Norton-juxta-Twycross is about ten miles east of Tamworth. It was granted a Royal Charter in AD 951 by the Saxon King Eldred, and it was then called Northton. By the 16th century its name had changed to Hogges Norton. The parish was enclosed about 1749. It is a small village of 50 houses, four farms, a public house - the Moores Arms, the post office, and an agricultural manufacturer.
The church of Holy Trinity was built in the 12th century. The spire was removed in 1890. The church has a barrel organ which three ladies of the village were instrumental in restoring. It is now in perfect working order and the congregation sometimes uses it when there is no organist for Sunday services.
There is an ancient tombstone in the churchyard dated 1715, to one Worthington in which the letters all run together, with no spaces between the letters and some letters back to front.
As Hogges Norton the village was the inspiration for the old radio show by Gillie Potter in the late 1940s, with his humorous monologues about the characters and goings on in a farming village.
Twycross Zoo house was the rectory to Norton church and was built in 1851. It is now the main building at Twycross Zoo, which is in the parish of Norton-juxta-Twycross.
The village hall, which is owned by the villagers, was erected by Jack Lea, a carpenter from the village, just after the end of the First World War in 1920, as a memorial to the men of Norton whose names are on a plaque inside the hall. Joe and Udi Marshall kept the village blacksmith's shop and saddlery and their wives looked after the pub. There was a shop and post office, and a sweet shop, the sweet shop kept by a Mr North. The village school was closed in the 1940s.
It still quite a close knit community with the old village spirit still present.
The village information above is taken from The Leicestershire & Rutland Village Book, written by members of the Leicestershire & Rutland Federation of Women's Institutes and published by Countryside Books. Click on the link Countryside Books to view Countryside's range of other local titles.
Information on Norton Juxta Twycross and the surrounding area