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Swaffham Road Wendling 1890s
Wendling Village Hall
Wendling Sign

The Village of Wendling

Wendling is a village and civic parish.  It covers an area of 2.03 sq. miles and had a population of 313 people over 18 years old in about 129 households at the 2011 census.  It falls within the district of Breckland.  The pioneer photographer Robert Howlett is buried in the churchyard of St. Peter and St. Paul church.   The village has a very long history, at least 700 years and is part of the cultural fabric of the area and Norfolk as a whole.  The village derives its name from a stream which runs through the town (as it was titled) called 'Wandle and ing'.  It means meadow so 'Wandle-Meadow' shortened means Wendling 'the winding stream by the meadows'.  Before 1267 it was known as Wendlyng.  In the time of Edward the Confessor (1042-1066) Wendlyng was in the Manor of the Abbot of Bury and at the time of the survey which was held by the Abbot by Richard 1 (1189-1199) it consisted of a carucate of land, 2 villains, 6 borders, 6 acres of meadow and 1 carucate in demean, 1 carucate and 1/2 amongst the tenants.  Peonage  for 100 swine and 1 stockman had 12 acres.  For many years Wendling had its own raiway station with a line that connected to Dereham and Kings Lynn.  The railway and station was heavily used during the Second World War. Ammunition was brought by train, then loaded into lorries to be taken to the American air force base nearby.  During the 1940's and 1950's the line was heavily used during the sugar beet season.  Outside of this time little freight used the line.  Most passengers went either to Swaffham or to Dereham.  Schoolchildren used the train in order to get to Grammar Schools that were based in either of those towns,  Unfortunately the line and station were closed in 1968. 

St. Peter and St. Paul Church

In modern day Wendling there are currently three places of worship, of which the church dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul is the oldest building and is used by Church of England worshippers.  We also have a Methodist Chapel and our Village Hall is used by a Christadelphian congregation.  Year ago Wendling also had an Abbey belonging to the Premonstratensian Order of Canons (known as the white canons because of their attire), who were associated with Langley Abbey and followed the Rule of Augustine.  The Abbey was founded about 1256 and lasted until it was suppressed in 1536.  There are no visible ruins left.

St. Peter and St. Paul Church is a beautiful hidden gem of a Norfolk Church which lies down a secluded wooded lane to the north of the village.  Park your car under the trees and walk down the shingled path to the Church, passing established hollies and yew.  Although the A47 road is nearby, as you step on the path, the sounds of the cars fade, birdsong takes over and it becomes easy to reflect on the many hundreds of years of Christian worship centred around this building.


The Church is a mix of styles from different centuries, as many English  Churches are.  This one retains a West Tower, complete with gargoyles, which dates to the 14th century, a 15th century South Transept and a Nave mostly built with brown flints.  There is a shallow south porch between the two Nave windows, inside which is a carved stone head above the door, which is thought to date to Norman times.  Look out for the carved stone beard and decide for yourself if there is a moustache too.  Think back to Norman times and marvel at the years this stone face has watched people come and go inside this village Church.


Of particular note is the font, which is one of the Seven Sacrament fonts, a speciality of East Anglia.  Only 49 of these fonts remain, 25 of which are in Norfolk.  An excellent leaflet compiled for Church  Tours in 2009 by 'Lyn Stilgoe' is well worth picking up from inside the Church before you look around.

The traditional graveyard contains the recently rededicated grave of the renowned Victorian photographer Robert Howlett, one of the first professional photographers in Britain.  There are informative booklets about Robert, researched and written by Rose Teanby, available in the Church, and she has a website page about his grave restoration project,  A DOCUMENT outlining the life of Robert

Howlett 1831 - 1858 can be viewed on the DOCUMENTS PAGE of this website. 

Our current incumbent is the Reverend Julia Hemp.  She can be contacted by emailing or by telephone on 01362 861380.  Julia took over from Reverend Robert Marsden in 2016 when the new benefice of Launditch and Upper Nar was formed.  She came from a parish of 20,000 in Norwich with 3 Churches and a high level of poverty and deprivation.  She has very much enjoyed the move to rural ministry and living and working in such a beautiful part of Norfolk.

St. Peter and St. Paul, Wendling is part of the Launditch and Upper Nar Benefice which consists of 19 Churches and 17 Parishes.  Our Benefice is part of the Deanery of Dereham in Mitford, which is in turn part of the Archdeaconry of Lynn, looked after by The Bishop of Lynn, the Right Reverend Jonathan Meyrick.

