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pointed arch thirty feet in height. The Abbey was formerly of great
extent, and a favourite resort of the nobles. The Abbots had besides
a residence at Ludham, whither they could betake themselves on
occasion for change of soil and air. What comfortable fasts the monks
must have had where fish were always to be had for the catching,
and what feasts of birds in their season ! In those days they could
regale themselves with the bustard and savoury fowl of other kinds,
now rare in the county. The buzzard too has disappeared, the kite,
the marsh harrier, and other birds, which then made excellent diver-
sion whenever it pleased the Lord Abbot to entertain his guests with
the sport of falconry.



192 HISTORY OF EASTERN ENGLAND.

ECCLE8 (ST. MAUy),

A parish in the Hundred of Happing on the sea coast. The parish is now
defended by a ridge of sand hills, thrown up by the wind and surge. It
comprises ol8 acres, of which 145 are arable, 112 pasture and meadoAv,
and 01 waste. In 1005, the land was reduced several hundred acres by a
dreadful inundation of the sea, which swept away sixty-six houses from
the village, and drowned the shrieking inhabitants, leaving only fourteen
cottages. A similar calamity occurred in the reign of Charles I., but the
sand hill now appears to oppose a sufficient barrier to any further encroach-
ments of the sea. To the right and left stretches a broad sandy shore,
backed by rough hills and di-if ts that look beautifully smooth and inviting
to the foot, but if trodden on will swallow you leg deep. At the outer
foot of the slope stands the old Church tower built of sea cobbles, circular
at the base, but octagonal in the upper part. On its seaward side an old
church nave and chancel are traceable by the remains of walls half buried
in the sand. What a lonely relic, and withal melancholy, telling mutely ,
of destruction in days of yore ! Of the two thousand acres that once
formed part of Eccles, there are now only 250. The others, with fields
and houses, have been devoured by the waves.

HAPPISBUEGH (cOMMONLY CALLED HASBRO')

Is a considerable village scattered on the summit and declivities of the
sea bank, seven miles east of North Walsham. The parish comprises
1953 acres. The Church (St. Michael) is a lofty pile of flint and stone,
consisting of nave, with aisle and clerestory, chancel, south porch, with
parvise, and fine embattled tower, containing five bells, and rising to the
heio-ht of 112 feet. The height of the cliff here is about 80 feet, whereby
two lighthouses, built a quarter-of-a-mile apart, have a good elevation.
Both are lighted with patent lamps and reflectors, and the lights may be
seen at fifteen miles distance. They light mariners through Hasbro' Gat,
and on a clear day about forty-five churches may be seen with the naked
eye from the top of the highest. Lights are much needed here at night,
for the coast is beset by shoals, and tlie Hasbro' hghts shoot theii-
warning gleam right across the restless waters. The village has a hotel,
a bowhng green, and one bathing machine, and looks somewhat pictu-
resque with its old gabled cottages, and a steep road leading down to the
green inland levels. There are signs of sea encroachments, isolated
hummocks of clay on the shore, and ugly gaps washed out of the cliffs
Within the memory of man a hundred yards of the cliff have been swal-
lowed by the sea. The cliffs further north are from sixty to eighty feet
in height, in some places forming a long broken slope, in others more or



A DESCRIPTION OP NOKTOLK. 193

less perpendicular, with grassy ledges where slips have occurred, and of
various colours, black, brown, blue, gray, yellow, and red. Beneath there
is spread out a belt of rough gray shingle, a smooth and widening margin
of brown sand, and an ever shifting belt o£ white foam. The whole line
of coast from Happisburgh to Mundesley is in full view.

EAST AND WEST FLEGG,

Two of the smallest Hundreds in Norfolk, are on the sea coast at the east
side of the county, and are of nearly equal extent, containing together
9000 inhabitants and 260,000 acres of land, stretching nearly eleven miles
north of Yarmouth. East Flegg extends about five miles along the coast
north of Yarmouth, and about seven miles westward on the north side of
the Bure, which divides it from Walsham. West Flegg extends about
three and a-half miles along the coast, and seven and a-half miles inland,
and is nearly surrounded by marshes, but its interior rises in bold and
well-cultivated swells.

