Facts about North Walsham
The town is 7.5 miles south of Cromer and the same distance north of Wroxham. The county town and city of Norwich is 15 miles south. The town is served by North Walsham railway station, on the Bittern Line between Norwich, Cromer and Sheringham. The main road through the town is the A149. Also, the town is located on the B1145 a route which runs between King’s Lynn and Mundesley. The town is on the North Walsham & Dilham Canal, still privately owned by the North Walsham Canal Company. The canal ran from Antingham Mill, largely following the course of the River Ant to a point below Honing.
North Walsham, an Anglo-Saxon settlement, and the neighbouring village of Worstead became very prosperous from the 12th century through the arrival of weavers from Flanders. The two settlements gave their names to the textiles they produced: “Walsham” became the name of a light-weight cloth for summer wear, and “Worsted” a heavier cloth.
The 14th century “wool churches” are a testament to the prosperity of the local mill owners. North Walsham’s church of St. Nicholas was originally dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary and is one of the UK’s largest parish churches. It was also the site of a wayside shrine to St. Thomas of Canterbury. This church had the second-tallest steeple in Norfolk until its collapse in 1724.