Benedictine Monks first took possession of Welle Manor Hall (in Norfolk, England and pictured above) in 974 A.D. Its great value to the monks at that time was the well in the grounds of the manor.
It was from this well that Welle Manor and the village of Upwell derived its name. It was also from this well that the herb gardens were established by the monks, which were the basis for the various potions and balms which were administered to the local populace, for they were as concerned for the physical well-being, as well as the spiritual well-being of their flock.
Throughout the Middle Ages everyone relied upon the curative properties of herbs for the relief of their ills, including Lowness of Spirits.Thus Norfolk Punch evolved, until the time when Henry VIII dissolved the monastic orders and confiscated their properties.
The process of reviving Olde Norfolk Punch took many years perfecting in order to keep to the ancient recipe.
The modern Norfolk Punch gets its name from the 80 gallon “Puncheon” in which it was originally made.
The qualities of the herbs used in Norfolk Punch have been recorded by writers of antiquity, which include the following:
‘Eases the headache.’
‘Marvellously do help all cold and rheumatic distillations of the lungs and other parts.’
‘Kills worms in the belly.’
‘Preserves from drunkeness.’
‘Do help consumption, old coughs, shortage of breath and the megrim.’
‘Warms and comforts a cold stomach.’
‘Helps digestion and is a remedy for surfeit.’
‘Helps weariness and pains that come by sore travelling.’
‘Mightily expell the wind from those who suffer with it.’
‘Seven doses do cause a speedy delivery in childbirth.’