Norfolk Lavender Heacham Norfolk
Norfolk Lavender Heacham have a long history here in Norfolk. Our founder Linn Chilvers originally ran a nursery garden and florists’ business in Heacham. 5 Bar Gate – Norfolk Lavender’s first fieldBut he had always dreamed of growing lavender on a large scale; however most of the local farmers rubbished the idea and it looked like his vision would never come to fruition, but then Linn met Francis ‘Ginger’ Dusgate of Fring Hall who thought Linns’ plan worthy of trial. In 1932 the two men went into partnership to grow and distil lavender.
The great venture started with Ginger providing 6 acres of land and Linn supplied the 13,000 plants required. The planting was done by three men and a boy in eighteen days for a total cost of £15. So began the long tradition of Norfolk Lavender. Linn Chilvers’ lavenders produced oil of excellent quality and yield. In 1936 the partnership bought 2 stills which had been made in 1874, they paid for themselves time and time again being used until 2009. They are now in our distillery museum.
Norfolk Lavender Tours
Norfolk Lavender Tours. We are open all year round, with the summer season being the most vibrant when all of the lavenders burst into flower and the air is full of the relaxing fragrance. The lavender distillery can be viewed by the public and visitors can have a guide to show them about the distillation of lavender flowers to make oil for Norfolk Lavender’s world famous perfume and toiletry range. Guided tours operate for most of the summer months, please call to check times and prices. There is a mini lavender field on site that is free to visit.
A Caley Mill Grounds Tour for booked coach parties – Discover the great tradition of English Lavender growing. Visit the distillery (Only operational in harvest – July and early August depending on weather) – Enjoy the many different varieties in the National Collection. See the Distillery in action. Understand more about herbs and their uses as demonstrated in the Herb Garden. (allow 45 mins). The Meadow Gardens – Wander over the bridge, spotting the trout and eels on the way. Enter an enchanting vista of peaceful gardens. Retreat to the Island gazebo enjoy the landscaped gardens.
Norfolk Lavender Heacham Opening Times are 10 am – 5 pm everyday.
THE STORY OF ENGLISH LAVENDER
Legend has it that lavender was first brought to Britain by the Romans. No one knows if it was already growing on British soils before they invaded, but we do know that the Romans would have brought it with them. Roman soldiers carried their own ‘first aid kit ‘ of herbs, and wherever the armies settled herbs would be grown- lavender, rosemary, parsley, sage , thyme, fennel, borage, and many others. The Romans were aware of lavenders healing, soothing and insect repellent properties, and used the oil in massage. They also burned lavender in honour of their gods.
One of the great pleasures of Roman civilisation was the public baths. The hot water was scented with lavender- the plants name is derived from the Latin word lavandum which means ‘fit for washing‘. After the departure of the Romans, interest in cleanliness seems to have declined. One of the great pleasures of Roman civilisation was the public baths. The hot water was scented with lavender- the plants name is derived from the Latin word lavandum which means ‘fit for washing‘. After the departure of the Romans, interest in cleanliness seems to have declined.
In medieval times monasteries provided the only hospitals. The monks grew a wide range of herbs and spices in the ‘physick’ gardens and used lavender in many of their remedies. Read More…...
The Norfolk Lavender Animal Gardens is home to an exciting variety of mammals, birds, invertebrates and reptiles. Below are just a few examples of the many different animals you will see during your visit: MAMMALS – wallaby – meerkat – Pig – BIRDS – Mandarin duck – peacock – Eagle Owl – INSECTS – domino roach – snail – tarantula – REPTILES – Gecko – Bearded Dragon
Beautiful Norfolk Lavender products For You
Lavender Oil Distillery
NORFOLK LAVENDER OIL DISTILLERY – Lavender Oil DistilleryThe fragrance of lavender is contained in its oil, which the plant produces and stores in tiny glands at the base of each floret. The amount and quality of the oil depends on the particular type of lavender and the weather in the season.
