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Norfolk Hundreds

White's History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Norfolk 1845


Is a highly diversified district, presenting some of the boldest scenery in Norfolk; though next the ocean it has a flat shore and a broad tract of low salt marshes. It is about nine miles in length and breadth, except at its southern 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 Greenhoe.

The town of Holt stands on a broad and flat eminence, extending eastward, between Kelling and Hunworth, to Upper Sherringham and Aylmerton, and formerly presenting a wide waste of brown heath, over which the north and north-east winds, unchecked in their course from the ocean, blew with chilling violence; but this bleakness has been much ameliorated, since the Holt and other enclosures, by the extensive plantations of H. and R. H. Gurney, Esqrs., and those of W. H. C. Hardy, Esq., and several other landowners.

Many handsome residences have been built, during the present century, in various parts of the Hundred, which is intersected by the whole length of the small river Glaven, which passes, by a very circuituous course of more than thirteen miles, to the ocean, near Cley, after watering a picturesque and well-wooded valley, and supplying four water-mills and two fine lakes, one of which, (a little below the river's source, near Bodham,) is used as a decoy for wild ducks, which, with geese and other aquatic birds, frequent this coast in considerable numbers.

This Hundred, except Swanton-Novers, forms the Deanery of Holt, together with Field-Dalling and Cockthorpe, in North Greenhoe.

It contains 28 parishes of which the following is an enumeration, shewing their population in 1841, the annual value of their lands and buildings, as assessed to the County Rate in 1843, and their territorial extent, in assessable acres.

Petty Sessions are held at the Feathers Inn, Holt, every Saturday; and Mr. J. Ransom is clerk to the magistrates.

PARISHES. Pop. Annl.
* Bale +  2292440  997
* Blakeney @10212026  988
Bodham  29217861506
* Briningham  24319561138
Brinton  1931068  615
Briston  96334602410
Cley-next-the-Sea  82835002167
Edgefield  63825962304
Glandford-with }
  Bayfield         }
    81 }
    21 }
* Gunthorpe  33419101060
Hempstead  29617601737
Hunworth  234  898  804
Kelling  22315161772
* Langham  38321961589
Letheringsett  2731746  844
Melton Constable with }
  Burgh Parva             }
* Morston  17313981578
Salthouse  2661156  832
* Saxlingham  14714461467
* Sharrington  2291312  831
Stody  18711961278
* Swanton Novers  29317781320
Thornage  32520881215
Weybourne  31116981459
* Wiveton  2401404  904

Total +10,10250,92035,294

[There is more information about individual parishes]

* The ten parishes marked thus * are in WALSINGHAM UNION, (see p. 669;[this is North Greenhoe Hundred section]) Melton Constable and Brinton support their poor under a local act; and the other 14 parishes are in ERPINGHAM UNION, which see. They are all in Briningham Police Division.

+ The decrease in the population of Bale, Melton Constable, Swanton-Novers, and some other parishes in this Hundred, is attributed to a number of families, (chiefly paupers,) having emigrated to America, in 1835 and '6. The population of Holt Hundred, in 1831, was 10,416; and its annual value, as assessed to the property tax, was £32,459, in 1815, and £55,893, in 1842.

@ 60 seamen and boys were absent from Blakeney when the census was taken.


Some placenames in the transcription (of pages 733 to 734) above are given below together with their standard spelling :-
Hempstead/Hempstead by Holt

For more information see :-

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Copyright © Mike Bristow.
April 2006