Early History

In 1066 William the Conqueror rewarded William de Warrenne with lands in North Norfolk, the Manor or Soke of Gimingham consisting of eight villages: Gimingham, Knapton, Southrepps, Northrepps, Trunch, Sidestrand and Trimingham and perhaps Hulver in the parish of Antingham, as recorded in the Crown Pleas Roll of 1286. The Manor remained in the de Warrenne family until 1318-19, when it was granted to Thomas Earl of Lancaster and from there to John of Gaunt.

The Manor of Gimingham was then sold to the City of London by Charles I in 1628 and then sold on by the City to Edward and John Feilder in 1652. In 1653 the Manor was sold to Edmund Britiff, and the estate passed to the Harbord family through marriage as Harbord Harbord the first Lord Suffield was son of Sir William Harbord, 1st Baronet, by Elizabeth Britiffe, daughter of Robert Britiffe son of Edmund.

How long has it been Common land?

It was decreed in the duchy of Lancaster, in the 36 th year of Henry VIII that the King's tenants of his manors of Gymingham, Antingham, Thorp, Bradfield, Trunch, and South Repps adjoining to the common, should have their accustomed right in the commons between the said towns* We can therefore say with confidence that the Commons have been recognised as such at least as far back as 1545.

The Commons we have today are the last remnants of the vast Antingham and Walsham Common that extended between Thorpe Market and North Walsham as shown on BA Biederman’s 1784 map of the Gunton Estate and Faden’s 1797 map of Norfolk.

*(North Erpingham Hundred: Thorp-Market', An Essay towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: volume 8 , pp. 171-175).