Distilling – In order to make perfumery products the oil must be separated from the plant material and this is done by steam distillation. In 1936 Norfolk Lavender bought 3 second hand stills which had been made in 1874 from France and they paid their way only being retired at the end of the 2009 harvest. You may now find them in our distillery alongside the new still.
How does it work? – The stills are loaded to capacity by hand with lavender flowers using pitchforks. Steam generated in the boiler is then passed through the still for about half an hour. The heat of the steam causes the oil in the flowers to vaporize and the oil vapour travels with the steam into the next part of the process which is the condenser. In the condenser the steam and oil vapour is cooled until it condenses back into liquid. The mixed liquid of water and the oil from the lavender flowers flows into the separator where the oil which floats on water rises to the top and we are able to tap the oil of.
When can we use our oil? The oil we have harvested has to mature for a year before we use it. We then blend it with other ingredients to create our wonderful fragrant products.
Norfolk Lavender Gift Shop and Plant Centre
Norfolk Lavender Gift Shop & Plant Centre Open 10am until 4pm everyday. Closed for Christmas Day, Boxing day, 27th Dec. & New Years day. The Gifts shops at Norfolk Lavender are crammed full of wonderful tempting things for all occasions. You can take home a memento of your visit, a thank you to the neighbour for looking after your plants while you were away, or just simply treat you and your family from the vast selection of goodies that we have worked so hard to find.
If you can not visit us please have a look at our web shop where you can buy our products or call for our mail order catalogue to be sent to you so that you can select the things which catch your eye and we can deliver them direct to your door. All of the Norfolk Lavender products contain pure lavender oil or lavender flowers from our fields where we have grown for generations. Lavender Oil is the most commonly used of the essential oils. It has been known to relieve tension, tiredness and depression. Traditionally many people find it helps with aches and pains, skin problems, bites, stings and burns. Our lavender range helps to provide you with some of these therapeutic properties.
Norfolk Lavender Plant Centre – We have a great plant centre at Norfolk Lavender selling probably the largest range of lavender plants to the public in the country. Have a look at the plants on our site and pick your favourite then buy it, it is like a living showroom. We stock many other plants and interesting features as well to help you create a wonderful garden at home. And if you are on holiday and don’t want to keep the plants with you while you are away please pick up our mail order catalogue and we can post your selection to you.
Norfolk Lavender Heacham Lounge Tearooms and Restaurant
Norfolk Lavender Lounge Open daily 10 – 5 – Closed Christmas Day –Boxing Day, 27th Dec, & New Year’s Day. Come visit us and relax in our spacious Tearoom & Restaurant – or in the outdoor seating area. Try our homemade, freshly prepared Breakfast and Lunch Menu served daily or our comprehensive Light Bites Menu. We also have a variety of cakes served all day, including our famous Lavender Cake and Lavender Scones. Our Senior Citizens Lunch OFFER. Enjoy Fish, Chips and Peas, a bread roll and a Tea or Coffee for just £7.95 – The offer is available Monday – Friday excluding Bank Holidays.
Afternoon teas (please book 24hrs in advance) – Breakfast 10am -11am – Light Bites 11am – 3.30pm – Lunch 12pm – 3pm. Group bookings, Christenings, Funerals, birthday parties, mothers day and Coach Parties can be catered for. Please enquire. For all Restaurant, Tearoom enquiries please telephone The Lavender Lounge on 01485 571965. Or email [email protected] If you have any concerns regarding dietary requirements or food allergies, please speak to a member of the Lavender Lounge team. We have lovely food and drink on site at our tearoom and restaurant.
For something different why not have your small events, functions, special occasions and celebrations and we can host many different occasions including: wedding receptions, christenings, hen nights and stag dos, Valentines meals, birthday parties, engagement and anniversary parties, wakes and funeral teas, Christmas parties, New Years Eve parties, business meetings and many more.
Come and visit Norfolk Lavender at Heacham near Kings Lynn for yourself and see the history, sample the products and indeed have a great family day out at one of Norfolk’s great attractions. Covid 19 measures are now relaxing and we hope to see you soon.
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