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Syderstone St. Mary
Syderstone St. Mary

Syderstone is a village in Norfolk, England.

Its church, St. Mary, is one of 124 round-tower churches in Norfolk.

Syderstone is a village in West Norfolk near the town of Fakenham. It is famous for the natterjack toad which have been seen near the popular but overgrown duck pond. Between 1997-2001 it was rumored that a pond just north of the village near Wicken Green concealed an old Highwayman's coach/cart which crashed many years before. It was soon proved incorrect as when the pond was low during the summer months there was no cart to be seen. Syderstone is also famous for its common which spans roughly 4 square miles. Much wildlife can be seen there including snakes, hares, rabbits and foxes.

In a field alongside the road that passes the duck pond there is a WWII Home Guard Pillar Box. Some visitors on bikes visited the pillar box in the field which in their opinion as quoted was "A fantastic reminder of times gone by" however they did say that it was rather unstable.

For a more sophisticated experience, try the famous trail that links the pond and the village shop. On route, one will experience the brisk easterly winds blowing in across the North Sea and on a clear day one can see the Dutch Shipping port of Zeebrugge. The end of the trail is the entrance to the village shop: unique in itself for having 12 owners in the last 8 years (believed to be an East Anglian record) according to the Norfolk Broads land registry.

During the Second World War, Syderstone played a key role in defence. Akak guns were stationed around the village to protect high ranking officers who visited a 'secret' house which was used to plan the protection of Winston Churchill when he made his trips to Norfolk.

During winter 1940 a German pilot bailed out over South Creake (a village 3 miles away) and successfully made his way to Syderstone where he held the village vicar hostage. The Home Guard were called in and detained the pilot and the vicar was freed. This has gone relatively unnoticed in the village's history until 2001 when some of the 1939-1942 secret documents were finally released. The pilot was sent back to his home in Zeebrugge which ironically can be seen from the famous 'Syderstone Zeebrugge viewpoint'.

The eldest resident from Syderstone was a George Atwell who lived to be 91. He owned the small local shop during the war and had several children and grandchildren. It was believed that he was a fighter pilot during the war.

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Coordinates: 52.85° N 00.71° E

(Source: Wikipedia)
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