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Mid Norfolk Golf Club, Morley Hall. (1899 - 1940)

The club was founded in 1899.

The original 9-hole course was located between Scoulton and Little Ellingham. The railway station at Attleborough was about six miles from the course. 

The later 9-hole course was at Morley Hall, it continued at this location until closure at the outbreak of WW2.

Below a report on the opening of the course in December 1899. 


Mid Norfolk Golf Club, Attleborough. Report on the club November 1899.

From the Eastern Evening News Monday 27th November 1899. Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


Below a report on the first spring meeting in May 1902.


Mid Norfolk Golf Club, Attleborough. Report on the first spring meeting in May 1902.

From the Norfolk News Saturday 10th May 1902. Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


It was announced in February 1903 that Mr H W B Edwards had been elected president of the Mid Norfolk Golf Club, whilst Major W M Edwards, V.C., of Hargham Hall, had been chosen one of the vice-presidents.

Below results from the spring meeting in 1903.


Mid Norfolk Golf Club, Attleborough. Results from the spring meeting in 1903.

From the Eastern Daily Press Saturday 16th May 1903. Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


From the 1905 Nisbet’s Golf Yearbook; Attleborough; Mid Norfolk Golf Club; Instituted 1899; Number of members, 80; Stations, Kimberley 6 miles and Watton 4 miles; Hon. secretary – E W James, Hingham S.O., Norfolk; Captain, A Donovan; Entrance fee 10s and subs 26s; Nine-holes; Professional, F Larke; Terms for visitors, 1s a day, 10s a month; Hotels – “The George,” Watton and “White Hart,” Hingham. A sporting little course, most of the hazards are natural.

In 1906 John Cyril Crossley bought Morley Hall. In 1911 Ernest Gardiner Hill appears at Morley with his wife Molly and their four daughters. The family were keen golfers and their names appear frequently in match results in the 1920s/30s.  John Crossley didn't enjoy the best of Health and Molly, who was a nurse, looked after him. The relationship would eventually bring about golf on the Morley Hall course. 

In 1906 visitors’ fees on introduction were 1/- a day and 3/6d a week.

In the 1911 census a Walter Herbert Jex, aged 26, occupation Golf Professional, was lodging at Rectory Cottage, Scoulton.


Mid Norfolk Golf Club, Wymondham. Walter Jex the Mid Norfolk professional.

Walter Jex the Mid Norfolk professional. He was killed in action on 12th October 1916.


Following information courtesy of the “P.G.A. Remembers” project – Walter Herbert Jex; elected to the Professional Golfers Association in 1909; Regiment, 2nd Battalion 30th Division Bedfordshire Regiment; Rank, Private; Service Number, 28834; Died, 12/10/1916; Age, 32.


Mid Norfolk Golf Club, Wymondham. In Memory of Walter Herbert Jex.


Mid Norfolk Golf Club, Attleborough. Watch presented to Walter Jex.


The above watch is inscribed – Presented to Walter Jex by the members of the Mid Norfolk Golf Club in appreciation of his services - Dec 1912.

Thanks to Julia Grover who sent me the following recollections of Aston Parker whose family owned part of the land (of the earlier course) in the 1960s; “From before WW1 on land now known as ‘The Golf’ situated to the right of the lane leading to Melsop Farm and extending across the stream into Little Ellingham was a nine-hole golf course with 2 or 3 holes on the Scoulton side and the others on (what is now) Daniels land.

There were 2 bridges crossing the stream. One was a footbridge towards the road and another at the other end was wider, possibly to support a horse-drawn mower. Evidence of brick supports were found here when the stream was cleared.

Clarence Brown was one of the golfers. This (earlier) course closed some time in the 1920s. The Golf House was across the stream. This was removed to Hingham. It is believed to be somewhere down Copper Lane.

At this time ownership of the land is not known, but in 1945 it was owned by Fred Perkins who lived in the Old Rectory and he was resident there before WW2.

As far as is known this was never glebe land.”

In 1914 the club had a membership of 70. Entry fee for gents was 10/-, ladies 5/-, families £1. Subs for gents were £1/10/0, outside a 7 miles radius 25/-, ladies £1/1/0 and 15/-. Visitors’ fees were 1/6d a day, 5/- a week and 15/- a month. Sunday play was not allowed.


Mid Norfolk Golf Club, Attleborough, Norfolk. Location of the early course.

The above map shows the location of the earlier course (centre), Maelop Farm is at the top of the map. © Crown Copyright {1905/6}.


The Google Map below pinpoints the location of the earlier course.


View United Kingdom in a larger map


Mid Norfolk Golf Club, Wymondham, Suffolk. Club button.

