Special interest

The variety of topics in which Mary Hardy and her family were engaged will have a wide appeal for specialists and enthusiasts. Only a few can be listed here.

Letheringsett: the early-19th-century malt-kilns

The Letheringsett maltings: the kilns, with their distinctive cowls, built by Mary Hardy’s son William. He also built this bridge in 1818, still today carrying the main King’s Lynn to Cromer road

Some specialist areas of study

Members of societies and all readers with a spirit of enquiry will find a great deal to interest them in the diary of Mary Hardy. Specialist areas include:

  • Industrial archaeology, including the physical remains of the Hardys’ early decision (in 1783) to convert their brewery to water power and run a water-powered cornmill within it
  • Other malting and brewing developments
  • Public house history, and the slow process of ‘tying’ each outlet to the wholesale brewer
  • The use of keels and wherries on the rivers, making each Broadland village an inland port
  • Ecclesiastical history, Mary Hardy being ‘double-minded’ as a practising Anglican and Methodist—and willing to roam elsewhere
  • Norfolk dialect: Mary Hardy and her nephew Henry Raven use local words, and by spelling them phonetically show us how they were pronounced

The books open our eyes to the way the past has shaped the countryside we see today. They help us to interpret the landscape and its buildings.