St Mary's church, Burnham Deepdale
St Mary's church, Burnham Deepdale

There are no less than seven Burnhams; the Deepdale version is a popular village on Brancaster Staithe, near the north Norfolk coast. The coastal footpath runs through Burnham Deepdale, and there are wide stretches of salt marshes offering excellent bird watching opportunities.

St Mary's Church

The parish church of St Mary dates to the Norman period, with a round tower so characteristic of older Norfolk churches. The tower may be Saxon, but inside is a medieval treasure, a large square font incised with carvings of the 'Labours of the Months'. One side of the font is blank, but the other three are carved with 12 panels in total, depicting the months of the year, with activities common to a rural population at those seasons.

It is fascinating to see that the winter months of December, January, and February show people feasting, drinking, and sitting, respectively, while the rest of the year show people engaged in traditional work activities from weaving to harvesting crops. It gives a striking insight into the daily life of people here during the Norman period.

The church also has a large collection of medieval glass, set in the porch windows and west window of the north aisle.

Burnham Deepdale is so closely linked to Brancaster Staithe that the two villages merge together and it is hard to say where one begins and the other ends. The major shopping facilities are in Burnham Deepdale, while Brancaster Staithe has the better harbour and boating, plus 2 pubs and a popular hotel. The village has a reputation for low rainfall, meaning that outdoor activities are always an option!

The twin villages hold an annual outdoor and wildlife festival, offering entertainment and activities centred on activities such as cycling, walking, watersports, birdwatching, orienteering, and guided walks.

October, November, and December
October, November, and December panels
July, August, September panels
July, August, September panels