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Welcome to Sprowston Heritage
We are a diverse group that meet weekly to keep the records up to date and research the past of the Parish in its changing forms and now recording life as a town.

The Archive used to use the COMMA community archive software, but we are currently in the process of switching to a Wiki-based system. Articles will be published on a continual basis for public access.

We are of course dependent on the members of the public to bring archive material to our attention. Where possible we follow up all leads with research often involving accessing public records but where possible talking and sometimes recording the person with the knowledge. A photograph taken in a local setting often says more than words, be it work or just people in Sprowston so please bring them along to add to the archive.

Contact Us | Meeting Schedule | Officers | Contribute
Funding

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Sprowston Heritage is supported by the Broadland District Council Small Community Grant.

The group was founded in 1999, receiving funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund in 2004.

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A brief History of Sprowston
Sprowston appears to have been known as Sprow, possibly so named after a 9th century Saxon or Norse invader.

William 1st decreed that a record of the lands of England be made, thus the Domesday Book came into being in 1086.

So the area known as Sprow's settlement was re-named Sprowestuna-tun meaning settlement, enclosure or farm.

The Domesday Book lists the Manors of the Mounteney and Aslaks (Aslakes), Manor meaning the lands attached to the mansions of the owners.

Although Sprowston consisted of a large area north of the City of Norwich and spreading out to Beeston, Catton, Thorpe plus tracts of woods and heath, the population was small.

The Parish Church was completed in the 14th century, although there is evidence of the church in the records, dating from the early part of the 12th century. This confirmed the steadfastness of those in the Parish.

However the Black Death in 1348-1368 caused loss of life and along with farming changes, led to movement in areas of habitation. Heathland supported sheep farming and the woollen cloth trade, until in the 1400s arable farming expanded, leading to changes involving greater numbers of farm workers but fewer shepherds.

In the 15th century, Sprowestuna become one community and in 1560 Sprowston Hall was built near the church proving Sprowston to be a single Manor and Parish.

Naturally significant changes in boundaries, population and employment occurred during the following centuries. In 1850, the population was 1308, in School Road, Sprowston, the Elementary National School was built and St. Cuthberts Church was opened in 1885.

Sprowston Parish Council was established in 1894 and by 1901 the population was 2359. Other schools, recreation ground and park followed.

In 1976 the population was 17,800, and Sparhawk Park was created.

In 1982, a sports field was opened at Barkers Lane and in 1988, Council Offices formed.

Sprowston Parish Councillors debated whether the Parish of Sprowston should become a Town and so in October 2011 they voted with one accord to become a Town, (Town denotes an urban area with a name, boundaries, local government, shopping and business areas, plus being larger than a village.

A Town could have a Mayor and Deputy Mayor, but this was deemed non-essential so the roles of Chairman and Vice-Chairman continue.