Old and New
B and I walked around the Bayfield Estate in the Glaven Valley today. We came across the brightly coloured Mobile Library, a service run by Norfolk County Council. It visits the village of Glandford (where we began our circular walk) once a month, always on a Friday.
To the left can be seen Bayfield Hall and the ruins of the medieval church of St. Mary's. The Grade II listed house was completed in the late 18th Century.
In 1882 the hall and land was inherited by Sir Alfred Jodrell. He is quoted as saying I intend to leave the estate in better condition than when I inherited it. It seems he was true to his word and completely rebuilt the nearby village of Glandford to make life more comfortable for his workers. He spent a great deal of money on the village, especially on his project to rebuild the decrepit Saint Martin's church which he began in 1899. The church took seven years to complete employing a team of workers headed by two wood carvers from Great Yarmouth.
Jodrell was also noted for his generosity. He would send baskets of fresh fruit and vegetables every week to the Norfolk & Norwich Hospital. At Christmas he sent the hospital 40 chickens and 40 turkeys plucked and oven ready. He also gave generously to many local charities and good causes.
His generosity extended to his friends as well. He was known for his hosted dinners where he served the finest food and wine to his guests, although he himself abstained from alcohol. He once hosted King George V who visited from his Norfolk home at Sandringham to attend a pheasant shoot on the estate organised by Jodrell.
Jodrell was also a keen collector and had collections of teapots and ceramic birds although he is best known for his collection of seashells. He had a museum built next to St Martin's church to house the collection. The museum is still open to the public today.