Genuki Logo Norfolk Welcome   Contents and Search

Norfolk: Attleborough

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

[Transcription copyright Richard Johns]

ATTLEBOROUGH, a small ancient market town, near the source of a small rivulet, 15 miles S.W. of Norwich, 14 miles N.E. by E. of Thetford, and 6 miles S.W. of Wymondham, is pleasantly situated on the Norwich and Thetford turnpike, and on the north side of the Great Eastern Railway, which has a station here. It is in Shropham hundred, Wayland union, Attleborough county court district, Norwich bankruptcy district, Guiltcross and Shropham petty sessional division, Attleborough polling district of South Norfolk, Rockland rural deanery and Norfolk archdeaconry. It had 2239 inhabitants in 1881, living on 5200 acres of land. The rateable value is 13,325.

During the Saxon era, Attleborough was a place of great consequence, being the seat of Offa and Edmund, successively kings of the East Angles, who fortified it against the predatory incursions of the Danes. These fortifications were conspicuous in the time of Henry II.; and part of them may still be traced in the ridge called Burn Bank. It was afterwards the seat of the Mortimers, whose ancient hall, now a farm-house, is encompassed by a deep moat.

Sir Wm. Bowyer Smijth, Bart., is lord of the manor of Attleborough-Mortimer and its members (fines arbitrary); James C. Grimwade, Esq., is lord of Chanticlere manor (fines arbitrary); and the Rectory has two small manors, subject to a fine of 2s. per acre on land, and to arbitrary fines on the buildings. The soil chiefly belongs to Sir Wm. Bowyer Smijth, Bart.; Arthur Temple Cockell, Esq.; Sir T. B. Beevor, Bart.; Rev. D'Arcy Harrington Preston, B.A., and some smaller owners.

The town is lighted with gas, from works erected in 1860, and consists chiefly of one long street, with several neat houses, good inns, &c. Its market, held every Thursday, is now well attended. The old market cross, which stood on the Market hill, was destroyed in 1787. The Corn Hall, is a commodious white brick building, erected in 1863 at a cost of 1000, raised in 5 shares. It has a reading room and library attached. Near the station is a handsome hotel, opposite to which is a neat obelisk, commemorative of the Peace of 1856.

Three Fairs are held on the Thursdays before Easter and Whitsunday, and the second Thursday in September, for cattle, pedlery, &c. A pleasure fair, held on the day before the March assizes, originated from the throngs who flocked here to see the prisoners pass from Norwich to Thetford, and is still continued, though the assizes have ceased to be held at the latter place.

The Attleborough Company of Rifle Volunteers numbers about 70 men. William Kirk, Esq., is captain; Lancelot Lane, Esq., is lieutenant; Leonard Palmer, Esq., is second lieutenant.

Near the town, on the turnpike to Wymondham, is a square stone pillar, commemorating the gift of 200 by Sir Edward Rich, Knight, in 1675, for the repairs of the road, which is said to be the first turnpike made in England, being formed under an Act of 1695.

A College (Holy Cross) was founded here in the reign of Richard II., by Sir Robert de Mortimer, for a custos and four fellows. It was granted to the Earl of Sussex at the Dissolution, when its yearly revenue amounted to 21 16s. 3d.

The CHURCH, dedicated to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, is in the collegiate form, with an ancient square tower and six bells at the intersection of the transepts. The east end was destroyed by the fall of the spire, and the rest of the edifice exhibits a large nave with aisles, north and south transepts, and a handsome porch on the north side. The south transept was built by Sir Wm. Mortimer, about 1296, and the north transept by Thomas Chanticlere, in 1338. To their families and to the Ratcliffes, here are many monumental memorials; and in the nave is a stone recording the death of Captain Gibbs, the celebrated horse racer and gamester, of the reign of Charles II.

The church was thoroughly repaired, and the interior fitted with new seats, &c., in a very handsome manner, at a cost of about 1600, in 1844, when several mural paintings were discovered. The east window was filled with beautiful stained glass in 1853, in memory of the late Rev. Sir E. B. Smijth, Bart. The pulpit is of finely carved oak, and under the tower is an old screen, which has been removed from its original position.

The rectory is in two consolidated moieties, called Great and Little; the former valued in the King's Book at 19 8s. 9d. and the latter at 8 2s. 6d. Sir W. B. Smijth, Bart., is patron, and the Rev. William Chartres Safford, M.A., is the incumbent, and has a spacious residence. The tithes were commuted about 1844 for 1504 per annum.

The Baptists, Wesleyans, Friends and Primitive Methodists, have each a chapel here. Gilbert Berkeley, Bishop of Bath and Wells, was rector of Attleborough in 1544. A great part of the town was burnt in 1559.

In 1678, the Rev. Thomas Nerford left 8A. of land towards the support of a graduate of one of the Universities, who should be appointed to teach grammar, and should, in consideration of this land, teach six poor children, to read, write, and cast accounts, without any charge. The school land now comprises about 10A., including an allotment awarded to it at the enclosure, in 1815, and is now let for 21 12s. 6d., which is received by the rector (the nominal master), who pays it towards the support of the National School, where the free scholars attend. Here is a Board School attended by about 100 boys and 80 girls.

