ludham archive

     A Visit to Ludham

Extracts from a diary 1875

The person who wrote this account of a visit to Ludham in their diary is unknown. The diary was found in a drawer by a descendant, but that's all we know.
What is clear is that the following account was written by a gentleman from the North who visited Ludham in 1875 and stayed at the Manor. He clearly enjoyed his visit to the village and the diary is a fascinating insight into the lives of village people in the 19th century.

We think this is a lot of fun and hope you do also:


Thursday July 8th

Left Mr. Hillyers by 9.45am. Took tickets to London Bridge and a cab to Bishopgate Street. Left there 11.45 for Wroxham, arrived by 4.45, found Charles and Hany awaiting our arrival with a very nice pony carriage and a cart for the luggage, drove through a flat enclosed country with good crops of wheat, barley, clover and mangold and a fine hedge row of timber to Ludham and entered the village from the West. Past a handsome built school house recently built. Into the centre of the village and entered the Manor House grounds by the North entrance under high trees to the front door, looking South upon laurels in flower and a good Acacia tree. Amy with Mabel in her arms watching our arrival and had a nice tea ready for us.

Friday July 9th

Had a drive with Charles along the Yarmouth road on to Catfield and round several roads home to dinner .The same sort of country as seen on the previous day. In the evening, went to a school feast held in the school room house. Mr. Samuel Clark sang an amusing comic song, his sister Miss Clark accompanying on the piano.

Saturday July l0th

In the afternoon had a drive with Amy, Minnie, Baby Charles and Harry and we returned to tea. Walked round the garden, fields into the church yard and village in the evening.

Sunday July l1th

Went to the Parish church in the forenoon with Laura and Minnie. The church is a large building with an old fashioned screen. The Vicar, Mr. Walker, one of the old school was certainly charming, no titles to descant hymns, the Apostle's creed at the end of the service. In the afternoon Amy went with us and the singing and part singing very good. Miss Clark played the harmonium.

Monday July 12th

A showery day, engaged in writing this diary. In the afternoon took a stroll to  inspect a river barge, as changing coals from Yarmouth into carts and waggons from Mr. Slipper's farm, examined the horses and amused at the tone of the cart mens voices which was only partly understood.

Tuesday July 13th

Took a drive with Amy, Laura and Harry to Catfield and Stalham and returned late in the evening, dinner after picking currants with Amy.

Wednesday July 14th

Amy and girls preserving currants. In the afternoon Charles went to Norwich to see William Bucham, returned late in evening. Went in boat with Amy, Laura, Minnie down to Wannack to its confluence with the Yare. Rain set in at night with a strong No'East wind.

Thursday July 15th

It rained heavily during the day and all were confined to the house. William Buchan went fishing in the evening and caught nothing.

Friday July 16th

Went with Amy to Mr. Heath's farm (Ludham Hall) to see his fat cattle, three Hereford and a shorthorn and at 6pm. all was by invitation to Mr. Slippers, a landed proprietor and farmer , spent a very pleasant evening but had not an opportunity of seeing over his farm, the evening being dull and cold.

Saturday July 17th

Morning fine with an Easterly wind, William, Laura and Minnie went down to the river to fish, returned without any fish. Pulling raspberries and tailing currants for Amy to preserve. In the afternoon it commenced again to rain.

Sunday July 18th

Morning and afternoon at Ludham church, the girls and William Bucham went to Heigham church in the evening, the early part of the day fine.

Monday July 19th

Went to Yarmouth, the girls, Charles and Harry by coach at 8.30, Amy, self, nurse and baby in the carriage at l0am. William Bucham went also in the coach.

Had a very pleasant day on Yarmouth beach, saw the ships and seven steamers passing through the roads. The wind being South East. At 4 o'clock suddenly arose a cloud out of the sea and distant thunder was heard which obliged us to hurry into the town and take shelter in the White Horse Inn and await the departure of the coach. Amy, the boys and the nurse going at five o'clock, the remaining at 6.15. William Bucham to London by train from Yarmouth.

Tuesday July 20th

Rain still continuing all day without ceasing and confined indoors, missed an engagement to go to Mr. Slippers, unable to go from the continuance of very heavy and incessant rain. No let up and great fears expressed of the injury to the hay and corn, and much of the former both inland and on the marshes wall not made. The river in front apparently much flooded.