EAST FLEGG

Contains the following parishes : Caister-next-Yarmouth, Filby, Mautby,
Scratby, Ormesby St. Michael, Ormesby St. Margaret, Kunham,
Stokesby with Herringby, and Thrigby. All these places ending
with " by " are of Danish origin, this district having been peopled by the
Danes, and their descendants are a very rough race to this day.

CAISTER (near YARMOUTH)

Is a parish three miles north of that town, containing about 1000 inhabi-
tants. It is a very ancient place, and the name is evidently a corrupted
Saxonism of Castrum, it being clear from the visible remains of fortifica-
tions and the discovery of numerous coins, that the Romans had a camp
here, opposite to the Garianonum on the banks of the Waveney. The
sea then flowed over all the land now dry between this place and Gorles-
ton. Caister was formerly divided into two parishes. Trinity and St.
Edmund^s, which were consolidated September 22nd, 1608. The Church
belonging to the former has been suffered to fall into ruins. The Church
of St. Edmund's is chiefly in the decorated style, and consists of a nave,
chancel, and south aisle, with a square embattled tower. The living is a
rectory; net income, £875.

About two miles west of the ancient encampment are the ruins
of Caister Castle, erected by Sir John Fastolff, who was born here in
1378, and ran a brilliant military career. The house was three hundred
feet sqiiare, with a tower at each corner, and was one of the eai'liest brick
houses in the county. There is a long range of old red brick wall within



194 HISTORY OF EASTERN ENGLAND.

a moat screened by tall trees, with the tall round tower, the only one
standing. Opposite the tower at the bend of the road grows a noble ash,
alluring you to tarry beneath it and survey the scene which thence appears.
The long, dim vista of the moat, where sunbeams and leafy boughs, and
brown stems, and the dark red wall intermingle and reflect surprising
effects of color on the calm gleaming surface, seems a mysterious avenue
along which one might glide to a more mysterious region beyond. And
how picturesquely the tower fits into the scene with its encircling crest of
rounded machicolations and pendants, and pigeons flying about the summit.
Truly the builder had an eje for beauty, and knew how to produce admir-
able efl^ects with brickwork. The whole place is enclosed by the moat,
and the gate is kept locked ; but the visitor may soon get the key at the
farm-house. The gateway forms an obtuse ogee arch. You enter and
discover that the long range of wall is a mere shell ; for the interior is a
large grassy quadrangle, with fruit trees along the sunny side, and elder
trees grouping here and there in rounded masses, and an old poultry
coop, draped in places by ivy.

The tower and turret fill the angle ; the gable mark in the v/all preserves
the outline of the roof of the great hall ; the row of windows above the
gateway breaks the mass of red with lights and shadows ; the tower, in
which the priest's chamber was situated near the chapel, retains the old
corbels and gargoyles, so that while your mind reverts to historic scenes,
there is enjoyment enough for your eyes. On the ground floor there is a
small chamber with groined ceiling and a two-light foliated window ; but
all above is hollow and empty, and in looking up you see the marks of old
floors and fire-places, and a circle of blue sky.

We may read in the Paston Letters, written 500 years ago, how Caister
fell to the Pastons ; how it was claimed and besieged by the Duke of
Norfolk ; how the Pastons' hope of recovering the place was fulfilled,
though Edward IV. also disputed their title ; how certain pirates, after
much havoc on other parts of the coast, were so bold as "to come
up to the land, and played them on Caister sands, as homely as if they
were Englishmen;" how loving and lowly messages were sent by the
different members of the family, to and from Sir John's " pore j^lace of
Castre," mingling news of the terrible battles of the Roses with approval
or disapproval of marriage projects, &c., &c.

