Scarning village centre


The centre of the village with the village Hall, Church and one time Public House is 2 miles from the George Hotel in Dereham and 10 from Swaffham via the old A47. This milestone, one of three in the village was once nearer Chapel Lane at the right hand end of the now demolished cottages but now stands  in front of what used to be the Black Horse Public House.
Here is a portion of the Tithe map showing the centre of Scarning back in the late 1830's. The buildings marked in red are those from which tithes were due. The road layout has hardly changed in 170 years, The road going north is now known as Chapel Lane and that passing Clark Hall (now Oak Manor) is Shipdham Road.

The Oak Manor Care Home was established in 1990 and purchased by its current owners in 2006.

This picture taken in 1905 shows the houses which stood on Shipdham Road which are out of view to the right of the of the JJ Wright sale picture.

shipdham road
shipdam road This picture which dates from 1971 shows that the farm was much the same as it was 35 years earlier, the tennis court in front of the house has gone and a large building has been erected to the rear.

Have a look here: Norfolk Pubs and here: Dereham Pubs.

end of Shipdham lane

Another view of the cottages at the end of Shipdham Road.

village well

A later picture of the end of Shipdham Road, some of the cottages have been demolished and the garage has been erected behind where they stood. the village well used to stand on this corner.

cottages next to Blackhorse Inn

Cottages next to Blackhorse Inn.The milestone at the right hand end of the now demolished cottages was subsequently relocated a few metres towards the Black Horse.

Scarning once had a Post Office, it was situated at the end of Chapel Lane opposite the church and alongside the Black Horse Inn, the rear of this building can be seen on the 1910 picture opposite.

shipdam road

Opposite the garage the white house is what used to be the 'Black Horse Inn' which ceased trading in 1982 and was purchased by Brian Dye and his wife Ann. Brian, a Fordson tractor enthusiast runs a website here in which he says that the Black Horse Inn had been a coaching inn for many, many years. They investigated its history at the local county records office and found references back to a lady publican in 1732.

There were other cottages on the site surrounding the inn and the horse drawn coaches used to stop there on their journey from the Midland towns of Leicester and beyond to Norwich and the sea at Great Yarmouth.

Norwich, at one time, was the second largest city in England after London and was the home of a large lace and crepe industry as well as shoe manufacture, weaving and, of course, through the Quakers, banking. Barclays Bank started in Norwich with the Gurney family. So the road was well travelled and the journey would have taken many days. The Black Horse Inn was a staging post with extensive stables for the horses that pulled the coaches.

In more recent years, many celebrities of the theatre have stayed in these walls including stars of the vaudeville theatre, It has been said that Marie Lloyd, used to stay there to get away from the public eye whilst she was "drying out" from drink problems. In latter years Bill Maynard, a comedy actor, always stayed there whilst he was appearing at the Theatre Royal in Norwich. The village was bypassed by the main road in the late 1970's and trade at the inn declined. Sales of beer dropped and by 1982 the owners decided to put it on the market and this is when Brian and Ann bought it and started to renovate it, a task that continues to this day.

Brian Dye who used to work for J.J.Wright and Sons in Dereham has provided the following information about the picture below:

"This is a picture of an annual implement sale for J.J.Wright and Sons of East Dereham that took place in 1936 in a field about 50m from our house. The farm, Church Farm was owned by the Wright family and the tractors, cars, lorries and implements here would have been from their second hand stock or have been entered in the sale by selected customers. 

Our house is just out of the picture at the top/right, the road that passes it is in the bottom right, in front of the cars which are parked there by the people who have come to the sale. The table where payment is to be made for anything purchased is under the trees in the top/middle and an auction for a tractor is taking place just below it. You can see the people clustered around the auctioneer. A number of Fordson Model "F" tractors can be identified but there are also a lot that cannot be. I have been told that an "Overtime" is in there somewhere. Behind the tractors are a row or two of implements and some cars and lorries which might have also been in the sale. There are two elevators of a type used with threshing drums against the hedge.
Church Farm house now known as Oak Manor is now a care home and is surrounded by small bungalows for the patients who live there. The barn at the centre top of the picture is gone and houses cover that part of the site. The hardcore for these properties came from our work on Black Horse House and was dug from the car parking area which we made into gardens. If you look at our house on Google Earth or see it "in the flesh" it is hard to believe that it was once surrounded by asphalt. When they put in the hardcore for this, a base of about 1m of flint stones and gravel was used and I dug this all out with a Webb 360 digger loader and filled the base for the houses and built up roads and gateways for a friend. Tilly trailer and Henrietta were kept hard at work for many weeks!
Across the top of the picture is a road from left to right and another branching at right angles. These are now bounded by more houses and the field in the top right corner was given to the village by Mr Wright for use as a football field and recreation field for the residents of the village."

These are some pictures of the Black Horse Inn. At one time there were four Public Houses in Scarning. The others were: The New Inn, Spring Cottage (popular with American airman from Wendling during WW2) and the Carpenters Arms.
All four were more or less equally spaced out along Dereham Road. After the George in Dereham the next would have been the Carpenters Arms and a mile further on you could have stopped at the New Inn another mile would bring you here to the Black Horse and another mile further west was Spring Cottage, the last before Wendling.

How it looked in about 1910.

Still in business in 1972

No longer in business in 1982

After purchase by Brian and Ann in 1983. Note that the houses which can be seen on the aerial view had not yet been constructed.

End of Chapel Lane

The end of Chapel Lane, a view from the churchyard. A47 is visible on the signpost.

How it looks today, almost hidden by the hedge.

In this view of the village centre taken in 1989 one can see that some of the farmland has been given over to housing. The corner site is occupied by a Texaco garage, you can make out the sign on the corner of Dereham Road and Shipdham lane.

This aerial photo shows Scarning church, Hall Cottages and the playing field. It was hanging in the church vestry, in poor condition. Tim Farnham made a scan of it and did his best to bring it back to what it perhaps once looked like sometime in the early 1950's. There appears to be one tennis court, and it looks like grass. There is only one house in Chapel Lane. There are cottages on the corner of the main road and Chapel Lane and a terrace of cottages in Shipdham Road (see below). There is a building which pre-dates the existing garage and what look like petrol pumps a bit further along towards Dereham, roughly where 'Vitellie' now is.

aerial view