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Little Dunham

Little Dunham lies five miles north-east of Swaffham.

William Cowper moved to Norfolk from Buckinghamshire in 1795 at the instigation of his cousin Rev. John Johnson. At the time, Johnson lived in Dereham - where Cowper would end his days.

Dunham Lodge

Dunham Lodge

While in Norfolk, Cowper's companion Mary Unwin suffered a number of strokes and the strain of her ailing health exacerbated Cowper's depression. To help relieve this depression Johnson arranged for Cowper and Mary to move to the seaside at Mundesley - but the sea air proved an irritation to the poet's eyes - and so the couple moved again to Dunham Lodge. Cowper did not find the new accommodation conducive and described it as that 'rambling, dreary Lodge upon the Hill at Dunham'.

Unfortunately, Cowper's health continued to deteriorate and the couple soon moved back to Dereham where Mary died on December 17th 1796. Cowper was heart-broken by the loss of his companion and seldom spoke of her again. Cowper, himself, died four years later and both are buried at St. Nicholas' Church.

Little Dunham Lodge also has the added distinction of being the highest house in Norfolk.





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