Hidden East Anglia:

Landscape Legends of Eastern England











Landscape Features



Unknown location:


Thet Hill


A barrow known as Thet Hill, somewhere on the banks of the river Thet, is said to be haunted by the wraith of a red-haired chieftain, apparently possessing a 'benevolent' attitude toward witnesses.


Source: A. D. H. Coxe: 'Haunted Britain' (Hutchinson, 1973), p.115.



Upper Sheringham:


The church mermaid


In the mid-15th century church of All Saints (TG144418) are many delightful carvings on the bench ends, including dragons, lions, cats and horses. On the bench nearest the north-west door is the image of a mermaid and her comb, said to be in that particular spot because it overlooks the sea, and because as a pagan, she must be far away from the holy altar. Of her, A. C. Erroll has written that a mermaid came to the church door one day asking for entry, but was denied as she wasn't a Christian. But she managed to elude the churchwarden and slipped in. "The carving on the bench-end is proof of this", says Erroll. "Nobody can deny that she is there".1

"The mermaids in Sheringham's town sign go back to the tale of a little mermaid who approached the church doors during service. The horrified beadle cried out, "Git yew arn owt, we carn't hev noo marmeards in 'are!". He slammed the door in her face, but she crept in, and she still sits at the end of the pew nearest the door".2



1. A. C. Erroll: 'A History of the Parishes of Sheringham & Beeston Regis' (private, 1970), p.112
2. former webpage http://norfolkcoast.co.uk/myths/ml_mermaid.htm





Secret tunnel


At TF493014 beside the river Nene is Marmont Priory Farm, on the site of a 13th century cell of the Gilbertine order. A  tunnel has long been rumoured to lead from the monastic remains, burrowing beneath the river, to St. Peter's church (TF506028) more than a mile away.


Source: former webpage http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/NORFOLK/2001-02/0981317429