Ruston Reaches

The Area around Ruston Reaches

In terms of area East Ruston is one of the largest parishes in Norfolk. However, with only around 500 residents, some 350 less than it was one and a half centuries ago, population density is low and the village has no obvious centre.

The Butchers Arms

The Butchers Arms

There are no shops left in the village, but you will pass The Old Post Office on your way to The Butchers Arms. There used to be another pub, the Chequers Inn, after which Chequer's Street is named, but it closed in 1966.

As with so many pubs, the Butcher's Arms, the last remaining one in the village, is facing difficult times. During the COVID-19 pandemic the pub sold take-away meals only. When government regulations relaxed in September 2021, the landlady of 30 years explained to locals why the pub was not reopening, posting on the village web site:

"I am no longer the owner of the Pub, merely a caretaker awaiting the new owners to finalise their plans for her."

It appears likely the pub will not reopen and continue to offer take- away meals only, but check the Butcher's Arms Facebook Page for the current position on opening hours and services available.

The Old Vicarage Gardens and Church

The Ownbers of The Old Vicarage Gardens

You can tell from the photograph of the flamboyant owners, Alan Gray and Graham Robeson, that a visit to East Ruston's Old Vicarage Gardens will be worthwhile. Set on high ground about a mile and a half east of the village centre, the house was bought by the pair in 1973. They started by cultivating two acres of three foot high tufted grass that then grew round the house. The gardens now extend to more than 30 wonderful acres. St Mary's Church

Near the Old Vicarage, on the A1159 that runs between Stalham and Mundesley, is the village church, St. Mary's. If old churches are your thing, it shouldn't be missed. It boasts an impressive 15th Century chancel screen with its lively lions and unspoilt contemporary paintings of the evangelists and others. There's a 12 page Guide to St Mary's you can download that was published by the The Churches Conservation Trust in 1996.

East Ruston Common

The Common

The Parish has an extensive area designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest. (Download The Citation (PDF, 5.9KB)). Much of the area is now known as East Ruston Common and is the remnant of the 300 acres of land allotted to the poor of the parish at the time of the parish's Enclosure Act of 1806.

A good number of acres of the common are designated Public Access land under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, often referred to as the "CRoW Act". Those who enjoy wildlife will find a great deal of interest. You can find the areas where anyone is free to walk at DEFRA's Interactive Map. The site can be tricky to navigate if you are not used to it. The following suggestion may help.

On the menu that you use to select the layers to display, under:
Designations > Land-Based > Statutory
select the "Sites of Special Scientific Interest" check box
and under: Access
select "CRoW" land.

The Weavers Way

Weaver's Way

Walkers, and those who cycle, will enjoy the Weaver's Way, which passes through East Ruston a hundred yards south of Ruston Reaches. This long distance footpath runs between Cromer and Great Yarmouth. Much of it is designated a bridleway.

Most of the route between North Walsham and Stalham runs on the old Midland and Great Northern railway line, providing very easy walking for those with normal mobility and certainly is the most direct route into Stalham. Both cycling and horse riding is allowed as far as Stalham and for a worthwhile distance towards North Walsham. Download Access Tested reports for the route south east to Stalham and north west to Honing, and on to North Walsham, that were published in 2017.

There are also maps for circular walks available that take you around Honing Lock and East Ruston, the latter covering some of the same route.

History

Those with an interest in history will find it worth reading an Analysis of the 1851 Census returns (PDF, 73KB) for East Ruston and a description of the Poor's Allotment in East Ruston (PDF, 664KB). Copies of the Enclosure Maps, which defined the Poor's Allotment, along with Tithe and First Edition Ordnance Survey maps are available at the County Council's excellent Map Explorer site. This allows you to to view any combination of these maps (and many others across the County) superimposed over each other together with 1946 and 1988 aerial surveys of the parish.