ORMESBY (ST. MARGARET)

Is a parish in the Hundred of East Flegg, five miles north of Yarmouth.
This parish, which is situated near the coast, comprises, with Ormesby
St. Michael, 2400 acres. The village contains many handsome residences ;
the surrounding country is richly wooded, and the scenery very pic-



A DESCRIPTION OP NORFOLK. 195

turesque. The living is a discharged vicarage with that of Ormesby St.
Michael, and with which was united the vicarage of Scratby in 1548. The
appropriate tithes were commuted for a rent-charge of £772 14s., and the
vicarial for £290 17s. ; the glebes respectively comprise fifty-one and fifty-
six acres. The Church is a handsome structure, in the later English style,
with a lofty square embattled tower ; and on the south, there is a richly-
embellished Norman doorway.

STOKESBY (ST. ANDRE w),

A parish in the Hundred of East Flegg, near the river Bure. The parish
is chiefly marsh land, comprising 2000 acres. The whole region between
this place and the sea is one great level of pastures. Thousands of
cattle are always grazing in the summer season, and there are many
farmsteads, prettily embosomed in trees. The living of Stokesby is a
rectory, with that of Herringby united ; the tithes have been commuted
for a rent-charge of £522 16s. ; and the glebe contains forty-six acres,
valued at £76 per annum. The Church is chiefly in the decorated style,
with a square embattled tower ; and the chancel contains memorials of
the Clere family.

WEST PLEGG

Includes the following parishes : — Ashby, Billockby, Burgh St. Margaret,
Clippesby, Hemsby, Martham, Repps-cum-Bastwick, Rollesby, Somerton
(East), Somerton (West), Wintertou.

ASHBY, WITH OBY ST. MARY,

Is a parish situated four miles from Acle. This parish was consolidated
with those of Thorne and Oby in 1604, and comprises 1900 acres, of
which 800 are marsh or meadow land. The three parishes form one
rectory ; patron, the Bishop of Norwich. The tithes have been conmiuted
for £690. Ashby consists of only one farm, and had formerly a church,
of which there are very slight remains. The parsonage house is in that
part of the parish called Oby, and has a glebe of about twenty-three acres.

ROLLESBY

Is a parish in the Hundred of West Flegg, comprising 1639 acres, of
which 1226 are ar-able, 212 meadow and pasture, 25 woodland, and
26 water, in the '' Broad.^' The living is a discharged rectory, valued in
the King's books at £17. The tithes have been commuted for a rent
chai'ge of £644, and the glebe comprises seven acres, valued at £8 15s. Od.
per annum. The Church is chiefly in the early English style, with a
circular tower ancl octangular turret. The Baptists have a Chapel here,



196 HISTORY OF EASTERN ENGLAND.

" The Broad '' is full of pike and other fisli, and is much frequented by
anglers in the summer months.

The inland waters of East Norfolk^ owing to local conditions, are
very remarkable. Within the level district, bounded by the coast lino
from Happisburgh to Yarmouth, the sluggish waters in many places
assert their ancient supremacy, spreading out in some instances to more
than a square mile of surface, from the so-called " Broads." Some are
traversed by the stream ; others are separated therefrom by a low swampy
bank, or a breadth of reeds or meadow, crossed by one or more feeders or
channels of communication.

MARTHAM (ST. MAKy),

A parish in the Hundred of West Flegg, nine miles north of Yarmouth.
The parish comprises 2526a. 2e. 20p., of which 1675 acres are arable,
and 851 pasture. The surface is varied and of pleasing character,
enlivened by an extensive lake interspersed by islets. The village is
situated on an elevated site, and a pleasure fair is held on the last Tuesday
and Wednesday in July. The living is a discharged vicarage in the
patronage of the Dean and Chapter of Norwich ; net income £247 ; the
glebe comprises ten acres, with a glebe house. The Church is a handsome
structure in the later Enghsh style, with a lofty embattled tower sur-
mounted by a spire ; the windows contain some remains of ancient
stained glass.

