We have, what you might call, a sister village in Norfolk with very similar origins to our own village. It’s called Tottington, in south Norfolk, but you might have trouble visiting it today.
Our village was reputedly founded by a dark ages chieftain called Tutta. The supposed founder of Tottington was one (you’ve guess it) Totta, apparently relating to a hill. It has also been suggested that Tuttington got its name from a hill – albeit a very small hill – located in the trees at the top of Wood Lane. In Anglo Saxon times, hills were often named because they looked like part of the human anatomy. It doesn’t take too much imagination to link the shape a low, small mound with the words Tot or Tut. Read more about Tuttington early history by following this link.
Back to Tottington, so where is it? The parish of Tottington, centred at the church of St Andrew, is about 12 km north of Thetford which puts it slap bang in the middle of the MoD training area. The village was taken over during World War II and all of the 800 or so residents were re-located and never permitted to return – with one exception. A WWII veteran who was raised in Tottington and died in 2009 was interred at the parish church.
A book has been written about the compulsory evacuation of Tottington, called “Farming on a Battle Ground”. Other villages swallowed up by the MoD include Buckenham Tofts, Langford, Stanford (giving its name to the Stanford Training Area), Sturston and West Tofts.