Hemsby Road is one of the oldest streets in Martham providing access to the village from the east. In the 1812 Inclosure Award it was listed as one of the five King’s Highways entering Martham Green (the others being what we now know as Rollesby Road, Repps Road, Black Street and White Street). During the 1890’s it was called Market Road.
You can also see from this map that there were two windmills in Hemsby Road. They were there for over 100 years and you can read more about them by clicking HERE.
There are two really historic houses connected with Hemsby Road. One was Point House which has long since disappeared -click on its name to see more about it. The other is the listed building called Gables Farm which still exits.
It is claimed that in about 1805 a gibbet stood at the far east end of Hemsby Road on the parish boundary with Somerton. The area has been known as Gibbet Hill ever since. Technically in the parish of Somerton it has always been attributed to Martham because it is said a man was gibbeted there after he burnt down half of Martham. It is not unusual for gibbets to be placed on high ground near to roads on a parish boundary so that passers by would see the suspended criminal thus giving out the message that the authorities of the village upheld law and order.
MELPAC had a frozen food factory on the north side of Hemsby Road on the opposite side of the road from the Doctors Surgery in the 1970’s and 1980’s. It also had a frozen food outlet in a small unit there. It closed in the 1990’s and a dramatic fire destroyed the buildings in August 2009.
Planning permission has been sort for land on the north side of Hemsby Road across the road from the Doctors Surgery. It was land once quarried for clay to make Martham bricks and an archaeological survey was carried out, as part of the planning application process, by Archeological Services Ltd, Shefford, Bedfordshire. The survey provides some interesting references to historical facts for the village and can be seen HERE.
Click a thumbnail for a close-up and scroll through all the images from there.