There has been at least one pub in the village for several hundred years but now only one remains - The Walpole Arms.

Walpole Arms
South Erpingham Licence Register PS 2/5/1 & PS 2/5/2 (3 Feb 1925 to 1975)
Robert Horace - Earl of Orford Wolterton Hall
Lord Walpole .
Bullards .
Watney Mann Closed June 1969 - Reopened  (date ?)
Free House .
Noble Rot Associates Richard Bryan & Keith Reeves from 2001
HENRY SMITH 1832 - 1836
HENRY FIDDY (41) 1850 - 1851
WILLIAM WALL 1854 - 1856
WILLIAM THORNTON & bricklayer 1861 - 1865
CHARLES WRAIGHTS & farmer 15 acres 1871
CHARLES WRAIGHTS & farmer 24 acres 1881
& farmer 24 acres
Miss ELIZA WEAIGHTS 1896 - 1900
SIDNEY C WILCH 1912 - 1925
(arrived July 1927 according to Bullards record)
Fine 1/- for suffering gaming on the premises - 06.02.1934
JAMES (Jimmy) R W OVERTON 09.09.1958
Bullards delivery list of c1962 gives landlord as OVERTON Jimmy Overton worked for the Council Highways Dept during the day
PAUL & MAGGIE SIMMONS Aug 1992 - Jun 2001
. Closed 03.06.1969 according to closure list by Watney Mann (East Anglia) Ltd.
  Reopened as Freehouse, leased from Estate (pre 1980 )
Information courtesy

It is rumoured that an old pub known as The Artichoke was once in the Big Yard and Robert Lee (village ratcatcher) kept a beerhouse on the Wolterton Road next door to where the Methodist chapel was later built. Locals have often been known to call the Walpole Arms by the name Artichokes.

In 1836 White's Directory lists Robert Lee - rat catcher and beerhouse. (Henry Smith was at the Walpole Arms.) Robert Lee married Ann Ulph in Itteringham 29th July 1822. She had two children before marriage - Amy, baptised Itteringham 26 March 1820 and Dennis, baptised Itteringham 23 June 1822.

In 1854 the Post Office was based at the pub.

Post Office at Mr. Wm. Wall's. Letters arrive at 11.15 a.m., and are despatched at 3 p.m.
White's Directory - 1854

The 1914 pub quoits team
The 1914 pub quoits team

Landlord Sid Wilch (left) and friends c.1920

Census 1921
Sidney Curtis Wilch (43) b.Norwich
Edith Frances Wilch (41) b.Norwich
Alice Maud Wilch (14) b.Norwich
Herbert Sidney William Wilch (5) b.Itteringham
Nellie Joan Wilch (3) b.Itteringham
Rachel Wright (22) b.Ingworth

Floor Plan - 1950
Floor Plan - 1950 - courtesy Bevra Dale

My Dad also worked at and ran the mill and he had a fish round. He would call the horse from the orchard but he wouldn't come so he would yell "Edith!" Mother would come and she would call "Jack!" and he'd come trotting over and Dad would put the harness on him. He would drive to the train station at Aylsham to get the fish.
Joan (Nellie) Hall née Wilch - 20th November 2007

Ted Prior 1955
Ted Prior delivering milk to Mrs Dale 1955

Mr. (Ted) Prior delivered milk and  lived in  the farm house behind the old mill with his family  during the renovations to the mill which was then taken over by the airforce during the war for the officers based at Matlaske aerodrome.  Mr and Mrs Prior had 6 children, 3 sons and 3 daughters. Arthur, Richard, Peter, Nancy, Peggy and Mary.  Ted Prior was well known for herding his cows in for milking, he could be heard just about all over the village. 

