• Old brickwork at Oxnead Lock

    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.


  • Brampton Autumn – bronze


    A few sharp frosts in recent days have nipped the leaves off the Sycamore and the Ash trees, but the Oak leaves have just turned a rich burnished bronze. This one, on the south side of Keeper’s Wood gently glows in the morning sunlight.

  • Oxnead in Winter

    Some beautiful new year blues, from below Oxnead Mill - 2016
    Some beautiful new year blues, from below Oxnead Mill – 2016
  • Brampton Spring: Owls on Maundy Thursday

    On the evening of Maundy Thursday Oxnead was quiet. It was bright and slightly chilly Spring evening. A single Roedeer nibbled at growing reed tips on the Drying Ground. This area is part of the Common which was, at one time strung with lines for drying washing and now colonised by reeds, Flag Irises and willow. A little corner that had been ignored by the drainage contractors.

    A few steps further and we watched a very white Barn Owl slowly survey the ditches as she quartered the ground. The river was reflective and slow flowing. Disturbed only by a territorial Mute Swan – perhaps defending a hidden nest nearby. A second hunting Barn Owl, this time a dusky fawn colouration, watched us as we passed from a fence-post perch.

    There is a small footbridge over the little River Mermaid where is joins the Bure. It is a good place to stop and to appreciate the silence of the Bure and the grazing marshes. As we watched some duck winnowed in and a solitary Snipe called as it purposefully made its way somewhere or other. Then the pace changed. As if rowing through the air, a Short Eared Owl appeared. A faster and more effortless flight than that of Barn Owl. Its long wings alternately fixed in a short glide, then swimming through the air, as is flew in wide arcs over the marsh. Flying at around six feet off the ground and occasionally braking, twisting and pouncing in a shallow cork screw when something caught its eye. As it passed us we caught a glimpse of those intent yellowy-orange eyes set in a flat facial disc. It was aware of our presence but carried on hunting. Presumably refuelling en route to the moor or tundra breeding ground.

    We returned home exhilarated by the sighting.

  • Sketch of a Saturday morning on Oxnead meadow

    Gulls rise from their overnight roost on Oxnead’s banks. It is the first Saturday of 2015. What remains of the Paston’s palatial mansion – one grand wing, a small church, a cottage and a scattering of more recent architectural follies – are set amongst gardens and lawns that slope down to the river Bure. Beyond the boundaries of the Hall gardens, the meadows and woods present a more agrarian aspect, a farmed landscape rather than one if studied grandeur.

    The river water has cleared and refined down after recent rain. Along the meadow banks the water has dropped a foot or two. A hidden Kingfisher calls from the feeder drain. As we walk the gulls billow and soar briefly before re-settling. At the mill sluice gates the water no longer bursts through with its earlier insistent force. The shelves and hollows of the river bed are once again visible in the mill pool around the storm debris of a weed-draped Alder branch.

  • Brampton and Oxnead Parish Council win POLLING STATION reprieve

    The threat to our Polling Station in Brampton Village Hall has been lifted at least for the time being. Broadland DC were reviewing smaller polling stations with a view to merging them. Their preferred option for us was that our residents should vote in Buxton. The Parish Council objected strongly to this on the grounds that it would discourage democratic engagement. We believed and stated that you cannot put a price on democracy. After die consideration Broadland will not be recommending this change. Therefore the polling station will remain in the Village Hall.


  • Chimney Sweep day : October 10th

    We have a chimney sweep spending a full day in Brampton and Oxnead on 10th October. He is prepared to do chimneys at the discounted price of £35 each. Please let me know through this site if you would like him to visit you. The list will close on 7th October.

  • Celebrate the Aylsham Navigation in August

    August 26th 2012 is the 100th anniversary of the Aylsham Navigations closure due to a massive flood which occured on that date in 1912. The Navigation was on the Bure and there were locks at Horstead, Buxton, Oxnead, Burgh and Aylsham (Burgh Hall). Up to that time coal and other consumables were brought to Brampton by wherry and the local agricultural produce and bricks were taken in the opposite direction. There was actually a large brickworks in the field opposite what is now Brampton Common. The remains of Oxnead lock can clearly be seen as can the staithe by the mill where the wherries tied up to be loaded.

    On the 26th August there will be a carriage of a token cargo in canoes down the Navigation from Aylsham to Coltishall where it will meet the only surviving trading wherry, The Albion. That will be moored on Coltishall Common where there will be a celebratory extravaganza with games, exhibitions, stalls and entertainment. Car parking can be had in Coltishall or at Roys overspill car park in Wroxham from where an historic old bus will run a shuttle service. You would be very welcome there and you could even travel by the Bure Valley Railway and then old bus from Wroxham if you didn’t want to drive. Nearer the time we will be publicising details of when the canoes will transit Brampton and Oxnead so you could cheer them on.

    This event is being organised by the Bure Navigation Conservation Trust and more details can be found here. BNCT also have for sale at a reasonable price of £7.99 a two DVD set entitled a “Wherry for Aylsham” – the website has details of how to obtain this. A membership application can be found here -: Membership-Application-and-Flyer1

    A wherry waits at Burgh Staithe
    Brampton Common

  • Brampton, Norfolk

    This website is for the village of Brampton in Norfolk. The village is linked through the Parish Council with the neighbouring historic hamlet of Oxnead.

    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. 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 era but much dates from 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 village 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 a station at Brampton on the Bure Valley Railway; a footpath and cycle way runs alongside.

    There are a number of footpaths in and around Brampton. One of the favourites is the causeway path (known as the ‘Karnser’) that leads to Burgh-next-Aylsham. This route crosses the Bure by way of the Cradle Bridge and then crosses the churchyard of St. Mary’s Church in Burgh.

    St. Peter’s Church Brampton lies at the north of the village at the end of a shallow ridge which overlooks the river valley.  The church is one of the 124 ‘round-tower’ churches of Norfolk and is Grade II* Listed Building.


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