Home to FeltwellTour Feltwell Today Tour Old Feltwell See Feltwell's History Read Feltwell's History RAF Feltwell Memorial Pages Special Photo Sets
Feltwell's Timeline
Historical InfoLoops Photo of the Month Feltwellians Worldwide Feltwell Links


In the course of a conversation the question arose as to why Bell Street is so named. It is possible that this street takes its name from the Bell Inn; on the other hand the Inn may have taken its name from Bell Street and probably did so. But an interesting theory was put forth that the name is due to the small round pit, near Mrs. Rice's Farm, at the bottom of Fair Close. One of the Church bells is said to have been cast there; the pit having been dug specially for that purpose. In Norfolk there were bell-foundries at Norwich, Thetford, Downham and King's Lynn. Some of the Feltwell Church bells are known to have been cast at Thetford, but strangely enough, in Norfolk there are three Church bells cast by an itinerant bell-founder named Michael Darbie, and one of them was cast for Feltwell St. Nicholas in the year 1661; the other two being at Mileham and Norwich St. Andrew respectively. An itinerant bell-founder would have no foundry for casting bells, at least not within reach even if he had one. And it is quite possible that the St. Nicholas Church bell of 1661 was cast by Michael Darbie in the pit in Fair Close and gave Bell Street its name. Michael Darbie’s bells were not of a high order; they are described as wretched bells, and said to be found here and there only as "one specimen of his casting appears to have been enough for a neighbourhood."

Back to Written Records