Bevra Menlove née Dale, Melbourne, Australia - 8th August 2011

An aerial view taken in the 1960s c.1996
An aerial view taken in the 1960s

During renovation work 14th June 2001 During renovation work 15th June 2001
During renovation work 14th June 2001
During renovation work 15th June 2001

Closed for renovation 14th June 2001
Closed for renovation 14th June 2001

My parents  Ernest and Lilian Dale were relatively new comers to the village, taking up residence as licensees of the Walpole Arms in 1931. I have a record of licensees from 1836 which could be of interest to include in the history of this village. Ernest and Lilian Dale had six children, Doris, Ralph, Stanley, Leonard (Nobby), Bevra and George. I have photographs of my family during their period of residence in the Walpole Arms.  
I also have a photograph of George Marsh who was the village postman and he lodged at the Walpole Arms with the Dales for a number of years.
The Dale children all went to Itteringham school until my parents decided to send my 3 elder brothers to Aylsham State School. I remember that Miss Johnson taught the infants at the 2 room school in Itteringham and on the birthday of her students would give them a penny when they would spend it at Mr. Fairheads shop. Amazing what you could get for a penny in those days. There are so many happy memories of my life in Itteringham. I was taught piano by Miss Peckham as was 2 of my brothers.  I emigrated to Australia with my husband and 2 children in 1958  and have travelled back to U.K. on numerous occasions visiting my brothers and sister and during that time, visited the now modernised "Walpole Arms".

Bevra Menlove née Dale, Melbourne, Australia - 8th August 2011

Both my parents Ernest and Lilian Dale were Norfolk people, my father originated from the Norwich area and my mother from Northrepps. Her maiden name, Reynolds. They met and married before the 1st World War, when dad was in the army and mum was cook to Lady Hoare. Just after they were married dad was sent overseas and my sister born just after he left. After the war they settled down in Bintry and dad took up farm labouring with a man by the name of Prince. (I never knew his given name). Prince lived with us from then on, he was like a part of our family. My 3 brothers, Ralph, Stanley and Leonard (Nobby),who I will now refer to as Nobby, because Leonard, nobody would know who I was talking about. He acquired this nickname when a toddler when somebody said, what a knobby little fella he is, from then on this is the name he was known by, were born in Bintry as I was. I was 1 year old when dad took over the licensee of the Walpole Arms in 1931 George was born in 1937.

The beer came in wooden barrels and laid on its side on wooden frames. Served by a tap straight from the barrels. The cellar 2 steps down from the bar in the next room it was a quite a few steps to serve customers. The till a small wooden box with dividers. The safe, a straw bag tucked under the mattress of mum and dads bed. All very primitive The beer was supplied by Bullards of Norwich and the soft drinks from Pinchens of Corpusty.

There is on record Mr Dale being fined a shilling in 1934 for allowing gaming on the premises. This “Gaming” consisted of paying a penny for guessing the number of pips in a pumpkin. The proceeds to help fund a dinner put on by mum and dad for their regulars, held in the big club room upstairs, that ran the whole length at the front of the house. This was also a lovely play room for the Dale children and all their friends. We did have a gramophone that wound up with a handle. When the spring broke we would twist yards of string around the spindle, one of the boys would then race up the other end of the room pulling the string to turn the turntable, playing a record. Not very successful but a lot of fun.

In the winter some of the locals preferred their beer hot. This was done with a large cone shape metal container, with long handle to hold,filled with a pint of draught beer then placed in the big coal fire. This was also a favourite with the Dale children when we had a cold but for us a spoon of sugar would be added.

There was no sewerage system or mains running water. Drinking water etc was drawn from a pump across the yard. There were 6 big outhouses, 2 for pig styes, and 2 for storage such as gardening tools, bicycles, meal and corn for the pigs, chickens, turkeys, geese, ducks and goats. When dad wanted to breed with the pigs he and my brothers would walk the sow to Mr. Seamans farm in Wolterton who had a male.

From the very beginning this home was never a one family home. Mum and dad were always fostering children. People working in the area at various times, for instance lumber jacks during the logging season who would arrive at only a few hours notice, wanting accommodation from Monday to Friday for at least 2 – 3 weeks

My mothers day started at around 5 a.m. until at least 11 p.m. The flag stone floor of the public bar was scrubbed every morning on hands and knees. Mum and dad could not afford to employ staff so everything in the house was done by mum. All the cleaning, cooking, washing etc. Baking day was Friday from early morning to late in the afternoon, using the big wall oven in the kitchen. Mum was a wonderful cook. Christmas time mum always had to make at least 6 big Christmas puddings, these were always cooked in the big copper that mum used to boil the clothes in. When these were served on Christmas Day, mum would slide a silver threepenny piece under each slice. We pretended we didn't notice and acted so surprised when we found it. These were given back to mum to buy a bottle of lemonade. I still have some of these coins.

