This article starts with the latest OS map of Thurgarton village from the 1990s and works backwards through old maps to show how the village has changed since the earliest recorded village plan of 1730. The earlier maps have been altered to fit as closely as possible with the grid of the OS series and some guesswork has been employed for the best fit. North is in the top left corner for each map as in the first map.
The buildings are shown in red, roads in grey, stream and ponds in blue and pathways in green.
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In 1730 there were about 50 households and a total population of over 300 ie an average of 6 plus per house. whereas today over 400 villagers live in approximately 140 houses – under three per household. The contrast in available living space is even greater when one considers the size of today’s houses; the trend for larger houses with more rooms continues unabated. The most dramatic increase in the number of houses took place in the latter half of the 20th century.
The village envelope has changed very little in 300 years. Priory Park is the only new green field development and the majority of new houses have been built as infill on old crofts and orchards or barn conversions. Gardens are much smaller and only a few old orchards survive but the ancient pattern of elongated croft strips is still evident on modern maps.