Appleton House - burnt down in the 1950s

Appleton House was situated west of Flitcham, near West Newton. From 1862 until 1880, it was the home of "the lady farmer" - Mrs Mary Cresswell (nee Hogge) who was widowed for much of her tenure and who entered into a long running dispute with the then Prince of Wales, Prince Albert Edward (later King Edward VII) over the excessive breeding of hares for sport. She claimed these were damaging her crops at a time of severe agricultural hardship. She even published a pamphlet in 1887 "Eighteen Years on The Royal Sandringham Estate" portraying herself as a woman wronged at the hands of a bullying Prince. Royal protocol prevented the Prince from responding. Although the Prince was known to hunt to excess, a book published in 2009 by Mary Mackie "The Prince's Thorn" included new research which shows another side of Mrs Cresswell. It also showed that the estate had endeavoured to assist their tenant by allowing her to live on at Appleton long after she had ceased to pay any rent.