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ing river flows past Mettingham, where the Castle is a monument of the
families of Norwich and Ufford. Below this place the stream flows by the
rustic scenes of Shipmeadow, and then to the parish of Barsham, which
is identified with some historical associations. Flowing througha pastoral
district, to the north of the ancient house of Roos Hall, the river reaches
the town of Beccles.

From the bold promontory on which the town of Beccles stands the
spectator beholds the wide and fertile valley of the Waveney, smiling
under the industry of man, having churches, villages, and mansions
thickly studded along its woody banks. The silvery stream pursues a
winding course, and adds a charm to the landscape. In former ages the
valley of the Waveney at the north end of the county was covered by a
broad arm of the sea, whose tides bore along the hostile barques of the
northern pirates intent on plunder. Near the site of Beccles stood a
lofty watch tower, which, commanding a seaward view of the estuary,
blazed forth the fearful notice of invasion to a beacon placed on the
peninsula at Bungay, which soon communicated with a third at Homers-


field, and thus the intelligence was speedily passed along the valley of
the Waveney into the heart of East Anglia. Then the whole district was
in motion ; women, children, and goods were placed in the round towers
of churches for safety, while the men collected in arms to repel the


An incorporated iuarket town in the parish and in the Union and Hundred
of Wangford, Eastern Division of the County of Suffolk, 109 miles (uorth-
east-by-north) from London. This toAvn, which suffered greatly from fire
in 1586, and again in 1662, is pleasantly situated on the river Waveney, by
which it is bounded on the north and west. It consists of several spacious
streets, diverging from the Market Place, well paved and lighted with
gas. The houses in general are handsome and well built, and the inha-
bitants are amply supplied with water. The environs, which abound with
pleasing scenery, afford agreeable walks ; and the theatre and assembly-
rooms form two handsome ornamental buildings.

The trade is principally in corn, malt, and coals, and is carried on to a
considerable extent. The river Waveney is navigable from Yarmouth for
wherries and other small craft ; and an Act was passed in 1831 " to make
the river navigable for ships and other sea-borne vessels from Eosehall
Fleet to the mouth of Oulton Dyke, and for making and maintaining a
navigable cut from the said river at Carlton Shares Mill into the said
dyke leading to Oulton Broad and Lake Lothing to the sea." The
market is on Saturday, and fairs are held on Whit-Monday for cattle, and
October 2ud for horses and pedlery ; there are also statute fairs. Adjoining
the town is a tract of fen lauds, originally about 1400 acres in extent,
which was granted by Henry VIII. in 1540 (after the dissolution of the
Abbey of Bury St. Edmund's, to which the manor formerly belonged) to
William Rede and his heirs, in trust for the benefit of himself and other
inhabitants of the town. There are now remaining about 940 acres.
There are also upwards of 200 held for charitable purposes. In 1543,
the inhabitants were incorporated by letters patent of Henry VIII. ; but
in consequence of protracted disputes between them and the family of
Rede concerning the grant of the fen lands, the charter was surrendered
to Queen Elizabeth, and a new one granted in 1584, which was confirmed
in 1588, and by James I. in 1605. The government is now vested in four
Aldermen and twelve Councillors, from whom a Mayor is chosen. The
borough is co-extensive with the parish, and a court of quarter sessions
is held for the county. Petty sessions are held for the district every
Saturday, and manor courts occasionally. Beccles is a polling-place for
the election of Parliamentary representatives for the eastern division of


the county. There is a new Sessions Hall. The House of Correction
has recently been enlarged, and a Station House was built in 1840. The
parish contains by measurement 1893a. 2r. 14p., of which 950 acres are
common. The soil on the high grounds is wet and clayey, and in the
lower parts sandy.

The living is a rectory consolidated with the vicarage of St. Mary in-
gate; the rectory is valued in the King's books at £21 12s. 3^, and the
vicarage at £7 6s. 8d. ; patron. Earl of Gosford. The tithes have been
commuted for a rent charge of £350. The Church is a spacious and ele-
gant structure in the later style of English architecture, and consists of a
nave, chancel, and side aisles j the porch is of beautiful design and elabo-
rate execution, and the interior is appropriately ornamented. The tower,
which is detached from the main building, and stands near the east end
of the Church, is highly enriched with sculpture ; it was built by sub-
scription, and upon it are sculptured the arms of the donors, among which
are those of Leman, Garneys, Yallop, and Rede (Thomas Rede having
been at that time rector of the parish, and a principal contributor towards
its erection). The churchyard commands an interesting and extensive
view. A collection of books, formerly kept in a room over the porch, has
been removed to the subscription library established in 1836. A chapel
^or reading the burial service, and a burial ground, were x3onsecrated in
1823, and a new cemetery with a chapel for all denominations was estab-
lished in 1840. There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents,
and Methodists.

