Thatch Cottage is located in the quiet hamlet of Three Hammer Common, in the heart of the Norfolk Broads National Park. The Broads themselves are inland lakes that are believed to be man made peat diggings from the middle ages, the peat harvesting was carried out close to rivers firstly because peat is formed in wet conditions but the peat also needed to be transported and rivers provided a handy way to do that. Over time the rivers flooded the peat diggings, creating this connected waterway of rivers and broads. The only exception to this happens to be Alderfen Broad down the track immediately opposite the Thatch Cottage Drive. This broad is not connected to any waterway and is instead filled by a ground spring. Because it is not accessible by river, no boats are able to reach it, providing a unique habitat right here on your doorstep!
You'll see, even just walking down to Alderfen, all of the main habitats that make this area special: arable farmland, grazing meadows, reed beds, fenland, woodland and waterways. These all coexist in close proximity and each provide unique habitats for birds, animals and insects making it the most biodiverse environment in the UK and accounts for why Norfolk is home to seven of the ten rarest creatures in the UK.
But nature isn't all there is! Whether it's world class art, museums, architecture, water sports, food and drink; or any number of other activities; you will find them nearby.
Originally built in around 1630 as one tiny cottage with just one downstairs room and one upstairs, the cottage was later extended (in 1770 according to the graffiti!) to the size of the thatched part of the house now. If you look from the back garden towards the house, you will see a clear dividing line down the centre of the property from when this extension was created. Rather than making one larger property, this was to make the property two separate cottages - hence the two exterior doors. Originally there were two sets of stairs - one in the current location and one in the passageway between the current kitchen and the living room. Now one staircase serves both bedrooms. These two properties were just the two rooms; one up, one down and housed large families. They shared a privy (outdoor toilet) that can still be seen in the garden - the brick building behind the garage. Over time, two single story extensions were built; one that is now the main entrance way (and until recently was a woodshed) and the other is now the study and downstairs bathroom. This housed the kitchen and bathroom until the current owner built a second story turning it into the configuration you see now.