Yaxham is a pretty village which lies 2 miles south of
It has a number of connections with the poet William
Cowper and he is featured on the village sign.
The original sign was carved by Harry Carter but the
present one is a replica.
Yaxham Village Sign
Depicting William Cowper
St. Peter's Church,
The Revd. John 'Johnnie' Johnson was the rector of
St. Peter's church for 36 years until his death in 1833.
Johnson was Cowper's cousin and when the poet moved to
Norfolk in 1795 Johnson found him accommodation at
Mundesley. He also arranged
for him to stay briefly at
Little Dunham Lodge. Cowper moved to Norfolk from
Olney in Buckinghamshire - bringing with him his
companion Mary Unwin. Cowper and Mary Unwin are both
buried at St. Nicholas' church in Dereham.
Inside Yaxham church there is a memorial to Johnson
which bears the inscription: ' the beloved kinsman and
tried friend of the poet Cowper'. After Cowper's death,
became known as 'Cowper Johnson'.
Memorial to Revd. John
Yaxham also has another literary link which, this
time, involves the novelist John Cowper Powys. Powys
used to spend holidays in the old rectory with his
grandfather. The rectory, now called Yaxham House, was
designed by Robert Lugar and lies just behind the
church. Powys' was also related to Cowper on his
mother's side - through the Donne family - who could
also boast John Donne as an ancestor.