King John's Thorn - place of refreshment and blessing
King John's Thorn - KJT for short - is a pair of small cottages that were rescued from dereliction in 1965 and modernised to the standards of the 60s. North Cottage was the home of Jo Sisley until she died in 1999; South Cottage has been variously occupied over the last 55 years but on many occasions has been host to individuals, couples and families who enjoyed its peace and special atmosphere.
Peter and Cathy Nicholls now live in North Cottage and continue to offer South Cottage to those who would like to come. In 2007, a second major refurbishment of South Cottage took place. This involved replacing the wooden floors, renewing most of the plasterwork, improving insulation standards and redecorating throughout. We also enjoyed removing the 1960s fireplace, taking back the hearth to how it probably was in 1800 and installing a woodburning stove.
In 2020, we took the opportunity to make two significant upgrades. First, there is now a loo/washroom upstairs, adjacent to both bedrooms. Secondly, the kitchen has been completely refurbished, with new units, a new induction cooker and a dishwasher. There's now a washing machine available, too.
Why ‘refreshment and blessing’?
This is an after-the-fact observation, rather than a marketing promise. We suspect that the peace of the place (close to Norwich yet in the depths of the countryside at the end of a cul-de-sac) and the fact that it has known a Christian presence for many years gives it a special atmosphere. It has been a place of retreat and prayer, as well as of fun, laughter and even the occasional wedding night. The beautiful church is just through the gate from the garden and many have trodden the path to be still and meet God 'next door'.
Much of the surrounding countryside is owned by those who care for creatures and the habitat, and we try to do our bit by being as organic as we can outside and as eco as we can inside.
South Cottage has a double bedroom and a twin bedroom. There is also a collapsible cot and plenty of space for this in the main bedroom, giving an overall capacity of four and a tiny one.