A Grammar School was founded and endowed under the will, dated in
1714, of the Rev. Dr. Fauconberge, a native of the town, with an estate
of 132 acres in the parish of Corton, producing about £183 per annum ;
it is under the control of the Bishop of Norwich, the Archdeacon of
Suffolk, and the Rector of Beccles, who appoint the master. Dr. Routh,
the learned President of Magdalene College, Oxford, received the rudi-
ments of his education at this place. The Free School, in Ballygate
Street, which is under the management of thirteen governors (of whom
the Rector of the parish for the time being must always be one), was
founded and endowed in 1631 by Sir John Leman, Knt., alderman of
London, who devised several parcels of land and messuages, in the
parishes of Gillingham St. Andrew, Ilketshall, and Barsham, for its sup-
port, containing altogether 112 acres, and yielding a rent of £196, Here
are also a National, a British and Foreign, and an Lifants' School,
supported by subscription. Eight almshouses are occupied by poor
widows ; and there is a fund for apprenticing a poor boy every year.
An ancient Hospital for Lepers, of uncertain foundation, with a chapel
dedicated to St, Mary Magdalene, was granted in 1676 to the Corporation


of Beccles for tlio benefit of the poor. Here were also several guilds ; and
an ancient church, dedicated to St. Peter, distinct from the present church .

At the time of the dissolution of the monasteries, in the middle of the
sixteenth century, 939 acres of marsh land which belonged to the Abbey
were granted to the town. This has been the chief cause of its pros-
perity. The income derived from this source, nearly £2000 yearly, is
applied to the maintenance of a police force, the cost of paving*, lighting,
sewerage, &c., so that no borough rate is required, and a surplus is
generally left for the charities.

Beccles is renowned for its grand old Church, with its massive tower.
We went up the tower, and fi'om the top we had a pleasing view. The
town, interspersed with many pretty gardens, presents a bowery slope to
the river Waveney, and all around spreads a level green landscape,
chequered in places with light brown and yellow, striped with long rows
of poplars, and the river curving hither and thither until its bright gleam
disappears under a distant range of low hills. Nowhere in the county do
the hills rise above 300 feet in height.


A market town in the Union and Hundred of Wangford, Eastern Division
of the County of Suffolk, forty miles (north north-east) from Ipswich, 109
(north-east by north) fi'om London, on the road to Yarmouth, and near
the Waveney Valley line of railway. This place is said to have derived
its name from the term Le bon eye, signifying the " good island," in con-
sequence of its being nearly surrounded by the river Waveney, which
was then a broad stream. Soon after the Norman conquest a Castle was
built, which from its situation and the strength of its fortifications was
deemed impregnable by its possessor, Hugh Bigod, Earl of Norfolk in
the reign of Stephen ; but that monarch in the sixth year of his reign,
in the year 1140, came with his army and took it. In 1154 also, the first
year of Henry II., it was yielded by the same earl, but restored in 1163 ;
and in the following year he again took up arms against the king, and
fortified himself in the Castle, which he was compelled to yield up and
permit to be demolished. On its site a mansion was erected, which in
the twenty-second year of Edward I., 1293, Roger Bigod embattled by
royal permission. The form of the Castle, of which the remains belong to
the Duke of Norfolk, appears to have been octangular; portions of the
west and south-west angles are still standing, as are also three sides of
the main keep, situated nearly at the back of these towers ; their walls
are from seven to eleven feet thick, and fi'om fifteen to seventeen feet
high, in the midst of which is a well of strongly -impregnated mineral
water, long since disused. The mounds of earth raised for its defence