SOMERTON EAST (ST. MARY),

A parish in West Flegg, nine and a-half miles north of Yarmouth, com-
prises 798 acres, of which 439 are arable, and the remainder pasture. The
scenery is in general pleasing, and in some parts picturesque. The living-
is annexed to the rectory of Winterton, and the tithes have been com-
muted for a rent charge of £270. The Church has been long since
demolished.

SOMERTON WEST (ST. MARY),

A parish in West Flegg, comprises 1200 acres, of which 539 are pasture,
and ten woodland. The village consists of several houses, situate at the
foot of an eminence. The living is a perpetual curacy ; net income £50 ;
the impropriate tithes have been commuted for a rent charge of £320.
The Church has a circular tower, and was repaired in 1839.

WINTERTON (ALL SAINTS)

Is a parish in the Hundred of West Flegg, nine miles north from Yarmouth.
The parish comprises 1266 acres, of which 450 are arable and the rest



A DESCRIPTION OF NOKFOLK. 197

pasture, sand hills, &c. The place is situated on the sea coast, and 200
persons are employed in the fishery, A lighthouse has been erected on
an eminence, a hexagonal tower seventy feet high, lighted with patent
argand lamps and reflectors. The living is a rectory, with that of East
Somerton annexed. Net income, £478. The glebe contains about thirty
acres. The Church is chiefly in the later style, with a handsome tower
140 feet high, which serves as a land-mark for mariners. The roof of
the nave is supported by tiers of columns of chestnut wood in bases of
brick.

HUNDREDS AND PARISHES IN NORTH NORFOLK.

Norfolk is by no means so flat a county as it is generally supposed to be,
and this is owing to the hasty manner in which some writers have viewed
it. Every part on the north side is strongly marked by rising grounds,
which, though ascending imperceptibly, end with a prospect of twenty
or thirty miles. This kind of land is presented in the Hundreds of
Tavei'ham, Holt, North and South Erpingham, and in places near the
coast.

TAVEKHAM HUNDRED

Stretches seven miles northward from Norwich, and is about twelve miles
in length from east to west, being bounded on the south by the Wensum,
on the east by Blofield, on the north by the Bure, and on the west by
Eynesf ord. A great portion of it has a light loamy soil, resting on beds
of marl and chalk, having an undulated surface, highly cultivated and
studded with handsome mansions ; but to the north of Thursford there is a
sterile tract of sandy heath, now bearing thriving plantations. The Hun-
dred contains eighteen parishes, comprising 32,156 acres. Population,
8,199

The parishes in this Hundred are Attleb ridge, Beeston St. Andrew,
Catton, Crostwick, Drayton, Felthorpe, Frettenham, Hainford, Hellesdon,
Horsham, Newton St. Faith's, Horsford, Rackheath, Horstead with
Stanninghall, Salhouse, Spixworth, Sprowston, Taverham, Wroxham.

ATTLEBRIDGE

Is a parish in the Hundred of Taverham, eight miles (north-west) from
Norwich. The living is a discharged vicarage united to the rectory of
Alderford, and Valued in the King's books at £4 6s. lO^d. The vicarial
tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £70, and there are ten
acres of glebe, valued at £7 los. 9d. per annum; and the impropriate
tithes belonging to the Lord of the Manor have been commuted for a
rent-charge of £162 18s.



198 HISTORY OF EASTERN ENGLAND.

DKAYTON (ST. MARGARET)

Is a parish in the Hundred of Taverham, four and a-half miles (north-
west) from Norwich. This parish comprises 1292 acres ; the living is a
discharged rectory with that of Hellesdon united. The tithes have been
commuted for a rent-charge of £253, and the glebe contains eighteen acres,
valued at £34 10s. per annum, and about thirty acres in Hellesdon. The
village is pleasantly situated in the vale of the Wensum, and contains the
remains of an ancient cross, which had an inscription in French offering
pardon to all who would pray for the souls of William de Bellemont and
Joan his wife. A place called " Blood^s Dale '' is said to have been the
scene of a battle in Anglo-Saxon times.

