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hall, near the village, was built in 1609, and is situate in a small park.
J. Longe, Esq., is the owner, and resides here. The living is a discharged
rectory ; patron, J. Longe, Esq. The tithes have been commuted for a
rent-charge of £o60. There is a glebe-house, and the glebe comprises
eight acres, valued at £12 5s. per annum. The Church is chiefly in
the decorated style, and contains numerous memorials of the Longe
family.

SALHOUSE (all SAINTS),

A large parish in the Hundred of Taverham, six miles (north-east
by east) from Norwich, comprises 2033 acres, chiefly arable. The sur-
face is enlivened with several sheets of water, and the navigable river
Bure forms the eastern boundary of the parish. The hall, a handsome
mansion, the seat of Robert Ward, Esq., was formerly the property of
the Lord Chief Justice Holt. The living is a discharged vicarage, united
to that of Wroxham. The Church, an ancient structure in the early
English style, has been recently repaired ; and Mr. Ward embellished
several of the windows with stained glass. The Baptists and Wesleyans
have Chapels here. A new Corn Hall was built several years since, and
some business is transacted in the place.

WROXHAM (ST. MARY)

Is a parish in the Hundred of Taverham, seven miles (north-east by east)
from Norwich. The parish is situated on the navigable river Bure, and
comprises about 1300 acres, of which the greater part is arable; the
surface is boldly varied, and the scenery picturesque. There is a largo
sheet of water called a " Broad," eighty acres in extent, and two sheets of
smaller dimensions. The broad is full of small fish, and is much fre-
quented by anglers. It has been the scene of many water frolics or
regattas. The village is situated on an acclivity rising from the banks of
the river, over which there is a neat bridge. The living is a dischai-ged



202 HISTORY OF EASTERN ENGLAND.

vicarage with that of Salhouse united. The Church is in the decorated
English style, with a square embattled tower.

HOLT HUNDRED

Is about nine miles in length and breadth, except at its northern extremity,
where it is only six miles broad, being bounded on the north by the sea,
on the east by North and South Erpingham, on the south by Eynesford,
and on the west by North Grreenhoe. It is a highly diversified district,
presenting some of the boldest scenery in Norfolk. Many handsome
]nansions have been built during the present century in various parts of
this Hundred. It is watered by the river Glaven, and contains twenty-
eight parishes, covering 41,038 acres. Population, 9942.

The parishes are Bale, Blakeney, Bodham, Brinningham, Brinton, Cley-
next-the-Sea, Edgefield, Glandford-with-Bayfield, Gunthorpe, Hempstead,
Holt, Hunworth, Kelling, Langham, Letheringsett, Melton Constable,
Morston, Salthouse, Saxlingham, Sharringtou, Stody, Swanton Novers,
Thornage, Weybourne, Wiveton.

HOLT

Is a market town twenty-three miles (north-north-west) from Norwich,
and 123 (north-north-east) from London. Holt, in Saxon, means wood,
and this place was so called from the quantity that grew on its site. In
the reign of Edward the Confessor it was held in royal demesne, and after
the Conquest the lordship belonged to the family of De Vaux or De
Vallibus. The town is pleasantly situated on rising ground, in the midst
of a fertile district, remarkable for the purity of its air, and commands a
fine view of the surrounding country, which is called " The Garden of
Norfolk." The streets are macadamized, and the houses are neatly built
of stone and brick.

The market for corn is well attended on Satui-day ; the fairs, chiefly for
live stock, are held on April 25th and November 25th and the following
days. The parish comprises 2849a. 2e. 15p., of which 1774a. 2n. 34p. are
arable, 486a. Ik. 1p. pasture, and 552a. 3r. 38p. woodland. The soil is
rich and highly cultivated. The living is a rectory ; patrons. Masters and
Fellows of St. John's College, Cambridge. The Church is in the
decorated and later English style, and had formerly a steeple above the
tower. The free Grammar School was founded in 1554 by Sir John
Gresham, Knight, Alderman of London, who endowed it in 1556. He
was a native of this town.

MELTON CONSTABLE, WITH BURGH PARVA,

Form a fertile parish of 2710 acres, six miles south of Holt. About
800 acres of the parish are in the park and woods which surround the



A UESCEIPTION OP NORFOLK.' 208

mansion of Lord Hastings, the Lord of the Manor and owner of the soil.
The mansion, which has been the seat of the Astlejs for a long time,
was erected or re-built by Sir Jacob Astley in 1680 ; but it has since been
altered and enlarged. It is a noble square building of brick and stone,
with four fronts ; the grand staircase and many of the apartments are
highly finished. The paintings are numerous and valuable. The park,
four miles in circuit, is well stocked with deer. A tower called Belle Vue
commands an extensive prospect of the adjacent country and of the ocean,
though the coast is ten miles distant.

