29. FAKENHAM WEST RAILWAY STATION
This railway line reached Fakenham from Kings Lynn in 1880. The platform on the left of the picture can still be seen at the entrance to Jewsons.
The engine, named FAKENHAM, began work on the Lynn & Fakenham line in 1879. The Lynn & Fakenham line merged with others to become M&GN – sometimes unkindly called Muddle and Go Nowhere because of its circuitous routes. In the opposite direction to Kings Lynn it went via Holt, Sheringham and Cromer to Norwich.
There is now a long walk of 3 miles to the east then back to the town. Walk past the Museum of Gas and Local History, then turn sharp right through the gravelled yard at the back of Fakenham Tyres. This will lead you from the south to the north side of the River Wensum via the footbridge across the river and thence by the riverbank to Three Brick Arches and the site of the former Fakenham East Railway Station. The riverside path can be very wet when the river level is high and the route up to the railway line is very steep.
The sites can also be accessed without risking wet feet from Fayregreen three quarters of a mile along Norwich Road.
There is an optional detour to the Racecourse where Plaque 32 can be found on the Weighing Room. For this detour, you should walk up the road to the Racecourse immediately on your right as you head from here towards Fakenham. You can return to the trail by walking back along the road until there is a footpath on your right that leads to the river.
The River Wensum arises near Horningtoft and meanders by the Raynhams and Sculthorpe Moor to Fakenham. Most of its banks are now Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and are thus very protected. The river flows to Norwich where, despite being the larger of the two, it becomes a tributary of the Yare and proceeds on to Yarmouth. Downstream from Fakenham there were 12 further watermills.
The next plaque is on the Norfolk Orbital Railway's bridge over the river.