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Holy Innocents, Foulsham, Norfolk - - 309026.jpg
Holy Innocents, Foulsham
Grid reference: TG032249
Location: 52°47’2"N, 1°-0’42"E
Population: 860  (2001)
Post town: Dereham
Postcode: NR20
Dialling code: 01263
Local Government
Council: Broadland

Foulsham is a village in the middle of Norfolk, twenty miles west of Cromer, and eighteen miles north-west of the county town, Norwich. The nearest little town is East Dereham, nine and a half miles to the north.

The village is largely unspoilt, with a number of attractive 16th and 17th century buildings.


The village's name derives from the Old English Fugles ham, which is to say 'Bird's Homestead'.

Foulsham appears in the Domesday Book of 1086,[1] recorded by the name Folsam and Folsham it is recorded that it was in the ownership of the King before and after 1066, that Walter Gifford held it from the king and that it was in the custody of Godric. The survey also notes two churches, a mill, twelve cattle, four hundred pigs, fifty goats and 13 sestersof honey.

The village gave its name to a family of Puritan dissidents who fled England for Massachusetts and whose spelling of the name was slightly changed to 'Folsom'.

In the Second World War, RAF Foulsham played host to No. 100 Group RAF, a special operations unit who flew bombers including the Handley Page Halifax and De Havilland Mosquito in electronic warfare missions. All that remain now are a couple of dilapidated hangars and a few small outbuildings.

Before the Beeching Axe closed many railway lines in the early 1960s, the village had its own railway station on the line between Dereham and Wroxham.


The parish church has an unusual dedication, being the 'Church of the Holy Innocents'. It is a mediæval church, with a chancel dating from the mid-14th century and a 15th century nave. The tower stands at about 90 feet high. The church is built on a grand scale for such a village, using largely local materials, from flint, random rubble, ashlar and render.

The parish, within the Diocese of Norwich, is part of the 'Heart of Norfolk Churches' group.

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Foulsham)


  1. 'The Domesday Book, England's Heritage, Then and Now': Norfolk (ed. Thomas Hinde) page 189 ISBN 1-85833-440-3