Moated Grange: A history of south Norfolk through the story of one home, 1300-2000


By: Elaine Murphy
July 2015
Book Guild
Distributed by Trans-Atlantic Publications Inc.
ISBN: 9781910298541
406 Pages, Illustrated
$42.50 Hardcover


This is the sotry of one Norfolk house, told through the lives of its owners, occupants and admirers. It is a tale that spans 750 years and provides a fascinating social history of rural England.

When Elaine Murphy fell in love with the Moated Grange on her first visit, she had no idea that when she looked into its past, she would find its history had been meticulously documented over the years. She would go on to discover characters ranging from a medieval knight fighting with Henry V, to a Cambridge burgess working with Oliver Cromwell, and a successful tannery owner and his wealthy Victorian feminist daughter.

From its beginning as a moated, timber-framed house dominating a fourteenth-century farming community, the property changed radically over the years, and is now a local landmark due to its distinctive architecture. The author discovered that its owners were generally educated people who hovered on the lower fringes of the gentry; they needed to earn their mark locally and sometimes further afield. Some knew times of peace and plenty; many lived through famine, riots, plague, religious intolerance and war; their family lives reflect the rigours of country living over more than seven centuries.