Because we were always such a big family, Sunday lunch, our main meal would have to wait until the bar closed at 2.00 p.m. We would all then queue with plates, knives and forks in hand and mum would serve up the roast dinner from the big kitchen table as we all filed by. From there we all retired to the public bar where there were 2 long tables to be seated. The rest of the week we all ate at different times.

There was approximately 2 – 3 acres of garden which my father cultivated with every known vegetable plus rows of strawberry beds, gooseberries and rhubard. Planting all done by hand except for the ploughing which he employed the next door farmer to do. Also there was a large orchard with numerous types of apple trees. Dad had regular customers for his vegetables in the Mile Cross area of Norwich, where he made deliveries twice a week, his transport a car with a trailer attached. The tropical fruit bought from a supplier. After the Dales left, this land was taken over by the Fowels and incorporated in their farm, but not for vegetables.

From the 30's we always had a car. The first a rather large Citroen with various other makes to follow. The Citroen had a rack on the back where my dad fitted a wooden box for the purpose of transporting potatoes. This box came in very handy sometimes on a Sunday when dad piled about 12 – 13 children in the back of the car but usually there were some left over so 2 and sometimes 3 boys would sit in the box, we always took some of the children from the village with us and off we would go for a trip to Cromer. Dad was in the RAC so always got a salute from the mobile RAC mechanic who traveled the roads on a motor bike and sidecar.

Mum and dad annually organized a day trip for the regular customers. One being a coach ride to Coltishall and from there a river trip to Yarmouth. Mum and dad always supplied the food and drinks which they would take with them. The draught beer in I believe big stone flagons and possibly a couple of crates of bottled ale or such. Each man had a button hole from the Passion flower that grew on the climber just outside the kitchen door.

One year the river Bure froze over and when the thaw set in, great lumps of ice would float downstream. The boys, including my brothers would jump from the bank on to a floating block of ice, unfortunately Francis Titchely (Driddle) as he was known landed too heavy and his foot went through, consequently a wet foot. The pub kitchen was always a great place for us to congregate in bad weather and this was a perfect occasion to play cards while Driddles sock dried hanging on the door of the big range fire. Sometime later, the smell of burning wool brought to their attention, one burnt sock minus foot.

On Guy Fawkes night we had the biggest of bonfires built in the sand pit and for weeks all the kids would collect anything that burnt. The evening of the 5th Nov. was a community affair, all bringing their fire works to enjoy the occasion.

All the Dale children attended the Methodist Sunday School where Mr. And Mrs. Hannant were the Ministers. Before each Harvest Festival the children would call on every household in the village collecting home grown fruit, vegetables and preserves to decorate the chapel.

The river Bure was regularly cleared of reeds carried out by Lou Regis in a flat bottom boat. His area reached from Itteringham to Blickling Mill. I was rather disappointed when returning to Itteringham in 1976 to see that reeds had completely covered the river. There were beautiful trout and eels in the river but you had to have a licence to fish. This did not deter Nobby, mum only had to mention she would love a trout for her Sunday breakfast and Nobby would be up at the crack of dawn, to the river, standing in the water with both hands under the bank. When he felt a nice fish he would gently rub its underside and suddenly with both hands the fish would land on the bank. No rod or line involved. One morning he was caught by the game warden, which normally would have involved a large fine but on this occasion he asked Nobby to give him a couple of fish, but there was no way Nobby was going to agree. So the warden offered to pay which was O.K., because what he offered was nearly as much as Nobby earned in wages. Mum did still get her trout for breakfast.

Aylsham would hold a fancy dress parade each year and mum entered Ralph and Nobby as cowboys. They had a small cart, covered like a covered wagon with a donkey in the harness. Ralph lead the donkey while Nobby sat inside the wagon playing cowboy songs on his mouth organ. Unfortunately right in the middle of the parade the donkey refused to move but eventually Ralph got it going again. I think they won a prize but I could be wrong.

During the 2nd World War there was a lot more activity in the village. Mainly due to all the service personnel stationed in the area. There was the Matlaske fighter drome one side and Oulton bomber drome in the opposite direction. As stated earlier the officers from Matlaske were billetted at the newly renovated mill. The officers at Oulton based at Blickling Hall. A number of evacuees from London were sent to country areas to escape the bombing and Itteringham had their share.Mum billeted 3 boys, but the evacuees did not stay until the end of the war.

