History - The early Years

Note - The information in this page is not meant to be an exhaustive study.  I hope to enlist the help of someone with specialist knowledge to write the account eventually. So here is just a short overview of the early history of the Pentney area.

Once upon a time - - -

As the ice ages came and went, the land we now know as Norfolk, also appeared from the ice and snow, and then disappeared once more under a new layer.  Traces of man's existence in Norfolk have been found, back to about 400,000 years B.C.

In early times there was no North Sea, so the place we know as Norfolk was joined on to Scandinavia and it was possible for people to move from continental Europe to East Anglia fairly easily.

No one can know for sure, when the first family decided to settle on the small area of slightly higher land, we now call Pentney. As many thousands of years passed, the landscape as we know it, evolved, with a river to the south and marshes nearby.  (It wasn't until the 17th Century that fenland places began to be drained, to provide more farm land.)

Name of the Village
The origin of the name, "Pentney" is not absolutely certain.  One source gives the meaning as "Penta's Island."  Certainly, the "ey" suffix is a Saxon one, meaning "Island".  Although the prefix, "Pen", could be a Celtic word for "Hill", it is unlikely to come from that source, as very few Celtic words survive in Norfolk.
Other books are not certain of the derivation, but all agree on the "ey" part.

Roman Times
The Atlas of Norfolk History shows a minor settlement in the position of Pentney and many kilns have been dug by a local archaeologist, showing that here was a centre of pottery making.

The Saxons
The Finding of the Saxon Brooches in the Church Yard at Pentney, shows that there was occupation there at that time

Rita Sheridan,

Email: rasheridan@lineone.net