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East & West Rudham, Norfolk

East and West Rudham, Norfolk


East and West Rudham are situated in the north of the county, 22km east of Kings Lynn and 9km west of Fakenham. The name Rudham comes from the Old English meaning ’homestead or farm of a man named Rudda’. The village sits on a bedrock of chalk with superficial deposits of clay, silt, sand and gravel all found and sits at about 50m OD, rising to 80m OD just to the north of the village. 

The history of the two parishes of East and West Rudham are closely entwined. They lie close to the source of the River Wensum, and the villages are strung out along a common that now also straddle the main A148 road between Kings Lynn and Cromer. St Mary’s Priory was founded in about 1140 in East Rudham and its original location may have been in St Mary’s Church, or in the early medieval church that is now visible as a cropmark on aerial photographs. In the 13th century the priory moved to Coxford, and became one of the wealthiest Augustinian houses in Norfolk, before its dissolution in the mid 16th century. St Peter's church in West Rudham is located to the south of the current village and mainly dates to the 13th-15th centuries, although the presence of earlier architecture visible within the structure hints that the current church replace an earlier building on the same site. 

Local Information Websites

East Rudham Parish Council Website

West Rudham Parish Council Website

Guide to West Norfolk and Kings Lynn

British History Online

Norfolk Heritage Explorer (East Rudham)

Norfolk Heritage Explorer (West Rudham)

Heritage Gateway


A PDF from 'Medieval Archaeology' journal titled Early Medieval 'Rural Centres' and West Norfolk.


Projects by Year




 East & West Rudham Pottery Distribution Map 2016-2017


Click here for the results from the East and West Rudham test pit excavations