Mid Norfolk Golf Club button. 


In 1924 visitors’ fees were now 2/6d a day.

Result of a match played against Fakenham Golf Club in June 1926.

Mid Norfolk Golf Club   Fakenham Golf Club  
N Vincent  0 Rev A R Hoare 1
E Gardiner Hill 1 R S Butcher 0
F T Alpe (half) 0 Rev P J Simeon (half) 0
J C Crossley 0 Dr W H Fisher 1
H Rodwell 0 I G Page 1
W G Milburn 1 H E Faulke 0
T B Probyn 0 J A Stoughton 1
J H Mason (half) 0 J White (half) 0
Hill and Vincent 0 Hoare and Butcher (1up) 1
Alpe and Crossley 0 Simeon and Fisher (1up) 1
Rodwell and Milburn 0 Page and Faulke (5&3) 1
Probyn and Mason 0 Stoughton and Heath (5&3) 1
  2   8

The new clubhouse of the Mid Norfolk Golf Club was opened at Morley Hall on Saturday 21st June 1926 by the captain, Mr Luke Webster. 

It was reported in August 1926 that W K Southerland was appointed professional, replacing R R Kelly who had resigned. Southerland had served as assistant to Tom King at Royal West Norfolk for four years.

Result of a Ladies' match played at Morley against Fakenham Ladies' Golf Club in April 1930. 

Mid Norfolk Ladies' Golf Club   Fakenham Ladies' Golf Club  
Mrs Vincent (3&2) 1 Miss Thistleton Smith 0
Miss James (4&3) 1 Mrs Dewing 0
Miss O Gardiner Hill (6&4) 1 Mrs Andrews 0
Miss D Gardiner Hill (3&2) 1 Miss K Palin 0
Miss Newbold (5&4) 1 Miss Goulder 0
Miss B Gardiner Hill (6&4) 1 Miss E Gardiner Hill 0
Mrs Vincent & Miss James (half) 0 Miss Thistleton Smith & Mrs Dewing (half) 0
Miss O Gardiner Hill & Miss D Gardiner Hill (4&2) 1 Mrs Andrew & Miss K Palin 0
Miss Newbold & Miss B Gardiner Hill (1up) 1 Miss Goulder & Miss E Gardiner Hill 0
  8   0

In the late 1920s and early 1930s the SSS was 72 and membership 150.

  Secretary Professional/Greenkeeper
1906 E W James, Hingham, Norfolk. F Larke (pro)
1914 A Mirrlees, Hingham SO, Norfolk. Walter Jex (pro) 1911, J Little (pro) 1914
1924 E Gardiner Hill, Morley Hall, Wymondham. R Kelly (pro) T Disdale (gk)
1920s/30s L Webster, St Margarets, Attleborough.  
1927/30   W K Southerland (pro)
1930s (early)   W H Wade (pro)
1930s/40 N Vincent, The Vineyards, Attleborough, Norfolk. T H Brown (pro) T Disdale (gk)


  Course Records
1906 F Robinson (am) 72 F Larke (pro) 61
1924 T King junior (pro) 70
1930s/40 W H Wade (pro) 68


From the mid 1930s to the club’s final appearance in 1940 the 9-hole course had a SSS of 68 and a club membership was 150. Sunday play was allowed without caddies and there was a licensed clubhouse.

Mid Norfolk Golf Club, Morley, Norfolk. Golf course location.

Mid Norfolk GC course situated between Attleborough and Wymondham.



Thanks to Phil Dunsford for the following memories:

“Towards the end of 1949 I arrived at the Teacher Training College which had been established at Morley some three years earlier. The college occupied a vacated American Army Hospital and was only marginally more comfortable than the barracks from which I had been demobbed a couple of years before. Along with the intake of 360 students was a lecturer recently arrived from South Africa. A well qualified man, he could probably pick and choose where he worked and he had made his choice when he noted that Morley St Botolph had this 9 hole course. He was more than a little put out though when he arrived and found that the sprawling American Hospital had been built on the golf course. There was absolutely no sign of the course”

Further memories from Doug Fulcher “Where Wymondham College is now situated there used to be a golf course. This land was used to build a hospital for US airmen during WW2. This part of the country was virtually taken over by US airfields and their wounded air crews were taken to this hospital which consisted of "Nissan Huts". After the war these huts became the classrooms for Wymondham College pupils, only recently being replaced by modern buildings although there may be one or two old ones left”

Mid-Norfolk golfers

A group of Mid Norfolk golfers during the mid 1930s, can anyone put a name to the faces?. The clubhouse can be seen in the background. Author's Collection.