Today it is very possible to drive through or past Little Ryburgh and miss it, yet in the past, though never having a huge population, it was of more importance than its present day image would suggest. This is one of several proposed pages on the village of Little Ryburgh and relates to a part of the parish that was at times as tied to Kettlestone as Great Ryburgh. I refer to the portion that straddles the main road from Fakenham to Norwich, named after a now almost invisible feature, Langor Bridge.
The name, seen on a late C17th field map identified Langwade Bidge at this point and which by 1831, in a publication of Picturesque Views of Norfolk Bridges, was called Little Ryburgh Bridge
Reproduced here is the version as printed in the above publication:
As is often the case, a plain print like this would be hand coloured and seen in versions like this, recently purchased:
The bridge spanned a drain that eventually joined the Wensum and formed a natural boundary to the village, winding its way downstream to the bridge at Great Ryburgh, which although an ancient crossing of the river at the time of this publication, was possibly not of sufficient architectural or aesthetic interest to warrant inclusion in this collection.
Extraordinarily, we have corroboration of this structure in two separate photographic depictions from August 12th 1912 when a catastrophic flood washed much of the bridge away:
The above image is to be found on a postcard produced by May Bone a local photographer with branches at Fakenham and Hunstanton.
The image below looks to have been taken nearer the time of the collapse than the postcard above. It is to the is to be found in the June 1973 issue of Norfolk Fair in an article about Langor Bridge which was later reproduced in an issue of Ryburgh People
The flood waters have neatly demolished the near headwall and almost the entire arch that carried the Fakenham Norwich Road.
Today most people are completely unaware as they drive to and from Norwich that they still cross a watercourse which runs alongside the workshop buildings of Langor Bridge Service Station. It is thanks to the Fakenham Archive, we still have a view of the comparative tranquility that once prevailed in this part of the village:
The above mentioned article on Langor Bridge was chiefly concerned with the Railway and I am grateful to Gerald Lamont of Fakenham for supplying the May Bone image and the following one of the signal box taken around the time of the closure of the line. It is still in situ.today: