Hellesdon, Costessey, Taverham and Ringland

Practical

There are shops and a pub in Drayton, including Tescos and a bakery. The Red Lion serves food. Further on, at Ringland, the Swan Inn offers refreshment.

The Route

To avoid roads where heavy traffic is an issue, a pilgrims are encouraged to continue on the Marriott’s Way through Drayton, leaving the old railway line to swinging south through woods, farm and field, to cross the river in a wide loop, before entering the village of Ringland.

Historical Notes

According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, in the year 855, the (Viking) Great Heathen Army defeated the forces of Edmund, King of East Anglia at a place that sounds like Hellesdon, north of the Walsingham Way on the other side of the river. 

Although, it is historically unlikely  that Edmund’s final battle was fought in Norfolk, he is commemorated as a Christian martyr in churches dedicated to St. Edmund at Costessey and Taverham.  Further along the route at Lyng, there is  a , ruined, St. Edmund’s Chapel.   A St. Edmund’s Fair was held there on 20th November, the day of his death.

Taverham and Costessey both feature in stories told about another royal East Anglian saint,  St. Walstan.  He gave up royal privileges to live a life of prayer as a farm labourer.  Walstan is buried at Bawburgh and there are holy wells at Bawburgh and Costessey. The site of a holy well in Taverham is lost.  The Roman Catholic church at Costessey is dedicated to St. Walstan.

Heritage Churches

St.Mary Hellesdon   – description

Drayton, St. Margaretdescription

St.Edmund, Taverhamdescription

St. Mary, Ringland –  description