COSSEY (or COSTESSEY)

Is a parish near Drayton, in the vale of the Wensum, four miles (north-
by-west) from Norwich. The parish is extensive and populous, and con-
tains more than 1000 inhabitants, nearly all engaged in agricultural
pursuits. There was a large Common in the parish, but it has been
recently enclosed, not for the benefit of the poor people, who formerly
made some use of the Common. The poor have been much poorer ever
since- the enclosure.

The living is a perpetual curacy in the patronage of the Corporation of
Norwich. The tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £oo7, and
the glebe consists of seventy acres, valued at £94 per annum. Here is a
handsome Roman Catholic Chapel, dedicated to St. Augustine, with
pointed arched windows embellished with painted glass, erected at the
expense of the late Sir W. Jerningham, Bart. ; it is private, and attached
to Costessey Hall, the seat of Lord Stafford. A school is supported by his
lordship, and another partly by Messrs. John Culley and Son. There is
a Chapel for Baptists, who are numerous here.

Lord Stafford, owns the great part of the soil. His lordship resides at
his ancient family mansion, which is delightfully seated in a beautiful and
well- wooded park of 900 acres, crossed by a rivulet and bounded on the
north by the winding river and on the south by the road from Norwich to
East Dereham. The park contains some of the finest forest trees in the
county, and the vicinity is much celebrated for its varied features of hill
and dale. The old hall is an extensive pile of brick in the plain Tudor
style, with battlements and square windows. It forms three sides of a
triangle, and the projecting wings are terminated by corbie-stepped
gables, crowned by square pinnacles. This house was erected by Sir
Henry Jerningham in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. The new building is
also of brick, and is a fine specimen of Tudor architecture. It contains



A DESCRIPTION OP NOKFOLK. 199

many fine paintings^ one of which is a portrait of Queen Mary by Holbein.
It is situated near the river, and has a lofty and imposing aspect^ but
when, on viewing it from all sides,, we discover a portion with naked walls
and^larged unglazed mullioned windows, it looks as if it were never to be
finished.

TAVERHAM (ST. EUMUNd),

A parish in the Hundred of Taverham, five miles (north-west) from Nor-
v/ich, noted for the paper mill, where 30,000 sheets are produced daily for
the Times newspaper. The mills, comprising a considerable extent of low
i-auges of building, stand in a park-like flat by the side of the river
Wcnsum, and the tall chimney shafts of white brick seen from far amid
trees, and backed by woods, suggest a pleasing combination of industry
and rurality. There being few cottages in the parish, most of the working-
people, 150 in number, live in the adjoining parishes of Costesscy
and Drayton. The parish comprises 2021a. 2r. 17p., and the scenery
there is exceedingly picturesque, being enlivened by the flow of the river
Wensum. The Rev. J. N. Micklethwait, who is Lord of the Manor and
proprietor of almost the whole parish, resides in a handsome mansion
surrounded by 500 acres of woodland. The prospect includes Taverham
Hall, a house in the Tudor style, and the Church and parsonage, with
pretty gardens bordering the stream. The Church is chiefly in the deco-
rated style. There are few villagers to attend its services.

HORSPORD (all SAINTS)

Is a parish in the Union of St. Faith's, Hundred of Taverham, four miles
from Norwich. The parish is situated on the road from Norwich to Holt
and Cromer, and comprises 4176 acres, of which 2178 arc arable, and 1877
pasture and meadow. The living is a discharged vicarage, and the patron
-Admiral Stephens. The Church presents portions in various styles of
architecture. The Wesleyans have a place of worship. At the time of the
enclosure in 1802, about 200 acres of the heath were allotted to the poor
for fuel. Within a short distance of the vicarage there is a low circular
mound amid the grassy level, which is all that remains of Horsford Castle.
Having an inner hollow and deep outer ditch, once filled by the moat, the
mound forms a ring round which it is pleasant to walk and survey the
landscape. That open green expanse was once Horsford forest, where
deer ranged at large, and where Walter of Caen laid out a chase and built
a castle, demolished long ago.

