The village of Thurlton lies close to the Suffolk border, set in a gentle valley bounded by marshland to the north and a tributary to the River Yare known as the beck to the west. The road that approaches from Thorpe, Church Road, was once the coach road through to Norwich from the sea ports of Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth and at the junction of Church Road and Beccles Road there were two Public Houses and opposite, a blacksmith’s. One Public House remains while the other and the forge are now residential properties.
The area to the north, Low Thurlton, remains largely agricultural while the main village is largely a residential area. The population is around eight hundred and includes over two hundred children and young people under the age of nineteen.
Thurlton has a Pre-School, Primary School, Community Shop and Post Office, Village Hall, Playing Field and Bowls Green.
The Village Hall was built to serve Thurlton and the neighbouring villages of Norton Subcourse and Thorpe-next-Haddiscoe. It is set on a rise next to the old Goliath Mill adjacent to the playing field. There are many groups that use the village hall on a regular basis such as the Women’s Institute and the Pre-school groups. It is also used for meetings by many of the village organisations, such as the Horticultural Club and Parish Council, fund raising events and social gatherings.
Local groups include the WI, Ballroom and Line Dancing, a Rambling Club, Power-walking, a Horticultural Club, an Allotment Association, a thriving Bowls Club, (with county and national finalists many of whom are young players brought through the Club’s Colt scheme).
Our Village Pub with its slogan of ‘funded by the community for the community’ continues to flourish recently being included in the CAMRA good pub guide. The pub has Darts and Pool teams playing local leagues and hosts local bands, beer festivals, and many of the fund raising activities for the village organisations.
We share facilities with Norton, such as the day centre held in the Methodist Chapel. Norton also has a flourishing football club whose membership is drawn from the villages and surrounding hamlets.
The thatched roofed church at Thurlton is part of a group of Churches known as the Raveningham Group. The houses in the village are a mix of older houses and cottages and newer houses built over the last fifty years or so. There are two small estates built on the old ‘links’ to the east of Beccles Road, Links Way and Hampton Avenue and houses infilling between the older properties along Beccles Road, Church Road and Low Road. Small groups of houses have also been built in Low Thurlton amongst the old farm houses and cottages there. In Thurlton and Low Thurlton there are four council built flats, eight bungalows, and thirty-two houses. Of the thirty- two houses only nine remain in council control.
There is some local employment in the agricultural industry and a large waste treatment plant at Crossways Corner that employs seventy or so workers from the area. Thurlton is almost equidistant from Norwich, Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth, about fifteen miles from each, so there is easy access to all three for employment. It is about seven miles to the Suffolk town of Beccles and four miles to Loddon.
There is a bus service through the village, giving access to surrounding villages and towns . The nearest train station is Haddiscoe, about four miles, but there is not a bus service to it.