About the Hall

Swanton Novers has long had a vibrant Village Hall. The old Village Hall was housed in the former Swanton Novers Primary School. This school closed around 1938. The building was briefly used as a laundry before being taken over by the village and opened as a Village Hall in the 1940s.  The hall was used on a regular basis until it was closed and sold around 2006. This saddened the village but the building needed so much work to bring it up to the health and safety standards of the 21st century we had no option but to sell it. We did this by sealed bids and the old village hall was bought and transformed into two houses.

With the proceeds of the sale we could begin the process of designing and building a new village hall. Lord Hastings gave us a long lease on the land where we already had the village play equipment. We were lucky enough to have a retired architect in the village who was happy to give his services for free. He produced a wonderful plan which was approved by the village and later won a prestigious CPRE design award. We started to build our village hall in 2007.

This was not without its problems and was a bumpy ride, especially when the builder we employed for the job went bankrupt and left us with an unfinished hall and things not paid for.

What we did have though was a strong and motivated Village Hall Committee that worked hard to unpick the potential mess that was left behind and find a way forward.  Around this time a parishioner bequeathed a considerable sum of money to the Village Hall. So, it was with steely resolve alongside skills donated free by craftsmen who live in the village we finished our wonderful village hall.

Since opening the doors of our Village Hall, we have been very busy. We offer a variety of activities to our local community and beyond. We have regular activities like Yoga, Pilates, Hips Tums and Bums, Bowls and coffee mornings.  We have one off events, quizzes, folk gigs and fish and chip suppers. We hire out the hall for wedding receptions, family parties, wakes, Yoga Retreats and an annual Craft Fayre. In fact, if you need a large space, or smaller meetings room Swanton Novers Village Hall has something to offer you.

Swanton Novers Village is a registered charity (charity no. 208460) which comprises, at the time of writing, Eight Trustees who serve on the Village Hall Committee.

A Quick History of Swanton Novers

Early History

Swanton Novers is a small village in North Norfolk situated next to an ancient Great Wood. The first official written record of the village appears in the Domesday Book in 1085. The entry identifies the village as Suanetuna within the manor of Bishop William.  However, in 1044 it was also known as Swaneton.  The name indicates a village or settlement of herdsmen and 200 sheep which gave the settlement a relatively high value.

In 1200 the land was recorded as being held by Milo de Nuiers.  He was originally from Noyers-Bocage in Normandy, an area which is still in existence. This was the beginning of the name we still know today, Swanton Novers.

The Great Wood, which is a main feature of the village, is now a SSSI and subject to study by Cambridge University due to its unusual mix of geology and botany. The woodland still shows early working with clay and wood extraction from about 1540.  Evidence can still be seen of early oak coppicing, and a banking system dating from 1066. The clay substrata has been quarried and used for brickmaking over the past 500 years and there are still the remains of brick kilns in the region of the Great Wood.

Not so early history

Swanton Novers is adjacent to Melton Constable which is noted for its railway history. It falls within the estate of the Astley family who hold the historic title of Lord Hastings.  It was therefore an estate village for the Melton Constable Hall estate which provided work and accommodation for many of the inhabitants of the village. And so the village owes much of its existence to the Great Wood, the Melton Constable Estate and the Railway.

The village church, St Edmund’s, lies just outside the village. Although there is some evidence of a Saxon building dating back nearly 1000 years the Victorians completely remodelled the church in 1881.

There was, until fairly recently a healthy number of public houses, shops, forge, school and wheelwrights. But like many villages all of these facilities have disappeared leaving us with only the village hall as the focus of the village.

The population of the village was recorded as 211 in the 2011 census. This remains much the same today.

We are extremely lucky and proud to host a wide variety of events at the hall click the button below to see what we have coming up!

Parish
Council

We work closely with the Swanton Novers Parish Council. Click the button below to view their regulalry updated website.

Facilities &
Booking

We have a modern and spacious village hall with all the modern amenities you would hope for.

Where to Find Us

Swanton Novers Village Hall

St Giles Rd,

Melton Constable

NR24 2RB