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Carbrooke History & Heritage

Agricultural Heritage

Carbrooke, Norfolk is a small agricultural village, with a surprising and fascinating history, and influences through the centuries from around the world.

'Carbrooke Heritage Group' was formed in 2012, and has been involved in a number of projects to research, log and publish aspects of village history and to raise the profile of Carbrooke and its heritage.

The aim of this website is to bring together this information. If you have any comments, information, anecdotes or photographs to share, please contact us

Wace Farmer

Sales Advert for 'Kanit' on Mr Waces Farm (Wood Farm Carbrooke).

Carbrooke Farm Workers (BA)

Traditionally, throughout history, most Carbrooke residents were involved in agriculture, the majority as farm labourers, others were small, medium or larger scale farmers, all supported by other trades and professions to maintain an agricultural village community. Local surnames include Page, Platfoot, Ainger, Leveridge or Newson. Minns, Alpe, and Wace, were farming families, some of the smaller farmers combined farming with other occupations.

William Barker, (a labourer) and his wife Sarah obviously had high hopes for their son when they baptised him in 1826 as Wealthy Barker!

Horse and Cart Southmoor Farm (BA)

Agriculture during the 1870’s and 1880’s in Britain was in decline, and so was the population of Carbrooke, with the introduction of mechanisation, the import of cheap crops from America, and increasingly meat from Australia and Argentina. Many labourers left the countryside, looking for better conditions in towns, cities or even abroad.  

Carbrooke Potato Pickers (picture JS)

During the inter-war years a number of local farms were sold to become private residences, perhaps due to economic depression, a result of World War One, lack of man power, mechanisation, or loss of faith in farming. As WW2 approached the MOD compulsorarily purchased  acres of land in the parish to construct what became RAF Watton. When RAF Watton closed down, this land was sold for housing developments or returned to the original farm owners families in early 21st century. Following WW2 farming continued to adapt to the changes in society, farm estates consolidated, becoming fewer but larger, and employing fewer staff. Instead of many smaller independant farms dealing in a variety of crops and livestock, Carbrooke agriculture now  consists of two farm estates, the fields are larger than in the past, with crops of mainly wheat, rapeseed, or sugar beet.

Carbrooke Farms - past and present Follow this for a list of the known farms within the parish,and their history.

Carbrooke Foundry  An Industrial base in the form of 'East Coast Castings', an Iron Foundry on the Norwich Road near the Flying Fish. The foundry was established by Jonathon Hunton in1786 originally to produce farm implements.

Unveiling Of Hunton Horse Plough at the Heritage weekend 2012, which was manufactured by the Page Hunton foundry.

Blacksmith More information about Carbrooke Blacksmiths.

Saw Pit Information about saw pits in Carbrooke.

Carbrooke Mills There have been three mills in Carbrooke through the years, find ot more about them.

Harvest and Michaelmas Important seasons in agricultural communities.

Daniel Bullen, 'Norfolks oldest working farmer' A Carbrooke celebrity.

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Page Last Updated 07.11.2020