As part of our coronation activities we have planned a commemorative Wreningham Village photograph. You and your family are invited to come to the village hall on Sunday June 11 and enjoy a community shared buffet before gathering for the photograph. 

The Parish Council, Village Hall Committee, All Saints Church and the Wreningham Heritage Group have collaborated to stage the group photograph on the village playing field (or inside the village hall in the event of poor weather).

The last time a village photograph took place was in 2012 for  Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee (see image). We would love to do this again for 2023 with all our Wreningham Parish residents, which includes Wreningham, Penny’s Green and Top Row.

All are warmly invited to gather in the Witch & Wren social club, which will be open from 11.30am, for a shared lunch from 12.30pm and then the set-piece photograph at 1.30 prompt.

If you are coming for the shared lunch, you are asked to bring a plate of food – either savoury or sweet.

We are hoping to use a drone to get an aerial view as well, weather permitting.

Everyone who takes part will receive a free digital copy of the photograph.

If you have any questions, please contact councillor Keith Morris at keith.morris@networknorwich.co.uk or on 07712 787762.


Dozens of Wreningham residents turned out for the Big Help Out on Bank Holiday Monday (May 8) to mark the Coronation of King Charles III.

Around 40 villagers and school parents gathered to spend the morning clearing paths and gardening at All Saints Church, filling rabbit holes and cutting hedges on the village playing field, litter picking on village roads and carrying out repairs and gardening at Wreningham Primary School.

The community effort was organised by parish councillors Andrea Tancred, Keith Morris and Michael Hill.

Keith said: “It was heartening to see so many people turn out to give up their morning for the Big Help Out. It was a sunny day with a great community feel and to top it all the Witch and Wren social club generously gave all helpers a free drink to thank them for their efforts.”

Pictured above are some of the helpers at the village playing field.


Residents of Wreningham will be hanging out the flags and celebrating in style over the Coronation weekend in early May.

A packed programme of events will centre on the village hall and begin with Coronation-themed cocktails and mocktails in the Witch & Wren Social Club on Thursday May 4, from 7pm.

On Friday May 5, from 6pm, an exhibition of Coronation-inspired artwork from village school children will be open to visitors in the village hall and a Right Royal Quiz will take place in the bar from 7pm. You can register your team of up to six people at mardlewren@gmail.com

On the day of the Coronation, Saturday May 6, bells will be rung at All Saints Church in the village.  Live screening of the Coronation and Processions will be available in the W&W Bar from 11am, followed by The Big Lunch from 12 noon. A barbecue will be run from 4 to 6.30pm and there will be live music from JacksBack from around 6pm, with free entry.

On Sunday May 7, there will be live country music from 2 to 6pm in the village hall. Bells will be rung again at All Saints Church from 6.15pm with a special service at 6.30pm.

On Bank Holiday Monday, May 8, volunteers are welcome to join the Village Big Help Out from 9am to 1pm, meeting in the village hall. Tasks will include maintenance and tidying up at All Saints Church, the school and playing field and village litter pick. Everyone is welcome and a free first drink will be available to volunteers in the Witch & Wren Bar afterwards, courtesy of the village hall.

David Tinsley, one of the organisers, said: “Wreningham has had a long tradition of bringing the community together to celebrate royal occasions. In 1897 we were celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria with food, drink, music, games and awards. So come along and join us as we continue that tradition for the Coronation of King Charles.”

For any more information visit www.wreningham.org. or email wreninghamnorfolk@btinternet.com

Pictured above are some of the organisers of the Wreningham Coronation Weekend activities, from the left, Sue and Mick Ryder, John Knight, David and Pat Tinsley. Picture by Michael Hill.


A community archaeology project in Wreningham has restarted after a four-year gap with a test pit on Wymondham Road, to be followed by two others and a talk by Historic Environment Officer, Steve Hickling. 

Following on from eight test pits dug in private gardens around the village back in summer 2018, led by Steve and archaeologist colleagues, a further test pit was dug at Shelley Cottage on Wymondham Road on Sunday June 26.

Further test pits are due to be dug on Sunday July 3 at The Old Homestead in Toprow and on Sunday July 24 at Willey’s Croft on Church Road. Anyone who wants to join in is welcome to turn up at 10am. No previous experience necessary – but please bring a shovel / spade / mattock or pickaxe and a trowel or sieve if you have them.

In addition, there is a meeting of the Wreningham Heritage Group at 2pm on Wednesday July 13 in the Margaret Preston Room at the Village Hall – all are welcome.

The meeting agenda includes a talk by Steve Hickling on Test Pitting – incorporating information from recent and planned test pits around the village.

