Here you will find information of interest to those visiting Norton sub Hamdon.
Reputed to be one of the oldest buildings in the village, the Dovecote can be found in the south west corner of the churchyard. It contains over 400 nests that provided meat for the Lord of the Manor’s table. It was part of the former Manor House Estate, which no longer exists.
The ‘Ham Stone Villages’ of south Somerset get their name from the distinctive mellow stone quarried from nearby Ham Hill. From Roman times to the present day quarrying has taken place and visiting the nearby Country Park you will find ample evidence. The older property in the village and the church provide examples of its use.
Norton once had one of the most progressive fruit farms in the country, providing markets in places like Bradford, Leeds, Bristol, Manchester, Liverpool and Cardiff. It ceased trading in the 1973 and part of its land is now Barn Orchard.
A serious fire, on 29th July 1894, caused by a lightning strike on the tower, resulted in serious damage to that part of the church and led to an extensive re-ordering that can be seen today. The remarkable thing was that the restoration, with an initial cost, excluding the recasting and rehanging of the bells, of £1,500 – which in today’s money would be in excess of £165,000 – was fund-raised and fully completed in just one year!
Norton Reading Room has fulfilled many roles over the years and is believed to have been originally a blacksmiths. The Victorian enthusiasm to educated saw the establishment of the Reading Room with newspapers being available. Later it became one of the bases for a ‘mobile’ library and today it provides a valuable meeting space and a Reading Room Café.