A brief history on Horningtoft Village
St Edmunds church, Horningtoft
Horningtoft is a village and civil parish in the English county of Norfolk. It covers an area of 5.73 km2 (2.21 sq mi) and had a population of 135 in 54 households at the 2001 census, reducing to a population of 127 in 53 households at the 2011 Census. For the purposes of local government, it falls within the district of Breckland.
Horningtoft has seen a reasonable amount of archaeological work. Plenty of sites visits have been carried out and many stray finds are recorded. Some metal detecting and a limited amount of fieldwalking have taken place. In 1998 a geophysical survey was conducted in the southwest ahead of gas pipe laying. Sites have been identified in most parts of the parish, although there are a few places where none have been recorded
The route of the Roman road (NHER 11358) from Billingford to Toftrees runs southeast to northwest through the parish. Roman artefacts have been discovered at sites throughout the parish and they include pieces of pottery, coins, brooches, a harness mount and a steelyard weight. Early Saxon objects include a brooch, fragments from two brooches and part of a wrist clasp.
Part of a Middle Saxon pin has been discovered in the west. Middle and Late Saxon pottery (NHER 7177), a Late Saxon box mount, a 10th-century bell and a Late Saxon necklace or harness pendant have been found close to St Edmund’s Church (NHER 7183). This suggests that there has been a settlement in the vicinity of the church site from at least the Middle Saxon period (although the church itself may not have been present so far back).
Horningtoft appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 as ‘Horninghetoft’. This Old English/Old Norse hybrid name means the ‘area of land belonging to the people of Horna’ or ‘the land of people living at the horn-shaped hill’. In 1086 William I held land in the parish and freemen, villagers, smallholders, slaves, meadow, ploughs, woodland, pigs, cattle, sheep, goats and half a fishery were recorded.
For more information on Horningtoft Village please visit www.horningtoft.org.uk