Quidenham Civil Parish is distinctly rural in its nature and although it covers a large area and comprises four villages, Quidenham, Eccles, Wilby and Hargham, its population is comparatively small. In the main its land use is agricultural.
Each village has its Hall and church and retains its particular identity. Eccles Hall is now a private school, Quidenham Hall, once the seat of the Dukes of Albemarle, is now home to a Carmelite Monastery and Wilby and Hargham are in the hands of private owners. Of the four churches three are still in use and that of Hargham has occasional services. The Monastery in Quidenham has a chapel used regularly by the local Catholic population
Eccles has a splendid social facility, the Garnier Hall, popular for social events and as a venue for leisure and educational courses and activities. There is also, attached to the Garnier Hall, a playing field with a children’s play area and a popular Petanque pitch.
In the grounds of Eccles Hall School is a museum dedicated to the 9th USA Bomber squadron which was stationed nearby during World War II and which used the spire of St. Andrew’s in Quidenham as a landmark as they flew back to base. St Andrew’s has a chapel and stained glass window as a memorial to the American airmen who fought and died alongside our own men and women.
The Reading Room, opposite the Green in Quidenham village served in time past as a quiet haven for reading and study in an era of small, overcrowded cottages. These days it’s well used for regular social gatherings, coffee mornings and meetings.
With a good link to Norwich and Thetford via the A11 lying a few miles to the north the Parish retains its contact with urban areas and their amenities without its four villages losing their rural identity.