Saturday, 17 January 2015

Denver, Norfolk, UK

Denver is a small village located in the county of Norfolk in the UK.  It is recorded that its name originates from the Anglo Saxon 'Dena faer', meaning the ford or passage of the Danes, referring to the Viking invasions.

The main building that stands out in the centre of the village is the Medieval church of St Mary's dating back to the 14th and 15th Centuries, built using the local carrstone, edged with bath stone and sitting under a slate roof.  The base of the tower is of an earlier date than the rest of the church and there is evidence in some of the walls that suggests that there could have been an earlier Saxon church on the site.  The church was restored in the late 19th Century and the tower in 1986.

As is a typical layout for most villages, across the road is the village pub, The Bell Inn.  The pub has been located here since at least 1836 and was one of five pubs in this small village.

Here is a link to a photo of this pub dating to around 1935, showing very little change to the outside of the pub, apart from the pub advertising selling Halls Ales of Ely rather than a Free House and also advertising 'Good stabling', not really needed today.  Mind you, could you get arrested for drink riding!!

We are now going to head down the road to Denver Sluice, which Denver is most famous for, passing by the windmill.

You can just see the 19th Century windmill, just poking out from the surrounding trees.  The windmill was first constructed in 1835, replacing an earlier post mill which was marked on an Ordinance Survey Map dated 1824 .  The tower is listed as Grade II and has been owned by the Historic Building Trust since 1995 and restoration works on the tower are due to start shortly.

The windmill featured in an episode of the hit UK comedy 'Allo Allo - Fighting with Windmills', filmed in 1992.  The windmill also lies on the path of the Roman Fen Causeway.

We have now arrived at Denver Sluice.  The original sluice was constructed here in 1651, but it had to be rebuilt in 1713 after being damaged by an extremely high tidal surge.  The sluice plays a major role in the drainage of the fens being at the cross roads of 5 water courses that snake their way across the fens.

It is recorded that the work carried out during the flood protection works that are commemorated by the plaque shown below, were originally suggested back in 1642, 300 years before they were carried out.

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