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Themes Explorers and Adventurers Nobel Prize Winners
Actors/Actresses and Directors Famous People Places of Interest
Anglo-Saxons and Danes Historic Events Prime Ministers
Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty Inventors and Scientists Royal Consorts and Heirs
Artists and Architects Monarchs World Heritage Sites
Composers National Parks Writers and Poets


Norfolk lies in eastern England on the North Sea.

Towns include the county seat of Norwich.

Anglo-Saxons and Danes
Formed part of East Anglia, the kingdom of the East Angles. The kingdom stretched as far south as the river Stour, across which lay the kingdom of the East Saxons (Essex). In the west lay the kingdom of Mercia. It also included Ely.

The county name derives from it being the "place of the North Folk" so as to differentiate the area from the southern part of East Anglia, Suffolk, which was the "place of the South Folk".

Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty

The Norfolk Coast was designated an AONB in 1968 and was set up to protect a coastal strip of land which contains ecologically fragile marshlands, tidal flats, dunes and cliffs which are home to many species of birds.

Artists and Architects
The landscape gardener Humphry Repton was buried in 1818 in Aylsham.

Humphry Repton

Famous People
In 1758 the naval commander Horatio Nelson, was born at the rectory at Burnham Thorpe. His father was rector of All Saints church. Lord Nelson died in 1805 in the Mediterranean aboard his flagship "Victory", shot by a French sniper in the closing stages of the Battle of Trafalgar. He is buried in St Paul's Cathedral.

Horatio Nelson
Horatio Nelson

Famous people buried at St Paul's Cathedral
Nelson Society

The Quaker prison reformer Elizabeth Fry was born as Elizabeth Gurney in Norwich in 1780.

Elizabeth Fry

Diana, Princess of Wales was born as Diana Spencer at Park House in the grounds of Sandringham in 1961.

Diana, Princess of Wales

Historic Events

Rebellions and Plots
In 1549, during the reign of Edward VI, Robert Kett lead what became known as Kett's Rebellion in the county in which rebels twice captured the town of Norwich. Protesting against land enclosures the rebels were eventually driven out and Kett was executed.


House of Windsor
House of Windsor
George V, the first monarch of the House of Windsor which had been renamed from the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha in 1917, died in 1936 at Sandringham. He had ruled since 1910 and was buried in St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in Berkshire.

George V
Monarchs buried at Windsor

In 1895 his second son George VI, was born at Sandringham. In 1936 he became King when his brother Edward VIII abdicated. He died in 1952, also at Sandringham, and like his father was buried in St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in Berkshire.

George VI
Monarchs buried at Windsor

National Parks
The Norfolk Broads is a network of waterways and was designated a National Park in 1989.

Nobel Prize Winners

The biochemist Richard L.M. Synge died in 1994 in Norwich. In 1952 he had shared the Nobel Prize for Chemistry with A.J.P. Martin for their research into protein structure.

Physiology or Medicine
The biologist Paul Nurse was born in Norwich in 1949. In 2001 he shared the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with the American Leland H. Hartwell and R. Timothy Hunt for their research into the cell cycle.

Paul Nurse

Places of Interest

Castle Rising Castle

Cathedrals and Abbeys
Norwich Cathedral

Stately Homes and Palaces
Blickling Hall

Houghton Hall

Sandringham, the Queen's country estate, is in the north of the county.

Prime Ministers
Prime Ministers
Britain's first Prime Minister Robert Walpole was born at Houghton Hall near New Houghton in 1676 and was buried in the church in the grounds in 1745. Walpole served as First Lord of the Treasury under the first of the Hanoverian monarchs George I.

The German-born king could not speak English which led to Walpole exercising much more power than had before been the case for the position he held. He governed as the most important or "Prime" Minister of a small group of Ministers, the beginnings of the future Cabinet system of government.

Walpole was not only the first to hold the post but he also held it the longest, staying in office for a total of 20 years and 314 days between 1721 and 1742. He was also the only Prime Minister to have been imprisoned in the Tower of London, when he was convicted of corruption in 1712.

Robert Walpole
Famous people imprisoned at the Tower of London

All those men have their price.
Memoirs of Sir Robert Walpole (1798)

Royal Consorts and Heirs

House of Plantagenet
In 1330 Isabella of France, the former Queen of Edward II, was banished to Castle Rising Castle by her son Edward III.

She had married his father in 1308 and remained Queen until Edward II's murder in 1327, a murder in which she, together with her lover Roger Mortimer, were implicated. The pair ruled the country as regents for the next three years until the young king finally wrested back control. Mortimer was executed and Isabella imprisoned.

She spent the rest of her life at Castle Rising and her death in 1358 has been given as either here or at Hertford Castle in Hertfordshire where she may have lived for the last year of her life. She was buried at Greyfriar's church at Newgate in London.

Isabella of France

House of Tudor
The birthplace of Henry VIII's second wife Anne Boleyn is not recorded and the year of her birth ranges from 1501 through to 1507. If she was born in 1501 then she was possibly born at Blickling Hall in Blickling, where her family were living at the time. If she was born in 1507 then it's more likely that she was born at Hever Castle in Kent where her family then resided.

Anne became Queen in 1533, giving birth to the future
Elizabeth I the same year. Unable to provide Henry with a male heir she was accused of adultery and imprisoned in 1536 in the Tower of London. Soon afterwards she was beheaded privately on Tower Green and is buried in the chapel there.

Anne Boleyn
Anne Boleyn
Famous people imprisoned at the Tower of London

House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha
Alexandra of Denmark, the Queen of Edward VII, died at Sandringham in 1925. She was buried in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle where they had married in 1863. She gave birth to George V in 1865 and was Queen during her husband's reign from 1901-10.

Alexandra of Denmark
Royal consorts buried at Windsor

Writers and Poets
The poet Thomas Shadwell was born at Brandon in 1642. In 1689 after the Glorious Revolution he was appointed Poet Laureate, succeeding John Dryden who had been forced to give up the post the previous year when James II fled the country. Shadwell held the position until his death in 1692 when Nahum Tate succeeded him.

Thomas Shadwell
Glorious Revolution
Poets laureate

Words may be false and full of art,
Sighs are the natural language of the heart.

Psyche (1675)

The political writer Thomas Paine was born in Thetford in 1737. He experienced at firsthand both the American and French Revolutions becoming a citizen of both countries. He wrote The Rights of Man and The Age of Reason, works which were for many people at the time controversial. His free-thinking views led him to be accused of treason in England, imprisoned in France and ostracized in the U.S., even though he had supported their fight for independence.

Thomas Paine
Thomas Paine

My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.
The Rights of Man (1792)

The author of the first gothic novel The Castle of Otranto and son of the the first "Prime Minister" Robert Walpole, Horace Walpole was buried at Houghton Hall near New Houghton in 1797.

Horace Walpole

The poet William Cowper died at East Dereham in 1800 and is also buried in the village.

William Cowper

Variety's the very spice of life,
That gives it all its flavour.
The Task (1785)

The author of King Solomon's Mines Henry Rider Haggard, was born at Bradenham in 1856. He was buried at Ditchingham in 1925.

Henry Rider Haggard

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