HORSHAM (ST. PAITH's),

A parish in the Union of St. Faith's, Hundred of Taverham, four miles
from Norwich. The parish compris«?s 2303 acres, nearly the whole of



200 HiSTOKY OF EASTEllU ENGLAND.

which are arable. A Priory of Black Monks, dedicated to St. Faith's, was
founded here iu 1105 by Eobert Fitzwalter and Sibell de Caynetto, his
wife ; it was at first a cell to the Abbey de Couches in Normandy. An
hospital was attached to the institution, and it formerly belonged to the
Knights of St. John of Jerusalem. Any visitor here would discover
nothing to interest him, except a few shreds from the olden time. The
living is a perpetual curacy, and Admiral Stephens is patron. The Church
is partly in the early, and partly in the perpendicular style. The Wes-
leyans have a place of worship here. At the time of the enclosure in
1802, nearly sixty acres of land were alloted to the poor. The Union
Workhouse of St. Faith's is situated in the parish.

CATTON (ST. MAKGAKET),

A parish in the Hundred of Taverham, two miles (north) from Norwich,
and distinguished from New Catton which joins the city. The parish
comprises 900 acres, a considerable part of which consists of woodlands,
garden and pleasure grounds, interspersed with numerous mansions and
villas, the residences of rich citizens, forming altogether a beautiful
suburban village. The living is a discharged vicarage ; net income £142 ;
patrons. Dean and Chapter of Noi-wich. The landowners purchased
the impropriate tithes of the Dean and Chapter. The glebe contains
thirteen acres. The most ancient part of the Church is in the early Eng-
lish style. The Rev. R. Hart, a learned antiquary, is the incumbent.

SPROWSTON (ST. MAEY AND ST. MAEGAKET),

A parish in the Hundred of Taverham, two miles (north) from Norwich, is
situated on the road from the city to North Walsham. The parish
comprises 2576a. 1e. 9p., of which 2098 acres are arable, 231 pasture,
and 246 woodland. The hall, the ancient seat of the Corbets', has been
greatly improved, and Sprowston Lodge is a neat mansion of white brick.
The living is a perpetual curacy in the patronage of the Dean and Chapter
of Norwich, who are the appropriators ; net income, £94. The Church,
chiefly in the early style with a square brick tower, contains memorials of
the families of Corbet, Painter, and Micklethwait. The village presents
long rows of low mean houses on each side of the road, and contains
about 1,200 inhabitants.

RACKHEATH (ALL SAINTS),

A parish in the Hundred of Taverham, five miles (north-east by north)
from Norwich. There was anciently a small priory, the revenue of which
was valued at £2 Is. 3d. in 1428. The road from Norwich to North
Walsham crosses the parish. The hall is a modern building of white brick.



A DESCRIPTION OP NOEI*OLK. 201

situated in a flue park, which contains a lake. Here is the seat of Sir H.
J. Stracey, Bart., formerly M.P. for Yarmouth. The living is a discharged
rectory ; patron. Sir H. J. Stracey, Bart. The tithes have been commuted
for a rent-charge of £416, and the glebe comprises twenty-six acres. The
Church, which is chiefly in the early English style, has a square tower,
and contains some monuments of the Potter and Stracey families.

SPIXWORTH (ST. peter),

A parish in the Hundred of Taverham, four miles (north by east) from
Norwich. The parish is situated on the old road from Norwich to
Aylsham, and comprises 1224a. Or. 16p., which are chiefly arable. The



Online LibraryA. D BayneRoyal illustrated history of eastern England, civil, military, political, and ecclesiastical .. (Volume 1) → online text (page 23 of 70)