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Norfolk Parish Treasures: North & West Norfolk

Peter Tolhurst

Previous guides to Norfolk have been concerned primarily with the county’s rich architectural heritage. Here too is an abundance of medieval churches and country houses but Norfolk Parish Treasures is a more wide ranging celebration of creative endeavour and local identity. The author speculates on the origin of place names, folk tales and ancient earthworks; he explores rare wildlife sites and deserted villages, salutes the artistic achievements of Cotman and John Piper, the inspiration of place in the novels of L P Hartley
and the legacy of Henry Williamson.

But what is a Parish Treasure? Few could argue with Warham Camp or Castle Acre Priory, Blakeney Point or Ringstead Down, but what of those local features – the VR post box, the milestone and pub sign, the ancient oak, the green lane and patch of wayside flowers? These fragile monuments to a lost world are an equally important part of our collective inheritance. Norfolk Parish Treasures is also a glorious salvage operation; a gathering together of the most beautiful artefacts – Iron Age chariot pieces and gold torcs, Roman figurines and silver cups, Saxon brooches and pilgrim badges – from our distant past. The Bircham cope, the Brereton Hangings and John
Craske’s ‘wool picture’ of the Norfolk Coast are here among the county’s rich embroidery tradition.

Ambitious in scope with an entry for every parish, sumptuously illustrated and packed with fascinating information, this first volume of Norfolk Parish Treasures is a unique work of reference, a cabinet of curiosities and a celebration of the county’s enduring attraction ready to take its place alongside Wilhelmine Harrod’s Norfolk Shell Guide and Pevsner’s Norfolk.

 'This is a humdinger of a book; a glorious gala of parish treasures to be revelled in and relished for their zinging originality. Having known and loved the area for over fifty years ... imagine the stupefying delight of finding ... a wealth of entirely fresh discoveries to be made in Norfolk ... so sympathetically and idiosyncratically chosen and written about by Peter Tolhurst. Such charmful details are the very essence of this book, with its rare delvings into Norfolk’s historic and architectural lore ... such sights make you cry out loud with pleasure. When in Norfolk I can imagine no more enlivening and enlightening companion to have by my side than this magical book.
Lucinda Lambton 2014

'Full of passion and wonder, Norfolk Parish Treasures takes us on a unique tour of our county's treasures – not just memorable history and architecture but wildlife, culture and literary associations too. This lovely series makes me want to rush out to Colkirk or Cockthorpe or Warham or Walpole St Peter and many other fascinating villages I've never visited before. Peter Tolhurst has written a monumental but also accessible tribute to the wealth of stories, poetry and joy to be found in the small details of our overlooked parishes.'
Patrick Barkham 2014
336 pages 
800 colour photos
200 b&w illustrations
£20 UK
£24 Europe
£28 rest of World
ISBN 978-0-9565672-6-0