Is of an irregular triangular figure, adjoining to Suffolk, extending about 14 miles from east to west, and varying from 2 to 6 miles in breadth, being bounded on the south and west by the Little Ouse river, on the north by the river Thet and Shropham Hundred, and on the east by Diss Hundred. The western part of it, near Thetford, has a light sandy soil, resting on a substratum of chalk; but the other parts rise in gentle swells, and have a strong soil of clay and loam. Many extensive enclosures have been made here since 1789; and in the springs of the low swampy grounds, at its south east angle, near Lopham, the rivers Waveney and Little Ouse have their sources. The crown was seized of this Hundred in the time of the Conqueror, who gave it to Wm. de Albini; but it is now comprehended in the Duke of Norfolk's Liberty, his Grace being lord paramount of the whole, though much of the soil, and many of the manors, are held by various families.
It forms, with Shropham Hundred, the Deanery of Rockland, in the Archdeaconry of Norfolk, and comprises twelve parishes, of which the following is an enumeration, shewing their population in 1841, their annual value, as assessed to the County Rate, in 1843, and their territorial extent, in assessable acres.
|Rushford (part of) +||138||700||2264|
|Snarehill ext. par. !||28||620||2046|
[There is more information about individual parishes]
* Forty inhabitants were absent from Quiddenham and Riddlesworth, when the census was taken.
+ Rushford includes Shadwell hamlet, and also Rusford[sic] Lodge Estate, which lies on the Suffolk side of the river. The whole parish contains 172 souls, and more than 3000 acres.
! Snarehill is extra-parochial, except Great Snarehill , sometimes called Thetford Lodge, which has 1666 acres, and is partly a warren. It is now rated to the poor as part of Rushford parish.
@ Kenninghall return includes 112 persons in the Union Workhouse.
This Hundred had only 6761 souls, in 1841. Its annual value, as assessed to the property tax, was £34,659, in 1815, and £37,436 in 1842. Banham, Kenninghall, and N. and S. Lopham are in Long Stratton Police Division; and all the other parishes are in Hockham Police Division. For PETTY SESSIONS, see page 410 [this is in Shropham Hundred description].
GUILTCROSS UNION comprises all the 12 parishes of this Hundred, except Rusford-with-Snarehill, which is in Thetford Union, (see page 401. [this is in Thetford description]) It also comprises Bridgham, Old and New Buckenham, Eccles, and Wilby, in Shropham Hundred; and Bressingham, Fersfield, Roydon, Shelfanger, and Winfarthing, in Diss Hundred. Its 21 parishes comprise an area of 72 square miles, and had 11,965 inhabitants, in 1841, of whom 5942 were males, and 6023 females.
The average annual expenditure of the 21 parishes, before the formation of the Union, was £10,833; but it is now only £5436. The Union Workhouse is at Kenninghall, and was built in 1836, at the cost of £4727, including the purchase of the land, furniture, &c. It is a commodious brick building, and has room for 350 inmates, but has seldom more than half that number in summer, and had only 190 in Dec. 1844.
Mr. Samuel Caley, of Attleborough, is Union Clerk; Mr. Thos. Turner, of Kenninghall, is Superintendent Registrar; and Mr. Thos. Rackhem is Registrar of Marriages and master of the Workhouse. The District Registrars of Births and Deaths are Mr. E. N. Clowes, of New Buckenham, and Mr. Geo. Kent, of Kenninghall. The latter is also Relieving Officer.
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