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This village is the original home of worsted - a woollen cloth woven by Flemish weavers who settled here in the Middle Ages. Early in his reign Edward III, married to a Flemish princess, encouraged immigration of Flemings to “exercise their mysteries in the kingdom”. Attracted to England by its abundant supplies of wool, a large number of weavers settled in and around Norwich where Norfolk sheep produced the same long wool as they had used in Flanders. This was made into the cloth called Worsted.

This trade brought not only wealth and prosperity to England for 600 years but also provided a household word throughout the world. Weaving flourished in the village for over five hundred years. Today some of the weavers’ houses in and around the village survive. The crypt of one house with a groined ceiling still survives at the bottom of a derelict stair under the bake house in the market square.

Today, Worstead is famous for its annaul Worstead Festival taking place on the last weekend of July every year.

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North Walsham, Norfolk, NR28 9AL

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