Norfolk and Norwich Quotations
|'Let any stranger find mee so pleasant a county,
such good way, large heath, three such places as
Norwich, Yar. and Lin. in any county of England, and
I'll bee once again a vagabond to visit them.'
Sir Thomas Browne
within the circle of your sight there is neither house
nor man visible. A grey church tower, a windmill, or the
dark-brown sail of a wherry in the distance breaks the
sense of utter loneliness, but the scene is wild enough
to enchain the imagination of many.'
George Christopher Davis (1884)
|'I am a Norfolk man and Glory in being so.'
|'I am still reeling with delight at the soaring
majesty of Norfolk.'
|'Norfolk is not
simply a word that describes a county. "Norfolk"
describes also a language, a humour and a way of life.
Spoken Norfolk has a stout and uniquely resistant
quality and only people born in the county are able
properly to penetrate it and repeat it with their own
tongues. Just as their language, so also the people of
Norfolk are tough, resistant and impenetrable.'
wind in Norfolk is onshore; this explains why Norfolkmen
invariably speak with their mouths closed.'
Old Norfolk saying
|'Very flat, Norfolk.'
Noel Coward (Private
|' "My dear, never
go there, it's a dreadful place; I assure you no one in
Norfolk ever calls till the third generation!" '
Overheard by Lilias Rider
|'...this corner of
England which once it holds your heart is more lovely
than any place on earth. Beautiful with a hint of
secrecy which haunts it, as the memory of a dark and
tender sadness clouds the brilliance of a summer day.'
Lilias Rider Haggard (Norfolk Notebook)
|'The Norfolk landscape sends a shiver through my
|'For the traveller
in search of the English Heritage, the county is a
paradise. It has great cliffs and chalk downs, a history
far older than any written documents, delightful rivers,
unique still waters, low-lying fens, captivating towns,
a historic roll of famous folk and a group of Saxon,
Norman, and medieval churches crammed with beauty that
makes England the matchless country in the world.'
value it for its oddness and unspectacular beauty.'
|' "This is
Norfolk," he [John Crow] said to himself; and in that
intense, indrawn silence some old atavistic affiliation
with fen-ditches and fen-water and fen-peat tugged at
his soul and pulled it earthward.'
Glastonbury Romance by John Cowper Powys
|' "I am not a man
of Llydaw" said I, in English, "but of Norfolk where the
people eat the best dumplings in the world and speak the
purest English." '
George Borrow Wild
|'It is an ancient
market town that stands
Upon a lofty cliff of mouldering sands;
The sea against the cliffs doth daily beat,
And every tide into the land doth eat.'
John Taylor, the Water Poet (on
|'You either get
Norfolk, with its wild roughness and uncultivated
oddities, or you don't. It's not all soft and lovely. It
doesn't ask to be loved.'
|'Once you get to know
Norfolk, there is no better place to live.'
|'You can always
tell a Norfolk man, but you can't tell him much.'
|'And I think it
was the outline of that church tower at Belaugh against
the sky which gave me a passion for churches so that
every church I've past since I've wanted to stop and
|'In Norfolk the
obduracy of water has been the saving grace for the
wildly beautiful north coast, the Broads and the river
vaunt themselves in pies and some in meat excel;
For turnips of enormous size Fair Norfolk bears the
|'If this were the
time or the place to uphold a paradox, I am half
inclined to state that Norfolk is one of the most
beautiful of counties.'
|'Satan on the road
Ruined Norfolk as he fell.'
Century, The Soil and Climate of Norfolk
|'All England may
be carved out of Norfolk.'
and the summer's weed
weaves a green runner going nowhere'
|'Lovers of Norfolk
churches can never agree which is the best and I think
one is either a Salle or a Cawston man.'
people are quick and smart in their motions and their
speaking. Very neat and trim in all their farming
concerns and very skilful. Their land is good, their
roads are level, and the bottom of their soil is dry, to
be sure; and these are great advantages; but they are
diligent and make the most of everything.'
