Friday, October 15, 2010

My long run at Barnham Suffolk

Welcome to Barnham
  I have always liked to run somewhere different rather than always repeat the same old routes and today for my long run I drove out to the Suffolk village  at Barnham. About 11 miles from Bury St Edmunds and close to the Norfolk border town of Thetford, Barnham sits off the main A 134 road for travellers heading towards Norwich.

According to Eilert Ekwall the meaning of the village name is Beorn's homestead. There used to be a railway station here at Barnham which was opened in 1891 for passengers travelling between Bury St Edmunds and Thetford but this closed in 1960.

Water Lane
War Memorial
The population of Barnham according to the Domesday Book was 36 in 1086 and was 748 in 1981. There are two churches in the village though St Martin has been a ruin since the 17th century. I must admit not knowing where to look I didn't spot it on the run but apparently it is now used as an animal shelter. I did pass St Gregory church on many occasions during this run.

Barnham is a reputed site for a battle between King Edmund and the Danes in 1870.

The Duke of Grafton is the major landowner in this area and there was once a pub here with the same name but I don't know where this was located.

It is also said that Barnham was one of the sites between the Admiralty in London and Yarmouth on the coast for a telegraph system which was used during the Napoleonic Wars.

After a run around the village I headed out along the Elvedon Road and after a short distance picked up on an off road track at North Farm. At first the track was fairly good but soon turned in to a sandy pathway where I had to run in the grooves made by farm vehicles or otherwise run on the camber at an odd angle. This made for a harder run but was much more scenic. I was also running parallel to the old dismantled railway line.

St Gregory
I passed fields full of sheep and then pigs. A large field full of pigs was enclosed with a low level electric fence, however up in the distance a large pig had clearly escaped and managed to jump over or found a break in the fence. As I run towards it the pig turned tail and started to run away from me in short bursts. It soon tired of this and started to squeal loudly so my run became a jog as I debated whether to carry on. Initially I thought I would and the pig would shift of the path but there wasn't room and the pig had had enough of running and turned and completely blocked the path. I must admit rather than charge the pig to see if it would move I did a u-turn and backed away from it!  The pig won.

Old Railway Bridge removed
This was a pity really as my plan to do a circular run along the trackways was over and I returned to Barnham and then headed out on the road towards Euston village . This was my second 1 hr 30 min  run since returning from injury and I am finding that I lack the stamina after an hour. As a result my speed was reduced to a crawl for the last half an hour but the big plus was that I completed 10 miles.


  1. no pics of the pig?! :)

    you are so lucky to have such gorgeous places to run! so scenic. i'm glad your foot is better so you can run! i always enjoy my history lessons of england when i read about your runs.

    thanks for the chicago podcast!

  2. Yes I didn't hang around long enough to take a pic of the pig!


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