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The village of Erpingham lies approximately five miles north of Aylsham. The name derives from the homestead of Eorp's people.

Erpingham Church

St Mary's Church Erpingham

Sir Thomas Erpingham's Coat of Arms

Sir Thomas Erpingham's Coat of Arms

It is famous for its links with Sir Thomas Erpingham (c.1355-1428) who led the English archers at the battle of Agincourt in 1415. Erpingham is immortalised in Shakespeare's Henry V.

Good morrow, old Sir Thomas Erpingham;
A good soft pillow for that good white head
Were better than a churlish turf of France.

Not so, my liege; this lodging likes me better,
Since I may say "Now lie I like a king."

On the night before the battle Sir Thomas visits Henry in his tent and gives him his cloak because it is a cold evening. The king then sets off to tour the camp.

The victory at Agincourt - where the English were heavily outnumbered - was largely due to the effectiveness of the English longbowmen.

Sir Thomas, once the owner of Blickling Hall, was a supporter of John of Gaunt (see Aylsham). He was also responsible for building the Erpingham Gate at Norwich Cathedral between 1416-25. There is a statue of him on the gable of the gate - kneeling and praying.

Sir Thomas Erpingham

Statue of Sir Thomas Erpingham, Norwich

His tomb lies inside the cathedral - on the north side of the presbytery - but some believe that he is actually buried at Erpingham.

Sir Thomas had a manor house at Erpingham and is also thought to have contructed the church. The name 'Erpingham' is spelt out around the tower of the church.

More photographs of Erpingham




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