What is there in Ludham?

Ludham  stands in an area of Norfolk now known as The Norfolk Broads. It is surrounded on 3 sides by the rivers Ant, Bure and Thurne and it has it's own small broad, Womack Water.
The centre of the village is the crossroads near to St Catherine's church, where the Norwich, Yarmouth and Catfield roads meet. Here you will find shops, a pub and pretty thatched cottages as well as the church itself.
Further shops and another pub can be found near to Ludham Bridge in the hamlet of Johnson Street. The How Hill estate occupies much of the north west of the village and here can be found a small museum an amazing secret garden and a nature trail.
There is an extensive network of public footpaths and permissive paths allowing access to most parts of the parish.  There is plenty of wildlife to see.
Boats can be moored in Womack Water (where there are further shops), at How Hill, Ludham Bridge and St Benet's.  There is even a small airfield if you want to arrive by plane.
duck crossing
One of the more unusual sights in Ludham. The duck crossing on Staithe Road.

St Benet's
The ruins of St Benet's Abbey

How Hill in snow
How Hill House in the snow. The How Hill estate is worth a visit at any time of year.



A Tour of Ludham Village in Words and Pictures


Ludham is well worth a visit. You can get here by car bus or boat. On this page you will find lots of information to help you get the most out of your visit. If you can't get here in person, then take our virtual tour instead. It's all here.


Links to more detailed information about the village :

The links below allow you to get more information about specific aspects of Ludham..




The Quick Tour :

Map of village
The map shows Ludham parish. roads are yellow and orange, rivers blue and footpaths red dashes.


This is what the middle of the village looks like. Ahead is the Catfield Road with The village shop on the right and the King's Arms on the left corner. The Norwich Road leads off to the left and the Yarmouth road to the right. On the right of the picture is the butchers.


In Brief....

In the beginning :

Back in Roman times, much of the area now known as the Norfolk Broads was an estuary and the area where Ludham now stands would have been a low lying marshy place. Gradually, sea levels changed and the estuary was replaced by rivers. In the 11th Century, this area of Eastern England was ruled by Danes and in 1019 King Cnut (Canute) founded St Benet's Abbey and endowed it with several manors, one of which was Ludham. This is where the history of the village really begins.

The Middle Ages :

The Middle Ages were a prosperous time in Norfolk. Ludham stands in an area known as the Good Lands where crops grew easily and sheep and cattle could be kept and fattened. The landscape was transformed by peat digging which eventually created the landscape we know as the Norfolk Broads.
In Ludham, St Catherine's Church was built in the 14th Century, but there was probably an earlier church on the site. The village clustered on the high ground round the church surrounded by rivers and marshes. The Bishops of Norwich had their country seat at Ludham Hall and built a chapel there to save having to walk over to St Catherine's.
St Benet's Abbey remained very important  to Ludham life until the dissolution of the monasteries.  In fact, St Benet's was not dissolved and the Bishop of Norwich remains the Abbott of St Benet's

19th and 20th Centuries

The enclosure act removed access to most of the common land in Ludham. Now the majority of people were dependent on work as agricultural labourers. Surrounded by marshes, Ludham was a remote place and most goods came to and from the village by water. England's millwrights were based in Ludham and built many of the mills in the area.
As the 20th century progressed, road access improved and the waterways of the Broads began to bring tourists to Ludham. Electricity arrived in the 1920s. Many houses still relied on well water into the 1960s.
To find more information about Ludham's history, explore this website or come along to any meeting of the Ludham Archive. If you have any questions, just go back to our home page and send us an e-mail.
toad hole

Toad Hole Cottage at How Hill is a museum of the life of a marshman. The nearby nature trail is also fun. Closed in winter.

olympic oak
The Olympic Oak at How Hill