Wednesday July 21st

This morning raining as heavily as it did yesterday and obliged to remain indoors, engaged in writing and reading and prevented getting out till the afternoon when it cleared up for a short time. Charles came in and reported that a cottage in the village had suddenly fallen in, the roof and walls, whilst the inmates were at dinner, the cottage is situated on the opposite side of the road to Mr. Samuel Clark. Went to inspect the ruins and as it was impossible to make them understand my language the cause of the calamity was unknown, appearing that decay or very old age was the only apparent cause. It remains to be further explained. Rain again with every appearance of another wet night.

Thursday July 22nd

Raining at intervals until mid day when it cleared, went again to the river to inspect a barge discharging coke for the malt kilns. At 6 the whole party set out for Mr. Heath's where we spent a very pleasant evening and returned very late.

Laura sang, also Sam. Clark.

Friday July 23rd

Raining at periods during the day with hot sun in the evening, walked along the road leading to the marshes past Mr. Clark's house. Returned to supper.

Saturday July 24th

Intended to have gone to Norwich today, partly prevented from the unsettled state of the weather. In the afternoon went to call upon Mr. & Mrs. Slipper. Reading and writing and walk in the garden.

Sunday July 25th

Went to Ludham church in the morning with Amy. In the evening went to Heigham church with Laura and Minnie, met Mr. Slipper in the road not far from his house, weather looking much better after a heavy shower passed over during church time.

Monday July 26th

A wedding at Ludham church, went to see the ceremony. A Miss Grapes, the daughter of a resident miller and farmer and a cousin of Sam. Clark and a London man of small stature and not of a very proportional style. In the afternoon went to see Mr. Heath and to see over his farm and stock on the marshes, was very pleased with everything, the crops of wheat were not so laid as expected. The stock consisted of Westmoreland breed Short horn steers and half bred steers were large well bred and ready for market. The marsh in places appeared rich and the cattle appeared in prime order. An old abbey called St. Benets.

Tuesday July 27th

At Eccles with Mr. & Mrs. Tom and Mary Slipper, the former drove a fast black horse, a mare. Had dinner and tea on the dunes. The Norfolk dunes very like the sandhills north of Whitby and returned by 8.30, day very fine.

Wednesday July 28th

At home most of the day, down the river in the boat, fine evening.

Thursday July 29th

At home again most of day.

Friday July 30th

Walked to How Hill to meet the party going to the Barton Broad regatta. Went up the river in Mr. Heath's sailing boat and sailed about on the broads. A sheet of water of about one thousand acres, the sailing of boats for silver cups of 10 guineas commenced at 12. The first prize was won by a Yarmouth boat. The barges prizes, a similar one followed, the "Samuel" Capt. Clark belonging to Mr. Samuel Clark won this prize. Returned to How Hill and had tea by the river and got home very late.

Saturday July  31st  

Went to Norwich by the 9.45 train, went first to the dentist, a Mr. White, whose son was seriously injured in the Thorpe accident. The tooth was taken out without any pain having Laughing gas administered by either father or son. Met in with Mr. & Mrs. Slipper at the Cathedral after the service. Amy went to have a rest, the rest walked to inspect the goal, the remains of an old Norman castle. After having had luncheon, ices etc. had tea and ices and returned to the station to meet the 6.15 back again to Wroxham, which was nearly an hour late and got home at 8.45. Amy a good deal tired.

Sunday August lst

In the morning and afternoon at Ludham church, in the evening went to the evening service at Heigham. Harry Heath driving Amy and Laura in a Norfolk cart, on our way met Mr. and Mrs. Slipper and family and Miss Porter from near Sandringham. Walked home with Mr. Slipper through the fields on his farm.

Monday August 2nd

The proceedings of this day appear to have been omitted but if memory does not deceive me, calling upon Mr. & Mrs. Heath to say goodbye.

Tuesday August 3rd

Walked to Mr. Slippers by appointment and at 10 drove with them to the Yarmouth Regatta, went on to the pier, the sports began at 1 pm. with sailing matches, boat races for cups and money. Had dinner and returned to the pier and saw Capt. Boyton's represented two float and paddle out to sea. Left Yarmouth after tea, ices etc. at 8pm. and arrived home 10.30 having spent a very pleasant day.

Wednesday August 4th

At home in the forenoon packing, in the afternoon went to Wroxham to see after a dog and enquire about a train on our return, drove up to Mr. Slippers, the remainder of the day preparing to leave for home the next day.

Thursday August 5th

Left at 5.55am, in the pony carriage for Wroxham, took the 6.52 for Peterboro' York and arrived at the central station at 5.15 after a rapid and pleasant journey.

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