Kenninghall is a small but dynamic village situated in South Norfolk, not far from the Suffolk border, in the triangle between the market towns of Attleborough, Diss and Thetford and is part of the district of Breckland.
Approximately 950 people live in the parish and over the past two decades more than 50+ new houses have been built in the village. There is a thriving village primary school that caters for the village’s children and those from neighbouring villages. In addition, there is a large playing field, hard-surface multi-games area for children of all ages and a new younger children’s play area near the village hall.
There are many footpaths and walks around the village, including in and around our very own Kenninghall Wood managed by the Kenninghall Lands Trust. The village has two pubs, the Red Lion and The White Horse (now permanently closed), a thriving village shop and post-office and a GP surgery.
There is a spacious new village hall that runs regular activities, events and is available for hire for birthdays, weddings etc.
Kenninghall Parish Council meets on the first Tuesday of each month (except August) at 7.30pm in Kenninghall Village Hall when its 11 councillors debate and decide on policy and action in the best interests of the community. Everyone is welcome to attend and we regularly have residents who participate each month.
Kenninghall’s St Mary’s Church is a fine example of a Norfolk village church.
Kenninghall Village Sign
photo by anthony harwood of kenninghall january 2014
The unusual wrought iron village sign of Kenninghall in Norfolk was a gift from the Women’s Institute in 1972 and was designed by a former stage designer, Mr. P. MacNamara of Quidenham, and made by Mr. Eric Stevenson of Wroxham.  Historical research for the sign was carried out by Mr Michael and Mrs Estelle Serpell of Kenninghall.  The shields were painted by Mr. A. Thirtle of Norwich. On the apex of the sign is a representation of the ‘Kenninghall brooch’, a type of ornament like one found in the Anglo-Saxon burial ground excavated at the Butts in 1869, near where the sign stands. Below the name is depicted the legendary crown and coat of arms of King Edward ‘the Confessor’ to whom Kenninghall belonged as a royal manor. The two shields below are, left, the coat of arms of the Howards, Dukes of Norfolk, who built Kenninghall House and, right, the Earl of Mowbray.  The fourth shield belongs to the Earl of Albermarle.Note: The paintwork on the sign was restored in October 2013 by Wendy Slade of Acanthus Gilding and Restoration.The photo was taken by Anthony Harwood of Kenninghall in January 2014.Kenninghall has an interesting history and in 1870-72, John Marius Wilson’s Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Kenninghall like this:KENNINGHALL, a village, a parish, and a subdistrict, in Guiltcross district, Norfolk. The village stands 4 miles ESE of East Harling r. station, and 6 S by W of Attleborough; was the seat of Boadicea and the East Anglian kings; took thence the name of Cheninkhala or Cyninghalla, signifying “king’s house, ” and modernized into Kenninghall: retains vestiges of the royal castle in mounds, which are now called Kenning hall Place; and has a post office under Thetford, a hotel, a weekly cattle market on Monday, and sheep and cattle fairs on 18 July and 30 Sept. …The parish comprises 3, 600 acres. Real property, £7, 810. Pop. in 1851, 1, 648; in 1861, 1, 405. Houses, 280. The property is much subdivided. The chief landowners are the Duke of Norfolk and the Earl of Albemarle. The manor was held by the De Albinis; passed to the Monaltos, the Mowbrays. and the Howards; and belongs now to the Duke of Norfolk. A palace, on the site of the royal castle, and in the form of the letter H, went to the Crown on the attainder of Thomas, Duke of Norfolk; was, for some time, the residence of Queen Mary; was used by Queen Elizabeth, as a summer seat; and was taken down about 1650. The Guiltcross workhouse stands 1½ mile S of the village; and, at the census of 1861, had 194 inmates. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Norwich. Value, £250.* Patron, the Bishop of Norwich. The church is large and good; has a tower of flint and stone; and bears, on the buttresses of its S side, the crest of the Norfolk family. There are chapels for Baptists and Wesleyans, and charities £67.—The sub-district contains also twelve other parishes. Acres, 25, 904. Pop., 6, 025. Houses, 1, 336.

For more information about the history of Kenninghall and the church can be found at:





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