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Court Green
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Court Green

Court Green is the area where Hempstead Street joins the Holt Road.
The wooded area with the deep flooded marlpit just to the southeast of the green is known as The Rookery.
In the 1700s, the Green belonged to Red House Farm.
All O.S. maps list the area as Hempstead Green.

Hempstead windmill was a postmill that was working into the 1800s. It stood just to the southwest of Court Green.
The full history of Hempstead windmill is on the Norfolkmills website.

Tithe map 1841: William Dawson is shown as occupying Court House and Gardens, built to the east of the Green.
Court Green was a central postion for the Gurney Estate, close to both Red_House_Farm and Green_Farm and thus the estate carpenter's shop was relocated to the Green. Janet Jones recalled there was also a shop of sorts in the house, where she used to go with her mother to buy sweets.The building later became fully residential and renamed to Crabapple Cottage. The Gurneys also built an additional pair of cottages next door to the Carpenter's shop and these later became a bungalow imaginatively named The Bungalow.

Crabapple Cottage was originally the carpenter's workshop and the adjacent bungalow was the living quarters.

Crabapple Cottage - April 1948 1948
Crabapple Cottage - April 1948
Bertie Dann with his scythe and cat in front of The Bungalow - 1948
Left hand photo above . . .
The Reverend Wilson is in the door-way of the porch, but not very visible. The carpenters shop has a date cut in the plaster of the loft - August 1836 - the first building. Beyond the glass porch is the new flint building, copied from the old. The next wndow is the bathroom (with the frosted glass). Then our room with two windows. The spare room is round the corner, with the little garden room beyond - originally to have been the laundry - we think we will eventually have a door knocked through to it. The kitchen opens out of the glass porch, getting early morning sun. Two little pantries face north.
Ruth Wilson - 1948

Crabapple Cottage, Court Green - 1979
Crabapple Cottage, Court Green - 1979

Kelly's 1896: Fowle, John - vermin destroyer, Court green
Kelly's 1900: Fowle, John - vermin destroyer, Court green
Kelly's 1904: Burrell, Joseph - mole catcher, Court gn
Kelly's 1933: Dann, Bertie Rt. - carpntr. Court grn
Kelly's 1937: Dann, Bertie Edwin - travelling grocer, Court grn
Kelly's 1937: Dann, Bertie Rt. - carpntr. Court grn

In 1966, Basil Cozens-Hardy wrote that the name Court Green would signify the place where in medieval or earlier times meetings for some form of local government were held - . . . it may of course be the place where the Hempstead Manor Court was held, but the venue would normally be the hall.

Diana Spalton remembers the North Norfolk Coastal curfew imposed after Dunkirk. Everyone had to be in their houses by 9.30. It was then that the shed was built on Court Green to house the ARP. She also remembers the house shaking when a sea-mine(s) was dropped three fields away on the Mack's farm (Hempstead Hall).

A brick hut was built during the war to assist with the ARP. Two concrete emplacements with iron spigots were placed nearby to mount mortars. These were on occasions fired during the war as part of ARP exercises.

ARP hut - 13th March 2022 Mortar emplacement 13th March 2022
ARP hut - 13th March 2022
Concrete mortar emplacement - 13th March 2022

ARP hut - 13th March 2022 ARP hut - 13th March 2022
ARP hut interior - 13th March 2022

Court Green had a cycle speedway track during the 1960s. Cycle speedways were very popular in the 1950s and 1960s and Hempstead would have competed against other local villages such as Itteringham.

Hempstead, as a village, celebrated Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee in 1977. A new village sign was erected and a tree was planted by Mollie Mack of Hempstead_Hall. One anecdote mentions that the tree came from a garden centre and as no one present had any previous experience of such purchases, the tree was planted still in its container and subsequently died. An alternative explanation given was that the tree simply died of natural causes. For whatever reason the tree was later replaced by the one we see today.

1977 New Silver Jubilee village unveiling - 1977
New Silver Jubilee village sign prior to unveiling - 1977
Rev Francis Allen unveiling the new Silver Jubilee village sign - 1977

1977 1977
Rev Francis Allen unveiling Hempstead Silver Jubilee village sign in 1977
From left - ?; ?; Mollie Mack; ?; Henry Mack (with glasses); Laura Bacon; ?; ?;
Stephen Mack (red coat); William Mack; ?; ?; ?; Gladys Mack (check outfit); ?; ?;
- Spalton; Rev. Francis Allen; Rachel Clarke (white socks and hood)
Rev Francis Allen unveiling Hempstead
Silver Jubilee village sign in 1977
Left to right - Stephen Mack; William Mack;
Gladys Mack (check outfit);
Rachel Clarke (white socks and hood)

1977 1977
Mollie Mack planting the Silver Jubilee tree
on Court Green in 1977
Back left to right - John Clarke; David Durst; Mike Culverwell; Pat Mack
John Clarke from Brownwood Barn, Mollie Mack from Hempstead Hall
and Bob Mack from Court Green - 1977

Looking up the hill towards Court Green near the entrance to Hempstead Hall - 1979 Court Green - 1979
Looking up the hill towards Court Green near the entrance to Hempstead Hall - 1979

Court Green - 1979


28th May 2020
Looking towards Hempstead - 28th May 2020

28th May 2020 28th May 2020
Looking towards Holt - 28th May 2020

Looking towards Hempstead - 28th May 2020


The Rookery with its deep flooded marl pit - 13th March 2022
The Rookery with its deep flooded marl pit - 13th March 2022

The annual village toad patrols deposit all assisted toads, frogs and newts into the Rookery pit.


O. S. Map 1885
O. S. Map 1885
Court Green is marked as Hempstead Green on O.S. maps
Courtesy of NLS map images

If you have any memories, anecdotes or photos please let us know and we may be able to use them to update the site. Please or telephone 07836 675369

Website copyright © Jonathan Neville 2020
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