his photographs of local landscapes and posters of Formula1 racing. They left in 2012.

From May 2012 to May 2013,  Matthew and Katherine Allen were the licensees. 

From May 2013 to October 2014,  Peter and Denise Nesbitt were the licensees, during which time, on 1st May 2014, the pub was one of 275 pubs sold by Greene King to Hawthorn Leisure for £75m.

Pub closed in October 2014

Reopened under new licensees, Aidan O'Dwyer and Nicola Dewhurst on 2nd December 2014

Pub closed in January 2016

Reopened under new licensee, Andrew Cleave on 20th May 2016

Pub closed on 19th February 2018

Reopened under new licensee, Colin Catman Hood on 23rd February 2018

Pub closed on 30th October 2019

Reopened under new licensee Tracy Whitehead with Paul Rushmer on 16th November 2019

Pub closed on 15th November 2020

New licensees Angela Pye and Anthony Porter took over from 16th November 2020 but due to Covid19 restrictions the Crown did not re-open until 12th April 2021

July/August 2021 - Admiral Taverns purchase 674 Hawthorn Leisure pubs for £222m

Pub closed in December 2021

Reopened under new licensee Christine Batterham with Brian Andrew on 8th April 2022


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