Our exquisite county Cathedral is in Norwich,  There is also a useful link to the website of the Church of England across Norfolk & Waveney,

Wendling Church became a Festival Church in April 2018 when attendance at the monthly service reached critically low levels and there ceased to be a functioning P.C.C.  However, the Church remains open and can be viewed by borrowing the key from Church Farm, just next door,  The Church is open for baptisms, weddings and funerals and occasional services and it is hoped in time that there will be a demand for the monthly services to be reinstated.  The building and the Churchyard continue to be well maintained for the benefit of the Parish.  If you are interested in attending a service regularly, please do contact Reverend Julia and let her know.

Wendling  Parish Council

The Parish Council is usually made up of 7 Councillors who represent the village on various matters.  It is the third tier of local government after Norfolk County Council and Breckland District Council.  Currently there are 2 Parish Councillor vacancies

The Parish Council is responsible for the brick built bus shelter, the Village sign, litter bins, dog bins, grit bins, notice boards, Church signs, seats, a defibrillator and organising Highways to carry out tasks.


Planning Applications are discussed at Parish Council meetings. 

The results of the 2019 election nomination process have been published.  The document showing the results can be found on the Documents page, under Other Documents.


Wendling  Parish Councillors


There are currently 5 residents on the Parish Council and there should be 7, so there are 2 vacancies but one will be filled in July.  If you are interested in joining the Parish Council then please contact their Clerk. 

The  current Parish Councillors for Wendling are listed below.  If you wish to make contact with any Parish Councillor, please do so firstly via The Clerk.

Mr Stephen Warwick - Chairman

After a 32 year career in the Metropolitan Police Service, my family and  I returned to Norfolk in 2006 and we moved to the village of Wendling.  I have served on the Parish Council since 2009 and during that time I have tried, with the other Parish Councillors, to help make Wendling a pleasant place to live and work in.  My ambition would be to see Wendling again become a village with more facilities and opportunities for the future.

Contact details:- 

Telephone No     01362 687228

Mr Matthew Olley - Vice Chairman

I have lived in Wendling all my life and have now moved into my new home in Abbey Close.  I have many happy memories of my time in this beautiful village from going to the school before it closed to getting my first job at the farm where the Fire Pit Camp is now.  I have attended many great social events in the Village Hall and am glad to see the Fire Pit Camp taking on fantastic outdoor events and live music like the old Rose Pub used to have.  I feel it is events like these that help pull the people of Wendling together.  I also enjoy walking through Honeypot Woods and feel lucky to have one of the few sites in Norfolk that has World War Two buildings still standing as a reminder of our connections to old Wendling Air Base and the many heroes that worked there.  Wendling maybe a small village but it has a big heart.  

01362 687627

Mrs Sally Knight

We moved to Norfolk about 4 years ago to help support our aging family.  My husband lived locally for much of his childhood and my side of the family has farmed and worked in Norfolk for generations.

After studying Agriculture at Nottingham University I went on to train as a Veterinary Surgeon at Bristol University, where I met my husband.  We have enjoyed living in several counties over the years.  I started work in mixed practice, seeing everything from cows to kittens.  Then latterly I worked as a solely small animal vet.  I went to my first Parish Council meeting as it was held just up the road in the Village Hall and I was curious.  I was surprised by how many people were not there, but also by how much information was available and how the Parish Council wanted to hear local points of view. I joined the Parish Counci as it needed Councillors.  It has been a pleasure to attend meetings and to start to contribute.  I would encourage all residents to come along to meetings as your voice could make a difference to things you care about local.

Contact details:-

Mobile No 07590615656

Mrs Christina Foster

I have grown up in Wendling and am fortunate enough to still live here now with my husband, 3 children and my parents nearby.  I work locally for a family business and my children go to a nearby village school.  One of my hobbies is running  and Wendling is a great place to get out and enjoy the quiet roads and countryside.  I have been part of the Parish Council for about 15 years.  I originally wanted to join it as I have had first hand experience of trying to gain planning permission in the village, which was not easy.  I wanted to be able to offer help and support where possible for other people in the same situation.  My future hope for the village is that it will grow, along with the families who enjoy living here.  I would love for my children to remain living in such a lovely rural location when they are grown up.  I would also love to see the Parish Council grow,  It is a wonderful group to be part of and we do our best to make the village a friendly and safe place to live in. 

01362 687459

Mr David Kemble

07956 420519

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