Test pits enable us to discover and record artefacts from our village’s history.  Some of these can date back to the Middle Ages – or even earlier!

The last set of eight Wreningham test pits were dug in 2018.  The plan has been to test pit in diverse locations around the village.  It’s hoped this will provide evidence for determining historic patterns of settlement etc.

An Interim Report from the 2018 test pits can be found here. 

Pictured above and below is the test pitting at Shelley Cottage earlier today.


A dozen or so enthusiastic volunteer litter pickers helped to tidy-up Wreningham, Top Row and Penny Green as part of the Big South Norfolk Litter Pick on Sunday May 15.

The volunteers spread out from the Village Hall to clean verges, paths, playing fields and other public locations across the Wreningham Parish area.

Items including windscreen wipers, clothes, lots of tin cans, plastic and glass bottles and sweet wrappers.

The effort was part of the annual Big South Norfolk Litter Pick, organised by South Norfolk Council, who lent equipment for the event.

If you would like to litter pick in Wreningham, equipment can be loaned at any time from members of Wreningham Parish Council.

Please contact Cllr Keith Morris at keith.morris@networknorwich.co.uk for details or ring 01508 488318.

Pictured above are some of the volunteer litter pickers outside Wreningham Village Hall.


On Saturday May 7, Wreningham Heritage Group were pleased to welcome the Stowmarket-based Food Museum to the village hall with their touring exhibition. Jean Lambourne reports.

The exhibition focused on two subjects – firstly on the discovery of traditional recipes of the region – they had many on display and were asking for new contributions from visitors who may have been handed down a family favourite.

The second aspect of the tour is in co-operation with Leeds University, on a long-running project starting in the 1950s to identify the many dialect words in the English language. One of their original recordings, which we were able to hear, was of members of the Clark and Brown families in Ashwellthorpe. Where possible they are finding current family members to record their memories. There were some priceless examples to be read and listened to and, again, visitors were encouraged to contribute their own words.

The Wreningham Heritage Group contribution to the day was a reprise of our farming history as seen at WHG’s October exhibition, together with new details of the history of our village shop. We also provided much appreciated refreshments.

Eighty visitors, one from as far afield as Norwich and others from Tacolneston, Ashwellthorpe and Fundenhall, enjoyed a very sociable gathering whilst, hopefully, learning something about our shared past.

The Museum staff were delighted with their day and kindly extended an invitation to WHG to visit them as guests on a day to be arranged this summer.

All residents of Wreningham are welcome to attend our meetings, which are advertised in the Mardle and other media.


A service of Remembrance, Thanksgiving and Hope, and the dedication on an oak tree in memory of all those who have died from Covid 19, was held at All Saints church in Wreningham, South Norfolk, on Sunday (March 20).

A congregation of Wreningham villagers and Upper Tas Valley Benefice church members gathered for the service, led by retired minister Rev Linda Ricketts, as all regular clergy in the benefice are currently isolating due to having Covid.

During the service, symbols of the last two years, including a face mask, bowl of salt water (to represent tears) and a jug of daffodils (to represent hope), were placed on the altar. The congregation were invited to tie yellow ribbons on a tree to remember the millions of people who have died during the pandemic.

Speaking words written by Rev Lydia Avery, Rev Linda Ricketts said: “As we look back, we see that each of our lives have changed to some degree. Perhaps we are more anxious than we used to be and many of us have found ourselves reappraising what’s important to us and how we want to live the rest of our wild and precious life.

“Though the invisible enemy is still at hand, we’re now striving to recover what we value not only as community and family members but also as individuals.

“There are now new and very demanding challenges ahead – the devastating consequences of a war in Europe and a rapidly changing climate.

“Today we claim the radical right to have hope and to carry this into the future. We do this in the yellow that we wear and in the tree that we are about to dedicate and in our day-to-day living. With the care of many generations, the Wreningham Oak tree may live for centuries – well past our current concerns and challenges.

“Today, as we reflect on the pandemic and what it has done to us all, we also give thanks that we are not alone in times of trauma devastation and that we and those we love and miss are promised a place of safety and new life in death.”

The congregation then went out into the church yard to see the dedication of the Wreningham Oak tree.

Pictured above is the Wreningham Oak dedication (by David Kirk) and, below, the tree of yellow ribbons.


March 2022 update

Test-pit digging in our community archaeology project returns this Summer. The last set of diggings’ findings are discussed in the Wreningham interim report.

