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Duleep Singh: New Evidence Of Second Norfolk Home

Vikram singh

Feb 24, 2005
17 June 2010
It is one of the oldest houses in a quiet north Norfolk village and sits on the corner of a road without anyone guessing just who could have passed through its doors.

But now new evidence shows that The Old Manor House, a thatched building in Coast Road in Walcott, could once have entertained royalty.

Peter Bance, an author of Sikh history, believes from excerpts he has unearthed in the diaries of Prince Frederick Duleep Singh, that the prince could have spent a year in the village in 1904.

Prince Frederick, born in 1868, was one of the sons of the Maharajah Duleep Singh of Lahore who came to England in 1849 and lived at Elveden Hall in Suffolk.

In 1906 Prince Frederick bought Blo Norton Hall, a 16th century moated manor house, where he lived for the last 20 years of his life, laying out the grounds and building a temple in the woods. But the diary entries show before that, he could well have stayed nearer the coast, in Walcott.

Mr Bance, who lives and works in London, found out about the Prince's seaside retreat when looking through pages of the Prince's diary which are owned by a private collector. He said: “I have found an entry in his diary which mentions that he had a house in Walcott between the years 1902-1905 and that he came to Walcott to stay for a year in 1904. The Manor House is the oldest one in the area, although it could have been another house, I know land could have receded and some houses gone into the sea over time.”

Dee Main and her husband Stan, who are both retired and in their 60s, have lived in The Old Manor House for the past 16 years.

The house has a varied history, with the belief it was used to house pilgrims who visited what was once Bacton Abbey, and rumours that a tunnel was built underground linking the two places together.

The couple believe the building is more than 400 years old, but have not been able to access all the records for it, which they believe were moved from the old Norwich library when it burnt down, but they cannot trace them now. Mrs Main said: “We cannot find out if indeed the prince ever did live here. We know this was the main property in Walcott and that most of the land in Walcott was owned by the house as well.”

Mr Bance has urged anyone who may have information about the prince and where he stayed in Walcott, to get in touch.

Contact: peterbance@yahoo.co.uk

North Norfolk News - Duleep Singh: New evidence of second Norfolk home
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