The Reeve’s Tale magazine website
"The Reeve he came, as I heard
tell, from Norfolk, a place called Balderswell. He had a
So wrote Geoffrey Chaucer in his Canterbury Tales in 1387.
Today Bawdeswell Heath is but a remnant of its former size. To the right of the map you can see in the area labelled "Gravel", all that remains.
to two hundred years ago the village lay in the middle of a large Common
stretching from Billingford in the West and half-way to Reepham in the East.
the year 1808 a private Act of Parliament caused the enclosure of the Common
Land around Bawdeswell, resulting in the gathering up of arable land into
very few hands.
Inevitably the poor suffered from the loss of their grazing rights and land, which they were compensated for - enough for a month-long binge at the Bell Inn, cynics say!
In 1808 provision was made to set aside two acres for gravel and 35 acres of woodland 'for the poor' - this is the Bawdeswell Heath we know.
A Committee of Trustees looks after it to this day. RT