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Norfolk: South Acre

William White's History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Norfolk 1883

[Transcription copyright © Pat Newby]

SOUTHACRE, a small village and parish above the vale of the Nar, opposite Castleacre, 4 miles N. of Swaffham, is in Swaffham union and county court district, South Greenhoe petty sessional division and hundred, Lynn bankruptcy district, Swaffham polling district of West Norfolk, Cranwich rural deanery, and Norfolk archdeaconry. It had 73 inhabitants in 1881, living on 2492 acres, and had a rateable value of £2707. Andrew Fountaine, Esq., is lord of the manor and owner of the soil.

The CHURCH (St. George) consists of a nave with north aisle, chancel with chancel aisle, north porch, and western tower containing three bells. The chancel roof is a plain example of the Perpendicular period, and the nave-roof was once a beautiful specimen of the hammer-beam style. The beams and principal timbers of the latter are richly moulded, but few of the carved bosses which formerly embellished the intersection now remain.

The chancel is divided from the nave by a good 14th century arch, and by an elegantly carved screen, delicately painted and gilded. The font, of Norman date, has a square bowl, surmounted by a canopy richly and elaborately carved. At the apex of the inner arch to the western door is a Tudor rose. Between the ancient north chapel and the chancel is a squint. Some of the carved poppy-heads still remain, together with some of the old oak bench-ends.

In a chapel adjoining the north wall is an altar-tomb, bearing the effigy of a Knight Templar, probably Sir Eudo Harsicke, who died in 1292; and at the east end is another altar-tomb with effigies of Sir Edward Barkham and his lady. On the pavement is a fine brass, representing a male and female of the Harsicke family; and the fragments of several statues remain in various parts of the church.

A. Fountaine, Esq., is patron of the rectory, which is valued in the King's Book at £10 18s. 1½d., and now has 44A. 2R. 32P. of glebe, a good residence, and a yearly tithe rent-charge of £520. The Rev. Harry R. Smythie, the rector, is non-resident, and Arthur Price Gwyn, M.A., is curate-in-charge.

In the parish was a House of Lepers, with a chapel, dedicated to St. Bartholomew, and the site is still called Bartholomew Hill.

LETTERS through Swaffham. Castle Acre is the nearest Money Order and Telegraph Office.

	Osborne  George            parish clerk
	Palmer   Walter William    farmer
	Robins   George Frederick  farmer


The vicar's name is 'Henry R. Smythies, and he is only temporarily non-resident.'
For 'Arthur Price Gwyn,' read 'Rev. Arthur Rice Gwyn.'

See also the South Acre parish page.

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Copyright © Pat Newby.
February 2008