The three sites selected for the second round of test-pitting are:

  • 26th June 2022 Jean will host the dig at Shelley Cottage on Wymondham Rd
  • 3rd July 2022 Val will host the dig at The Old Homestead in Top Row
  • 24th July 2022, Jill will host the dig at Willeys Croft on Church Road

Please register your interest with Steve Hickling (details below) who is co-ordinating the project and the experts who review the findings. There will be a mid-morning start at 10am. Volunteers should bring a shovel / spade / mattock or pickaxe and a trowel or sieve if you have them. Some suggest that bringing a flask of coffee and some lunch also help with motivation!

The contact for interest and question is Steve Hickling, currently working from home, but reachable at:

Historic Environment Officer, Community and Environment Services, County Hall, Martineau Lane, Norwich

Tel: 01362 869285 | Dept: 01362 869278 | Mobile: 07775687817 | email: steve.hickling@norfolk.gov.uk

August 2018 post

The Wreningham Community Archaeology Project got off to a promising start over the weekend of August 11-12 with a total of five test-pits dug in gardens around the village, reports archaeologist Steve Hickling, who is leading the project.

A sunny weekend saw pits being dug in people’s gardens on Wymondham Road, Ashwellthorpe Road, Mill Lane and the B1113 and all the test-pits yielded some interesting results:

Victorian pottery and little bits of tile were unsurprisingly found in all the test-pits and almost all also yielded prehistoric burnt flints (pot-boilers). These are flint pebbles heated in a fire and then thrown into a liquid in order to heat-up that liquid.

In prehistoric times pottery was terrible and would not survive being put on a fire to heat the contents so pot-boilers were used instead. It is thought that they were heating liquid as part of the process of dying cloth or perhaps making beer. A great number were found in Graham’s test-pit on Mill Lane.

Two of the pits yielded medieval pottery. One on Ashwellthorpe Road produced a couple of sherds, and one on Wymondham Road, behind Pear Tree Farmhouse, produced some rather large sherds. This suggests that there is medieval occupation here.

Pear Tree Farm is a lovely c.17th century timber-framed farmhouse. The test pit produced a lot of c.17th century pottery, a posthole and a layer of redeposited yellow clay, which may be spoil from a deep hole dug nearby, or the remains of a demolished clay-lump building. The medieval pottery suggests that the present house may be a rebuilding of a medieval farm.

All the artefacts recovered will be cleaned and passed to an expert for dating and describing.

What Next?

The next step is to excavate a couple more test-pits on Saturday 1st of September. It would be nice if we could have people to help with the two test-pits on the 1st September. Both are in the middle of the village. If anyone else wants to take part, please let me know on 01508481718 or email me on steve.hickling@norfolk.gov.uk.

Ashwellthorpe Road pit

Wymondham Road pit

Mill Lane pit


There has been an overwhelming response to an offer from Wreningham villagers to collect together much-needed medical, food and other aid supplies for refugees from the Ukrainian conflict, fleeing to Poland and other neighbouring countries.

Village resident Ian Macrae led a small team in offering to receive clothing, sleeping bags, nappies, medicines, personal hygiene items and food to be taken over to Poland.

The response was overwhelming with a room at the village hall filled with medical and sanitary items and Spratts Coaches offices in the village filled with clothing, bedding and footwear.

Ian said: “People in Wreningham and nearby areas have been wonderful, very thoughtful. We were absolutely overwhelmed and eventually, sadly, we had to start turning people away.

“We got a good lorry load of aid, so thank you very much everybody. We will be taking it to a larger local centre where they will be loading up a lorry to head to the Poland border area. We cannot take any more items at this time.”

Pictured below donated toiletries from Wreningham being taken by Colemans Removals to Diss for onward distribution


Wreningham Parish residents can now help keep Wreningham, Top Row and Penny’s Green litter free after the Parish Council bought litter-picking equipment which can be borrowed for free.

Sets of two litter-pickers, bag hoops and high-vis jackets are now available for residents to borrow for ad-hoc litter picking around the area. Litter picking would be done at residents’ own risk.

Sets are located at homes on the main roads in the parish and can be borrowed via a quick email or phone call as follows:

Wymondham Road and general enquiries:

Cllr Keith Morris, on 01508 488318 or at keith.morris@networknorwich.co.uk

Ashwellthorpe Road:

Cllr Hughie Glaves: Porthtowan or at: hugh.glaves@btinternet.com

Church Road, Hethel Road & Penny’s Green:

Sarah Lidington: Cloverside, Church Road or at sarahl@live.co.uk

Mill Lane

Christine Bilham: Cha-Am or 01508 489626 or at: bilham8@aol.com

Top Row 

Nicky Allen: The Birches or at: clerk.WPC@gmail.com

Pictured is Cllr Keith Morris with the litter picking equipment available for residents to borrow.