The Bridge & River

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The River Bure meanders through the parish on its way to becoming the
main backbone of the Norfolk Broads before reaching the sea at
Gt. Yarmouth.


Painting   Engraving
A watercolour painting
from before the 1912 flood
An engraving on stone of the old bridge by D. Hodgson from a drawing by Francis Stone & Son.

Major events were often written in the flyleaf of the parish registers as a record. In the first register the following is still legible, although faint with age:

1638 Memorandum This yeare the great bridge belonging to this parish of Itteringham was repayred and a great part thereof new built at the charge of the whole countye

14 Nov 1646 The said great bridge was broken downe by a great flood of waters the like floud hath not bene knowne in the memorye of any the inhabitants there. The bridge was made passable the next month at the charge of Sir John Potts and afterward repayred at the charge of the whole county by an order granted at the generall sessions.

1670 The said great bridge in the month of June was new built (all the timber part of it and the other part repaired) at the charge of the whole countye by an order graunted at the General sessions

1912 The old bridge was completely broken down by a flood on 26th August and was entirely rebuilt about eighteen months afterwards.

W.B. Hemsworth, Rector

After the flood of 26th August 1912. Bridge Man 1 Bridge Man 2 Bridge Man 3 Bridge Man 4
After the flood of 26th August 1912.
Who are the men on the plank?
Click on any one of them to see an enlargement

George Marsh the postman was apparently the first person to crawl over the remains of the old bridge the following morning.

There was this thunderstorm came up and it rained but my father and Uncle John went down to the pub to have a drink after tea and they didn't come home. Mother began to wonder where they'd got to so she left my aunt in charge of all the crowd of us at home and walked up to the bridge and that was a brick bridge then and wood on the top. When she got there the bridge had gone and the sheaves of corn were floating down the meadow. The meadows were all flooded... Father and Uncle John didn't come home that night and there's one side of the bridge was standing, the brick part, just the arch and the brick and then the next morning they had to crawl on top of the bridge to get home.
Ruth Harrison

Meanwhile my mother and my aunt Em had to take the old sow and the little pigs and drive them up the road because the water was coming up the garden, to my Uncle John's up near the chapel because that was on high ground and he had a stye up there but they lost about three of them in the flood. And the water came up indoors so that we had to all, the whole crowd of us, live upstairs. And at two days the old man at the bakehouse came round with bread in a boat.
Ruth Harrison

They used to cut the corn then with a sail cutter thing that went round with the sails on it and knives on the side and they used to tie the shoaves up with some of the straw and the fields were all that way. The shoaves washed down and bunged the mill up so water couldn't get away, they couldn't open the sluice. It was like that a week or two.
Ruth Harrison

Sidney and Edith Wilch moved into the Walpole Arms in 1912. He had previously driven open fronted trams in Norwich and was advised to move to the country to ease his bronchitis. During August of their first year in the village the flood came. The water reached the top of the stairs, drowning their stock of Norwich canaries. Staff and customers were marooned in the club room upstairs.

New bridge   November 2001
The new bridge was built soon after the 1912 flood
By November 2001 the river was becoming choked with weeds as it is no longer cleared by the river authority

10th July 2002   1st November 2003
The narrowing river 10th July 2002
1st November 2003

The new bridge opened for traffic on 16th April 1914. Apparently the first vehicle to cross was a car driven by a Mr Fish. The passengers were the newly wed Charles and Dora Gay on their way to honeymoon in London. Dora was the daughter of George Hawkins who farmed at Bintry Farm. Mr Fish was apparently the owner of Aylsham Motor Co, which was operating out of a mere tin shed at the time.

26th July 2002   30th August 2002
Repainting in progress 26th July 2002
Repainting still in progress 30th August 2002

1st November 2003
Newly repainted 1st November 2003

28th March 2004 3rd April 2004
Dredging the Bure near the bridge 28th March 2004
The river cleared looking west 3rd April 2004

1st April 2004
The river cleared looking east 1st April 2004

If you have any memories, anecdotes or photos please let us know and we may be able to use them to update the site. By all means telephone 07836 675369 or

Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2004
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