CLEY-NEXT-THE-SEA

Is a dull old-fashioned town, one of the small ports of Norfolk, which
export large quantities of wheat. Less than 100 years ago rye was the
chief crop, and wheat was imported. Here, as in all other places in this
part of the county, a large malt-house suggests abundant crops of barley.
The harbour is a muddy creek in which we saw ducks dabbling, but no
vessels. On the side of the road near the sea, there are sluices and a deep
channel for drainage, and here and there pretty flower gardens enliven
the fronts of the houses.

SOUTH EKPINGHAM HUNDRED

Is a highly-cultivated district, finely interspersed with woods, streams,
vilhiges, churches, and many handsome mansions. It is about sixteen
miles in length, exclusive of a narrow strip at its northern extremity, and
varies from five to ten miles in width. It is bounded on the south by
Taverham, on the west by Holt and Eynesford, on the north by North
Erpingham, and on the east by Tunstead. The river Bure flows through
it from Corpusty to Belaugh, receiving in its course many tributary
streams, and watering a fertile valley which is broken into bold and
picturesque acclivities. There are thirty-eight parishes in the Hundred,
which comprises 51,223 acres. Population, 14,979.

The parishes are Alby, Aylsham, Baconsthorpe, Banningham, Barning-
ham (liittle), Beckham (West), Belaugh, Blickling, Booton, Brampton,
Burgh St. Mary, Buxton, Calthorpe, Cawston, Colby, Coltishall, Corpusty,
Erpingham, Hautboys (Great), Heviugham, Heydon, Ingworth, Irming-
land, Itteringham, Lammas, Mannington, Oulton, Oxnead, Saxthorpe,
Scottow, Skeyton, Stratton Strawless, Swantou Abbot, Thwaite, Tutting-
ton, Wickmere, Wolterton.

AYLSHAM (ST. MICHAEL),

A market town and parish in the Hundred of South Erpingham ; twelve
and a-quarter miles (north-west) from Norwich, and 121 (north-east
by north) from London.



204 HISTORY OF EASTERN ENGLAND.

This placG; which is situated ou thu high road from Norwich to Cromer,
was, during the reigns of Edward II. and III., the chief seat in the
county for the manufacture of linens, then distinguished by the appella-
tion of " Aylsham Webs.'^ This branch of manufacture was subsequently
superseded by that of woollen cloths ; and in the reign of James I. the
inhabitants were chiefly employed in the knitting of worsted hose, and in
the manufacture of stocking pieces for breeches, and waistcoat pieces,
which was carried on here till the introduction of machinery, since which
these branches of manufacture have been discontinued. The town is
pleasantly situated on a gentle acclivity, rising from the south bank of the
river Bure, and is well built, containing many handsome houses. The trade
consists principally in coal, corn, and timber, for which its situation is ex-
tremely favourable. The river Bure is navigable to Yarmouth for barges
of forty tons burden, and a spacious basin and commodious wharf have
been constructed here for the greater facility of trade, which is carried on
to a considerable extent. The market, formerly on Saturday, is now held
weekly on Tuesday, and is amply supplied with corn and provisions of all
kinds ; and fairs, which are well attended, are held annually on March
23rd, and on the last Tuesdays in September and October, which last is a
statute fair. The town was formerly governed by a bailiff, and had several
privileges, of which exemption from serving on juries at the Assizes and
Sessions is still remaining. The parish comprises 4311a. 2e. 4p., of which
350 acres are meadow, 100 woodland and plantations, and the remainder
arable. The living is a vicarage endowed with a portion of the rectorial
tithes, and valued in the King's books at £17 19s. 7d. ; patrons and
appropriators. Dean and Chapter of Canterbury ; the appropriate tithes
have been commuted for a rent-charge of £716, and the vicarial for £684;
the glebe comprises four acres, with good glebe house. The Church,
founded by John o' Gaimt, is a spacious and handsome cruciform structure
in the decorated English style of architecture, with a square embattled
tower surmounted by a spire ; the nave is lighted by a handsome range
of clerestory windows, and separated from the choir by a richly
ornamented screen, of which the lower portion is embellished with
figures, well painted and enriched with gilding; on the south side of
the choir are three sedilia of stone, richly canopied, and a double
piscina, opposite to which is a monument to Bishop Jegon ; the
font is elaborately sculptured, and in the north transept is the chapel
of St. Peter, which had a guild in 1490; in the cemetery _Js the
tomb of Humphrey Repton, author of a work on landscape gardening,
who was buried here. There are places of worship for Baptists,
Primitive Methodists, and Wesleyans. The Free Grammar School,
founded in 1517 by Robert Jannys, Mayor of Norwich, who endowed it