retaiu their original form, though much reduced in height. Near St.
Mary^s Church are the ruins of a Benedictine nunnery, founded about the
year 1160, in the reign of Henry II., by Roger de Glanville and the
Countess de Gundreda, his lady, the revenue of which at the dissolution
was estimated at £62 2s. Hd., at which time there were a prioress
and eleven nuns. In March, 1688, a fire broke out, and the flames spread
with such rapidity that the whole town, with the exception of one small
street, was reduced to ashes, and property to the amount of neai-ly
£30,000, together with most of the ancient records of the Castle, were
destroyed; one house, with curiously-carved window, is still standing
which escaped the conflagration, situated near the nunnery, to which it is
supposed to have been attached as the hospital for travellers and strangers.
The town is pleasantly situated on the river Waveney, over which are
two neat bridges ; the streets, diverging from the Market-place in the
centre of the town, towards the principal roads, are spacious, well paved,
and lighted with gas ; the houses are in general modern, having been
rebuilt since the fire ; and the town is amply supplied with water from
springs. On the northern side of the town is an extensive common,
nearly surrounded by the Waveney, along the edge of which, on the
Norfolk side, is a pleasant promenade, one mile and a-half in length,
leading to a cold bath, where a bath-house has been built and requisite
accommodation provided. The trade is principally in corn, malt, flour,
and coal ; there are several flour mills and malting houses on a large
scale ; also a paper mill, and a large silk manufactory, and an extensive
printing ofiice. The manufacture of hempen cloth for the Norwich and
London markets has been wholly discontinued. The Waveney is
navigable from Yarmouth, whence the town is supplied with coal, timber,
and other articles of consumption. The market is on Thursday ; fairs are
held on May 14th and September 25th. The town is within the jurisdiction
of the county magistrates, who hold petty sessions every Thursday ; a
« Town Reeve is appointed annually, who with the feofiees is trustee of the
estates and rent charges de\nsed for the benefit of the town. Courts leet
and baron for the three manors of Bungay Loke, Priory, and Burgh are
usually held twice a year. Bungay comprises the parish of St. Mary and
the Holy Trinity. The living of St. Mary's is a perpetual curacy, net in-
come, £115 ; patron, Duke of Norfolk. The Church is a handsome and
spacious structure, with a fine tower ; and was chiefly rebuilt between
1689 and 1701, with flint and freestone; the original steeple was
struck by lightning on the 4th of August, 1577, and much injured,
at which time two men were killed in the belfry. The interior con-
tains some interesting monuments, and is remarkable for the elegance
and lightness of the pillars suporting the roof; it was re-pewed a few


years since, when 245 additional sittings were provided. A commo-
dious parsonage house was erected in the precincts of the nunneiy
about eight years since. The living of the parish of the Holy Trinity
is a vicarage, valued in the King's books at £8 Os. 5d., and en-
dowed with the rectorial tithes ; present net income, £256 ; patron,
Bishop of Ely ; there is a good glebe house, with ten acres of land. The
Church is a small ancient edifice, with a fine round tower. There was
formerly a church dedicated to St. Thomas, which was used since 1500,
but it has been destroyed. There are places of worship for Wesleyans,
Independents, and Roman Catholics. The Free Grammnr School was
founded by the Rev. Thomas Popison in 1592, who also founded ten
scholarships in Emmanuel College, Cambridge, but they have been reduced
to four; and in 1728 it was endowed by Henry Williams with the vicarage
of St. Andrew Ilketshall ; also with thirty-thi'ee acres of land by Mr.
Scales, of Earsham. The income of the master, who is appointed by
Emmanuel College, is from £180 to £200 per annum. There are ten boys
upon the foundation by Mr. Scales. Henry Webster in 1712 bequeathed
land for the instruction of poor children of the parish of St. Mary. A
National School, with an infant school for 300 children, has been erected,
at an estimated expense of £367.

The churchwardens of St. Mary and Holy Trinity have incomes derived
from property left in trust for the maintenance of the fabric of the Church.
In the parish of Holy Trinity there has not been a Church-rate for several

There is also a British and Foreign School for about 200 children, sup-
ported chiefly by subscriptions. Thomas Wingfield, in 1593, bequeathed
property, since vested in land, producing about £25 per annum, for the
relief of indigent persons and for the apprenticing of poor children. The
town lands comprise 1 55 acres, and produce an income of from £300 to
£400 per annum. A dispensary was estabhshed in 1828, which is liberally
supported. There are also a lying-in institution and two clothing societies,
and almshouses in each parish for the residence of aged persons. The
remains of a Roman encampment are still to be seen upon the Common.
Numerous antiquities have been found on its eastern side, among which
are several hundreds of very small brass Roman coins called minimi;
a tournament spur, a leaden bulla of Celestine III., and a fine silver
Saxon penny of Offa, King of Mercia, have been found during the present
centui'y near the Castle.