After they left 3 families arrived on the doorstep in the early hours of one morning.Relatives we had never met also from London escaping the blitz They did stay for quite some time. It was then the club room as such was partitioned off to make 3 more bedrooms to accommodate all the visitors.

Dad, along with my brothers dug a big pit to serve as an air raid shelter. Fortunately we did not have to use it because at the first down pour of rain it filled with water. Anyway, we only had 2 bombs dropped and they were on one of Archie Wrights fields and killed a rabbit. The worst experience were having to test the gas masks we were all supplied with and the van that was filled with tear gas came to the village. A number of children at a time were told to enter and walk around in the van but the problem was when you came out and took of the mask the gas was still on the clothes so many sore and watery eyes.

Dad worked on the Matlaske aerodrome. My brother told me dad had a little van taking round tea to the workers. I guess you could say, the first mobile tea lady. He also worked at the cooks quarters at Blickling Hall I believe keeping the boilers working. There were mainly WAAFS whose quarters were built just inside the gates of Blickling woods. The girls didn't believe that Ernie had a pub so one evening they decided to check it out. They became regular customers. It was then my brother Ralph met his wife Betty and Stanley his wife Pat.

Both Ralph and Stanley were in the navy at this time. Nobby later joined the Marines. He married my girl friend Joyce. All their babies were born at the Walpole Arms.

There are so many stories to be told about this small village and the people, who were all great characters in their own right. I have only covered a very small part. There were the Titchellys, who lived in the semi detached council house opposite the rectory, the Wells family next door. The detached Police Station next door, Constable Fiddy in residence.The Broughtons,, Barrets, Whites, Peckhams, Skinners, Fairheads,Grand and Wrights, Halls and many others. On the common, the Thompsons, Lambournes (Magistrate), Reynolds, Aytons, Fowels, Amiss, in particular Bob who I never saw wearing a coat, even in winter. He would only wear a jacket,unbuttoned, possibly didn't have one and his collarless shirt unbuttoned to the waist. His brother Pick, (never did know his Christian name), Ernie and Annie. Harry Broughton who had the little shop on the common. He was the local supplier of pig meal, corn etc., and flour served straight from the sack into brown paper bags. He made his deliveries by horse and cart.Ted Prior who served the milk straight from the churn with a metal measuring container with handle to hook on to the rim of the churn. No bottles or cartons those days. Medoe, the story goes acquired this nickname when he was a very young boy and instead of saying “me go, me go” he couldn't sound the ‘g's. All these people would have their own story to tell and it would be nice to know if there are people in the area age group of 70's, 80's and 90's that we knew and they remembered us.

George and I (Bevra) were the only members of the family that moved away from Norfolk. George to the London area when he joined the Metropolitan Police and there he met his wife Joan. Myself to Bedfordshire where my husband Alan came from (I met him when he was stationed at Wolterton Park) Ralph and Betty now live in Marsham, Stanley and Pat in Aylsham where Stanley has his barber shop, but has now handed over to his son James. I do believe that Stanley still gives a few haircuts. Nobby and Joyce in Great Ryburgh.

Ernie and Lilian Dale are buried side by side in Itteringham church yard along with grandfather Dale.

Bevra Menlove née Dale, Melbourne, Australia - 24th August 2011

Being brought up in a pub made me see the other side of drinking, although I did get drunk at 15.  I used to play the piano in the public bar in the evening as entertainment.  It was a great honky tonk machine.   Of course customers used to buy me drinks, unfortunately mum or dad didn't know who they were for and at one stage I had a few glasses lined up along the top of the piano and me being the person I am took advantage of the situation.  Later when it was turning out time, I wasn't feeling good on my feet, it was then my dad realised I was a bit worse for wear and he had to carry me up to bed.   The bad head I had in the morning was not one I wanted to experience again and when I eventually went into mum and dads bedroom  early the next morning  the only cure dad knew was a small glass of beer.  That, in my opinion was the last thing I wanted but I took it anyway.   Now it might be an old wives tale, I don't know whether it was mind over matter, but it worked.   I can assure you this little episode was never repeated again.