A DESCRIPTION OP NORFOLK. 205

with £10 per annum, and for wliich, in conjunction with that of Wymond-
ham, Archbishop Parker founded two scholarships in Corpus Ghristi
College, Oxford, has been incorporated with the District National Society,
which granted £350 towards the erection of the building, and £20 per
annum to the master ; this school, and also an infant's school established
in 1840, are supported by subscription. The Poor-law Union of Aylsham
comprises forty-six parishes and places under the care of forty-seven
Guardians, About half a mile from this town is a chalybeate spring, now
little noticed, which from its former efficacy in asthmatic and other chronic
diseases, was much resorted to by invalids, and obtained the appellation
of Aylsham Spa. On Stowe Heath, about two miles to the east of the
town, are several large tumuli, in some of which, in 1808, were found
urns containing human bones and ashes.

BUCKLING (ST. ANDREw)

Is a parish in the Hundred of South Erpingham, one and a-quarter miles
(north-west by north) from Aylsham. Before the Norman Conquest the
ancient Manor of Blickling was in the possession of Harold, afterwards
King of England, but at the Domesday survey it was held in two moieties,
one by the Crown, and the other by the Bishop of Thetford, and enjoyed
all the privileges of a royal demesne. William I. settled the whole manor
and advowson on the see ; and after the foundation of Norwich Cathedral,
the Bishops held the demesne in their own hands and had here a palace.
In 1431 it was the property of Sir Thomas Erpingham, who sold it to Sir
John Falstoff, by whom it was sold in 1452 to Geoffrey Boleyne, who made
it his country seat, and was Lord Mayor of London in 1457. From him it
passed to Sir Thomas Boleyn, father of the unfortunate Anne Boleyn,
Queen of Henry VIII., who is supposed to have been born here. From
the Boleyns it came to the Cleres, one of whom sold it to Henry Hobart,
Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, who died in 1625. His son.
Sir John, rebuilt Blickling Hall, which he completed in 1620. Charles
IL came here with his Queen in 1671, during a progress in which they
visited other great houses in Norfolk, and fared sumptuously every day,
as the following passage intimates : —

Paston and Hobart did bring up the meat,
Who at the next day at their own houses treat ;
Paston to Oxnead did his sovereign bring,
And like Araunah, offered as a king.
Blickling two monarchs and two qxieens has seen,
One king fetched thence, another brought a queen ;
Great Townsheud of the treats brought up the rear,
And doubly was niv Lord-Lieutenant there.



206 HISTORY OP EASTERN ENGLAND.

Even to see the outside of a Tudor palace is worth a few iiiiles journey,
and Blickling, with its antique gables and wings, with its muUioned
windows and bright green lawn, enclosed by a dark yew hedge, is an
interesting memorial of feudal times. To remember that Anne Boleyne
went forth from those panelled chambers to become Queen of England
affords us a sufficient indication of its age.

The edifice is of brick, in the Elizabethan style, with two open courts
in the centre, turrets at the angles, and a large clock tower over the
entrance ; it is nearly environed with large old trees, and situated in a
beautiful park of about 700 acres, well-stocked with deer, and containing
some very fine timber, and a sheet of water of a crescent form, a mile in
length and 400 yards in its greatest breadth. In the park, about a
mile from the hall, is a stone mausoleum of a pyramidal form upon a base
of forty -five feet, in which are deposited the remains of the late Earl of
Buckinghamshire and his two wives.

The high road from Aylsham to Holt passes through the parish, which
is bounded on the north-east by a branch of the river Bure. The living
is a rectory, with that of Erpingham annexed, valued in the King's books
at £10 13s. 4d., and in the patronage of the Dowager Lady Suffield.
The tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £400 ; and the glebe
comprises seventeen acres, valued at £20 per annum. The Church, which
is picturesquely situated near the hall, is in the decorated and later styles,
and consists of a nave, chancel, and side aisles, with a low square tower ;
the nave is lighted by clerestory windows : the eastern window is of ancient
and modern stained glass ; it contains a tomb of Edward Clere and many
bi-asses, one being to the unhappj Anne Boleyne and another to Isabella
Cheyne, dated 1485. Carefully preserved in this church there is an
elaborately-wrought old oak chest, strongly banded with iron, and secured
by five very curiously-formed locks and keys.



