Postcard Carol Ewin Collection
One-Place Study of Great Ellingham
I have been researching my own ancestors for over 25 years. It has been fascinating to find the names of my forebears and to find out who they were, what they did, where they lived and where they ended their days. It has also been interesting to try to find evidence of how the events of the times affected them and their families.
Any family historian will know that ‘the family history’ is never finished. There is always the hope that a new piece of information will turn up whether by research, a chance conversation or perhaps by receiving an unexpected email or letter.
Sometimes we have to work on hunches or calculated assumptions where no concrete evidence is forthcoming, in the hope that one day we will be able to prove (or otherwise) our hunch or assumption.
Kelly’s Directory of 1896 describes the Norfolk village of Great Ellingham as ‘a village and parish about 3 miles north-west from Attleborough station on the Norwich and Thetford section of the Great Eastern railway, in the Mid division of the county, Guiltcross and Shropham petty sessional division, Shropham hundred, Wayland union, Attleborough county court district, rural deanery of Rockland, archdeaconry of Norfolk and diocese of Norwich‘.
Although I have no ancestors from Great Ellingham (well, I have yet to find any!), I have lived in the village for over 45 years. I have seen a lot of changes in the village during this time
When I arrived, the village was served by a shop owned by Mr and Mrs Arundel (Ye Olde Thatche Shoppe), a butcher Mr Vic Howlett (in Chequers Lane) as well as a post office run by Mr and Mrs Chattle. There was also a Pet Shop in Church Street. The post office (including a small shop) remains today.
The Crown Public House and the Primary School continue to be an integral part of village life, as well as the Methodist and Baptist Churches and the Parish Church of St James.
There has been movement and, after a decline particularly in the nineteenth century, an increase in the population of the village. Some of the surnames of villagers living in Great Ellingham hundreds of years ago pop up in the population of Great Ellingham today.
Great Ellingham seemed an obvious choice on which to start a One-Place Study.
Updated March 2023