Bevra Menlove née Dale, Melbourne, Australia - 8th August 2011

7th April 1995 13th May 2000
7th April 1995
13th May 2000

Aerial 30th July 1999 Aerial 4th September 2004
Walpole Arms (bottom left) and the Mill 30th July 1999
4th September 2004

South Erpingham Licence Register 1925 - 1942 - Walpole Arms

We've just been reminiscing and trying to remember names from the days before us. The chap we bought it from was Richard Benton (he also owned the Parson Woodforde at Weston Longville), who installed Marion (can't remember surname) as Licensee. Richard Benton bought it from Old Lordy Walpole - His tenants were Tom & Ivy (again, I don't know surname). Think Tom & Ivy had it from 1960s until late 1980s. I met Ivy once....formidable lady who was not keen on women in the pub. Poor old  henpecked Tom had a heart attack and died in the kitchen. Many a waitress ran screaming from the kitchen after seeing a `ghost' there. I myself saw an apparition upstairs, which I mistook for a burglar and on another occasion three customers plus myself saw a ghostly figure of a man in a hat swooping about around the bar. Not sure if the present incumbents have had similar experiences.
Maggie Simmons - 31st August 2011

I spent summer holidays at the Walpole Arms with my grandmother from 1945 to 1947.
Ernest & Lil were my uncle & aunt. Ernest was the brother of my grandfather.
George & I went swimming in the river at the mill pond. I learnt to ride a bike and we would ride around the country lanes and up to the village shop for sweets. Another great summer activity was when the corn was being reaped we would catch the rabbits with a big stick as they ran from the harvester.
There was an old wreck of a car by the pig shed that we played in, probably the one that Bevra mentioned. When I was there they had a Woolsey which we were picked up in by Nobby from the station when we arrived. I don't remember trout but I do remember them getting fresh mushrooms for breakfast picked from the local fields. My first taste of mushrooms -  I was not impressed. I also remember playing in the bar when it was raining which it seem to do regularly.

Brian Dale - 17th October 2011

The Dales certainly made an impression during their time in Itteringham and that's why I wanted to have our name on record.  You know you would have liked my mum and dad, they were highly respected in the villages around.  Mother was the one who laid the law down if any trouble with any customers.  Not that there was much of that.   I can only remember it happening twice and that was during the war when 2 of the soldiers from Wolterton camp started to have an argument in the bar and were about ready to enter into fisty cuffs.   Mother marched in between the 2 of them, grapped them each by an ear and twisted it, marched them outside and said - "If you want to fight do it out there"   We never saw them again. My mother was not very big but a force to be reckoned with. 
My husband, who was stationed at Wolterton camp at the time said my mother was known as "The Sergeant Major"  She would stand at the entrance to the bar with arms crossed and you could hear a pin drop.  But underneath this facade she was a real softie and so many people would take her into their confidence,  asking advice of a personal nature knowing it would stay in confidence.  

Bevra Menlove née Dale, Melbourne, Australia - 26th October 2011

I have just started looking at and researching my husbands ancestors. There is quite a bit on the Wall family and I came across William Wall and that he was a licence of this pub and found your web page
It is so exciting finding all this. His son also William Wall was sent to Tasmania at a young age for some offence and also ended up in later years owning a pub in Warnambool Victoria .
William Wall was his great great great grandfather.
My name is Elizabeth Wall, nee Yeomans, my husband is Peter Wall and we live in Melbourne Australia.

Elizabeth Wall - 15th December 2012

5th August 2005
5th August 2005

Rear beer garden 5th August 2005 Rear beer garden 5th August 2005
Rear beer garden 5th August 2005

Front beer garden 5th August 2005
Front beer garden 5th August 2005

Pub named among the best in Britain

ITTERINGHAM: The Walpole Arms
has been named among one of the 10 best gastropubs in Britain - and the best in the east of England - in the Mail on Sunday.
Restaurant critic Tom Parker Bowles praised the pub for its food and own Walpole ale in an article entitled Best Bar None.
Co-owner Richard Bryan said it was great to gain further national recognition, having been named as the central England gastropub of the year by the Morning Advertiser licensed trade paper in 2005.

Eastern Daily Press - September 2007

Walpole Arms sign
The Walpole Arms has its own website - the link to it is on our Links & Ads page
The telephone number is 01263 587258

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