William Cobbett (Rural Rides)
|'I have lived in
Norfolk all my life. It inspires me, the sea, the
limitless skies, the mud and the burning sunsets and the
freedom of a place where more than 50% of the neighbours
|'People are proud of it, they like it, and
it is a county in which one feels at home.'
|'Oh! rare and
John Sell Cotman
|'The charm of Norfolk is not so readily definable as
that of some other counties. It has the ungrudging
roominess of a kingdom. It is littered with villages but
uncluttered by towns.'
|'There are few
places in England where you can get so much wildness and
desolation of sea and sandhills, wood, green marsh and
grey saltings as at Wells in Norfolk.'
|'If the rest of
Britain sank beneath the waves, and Norfolk was left
alone, islanded in the turmoil of the seas, it would, I
think, survive without too much trouble.... Norfolk has
always stood alone and aloof from the rest of England.'
James Wentworth Day
|'Norfolk would not
be Norfolk without a church tower on the horizon
or round a corner up a lane. We cannot spare a single
Norfolk church. When a church has been pulled down the
country seems empty or is like a necklace with a jewel
Sir John Betjeman
|'My name is Billy
Bluelight, my age is 45, I hope to get to Carrow Bridge
before the boat arrive.'
|'In the Middle
Ages and well on into the eighteenth century, when roads
were bad, it was easier to travel by sea from Norfolk to
the continent of Europe than to penetrate the Midlands
or to visit London. The result of this isolation has
been that Norfolk people have become self-reliant,
self-supporting and inclined to treat strangers with
Bernard E. Dorman
|'Most people have
got at least one foot in the water,' said Mrs Barrable,
'and they do say a lot of the babies are born
web-footed, like ducks.'
by Arthur Ransome
|'My wife's old dumplings
are Norfolk and good.'
The Kipper Family
|'See the mice in their million hordes
From Ibiza to the Norfolk Broads.'
David Bowie, Life on Mars
|'I am truly amazed
and half alarmed to find the County filled with little
|'A whispering and
watery Norfolk sound
Telling of all the moonlit reeds around.'
John Betjeman, Norfolk
|'In that country of luminous landscapes and wide
horizons where the wind runs in the reeds and the slow
rivers flow to our cold sea, a man may still sense and
live something of the life of the older England which
was uninhibited, free and natural.'
Savory, Norfolk Fowler
|'P.S. - Aunt Agatha, she say "Mirages dew still
happen," for she was a-picken a' oranges on Porlin beach
a Christmas mornin!'
The Boy John
|'When the sea
comes in at Horsey Gap
Without any previous warning,
A swan shall build its rushy nest
On the roof of the Swan at Horning.'
|'Norfolk has been a favourite county since
childhood. It provides the "still centre" when all
around is turmoil.'
|'Norfolk is cut
off on three sides by the sea and on the fourth by
|'What a coast this
is, with its salt marshes and lavender, its channels,
dunes, bays and crumbling Ice Age cliffs, lonelier and
wilder than its Suffolk neighbour, Arctic, melancholic,
beautiful, treacherous, with sandbanks and quicksands,
storms and floods, and never-ending erosion.'
|'Norwich is a fine
city. None finer. If there is another city in the United
Kingdom with a school of painters named after it, a
matchless modern art gallery, a university with a
reputation for literary excellence which can boast
Booker Prize-winning alumni, one of the grandest
Romanesque cathedrals in the world, and an extraordinary
new state-of-the-art library then I have yet to hear of
|'For society, of
all places I have ever been, Norwich is the best.'
transformation took place in Norwich: it was there that,
like an emerging butterfly, I was first conscious of my
Leo in The Go-Between by
|'What a grand, higgledy-piggledy, sensible old place
J. B. Priestley
|'Norwich is a very
fine city, and the castle, which stands in the middle of
it, on a hill, is truly majestic.'
William Cobbett (Rural Rides)
|'Yes, there it
(Norwich) spreads from north to south, with its
venerable houses, its numerous gardens, its thrice
twelve churches, its mighty mound, which, if tradition
speaks true, was raised by human hands to serve as a
grave-heap of an old heathen king, who sits deep within
it, with his sword in his hand, and his gold and silver
treasures about him.'
|'No wonder that
the children of that fine old city are proud of her and
offer up prayers for her prosperity. I myself, who was
not born within her walls, offer up prayers for her
prosperity, that want may never visit her cottages, nor
vice her palaces.'
|'For how much
longer, in the relentless clamour for yet more houses,
retail parks and road schemes, will this 'otherness'
survive, and will its demise spell the end of a
distinctive literary tradition in the region?'