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Booton Church
booton (towns and villages)

Situated approximately 13 miles from Norwich and 1½ miles from Reepham, Booton dates back to at least the Domesday Book in which it was recorded as 'Botuna'.

st michael and all angels church

The most prominent feature of Booton is the church of St. Michael and All Angels, often referred to as the 'Cathedral of the Fields'. The church, which was entirely rebuilt in the late 19th century, has many ornate pinnacles and turrets and was once described as "very naughty but built in the right spirit"!

The church was designed by the eccentric amateur architect the Reverend Whitwell Elwin who was rector there from 1850 until his death on 1 January 1900. Elwin, who also built the village school, was the son of John Rolfe, former lover of native American Indian Pocahontas, who eventually married John Smith, his fellow settler in America.

Whitwell Elwin is also noted for his literary talents as author of 'The Aspect of a House Devoted to Prayer' and for editing the famous Quarterly Review for John Murray, also from Booton. Among his literary friends, many of whom came to stay at the Rectory in Booton, perhaps the most well known are Thackeray, Scott and Lockhart.

The nave of the church is copied from Temple Balsall in Warwickshire and has a beautiful angel hammerbeam roof. The church is well worth a visit and is open all day for visitors. Across the fields from Booton church is the large 15th century church of St. Agnes, Cawston with its enormous 119 foot high tower.

booton hall

Nestled among the trees, Booton Hall is an early 17th century house although some remodelling work took place in the mid 18th century.

In 1677 the hall was home to Christopher Layer, Squire of Booton and Sheriff of Norwich. His nephew and heir, also Christopher Layer, was born in 1683. Four years after this later Christopher's marriage to Elizabeth Elwin he sold the Hall to his father-in-law Peter Elwin. He died for his beliefs at Tyburn in 1723 as the only militant Jacobite to come out of Norfolk.

village sign and booton common

Booton Village Sign The Booton village sign was created by Derek Harding which depicts Booton Church and Booton Common.

The Common which is managed by Norfolk Wildlife Trust is a "Site of Special Scientific Interest" of international importance due to the diverse flora and fauna including marsh helleborine, fragrant orchid and bog pimpernel, thus the inclusion of the dragon fly and snail.

For the keen anglers among you the village can also offer a good fishing lake at the Booton Clay Pit.

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broadland's towns and villages

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contact us

Aylsham Tourist Information Centre
Bure Valley Railway Station
Norwich Road
Aylsham NR11 6BW
tel: 01263 733903
fax: 01263 733922
email: aylsham.tic@broadland.gov.uk