This web-site is for the village of Brampton, Norfolk. This site is dedicated to Brampton and has links for both residents and visitors. The intention is to provide information, news and community based material. The village is linked through the Parish Council with the neighbouring village of Oxnead. The Parish Council area also includes the cottages at the old Red House School.
Brampton is one of the smallest villages in Norfolk and is almost certainly the smallest of all the places with the same name throughout the world (although there is a possible contender in the USA for that title). The village is located in the valley of the River Bure some 2.5 miles from the market town of Aylsham.
The village sign (above) gives a clue to the fact that the village has a rich history. Archaeological finds go back to the neolithic but the glory days were in Roman times when the site was a bustling industrial centre with maritime links to the rest of the empire. Pottery and metal products were the main items manufactured here. The sign is based on a Roman artefact discovered in the village which can now be seen in Norwich Castle Museum. Excavations in the 1960’s & 70’s uncovered a Roman bath house and much evidence of industrial activity. It also identified the location of the port area from where the manufactured items were exported.
The River Bure was navigable through Brampton until 1912 when wherries (Norfolk cargo carrying river boats) would transit to the mill at Aylsham. Brampton itself had a staithe (landing place) and at least one wherry was based here. Today the head of navigation is Coltishall from where the Bure forms an important part of the Broads network as it wends its way to Great Yarmouth.
Today the village is unspoilt and very quiet. Visitors on foot, bike or horseback are very welcome but our narrow lanes and lack of parking makes a visit by car very difficult. There is no bus service anymore although we do have a bus shelter. There is also a station at Brampton on the picturesque Bure Valley Railway which is a tourist narrow gauge line. There is a footpath and cycle way alongside this line and for the moderately active a gentle walk along the line from Aylsham to Brampton is a delight. Better still take the train and enjoy the experience. The timetable etc can be found at http://www.bvrw.co.uk/
The village has no shops, cafes or pubs. The nearest are in Buxton or slightly further away in Aylsham. Anybody visiting the village should be aware of this before arrival. There are a number of footpaths in and around Brampton. One of the favourites is the path that leads to Burgh-next-Aylsham which crosses the Bure by way of the “cradle bridge”. The photograph of the cradle bridge below left was taken from the Burgh side. The other picture was taken from the bridge and looks downstream, Brampton is on the right and Burgh the left. This footpath starts (or ends depending on your perspective) in Burgh churchyard.
Brampton Parish Council represents the residents of the village and manages the community field, village hall, bus shelter and village signs.
The River Bure which winds its way around Burgh and Brampton is becoming increasingly overgrown with a non native species of plant (weed) by the name of Himalayan Balsam.
Himalayan Balsam is a relative of the Busy Lizzie and was introduced into the UK in 1839. It can grow to between 6ft and 10ft and produces clusters of pink flowers between June and October. Flowering is followed by seed pods that eventually ‘explode’ and can send seeds flying over a 20 ft radius. The plants remain viable for up to 2 years and are now naturalised on our riverbanks and has become a huge problem in Norfolk.
An introductory talk by Katy Owen, the Project Manager of the Norfolk Non Native Species Initiative, will take place in the Reading Room on Tuesday 20th June 2017 at 7.30pm followed by tea/coffee and biscuits.
The next step is hoped to be the Burgh and Brampton Balsam Pick which is provisionally set for Sunday, 2nd July 2017 at 10.00am, meeting in Burgh Churchyard. But this date is subject to confirmation.
This year the Cuckoo was a late arrival in the valley. We can usually expect to hear their first call in late April, but not this year. Bill heard the first call yesterday morning (25th May) and I did not hear mine until 6.30 this morning (26th). The call was high and clear, sailing above the chorus of warblers and blackbirds that we are, thankfully, used to.
As the Cuckoo is such a wily and observant species, not given to wasting energy – or so I like to assume – then the species upon which is parasitises (the egg host) must be just into full egg laying. Perhaps the Sedge Warblers along the Bure. Certainly not the garden Dunnocks who seem to have been hard at work for a month or so already. We are unlikely to find out for certain. All we can say is the the Cuckoo is back from West Africa – Sumer is incumen in..
Chilly and overcast weather conditions in early May seemed to delay the return of the Brampton Swifts. Elsewhere, mostly in southern England reports came in of the arrival of the Summer visitor, but it was not until the 10th May that the familiar sight and sound of Swifts returned to the village. Since then the warmer evenings have had the added excitement of a screaming, roller-coaster-ing flight of a dozen or more Swifts dashing above the rooftops.
The sad fact is that, with each year and each house improvement their nest site choices are diminishing. We need a nest box building project.
The sight of Roe Deer has become increasingly common in Brampton in recent years (see link to other posts within the Village blog), but they always feel like an encounter with a wilder, slightly separate world. Usually, the sighting it at some distance and commonly it is for a fleeting moment before the deer melt into the safety of woodland. However, the other evening the encounter was closer. It was all the more surprising because, as we walked along with the Whippets, conversation was in full flow – not the whispers and hand signals that so often have to accompany a deer stalk. The wind was in our favour, blowing from the deer to us – otherwise they would have sensed us, a hundred yards further back. But on this occasion it was an eye to eye meeting, as can be appreciated by the resultant photo.
As promised, the rain cleared just in time for the annual Tidy Up on Saturday. A dozen volunteers combed the highways and byways of the parish in order to gather the rubbish dumped by the careless. Seven bags full of beer cans, bottles, fast food boxes and others detritus resulted from an hours work. Thank you to everyone who contributed theie time.
The funeral service for Stuart Wilson will be held at St Faith’s Crematorium at 13.15 on Monday 20th March 2017.
Further details on http://memorials.duckersfunerals.co.uk/memorial/24-02-2017-StuartIan-Wilson?s=110
I am extremely sad to have to report that Stuart Wilson has died. Stuart was the Chairman of Brampton Parish Council and had been for many years as well as being a local historian and an author. He was a public servant through and through, who even after retirement continued to work tirelessly for the village, the parish and the Bure Valley. He will be much missed.
My and our thoughts are with Susan at this difficult time.
Details of funeral arrangements will be publicised in due course.
A small flock of Golden Plover brighten up and otherwise nondescript morning. At first we nearly missed them as we walked along the old track, but then we noticed them; 26 Plover milling about quietly in a field of Winter Wheat. They took no notice of us – confident in their security. The light was too low for a decent photograph – I managed a grainy image that looks more like a watercolour than a photo (see above).
A few low whistling calls came from them, but as we continued to walk on they gradually merged into the background and disappeared from view. I like to assume that they are simply stopping over on their Spring migration north, although they may have wintered here.
It would appear that snow is in the forecast – something that we have had very little of in the last few years. Please remember that there are grit bins dotted around the Parish – if they run low please let us know.
Posted in News
Tagged grit bins, snow
The decaying brickwork of the Oxnead Lock. According to Edwin Rose (writing in 1993 as part of the Norfolk Archaeological team at Gressenahll) this brickwork was probably built in 1851 when the Mill was refurbished, although it is possible that some parts of the structure may date back to 1775 when the original engineering work on the cut was completed.