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Norfolkadministrative and historic county of eastern England. It is bounded by Suffolk southCambridgeshire and Lincolnshire westand the North Sea north and east. The historic county is nearly coterminous with the administrative county, but a small area in the borough of Great Yarmouth belongs to the historic county of Suffolk. Norfolk is low-lying, and a large part is drained by the Rivers WensumYareand Bure and their tributaries into the North Sea. There are chalk outcrops in western Norfolk, and, in the eastern half of the county, chalk is overlain by later deposits.
Along the northwest edge of the county, clays and sandstones older than the chalk are exposed. Norfolk is a rich farming county, but regions of natural or seminatural vegetation survive. Around parts of the mile km coastline there are sand dunes, as at Blakeney Beach on the northern coast.
There are also salt marshes, as at Scolthead Island. Along the valleys of the Yare and Bure are a of shallow expanses of water and reed swamp—the famous Bro that resulted from medieval peat cutting and a subsequent change in sea level.
In the southwest of the county and extending into Suffolk are the sandy heathlands of Breckland, which have been planted with conifers in many places. PaleolithicMesolithicand Neolithic artifacts have been found in the county.
Long barrows mounds and Bronze Age round barrows are also found. In the 3rd century bce the early British Iceni people, of whom later the famous Boudicca Boadicea was a queen, entered the area from the European continent. During the Roman period there were two towns in Norfolk, Caister St. Edmund and Caister next Yarmouth. Town life in Norwich and Thetford started at that time, the former town having a mint from Subsequently the area was subjected to Danish raids, and it eventually became part of the administrative entity called the Danelaw.
By the time of Domesday Bookthe record of the land survey ordered by William What is Norfolk like in the ConquerorNorfolk was one of the most heavily populated and wealthiest regions in England, and it remained so throughout the medieval period. Little Walsinghamin the north of the county, was a famous shrine in the Middle Agesattracting pilgrims from far and wide.
During the English Civil Wars of the midth century, Norfolk saw little action, because the county was strongly behind Oliver Cromwell and the Parliamentary cause. There are several surviving castles in the area, as at Norwich, Caister next Yarmouth, and Oxborough; there are also large private mansions, as at Sandringham the Norfolk home of the royal family. Barley is grown for the distilling industry and for animal feed. Large areas of peas and beans are grown for canning and freezing at such centres as Great Yarmouth.
Most types of livestock are raised, but the county is especially noted for its turkeys. Fishing is important at many points around the coast. Norwich was developed as an important boot and shoe industry now diminished and, together with most other major towns in the county, attracted some light industry.
Services, including catering, for tourists are also important, especially at points along the coast Cromer and Great Yarmouth and on the Bro. Area 2, square miles 5, square km. Additional Info. Print Cite verified Cite. While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies. Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions. Facebook Twitter. Give Feedback External Websites. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article requires. External Websites.
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What is the largest lake in the British Isles? Test your knowledge. Take this quiz. Drawing room at Felbrigg Hall, Norfolk, England. Dining room at Felbrigg Hall, Norfolk, England. Kitchen at Felbrigg Hall, Norfolk, England. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. Subscribe Now. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. An example of what became known as the New Brutalism, this building was influenced by Mies van der Rohe.
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Top Ten Reasons to Visit North Norfolk this Summer