Hidden East Anglia:

Landscape Legends of Eastern England











Landscape Features





Misery Corner


Where Manor Farm Road and Darrow Green Road meet is known as Misery Corner (TM269898). It's possible that the name has some connection with Hangman's Hill (TM265894) in a field close by; but a local tale also says that a pregnant servant girl once committed suicide by hanging at Ivy Farm, one of the houses at the Corner. Then again, the name has also been linked to the execution here, during the Civil War, of a Roundhead soldier.


Source: http://www.denton-norfolk.co.uk/history/odds/





Secret tunnel


A little south of the village, just beyond the area marked on the map as Jocelyn's Wood, there is alleged to be the collapsed and overgrown entrance to a tunnel, which used to run all the way to the hamlet of Appleton about 1.5 miles to the south-east. This particular subterranean route was supposed to be have been built centuries ago by smugglers, when the sea washed right up to Dersingham.


Source: Dersingham 'Village Voice' No.53.







Somewhere in or near the village is said to be a large and very deep pit known locally as ' Seagar-ma-hole', which swallowed up several oxen. Centuries ago, a church which stood here is supposed to have sunk into the hole, for which another name is the ' Fairies' Bay'.1 In the 1990's, a large depression opened up in the existing churchyard, which may be suggestive of the earlier building's fate.2



1. 'Norfolk Archaeology' Vol.2 (1849), p.305.

2. http://www.heritage.norfolk.gov.uk-Dilham





Diss Mere


There was an old tradition that the six acre Diss Mere (TM116798) is the crater of an extinct volcano. It was said to be bottomless, and purged itself once a year, stinking horribly (though actually it's about 60 feet deep and mostly mud).


Source: W. B. Gerish: 'Norfolk Folklore Collections', Vol.4 (unpublished, 1916-18, compiled by William de Castre), p.66.





Secret tunnel


Smuggler's tunnels are said to connect Ditchingham House (TM329916), St. Mary's church (TM329922), and Three Bells house (TM330918). These are supposed to have given rise to the local name for the area, Hollow Hill.


Source: former weblink: http://af-za.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=2219096227&topic=2674





Bloods Dale


Between the A1067 and the 'B' road from Drayton to Hellesdon, the land slopes down towards the river Wensum for a short distance, and here, not far from Drayton Lodge, is an area known as Blood Dale or Bloods Dale (TG185130 area). There are now no obvious earthworks except the banks of a hollow way here, but the Danes are said to have fought the Saxons on these slopes. An early Saxon cremation cemetery was unearthed here in the mid 19th century, while a little further west (at about TG177135) thirteen skeletons of unknown date were found during construction of the railway. (See also Ghost Hill, Taverham).


Source: Arthur Mee (ed.) : 'The King's England - Norfolk' (Hodder & Stoughton, 1940), p.104.