There is only a fragment left of the once famous Castle, and it may be
seen in the garden behind the King's Head, where we go up a few steps,
and find remains of the keep, with a part of the old flint walls. Seven
hundred years ago it had a proud owner, when Hugh Bigod, by taking


part with the rebels against Henry II., incurred the royal displeasure.

According to the old ballad : —

The King has sent for Bigod bold,

In Essex whereat he lay,
But Lord Bigod laughed at his poursuivant,
And stoutly thus did say :
" Were I in my Castle of Bungay,
" Upon the river of Waveney,
" I would ne care for the King of Cokenay."

The town property, which consists of houses and lands, and yields an
annual revenue of £500, is invested in trustees, who elect the Town Eeeve
annually. The greater portion of the annual income is expended in de-
fraying the charges of the public lamps and the foot pavements. The
town is well paved and lighted, and has a considerable trade in corn,
malt, &c. Mr. Childs has a large printing establishment here, and he
employs several hundred hands.

A station on the Waveney Valley line of railway connects the place
with the Great Eastern railway system.


A market town and parish in the Union and Hundred of Blything,
Eastern Division of the County of Suffolk, thirty and a-half miles (north-
east by north) from Ipswich, and 101 (north-east) from London. The
town, which is situated in a valley on the banks of the river Blyth, is
ancient and indifferently built, nearly in the form of the letter S, but con-
tains a few good houses ; the streets are spacious and well-lighted with
gas ; and the inhabitants plentifully supplied with water. The river is
navigable hence to Southwold for small craft of about twenty-fire tons,
which are usually laden with malt, grain, timber, and general merchandise.
There are some very large malt-houses, the trade in malting being exten-
sive. The market is held on Tuesday, for com and provisions ; a fair is
held on October 29th, chiefly for cattle ; and pleasure fairs take place on
Easter Tuesday and Whit Tuesday. The magistrates of the Hundred
hold petty sessions monthly, and courts leet and baron for the manor
are held occasionally. The town is a polling-place for the Eastern Division
of the county. The parish comprises 1445a. 3r. 25p. The living is a
discharged rectory, with the vicarage of Chediston united, valued in the
King's books at £20 ; the tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of
£387 3s. ; a rent-charge of £10 is also paid to the Dean and Chapter of
Norwich, and another of £2 to the Vicar of Westhill ; the glebe contains
twenty acres, valued at £40 per annum. The Church is a fine edifice of
flint, chiefly in the later English style, with a low but handsome tower,
ornamented with a splendid clock; it was enlarged in 1823, and more


recently a galleiy was erected. There are places of worship for Indepen-
dents, Baptists, and Wesleyans. Richard Porter, in 1701, bequeathed
£17 6s. 8d. for teaching children, now paid towards the support of a
National School. There are eight almshouses, in which are fourteen
widows ; and other benefactions have been made for different purposes.
John Keable, by will, in 1652, bequeathed lands worth about £98 per
annum, half of which is appropriated to poor widows, and the other half
to the apprenticing of boys.

The Rifle Hall, a building now used by the 7th Suffolk Volunteers, was
formerly a theatre, and was presented by the family of the late Mr. A.
Johnston, of Holton Hall. This place is under the management of five
trustees, and is used for lectures and concerts.


A market town and parish in the Union and Hundred of Plomesgate,
Eastern Division of the County of Suffolk, twenty miles (north-east by
north) from Ipswich, and eighty -nine (north-east) from London. This
town, supposed to be of Saxon origin, is situated in a valley on the road
to London, and near a small stream which runs on the eastern side into
the Ore ; it consists chiefly of one street, running north and south, com-
prising modern and newly-fronted houses, of neat and respectable appear-
ance. The inhabitants are well supplied with water from springs. There
is an Assembly Room, in which balls and concerts are occasionally held.
The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the King's books at
£8 15s. lOd. ; patron, W. Long, Esq. The tithes have been commuted
for a rent-charge of £275, and the glebe comprises twenty -nine acres.
The Church is a neat edifice, embosomed in trees, standing a little south-
ward of the town ; a gallery has been erected, and the building contains
several monuments to the family of Long, who have their seat at Hurt's
Hall, in the parish. There is a place of worship for Independents ; also a
National School. A charity was founded here by Robert Swan, about

The market is held on Wednesdays, and as Saxmundham is the centre
of an extensive agricultural district, there is a good trade in corn. The
market is held ^in a handsome building, which was built by Mr. William
Long, of Hurt's Hall, who is Lord of the Manor and owner of most of the
land. There is a branch line from this town to Leiston and Aldborough.