Is a parish five miles north of Aylsham, comprising 942 acres of land,
all embraced in the park and extensive plantations of Gunton House, the
seat of Lord Suffield. The park not only includes the whole of this
parish, but also twenty-two acres in Thorpe and forty-four acres in Han-
worth. It is well-stocked with deer, and noted for the number of pheasants
and hares with which it abounds. The mansion is built of white brick,
and was much enlarged under the direction of Mr. Wyatt in 1785. It
was also much improved by the third Lord Suffield ; and stands on an
eminence commanding a delightful view of the park and its plantations.
The road to Thorpe, at the north-east angle of the park, passes under the



A DESCRIPTION OP NORFOLK. 207

arch of an elegant tower, which rises to the height of 120 feet, and
commands an extensive prospect.

COLTISHALL (ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST)

Is a large parish in the Hundred of South Erpingham, seven miles (north-
north-east) from Norwich. This parish comprises 1129a. Or. 29p., of which
about 1065 acres are arable, thirty pasture, and thirty-four woodland ;
and is situated near the river Bure, which flows through the village.
Coltishall was Crown property in days of yore, enjoying singular privi-
leges ; for Henry III. granted to all men, women, boys, and girls, born or
to be born in the village of Coltishall, that they should be free from all
villeinage of body and blood, they or their families, in all parts of England,
and that they should not be forced to serve any office for any one unless
they liked it. The privileges in our days are a pleasant situation backed
by rising woods, and opportunities to build wherries and to trade. There
is a brewery, and a considerable trade is carried on in malt, corn, coal,
and timber, for which the river Bure affords facilities of conveyance. The
living is a rectory, and in the patronage of King's College, Cambridge.
The tithes of this parish, with those upon certain lands in South Ruston
and Scottow, have been commuted for a rent-charge of £340, and the
glebe contains about twenty-seven acres, valued at £34 yearly. The
Church, chiefly in the early style, has a lofty embattled tower. The nave
is divided from the chancel by a carved screen: the font is Norman, and
the interior contains several neat memorials. The Wesleyans have a place
of worship.

HEYDON (ST. PETER)

Is a parish in the Hundred of South Erpingham, near Reepham. The
road from Norwich to Holt runs through the eastern part of this parish,
which comprises 1922 acres, the larger part of which is arable. The
living is a rectory with that of Irmingland united, and Mr. Bulwer is
patron. The Church is chiefly in the later English style, with a lofty
embattled tower, surmounted with pinnacles at the angles. The south
porch has a fine groined roof, and the nave is lighted with clerestory
windows. In the north aisle there is a handsome altar tomb to the
memory of Erasmus Earle, an eminent lawyer and sergeant to Oliver
Cromwell. W. E. L. Bulwer, Esq., lives at the hall, and is
Lord of the Manor and owner of nearly the whole parish, including
400 acres in the park. He is a gentleman highly esteemed for his
amiable disposition and charity to the poor of the neighbourhood. The
house. Hey don Hall, standing in the park, was built in 1^81, and exhibits



208 HISTORY OF EASTERN ENGLAND.

the peculiarities of the Elizabethan age ; gables and pediments and ranges
of bay windows and oriels, all looking very picturesque amid the grand
old elms and sycamores of the park. The village is built around n
Green, with a handsome Church tower on one side, and on the other the
Bulwer Arms, a tavern which, besides the sign, displays on its front a
carved female figure carrying a basket and staff. This is said to have
been the figure-head of a ship in which one of the Earle's family, who
preceded the Bulwers, used to sail. The member for Norwich in the Long-
Parliament was Erasmus Earle, one of the ablest lawyers of the day.

NORTH ERPINGHAM HUNDRED

Is in the Liberty of the Duchy of Lancaster. It extends about twelve
miles from east to west along the sea coast, and averages six miles in
breadth from north to south, being bounded by Holt Hundred on the
west, and by Tunstead on the east. The soil is generally a fertile loam,
with substrata of marl, chalk, and lime, except at the east end, where a
light sand prevails, but thrown up like the rest into picturesque successions
of hills, some of which are covered with thriving plantations. Indeed,
there is much timber in every direction, so that the whole presents a very
pleasing, sylvan appearance. There are thirty-two parishes in this
Hundred, which covers 36,788 acres. Population, 10,529.

The parishes are Aldborough, Antingham, Aylmerton, Barningham
Norwood, Barningham Winter, Beeston Regis, Bessingham, Cromer,
East Beckham, Felbrigg, Gimingham, Gresham, Gunton, Hanworth,
Knapton, Matlaske, Mitton, Mundesley, North Eepps, Overstrand, Plum-
stead, Houghton, Runton, Sherringham, Sidestrand, Suffield, Sustead,
Thorpe Market, Thurgarton, Trimingham, Trunch. In the northern part
of this district we come to the locality celebrated by the old rhyming
proverb :

Gimingham, Trimingham, Knapton, and Trunch,
North Repps, and South Repps, are all of a bunch.

