Village Stocks

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Itteringham Village Stocks
Itteringham Village Stocks

Itteringham's Village Stocks are preserved in the dungeons of Norwich Castle Museum.

They were acquired by the museum in October 1900, some 30 years or so after they went out of use.

Itteringham Village Stocks Itteringham Village Stocks
Space for up to 4 people
The whipping post

O.S. Map 1890
O.S. Map 1890
Image produced from the service with permission of Landmark Information Group Ltd. and Ordnance Survey

Where in Itteringham were the Stocks?

To date it has been assumed that the most obvious high visibility site for the stocks would have been right in the centre of the village on the tiny ‘green’ near the manor house and shop.

Recent research discovered a little known drawing by the famous Norwich School artist John Sell Cotman which was sketched in autumn 1841 on a visit to Wolterton Hall. With the publisher’s agreement - The Norfolk Museums Service - we reproduce below the copy of the lithograph in Sydney D. Kitson’s The Life of John Sell Cotman.


Kitson describes it as showing the village pound and stocks. But there is no clue as to location other than perhaps a lane in the foreground with a Dutch-gabled house and a group of trees up a slope in the background.

However, recent research in Lord and Lady Walpole’s archive at Wolterton Hall shows that the stocks were in fact near The Walpole Arms. A note by Frederic Walpole of Rainsthorpe Hall says that he and his brother, the Earl of Orford (of Mannington and Wolterton), in 1868 had each acquired a set of stocks. Frederic gives an account of stalls now set up in the East Court at Rainsthorpe:

Our village possessed none. I often envied a pair although modern that stood in a recess of the road near unto the Walpole Arms in Itteringham and much desiring I ask Mr Phipson our County Surveyor to procure me them.

He goes on to say that by coincidence and without communication between them, at just this time his brother had removed these stocks to Mannington. Delighted that his brother had preserved this ‘relic’ but no doubt disappointed not to get them he proceeds to acquire a set of his own. The papers contain correspondence from H. Bull the Rector at Stoke Ash Rectory, Stonham in Suffolk. These letters show that Frederic obtained their village stocks which had stood for many years there by the churchyard wall via a £5 donation to their church restoration fund.

Also at Wolterton is a receipt from the Norwich Castle Museum of October 1900 for: old stocks and whipping post formerly placed in the parish of Itteringham near The Walpole Arms public house.

With this information it seems that the sketch shows the stocks and cattle pound roughly where the pub’s restaurant is now, or perhaps a little further back along the hedge row on the west side of the property. This fits well with late 18 th century documentary evidence that shows that there was a cattle pound at the back of the pub, dating from much earlier days when there was a butchery here. The gable-ended house therefore would be Hill Farm and the trees up the slope to the left must have been where the two large old oaks stand today by the newly erected grain store. The enclosure and tithe maps also show a widening of the roadway at the front of the pub, so no doubt there was plenty of space here to loiter and tease anyone in the stocks!

Copyright © Maggie Vaughan-Lewis and William Vaughan-Lewis 2007

Lithograph by John Sell Cotman 12th November 1841 Stocks site 5th April 2007
Lithograph by John Sell Cotman 12th November 1841
Stocks site 5th April 2007

If you have any memories, anecdotes or photos please let us know and we may be able to use them to update the site. By all means telephone 07836 675369 or

Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2007
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