A parish four miles (east by south) from Saxmundham. The parish is
bounded on the east by the North Sea, and comprises 4893 acres ; the
surface is varied, and the scenery of pleasing character.


Leistou is a place of antiquit}-. Bishop Tannei% in speaking of it_, says :
'' Here was an Abbey of Premonstratensian Canons^ built and endowed
by the founder of Butter Priory, Ranulph de Glanville, 1182^ to the honour
of the Virgin Mary." This abbey being inconveniently placed, Robert
de Ufford, Earl of Suffolk, about 1363, built a new one upon a better
situation, and about a mile further inland. This was burnt down in 1389,
but was at once rebuilt, and was, with the old Abbey, in a flourishing
condition at the time of the Dissolation. The Gothic windows, a few
walls, and some subterranean passages, are all that remain. The Church
is of flint, in the early Norman style. The living is a perpetual curacy,
in the alternate patronage of Christ Hospital and the Haberdashers^
Company, London ; net income, £370. The appropriate tithes have been
commuted for a rent-charge of £435 ; and the glebe comprises thirty
acres, valued at £27 per annum. Two schools are supported by private

Leiston is now noted for the extensive works of Messrs. R. Garrett and
Sons, the well-known manufacturers of all kinds of steam engines, agri-
cultural machines and implements. The works were established in 1778
on a small scale, but now cover ten acres of ground. About 800 men
are employed here, and steam-power equal to 130 horses. Here engines
may be seen in all the stages of manufacture, and implements of every
sort. The boiler house is a wonderful compartment, there being gene-
rally 100 boilers in stock. The manufacture of road locomotive eng-ines
has become an important branch of the business carried on by this firm.
Improvements recently introduced have rendered these engines most
valuable in drawing heavy loads on common roads. Messrs. Garrett and
Sons are also makers of steam ploughing and cultivating apparatus,
adapted for hilly as well as flat land. They have for many years directed
their attention to the improvement of the thrashing machine in its various
forms. They have obtained many prizes, amounting to £1200 in cash;
besides twenty gold and sixty-eight silver medals at various exhibitions.
In addition to these prizes, they have received the highest awards at each
of the great International Exhibitions ; but of late years they have not
competed for any prizes. They have depots for their machinery all over
the civilised world, and agents in all our principal towns.


A parish in the Union of Plomesgate, Hundred of Wilford, Eastern
Division of the County of Suflblk, twelve and a-half miles (north-east)
from Ipswich. The village occupies an elevated site, rising from the
river Deben, and, as its name implies, was formerly a market town; it has
also a Shirehallj where sessions were usually held, but the building has

A DESCKItTiUN Oi' riUri'OLK. S4$

been taken down by the Lord of the Manor. The road from London to
Yarmouth passes through the town. The living is a discharged vicarage,
vahied in the Kiug^s books at £6 IGs. 8d.; net income, £208; it is in
the patronage of the Crown, and the impropriation belongs to Pember-
ton's Charity at Ipswich ; there is a glebe of thirty-two acres. The
Church, situated on an eminence commanding a most extensive prospect,
is partly in the decorated, and partly in the later English style, with an
octagonal tower surmounted by a lofty spire, which forms a conspicuous
landmark. There is a place of worship for Independents ; also a National
School. The old town lauds consist of seventeen acres, the bequests of
several individuals, and the new lands of twenty-three acres, purchased
with a bequest of £300 by Ann Roberts, in 1720, for teaching children;
these lands produce £107 per annum ; of which two-tenths are appro-
priated to the school, one -tenth to the apprenticing of children, two-

Online LibraryA. D BayneRoyal illustrated history of eastern England, civil, military, political, and ecclesiastical .. (Volume 1) → online text (page 39 of 70)