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North Tuddenham

North Tuddenham lies four miles east of Dereham.

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.

William Cowper

St Mary's Church

St Mary's Church, North Tuddenham

North Tuddenham Church

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.


St. Mary's Church





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