Article 17. Diversion of the Road from Swanton Morley to Bawdeswell

I have often idly wondered why this road has a sudden kink in it just as it approaches The White House. I have now discovered that it was diverted in 1823 in order to move the road away from the front of the house (which at that time was owned by a Mr Robberds) and to bring the lake to his side of the road. The following is a transcript of the order that was made at the time. Even after sticking in a few commas it is a bit indigestible, so you may want to skip it altogether and just look at the plan. I liked the doubtful argument that the diversion was done to make the road “more commodious to the public”.

In the same bundle of documents there is a written statement by Joseph Turner of Swanton Morley, which was presented to the Norfolk Sessions, by Adjournment at Holt, on 25 October 1823. This states that duplicate notices of the above were affixed “by this deponent in legible characters at the places (named) and by the sides of the highway” Another duplicate was affixed to the door of the Parish Church on three successive Sundays. Also the like notice was inserted in the Norfolk Chronicle, “a newspaper generally circulated in the county” for three successive weeks.

I checked and a notice to this effect was indeed inserted in three successive Saturday editions of the Norfolk Chronicle and Norwich Gazette, on 20th and 27th September and 4th October respectively.
Page Created: 28/11/10
Frederick Keppel Esq and Dixon Hoste, Clerk, two of His Majesty’s Justices of the Peace for the County of Norfolk at a special session holden at the house of Robert Lucas, known as the Sign of the Dial, situate in Swanton Morley in the hundred of Launditch in the said county on the 15th day of September 1823 having upon view found that certain a part of a highway within the Parish of Swanton Morley and in the same hundred lying between Swanton Church and the Parish of Bawdeswell in the said county for the length of 308 yards and of the breadth on average of 14 ft and particularly described in the plan hereto annexed and commencing next the north-east corner of an inclosure of land called Falgate Meadow belonging to Mr William Tooley Robberds, and marked on the said plan with a letter A, and proceeding in a north direction to a point in the same road opposite a barn called Goode’s Barn belonging to the said William Tooley Robberds, marked on the said plan with the letter B, which highway may be diverted and turned so as to make the same nearer and more commodious to the public. And having viewed a course proposed for the new highway in lieu there of 306 yards and of the breadth of 20 ft or thereabouts and commencing near the said corner of the said Falgate Meadow, and marked in the said plan with the letter A, and proceeding in a north-east direction across the western end of a inclosure of meadow land belonging to Edward Lombe Esq. thence in a north direction across the west end of two meadows belonging respectively to the said William Tooley Robberds and the said Edward Lomb, and thence in the same direction through a meadow, a garden and a farm yard belonging to the said William Tooley Robberds and the same Edward Lombe to the said point in the same road opposite to Goode’s Barn and marked in the said plan with the letter B.

Now therefore, we the Justices by virtue of the power and authority to us given in and by a certain act of parliament … hereby order that the said highway be stopped up and turned through the lands aforesaid. Given under our hands and seals the day and year above written.

F KeppelDixon Hoste
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