Hickling was home to an Augustinian priory form 1185 to 1536 The priory suffered from "The Black Death" in 1349 Hickling is the largest of the Norfolk Broads and is aprox 370 acres of open water. The village is split into two main parts, Hickling Heath and Hickling Green. Hickling Heath is on the edge of Hickling Broad which has a small staithe, and private moorings, at the end of the small dyke is a pub called the Pleasureboat
Hickling Green forms the inner part of the village being mainly private housing. There is no shop but there is another pub called The Greyhound.
St. Mary's is a big church for such a village and towers over the churches of neighbouring villages. Inside A tomb that is covered in graffiti written in the 17th century at the time of the Civil War. Also Inside you will find an interesting old horse drawn hearse, provided by the local history group.
Hickling towermill was built 1818 and had an 8 storey, 60 foot tarred tower that was substantially constructed with brickwork of 30 inches thickness at the base. It stood back from the road, alone in a field. Unusually, the windows were all built one above the other, which tended to detract from the overall strength of the tower
There are endless nature trails for walks around the Broad., with observation towers and hides to spot the local wildlife. Also a large nature reserve. This has a visitors centre. Boat tours can be booked on the Broad. It is one of the best places in the country to see Britain's largest butterfly, the swallowtail.
There is a Sailing club and also a Windsurfing club on the Broad.
There is a story of a Ghost seen on Hickling Broad. A young soldier wearing a Napoleonic uniform seen skating across the broad as if it was frozen. The story is that he was courting a young girl who lived across the broad. The Broad was frozen one day and he decided to skate across to see his sweetheart and save the long walk round. Half way across the ice broke and he plunged into the icy water and drowned. Over the years reports of a young man seemingly skating on the water have been made many times.
Once a year a gentle female voice can be heard singing. This could be the Woman in White, seen punting from one side for the Broad to another, heading towards a mill.
The ghost of a monk is said to walk the ruined Hickling priory and the marshes situated to the northeast. One story says that he was a canon who went mad whilst trying to balance the priory books.
The Pleasure Boat on Hickling broad