The Wayland Partnership

Heritage - Past Projects

The Wayland Partnership

Decades of historic projects

The Wayland Partnership has conducted a range of heritage projects almost since its beginnings. These range from applying for £125,000 worth of funding, publishing 13 volumes of books, researching the men on the World War I memorials to the Fallen and Returned, and research on the stories behind our medieval churches. We love a project and we are always thorough!

Decades of historic projects

The Wayland Partnership has conducted a range of heritage projects almost since its beginnings. These range from applying for £125,000 worth of funding, publishing 13 volumes of books, researching the men on the World War I memorials to the Fallen and Returned, and research on the stories behind our medieval churches. We love a project and we are always thorough!

Unlocking Our Histories - The Churches Of Wayland

This project came about through the public consultation of 1998/99 which showed that one strength of the area was sustainable tourism, not least through our wealth of wonderful mediaeval churches. 

Funded by money from a wide range of sources, this was the first of our community-based projects.  Groups and individuals from each of the Wayland parishes were led by a paid heritage officer, and a small team of volunteer assistants, to research the stories that lay behind the creation of such a diverse range of churches.

As well as celebrate the styles and architecture we aimed to show the background of villagers and landowners who had influenced all of this and to set each church in its location.

In 2004 we published a guide to 18 churches, which still sells today from the Dragonfly Gallery, at village events or can be ordered and posted.  At least one member of the Norfolk Churches Trust regards it as an invaluable guide and takes it with her on any visit to one of our churches.  It has also proved useful for those churches needing to put together information when seeking restoration funding. 

A popular spin-off from the books was our series of church tours.  Many of the original researchers still undertake tours of their churches to raise money for church funds. We are happy to put you in touch with any that interest you.

This project saw us win local and regional awards and become runners up in the national finals with a presentation in Romsey in Hampshire.

Cost: Books are £5 each + pp if ordered to post

Capturing Our Wayland Heritage

Inevitably, when researching the history of something as ancient as our churches we discovered all sorts of information which didn’t ‘fit’ the church tour books. 

Also, we became keen to dig deeper into what made the parish location of each church unique.  An application to Heritage Lottery Fund resulted in £125,000 of funding to begin a second community project. 

Once again, led by a project officer the groups and individuals set about researching the history of their village and of the people who had made it unique. This time the aim was to create a separate book on each. We achieved 13 volumes, which were published in 2011. Due to the escalating costs of printing we printed and bound them in-house, each village providing the manpower to collate and bind them. 

Unfortunately, as the years move on, we now have several villages out of print because we lack the staff or volunteers to spend time binding them. Volunteers to be taught the simple basics of the binding machine would be very welcome. Copies of the books have been sent all over the world to people with roots in Wayland and are proving a very valuable insight into the past of their ancestors.

The Impact Of World War One On Wayland

The constraints of time and space meant that research on the men and events of WWI had to be kept to a minimum inf the village histories.

When funding was announced for projects to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the ending of WWI we jumped a the chance to add to the history of Wayland.  Heritage Lottery were seeking projects with a difference so we came up with an idea which we did not think had been done before, at least not in Wayland.  We wanted not to just research the men on the memorials to the Fallen and Returned but to discover what impact such a momentous event had on what was then a very isolated rural area centred mainly on agriculture.

How did the women and children cope and ‘do their bit’? Did the role of local women change?  What happened to agriculture with so many men with agricultural skills away fighting? What happened to landed estates and large houses with reduced staff? We are fortunate to have memorials to the Returned and the Fallen so we were able to study each man, and uncover many more not recorded locally, raising questions about whether the Returned did come back to their villages and former jobs. 

One striking thing about the memorials to the Fallen was that they may appear to contain a selection of differing names for each particular parish, but very quickly it became apparent just how great the impact of their deaths was when we realized that they were often the sons of sisters or otherwise quite closely related. This relationship, of course, was often not confined to one village. 

Perhaps the most poignant fact uncovered is that Tottington sent more men in proportion per head of their population to the war, and lost a bigger percentage as a result, that any other parish including Watton, in a determination to preserve their way of life, only to lose their homes forever 20 years later in the Second World  when  STANTA was created in 1942. 

We moved with the times and published this book online in both hardback and soft cover options in 2018. 

Cost: £18 hardback, £12 soft cover +pp if ordered to post.

In addition we have a series of guided leaflets of Wayland which use the war memorials as markers for circular routes by car or cycle or on foot around Wayland. 

The Wayland Word Journey

This was a smaller project than the history projects. We asked local people to choose favourite features or places within Wayland and write a piece of poetry or prose celebrating it. 

We had a huge response, especially from the schoolchildren. A group of independent local people short-listed them into sufficient for a book we called The Wayland Word Journey. We hope it helps local people and visitors alike see Wayland through the eyes of those who each love some special part of it.

Cost: All our books are available through Dragonfly Gallery or our main reception office or can be ordered by email or phone.

Assistance With Local and Family History

We continue to assist anyone interested in local history or researching family roots in Wayland by putting you in touch with those of our heritage researchers who have the greatest knowledge of a particular part of Wayland.Between us we have an amazing amount of knowledge and resources too big for any book.

Contact us and we will do our best to help you

Reach out to us

Please reach out to us for any queries on our services, Dragonfly Gallery, room hire or more