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Norfolk: Gazetteers and Directories

William White's History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Norfolk 1845

GENERAL HISTORY AND DESCRIPTION
OF THE
COUNTY OF NORFOLK

(Page 33)

RAILWAYS, TURNPIKES and ROADS

[Transcription copyright © Pat Newby]

RAILWAYS. - Norfolk has already a Railway from Norwich to Yarmouth; and another is in rapid progress from Norwich to Brandon, to connect the county with the great lines now traversing the kingdom. The former was opened in 1844; and the latter will be completed in 1845. As noticed at pages 81, 292, 308, 400, and 520 [the entries for Norwich, Yarmouth, East Dereham, Thetford, and King's Lynn], various railroads are projected, by which it is proposed to intersect the county in nearly every direction, and to obtain a more direct communication with London, Ipswich, &c., than the Norwich and Brandon line affords. These schemes are now (March 1845) under the consideration of Parliament; - some will, no doubt, be sanctioned, and others postponed or abandoned; indeed, we think several of them could never be made profitable speculations.

The TURNPIKES and other public ROADS in Norfolk, are better than those of most other counties in England, - being generally raised higher than the adjacent lands, well drained by trenches on each side, and having a firm bottom composed of gravel flint, and chalk; which it has already been seen are found within a few feet of the surface in almost every part of the county. Charles II., "who never said a silly thing, nor ever did a wise one," said, when on a visit to the Earl of Yarmouth, at Oxnead, in 1671, "that Norfolk ought to be cut out in strips, to make roads for the rest of the kingdom," - alluding, no doubt, to the surface being generally level. The road from Norwich to Thetford was the first turnpike formed in the county, - being made under acts passed in 1694 and '5. The first toll-gate in England was erected on the turnpike from London to Harwich, in 1679.


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See also White's History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Norfolk 1845.

Copyright © Pat Newby.
October 2001