Tunstead probably became a settlement in Anglo Saxon times, albeit a rather scattered one in clearings in the then extensive woodland. Its name derives from the Old English tun (meaning enclosure, settlement or farm) and stede (meaning place).
During late Saxon times the local administrative unit was the Hundred which comprised a number of contiguous parishes. Tunstead gave its name to the local Hundred, though unusually the Hundred’s meeting place was not in Tunstead itself but further north close to the boundaries of the North and South Erpingham hundreds. Tunstead was also central to the administration of the Poor Law Union, through the Tunstead & Happing Union between 1785 and 1869 following the enactment of the Poor Laws (see NRO)
In terms of local Government, Hundreds were replaced by Registration Districts in 1836 and again Tunstead gave it’s name to the Registration District which formed the area of local government. The Registration District of Tunstead comprised 41 parishes, as can be seen in this map.
Nowadays the villages of Tunstead & Sco-Ruston come under the jurisdiction of North Norfolk regional council, with most of the parish located on Market Street, an additional 33 homes in Anchor Street and 20 homes in Sco-Ruston.
Now step back in time to learn about the history of Tunstead through the following topics:-