This page contains links to Flitcham's historical records.
Extracts from Parkin's "An Essay Towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk" printed in 1808. Click here
The 1881 census is now available - click on the above link
Names on the War Memorial - click here.
NEW! Winnie Linford's Compositions - extracts from an 8 year old's school book writing about Flitcham in 1910 - Click here
The Colourful Rev Bryan O'Malley - The Rev Bryan O'Malley was rector from the early 1870s to the early 1880s. He and his Norfolk born wife were judicially separated during his tenure - she took lodgings in Fulham under the name "Malley"with their young children while he continued in residence with his elderly mother (see the 1881 Census and below). Records suggest he appears to have neglected his family. He certainly fell on hard times after the separation and had pleaded poverty in this article - Click here.
Chapel Conveyance - the original conveyance of 1885 from the Earl of Leicester. Click here
Flitcham Field Names - map probably circa 1958. Click here
Kelly's Directory of Norfolk 1888, 1892 & 1922 - Flitcham & Appleton. Click here
Margaret "Daisy" Bix - Obituary 2005 Click here
Cyril Bix - Daily Telegraph article regaring a remarkable cricket match at Changi POW Camp, Singapore Island 1942 Click here
The Flitcham Witch - according to legend (see "By Royal Command" in "East Anglian Folklore and other tales" by W H 'Jack' Barrett & R P Garrod - Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd 1976) around 1880 the then Prince of Wales was taken ill and he lost much of his usual "energy" - having not responded to conventional medicine.
Princess Alexandra was advised by some of her kitchen staff that a certain elderly woman, a supposed witch who lived at Flitcham, might be able to be of assistance. Apparently she was thought to have the power to put curses on people and was known to travel far and wide in search of rare herbs for her various cures and remedies. Summoned to her royal presence, the old woman produced a bottle of wine she had made and instructed Her Royal Highness to give the Prince three glasses of the wine each day, advising that her would be fully recovered in three days "unless he is in the undertaker's hands". In due course and as she had predicted, the Prince recovered and the grateful Princess apparently sent a purse of gold coins to the woman (and a request for some more wine!).
In a postscript to the story, Jack Barrett said that (around 1920) he visited The Bell in Flitcham and asked about the old woman. An elderly man "dozing in front of the fire" claimed to remember the "old gal" when he was just a young man. Not only could he recall how she was employed by the locals to assist in all matters medical, in preference to the local doctor, but he could "still remember what her brew of rue tea was like. It was like nothing less than liquid gunpowder". He claimed she never drank the wine herself but stuck to gin, which she used to collect at the back door of The Bell. He said the wine was made from mandrake root and was particularly sought after by the local gentry "to supply a much wanted energy...". He said that the old woman had shown his mother a handful of gold coins which she claimed had indeed been given to her by Princess Alexandra. In conclusion, Jack Barrett suggests the old woman was probably aware of the Biblical story (Genesis 30.14) whereby Reuben collects mandrake root to assist his mother Leah in regaining Jacob's affections, much to the consternation of her jealous sister Rachel who was well aware of the herb's powers.
NB. (1) Mandrake root was said to resemble the human form and was used in mediaeval times as a painkiller and anaesthetic as well as an aphrodisiac. However, as a member of the belladonna and potatoe family, it is apparently highly toxic in all its forms and should not be used today except for ornamental purposes.
(2) In the 1881 census the oldest female residents were the widows: Lydia Bridges - (105 years), Mary Chilvers (92 years), Jane Bridges (83 years old and resident at the Bell Inn, being the mother of the then landlady) and the vicar's mother, Irish born Honora O Malley (83 years). The latter two do not fit the character in the story - suggesting either Lydia or Mary might have been the "old woman" involved.