Saxlingham Pageant

Pageant type

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Place: Saxlingham (Saxlingham) (Saxlingham, Norfolk, England)

Year: 1948

Indoors/outdoors: Outdoors

Number of performances: n/a


3 August 1948

Name of pageant master and other named staff

  • Written and Produced by [Pageant Master]: Steward, E. Campbell
  • Announcer: Mr Harold Brown


Performed by the Shotesham Players

Names of executive committee or equivalent


Names of script-writer(s) and other credited author(s)

Shiner, L.M.

Names of composers


Numbers of performers


Financial information


Object of any funds raised


Linked occasion


Audience information

Prices of admission and seats: highest–lowest


Associated events


Pageant outline

Episode I. Prologue 960AD

Episode II. 1290

Villagers assemble on the green. Sir John and Lady Verney arrive to welcome the happy wedded pair. The arrival of Sir John Verney’s son and his bride to take up residence at their new home, Saxlingham Old Hall, built for the Bridegroom by his Father. Bride and bridegroom are received by their father and mother.

Episode III. 1542.

Anne of Cleves visits Saxlingham Manor (part of her marriage dowry), riding with her retinue. The village is en fete and an address of welcome is read to the Queen by the Lord of the Manor. A song of welcome and a flower dance are performed.

Episode IV. 1643.

May Day at Saxlingham with revels on the green and crowning of the Queen of May. Hobby horses fight and the victor is crowned before the Lord of the Manor and his wife. Roundheads arrive and scatter the merry-makers. The Lord of the Manor protests to no avail before the Roundheads ride off.

Episode V. 1815.

Two men are discussing Napoleon’s war. Children arrive, dance and play cricket on the green. A villager from Newton Flotman gallops up the street waving a newssheet brought from London by stage coach, to announce the Great news of the victory at Waterloo.

Episode VI. 1887.

Queen Victoria’s Jubilee. Villagers and schoolchildren, with the Rector and his wife arrive on the Green to plant a tree in honour. Children sing ‘God Save the Queen.’ Church bells ring.

Key historical figures mentioned

  • Anne [Anne of Cleves] (1515–1557) queen of England, fourth consort of Henry VIII

Musical production


Newspaper coverage of pageant


Book of words

None known

Other primary published materials

  • A Pageant of the Village of Saxlingham in the County of Norwich From 60AD to 1887. [Programme]. Norwich, 1948.

References in secondary literature


Archival holdings connected to pageant

  • Copy of Programme in Norfolk Record Office, Norwich, Reference MS 10605/72

Sources used in preparation of pageant



This is an example of a small-scale village pageant. It was probably performed twice on a single day. Held in 1948, it illustrates the post-war persistence of rural parish-level pageants, which had been very common in the 1920s and 1930s.d


How to cite this entry

Angela Bartie, Linda Fleming, Mark Freeman, Tom Hulme, Alex Hutton, Paul Readman, ‘Saxlingham Pageant’, The Redress of the Past,