Worstead Village in Norfolk has aways fascinated me. It is the home of the original Worsted fabric. a strong woollen cloth, woven here by the Flemish settlers who settled here in medieval times.
Some of the prosperous Merchants houses still survive today as do some of the original weavers cottages, with their large rooms, big enough to house the 12 foot looms of their trade. Weaving ceased here in the late 1880s when the large commercial clattering mills of the industrial North took over the once peaceful trade of weaving. Plentiful supplies of coal fuelled the huge weaving sheds, taking the production of cloth to another level.
At the centre of Worsted village is the church. It is enormous. An impressive building with wonderful huge windows. I sat for ages inside watching the beautiful changing light from all sides. It was quite magical. A lot of the Victorian pews have been taken out so the sense of space is enchanting. I don’t know anything about church interiors but this one just sung to me. The paintings on the screens, the gargoyles and the most incredibly long ladder I have ever seen. It truly looks like a stairway to heaven.
I guess it is for cleaning the massive windows, and it looks as if it has been there a long time.
Each year Worsted hosts a village festival which is very well attended. It showcases many rural past times plus lots of good food and music. This year it is on the 29/30th July and is well worth a visit.
There is a village trail you can follow which allows a glimpse into the village’s historical past. The village pub with it’s enigmatic name The White Lady serves great food and prides itself on serving well kept beers and ales. Worth a stop off for lunch!