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little switzerland near wroxham


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I have just done a search, it would appear that the picture Lori posted was off of the Broadlands Memories website




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One of the entrance dykes to Little Switzerland on the River Bure, dating from c1910. Little Switzerland is a series of chalk marl pits, located between Wroxham and Belaugh, from which thousands of tonnes of chalk was quarried during the 19th century. The channels leading off the Bure were cut to enable small wherries and lighters to get right up to the pits to load the marl for transportation around the Broads. The marl was apparently a useful aid to turnip growing when applied to the fields, and was also transported to lime kilns and cement works in the area. Quarrying ceased around 1875 and the steep slopes created by digging out the chalk were planted with coniferous woodland. It is also recorded that a mastedon, a form of prehistoric elephant, was discovered here in the early 19th century.

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I tweeted the old postcard this morning as part of my virtual early 20th cruise of the Norfolk Broads on Twitter. It seems that the bridge does still exist although getting too it it may be difficult. There is more information about Little Switzerland on the BIg Sky Productions blog and Google searches will bring up more current images too.




There were several entrances to the chalk pits from the River Bure. We had a look last year and they are difficult to make out as they are heavily overgrown now. I do have some photos somewhere on my PC. The thing which intrigued me was the fact that there used to be a pub which stood near to one of the entrances called the Groves End. Nothing remains of it now (I seem to remember that it was destroyed by fire) but I've been told that this was it, pictured c1910. I was trying to look into it before life went all pear shaped with mum in law! Hopefully I will be able to devote a bit more time to website matters in a few months time.






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