TRIMINGHAM

Was formerly a much-neglected parish ; the laborers used to go round
shouting '^Largess! " after harvest; but in 1856 the Buxtons restored the
Church, built new cottages and a school, and celebrated the good work by
such a harvest home as the parish had never witnessed before.

MUNDESLEY (aLL SAINTS),

A parish north-north-east from North Walsham, containing 454 inhabi-
tants. It is situated on the coast of the North Sea, and comprises 550






A DESCRIPTION OF NORFOLK. 209

acres, of which 530 are arable and twenty pasture. The scenery here is
wildly romantic; the coast is girt with lofty cragged cliffs, and indented
by a deep ravine, through which a small rivulet flows into the sea. The
beach at low water is a broad firm sand, affording good opportunities for
bathing and a fine promenade. The place was much improved under the
auspices of F. Wheatley, Esq., who built a handsome residence on the
cliff near the ravine and two massive sea-walls forming an upper and
lower terrace to prevent the encroachments of the sea. Marine villas
have been erected, and lodging-houses and a hotel for visitors. There is
:i small jetty projecting lOU feet from the beach.

Mundesley was ^-isited by the poet Cowper in August, 1795, and during
his sojourn he made many excursions along this part of the coast.
Few who love good poetry would willingly forget that the hapless bard
journeyed hither to restore his health. The sound of the breakers soothed
his melancholy spirit ; he walked much on the beach, till he could no
longer bear the cold wind and the salt spray. In one of his letters he
wrote : — " My chamber commands a very near view of the ocean, and the
ships at high water approach the coast so closely that a man furnished
with better eyes than mine might, I doubt not, discern the sailors from
the window. No situation, at least when the weather is clear and bright,
can be pleasanter, which you will easily credit when I add, that it imparts
something a little resembling pleasure even to me.^'

SHERRINGHAM,

A parish in the Hundred of North Erpingham,^ five miles west of Cromer,
comprises 2177 acres, of which 1300 are arable, and 700 woodland and heath.
The surface is undulated, and the scenery, richly embellished with wood,
is in some parts very picturesque. Sherringham Plall, the seat of H. E.
Upcher, Esq., is a handsome mansion of white brick, erected by the late
A. Upcher, Esq., and is finely situated in a well-wooded park, command-
ing some extensive views of the sea. The villages of Upper and Lower
Sherringham are about a mile and a-half distant, and the Church is in the
former ; and in the broad vale between us and the heights of fern and wood,
lies the little \'illage of Beeston Eegis with its old Church, and mill, and
ruins of a priory. There are two village greens, populous with geese, and
watered by a clear lively brook, to be crossed on the way back to the
shore. With the primitive-looking cottages they form a pretty rustic
scene, which changes as we approach the lower village to picturesqueness
of another kind. We passed a little paper mill, so little that it was
worked by a man and a boy, and came to the low gray walls, the oblong
inclosures, the rugged cots, the dusty road and lanes, the festoons of brown
nets, the blue and tan coloured jumpers and jerseys and thick rough wor-



210 HISTORY OP EASTERN ENGLAND.

stead stockings hanging to dry, the buckets, barrels, baskets, tubs, lob-
ster pots, and women sitting at the doors mending nets, which strike the
eye first as you descend the ravine into the rugged thoroughfares of lower-
most Sherringham. We went down to the slope at which the street ter-
minates, and had a talk with the numerous groups of weather-beaten fisher-
men who lounged there apparently contemplating the fleet of boats and
the furlongs of herring nets that looked like webs of bronze upon the
blue shingle. They all had the Norfolk twang in perfection, and were
ready in the use of local idioms. We noticed too that in common with
other parts of the county, they invariably used the word " likewise " in-
stead of also. " Likewise herrings we ketch,'' said one, when asked whe-
ther they fished for anything besides lobsters and mackerel.

SIDESTRAND

Is situated on the northern slope of the coast, some parts of which have
slipped into the sea. We passed the old Church, which, with its low
round tower, stands on a lonely spot so near the sea that the worshippers
hear the voice of the deep in its calm or angry moods. Some landslips
appeared on our right, some newly-fallen, others fixed with a rough green
coat, and here and there half-detached bluffs and pinnacles standing up
between ; one great wild slope has the appearance of a glacier, and apart



Online LibraryA. D BayneRoyal illustrated history of eastern England, civil, military, political, and ecclesiastical .. (Volume 1) → online text (page 24 of 70)