Bircham Parish Council are deeply saddened by the news of the passing of HRH
Prince Phillip the Duke of Edinburgh. The lifelong commitment by the Duke to
the Queen and country was extraordinary.
The Duke was particularly fond of this part of Norfolk and since his
retirement from public duties at the age of 96 has spent most of his time
living quietly on the Sandringham Estate. Many residents will have their own
memories of meetings with the Duke whether it be at an official function or
a chance encounter. We will cherish these memories and say a big thank you
to a special man who will be much missed.
A national period of mourning will be observed until the day after the
The Parish of Bircham lies on the border of the Sandringham Estate, about 7 miles from the North Norfolk coast and comprises of three small villages:- Great Bircham, Bircham Tofts, and Bircham Newton. Bircham Tofts is recorded in the Domesday book as Stoftstan, referring to its stony soil and it merged with Bircham Newton in 1719. Norfolk's most famous son Admiral Lord Nelson's daughter Horatia married Philip Ward, the local rector, and brought up a large family at Church Farm.
Great Bircham hosts a farm shop with deli and cafe, St Mary's Church, and the King's Head Hotel with an award-winning restaurant. There is also a fully restored windmill, considered to be the only working windmill in this part of the county, where visitors can climb five floors up to the fan stage, and on windy days, you can watch the sails and milling machinery turning and admire the view. The mill also has an onsite bakery, a small children's farm, and a cycle hire centre. The Parish also played host to RAF Bircham Newton which opened in 1918, now home to the Construction Industry Training Board.
Bircham Newton has a small, private trout fishing lake and the Church of All Saints, one of the smallest in the county, with no porch, few windows and Victorian box pews.