History of Tacolneston
of Tacolneston go as far back as 600 AD. The name of the village has changed
since then from Tacolueston to Tacolnestone and finally to its present name of
Tacolneston (pronounced “tacolston”).
Mention of the village was made in
the Domesday Book in 1085. As is now, Tacolneston was essentially farmland with
a population of about 150 people.
Before the Great Plague the population
had grown to over 350 people or 70 to 80 families. By 1352 this number had
shrunk to about 35 to 40 families; about half of the population was swept away
by the plague.
By 1845 the population had grown to 518. The largest
landowner at that time was Sir John Boileau who owned Tacolneston Hall. In
1866 a school was in existence in a house now known as Woodpeckers on Hall Road
with a roll of 46 children. By 1877 Tacolneston National School opened in its
present building and by 1883 had 80 pupils.
In December 1894 the first
move towards a Parish Council being created by way of a meeting on the
5th December of that year and some 9 days later the first Parish
Council meeting took place. In 1959 there were moves made by the Parish Council
to provide a Village Hall, but it was not until1974 that another scheme for
providing a Village Hall met with greater success. Shortly before this the
Parish Council held a meeting in which over 60 parishioners attended (if only
this happened today!); The matter under discussion was the installation of
Pavement Lighting in the new development areas of the village but the proposal
was heavily defeated. Also at this time the “main road” through Tacolneston
village known as The Turnpike was officially re-named Norwich
Tacolneston without doubt is “famous” for its Mast and the
original one (not the present one) was erected in1956. Long before then,
another of today’s landmarks, All Saints Church Tacolneston was built. The
first Church to be built in the village was around 1300 and All Saints Church
was built around the 16th century.
landmark in the village is The Pelican Inn. Records show that in 1845 a
shopkeeper sold beer in the village; in 1868 a public house called The Warren
Arms opened on the site of the present day Pelican Inn and Stable Door
Today Tacolneston is fortunate to also have 2 shops in the
village, which were opened in 2006; these shops replaced the Village Shop and
Post office and Fish and Chip Shop, which had closed the previous
Tacolneston is without doubt an attractive village with a
population in excess of 700 people. While much remains of old Tacolneston, the
village has expanded in the last 40 years. Sport and Leisure facilities also
play a part of life in Tacolneston. The village boasts a Football and Cricket
Club as well as The Woodlands Club (formerly Woodlands British Legion
Project to research the history of
Tacolneston undertaken by the
Norfolk Historic Buildings
project to look at Tacolneston and its environment continues to progress. Much
of the documentary work is based on sources at the record office, including the
sale of the village in the 1920’s by the Boileau family and the 1845 tithe map.
Some owners retain their own deeds, which also offer useful records of
ownership. One of the challenges of the documentary work has been the prevalence
of the name Browne within the village. During the 19th century the
Boileau’s bought many properties from the Brownes including 60 Norwich Rd, White
House Farm and the Manor House.
We have now visited over 40 properties
in Tacolneston parish, plus approximately ten others in the nearby villages.
Most of these date from 16th and 17th centuries although
we have seen some later and some earlier houses. Many of the houses have changed
over the centuries. At St Mary’s Farmhouse the main room had no ceiling and was
open to the roof when first built. Tacolneston Hall began as a 16th
century house of three rooms. It then had two Elizabethan wings added before
further extensions led to the Georgian appearance we see today. The
19th century school house now called Woodpeckers was originally a
17th century property which had all the external walls replaced with
clay lump walls, presumably when it was converted to a school house by John
One of the most interesting finds so far has been the
number of timber framed chimneys in the village. When we began the project we
already knew of one at 44 Norwich Road, which had retained some of the timbers
despite being replaced by a brick chimney in the 17th century.
We have since discovered that they were once quite common in this area, although
some of the evidence can be quite fragmentary and uncertain. The Pelican public
house and Warren Cottage both had timber chimneys, now altered by later brick
additions. The best example is at Hill Cottage.
For the purposes of
dendro-dating there has been difficulties with finding timber that is grown
slowly enough to provide enough growth rings for dating purposes. At one
property in the project a post had only 15 rings. For secure dating Ian
Tyers, who is taking the wood cores for dating needs a run of around 50 years.
He suggested this timber must come from a managed and well-fertilised source of
woodland. He has also found a lot of non-oak timbers such as Elm and Ash. As
there is no database for these woods it is not possible to use them for dating.
Were these other timbers taken from hedgerows? Was there a shortage of oak or
perhaps Elm and Ash were considered equally useful. There is some evidence that
the better houses contain more oak, this would tend to suggest it was a sparse
and more expensive material. In some houses oak is used externally with elm
inside, where the hardness and longevity of oak was perhaps not considered so