|North Tuddenham lies four miles east of
The poet William
Cowper and his companion Mary Unwin stayed at the Old
Rectory at North Tuddenham in 1795. The couple had moved
to Norfolk on the recommendation of Johnny Johnson (see
Yaxham). It was hoped that the
Norfolk air might alleviate Cowper's depression and also
help Mary's ailing health.
Cowper left Buckinghamshire on July 28th and arrived
in Norfolk three days later. The rectory was available
because the rector, Thomas Shelford, had died in June.
After leaving the rectory, Cowper and Mary moved to a
number of other locations in the county including:
Dunham Lodge near
Swaffham, Mundesley and
Dereham. The current rectory
has succeeded the one in which Cowper stayed.
St Mary's Church, North
St Mary's Church
Cowper would have been familiar with St.
Mary's church located in the fields close to the River
Tud. (The Tud joins the
River Wensum just downstream of Hellesdon Mill.) The
interior of the church was radically re-styled by the
Revd. Robert Barry (1851-1904). He incorporated a
collection of 15th Century glass which he discovered in
a builder's yard in Dereham.