The Church Land is 11A. 3R. 14P., and the clerk has 1A. 2R. 32P., for ringing the morning and evening bell.

The Fuel Allotment, awarded at the enclosure for the benefit of all the poor parishioners who do not occupy more [than] 10 a year, comprises 57A. 2R., now let for 53 14s. 9d. per annum. In 1760, Sir Francis Bickley left the College Close, 5A. (let for 22), and directed the rent to be distributed at Christmas, among the most needy poor of the parish; who have also about 8 17s. a year, as the rent of 2A. 3R. 23P., left by Andrew Reeder, in 1655; and 2 12s. from land left by the before named Rev. T. Nerford.

ATTLEBOROUGH COUNTY COURT is held every two months for the parishes enumerated on page 40. [This is the section about County Courts]. Edwin Plumer Price, Esq., Q.C., is judge; Thomas Holloway Slann, registrar and high bailiff; Walter John Amis, clerk; Charles Foulsham, sub-bailiff.

POST, MONEY ORDER AND TELEGRAPH OFFICE AND POST OFFICE SAVINGS BANK, at William B. Page's. Letters despatched to London and all parts at 9 am., and to Norwich and all parts at 12.12 p.m. and 1.15 a.m. Delivery at 7 a.m. and 1 p.m.

	Adams        Fredk.            farmer, Dairy farm
	Adamson      Miss Rosa         stationer
	Allen        George            horse dealer & trainer
	Allen        Henry             horse clipper
	Amis         Walter John       law clerk
	Bacon        Jas.              auctioneer, valuer & estate agt. & agt.
	                                 for Norwich Union Fire & Life, General
	                                 Hail-Storm Insce. Society, & agt. for
	                                 Norfolk Agricultural Association, & at
	                                 East Dereham and Lynn
	Balls        Rev. Wm.          Prim. Meth. minister
	Barker       Henry             pork butcher and vict. King's Head
	Barley       John              shopkeeper
	Barnard      Mrs Mary          dressmaker
	Barwell      Mrs Mary
	Bateman      Colin             builder & upholsterer
	Bateman      William           wine and spirit merchant,
	                                 The London Tavern
	Baxter       Ezaniah James     farmer
	Bayes        Jph.              bricklayer & shopkeeper
	Beales       George            machinist & agent for Hornsby's
	                                 agricultural implements
	Beck         Wm.               blksmith & shoeing smith
	Beckett      John              grocer and draper
	Bennett      F. J.             H.M. Geological Survey
	Brooke       M. W. Lombe       solicitor, commissioner for affidavits,
	                                 clerk to Attleborough School Board, &
	                                 agt. for Norwich Union Fire and Life
	                                 Insurance Company
	Brothers     George            thatcher
	Brown        Mrs Sophia
	Buddle       Benjamin          wheelwright
	Bush         Robert            farmer
	Caley        William           bill poster
	Capes        John              farmer, carrier and vict. The Crown Inn
	Carleton     John              farmer & horse dealer
	Chatters     Henry             boot & shoe maker
	Childerhouse Fredk.            frmr. & horse dlr
	Childerhouse John              shoemaker
	Childerhouse Robert            leather cutter & shoemaker and farmer
	Clarke       Wm.               frmr. & (h) Gt. Ellingham
	Claxton      Miss Harriet      dressmaker and milliner
	Claxton      James             shoemaker
	Claxton      Noah              saddle & harness mkr
	Clifford     Henry John        vict. Dolphin Tavern, Ludgate Hill,
	                                 London; h Kent House, Attleborough
	Clowes       Wm. C.            chemist and druggist
	Cockell      Mr. Arthur        Temple Hill hse
	Coleman      Abraham           chemist
	Coleman      James             Sergeant-Instructor, Attleborough
	Coller       R. & Sons         merchants, and Norwich, Watton, Lynn,&c.
	Copland      Robt.             School Board officer
	Cushing      Stephen           baker
	Dawes        William           watch maker
	Downes       Robert            bricklayer
	Drake        John              toy dealer
	Dunnett      Jeremiah          dealer and vict. The Old Railway Tavern
	Edwards      Geo.              saddler & harness maker
	Edwards      Thomas            farmer
	Ellis & Horn                   physicians and surgeons
	Ellis        George Carteret   (Ellis & Horn)
	Ettridge     Henry             shoemaker
	Forkes       Frederick Wm.     blacksmith
	Foster       Henry George      surgeon and medical officer of health,
	                                 College Hill House
	Foulsham     Mrs Susan         porkbutcher
	Foulsham     Chas.             auctioneer and county court bailiff
	                                 and vict. The Cock
	Fox          Charles           painter, plumber, glazier and house
	Francklin    Mrs Rebecca
	Frost        Arthur Stammers   baker and confectioner
	Gayford      Dennis            farmer
	Girling      Walter Harry      merchant tailor, hatter, and general
	Goldspink    Charles           frmr. and horse dlr
	Goldspink    Richard           farmer & butcher
	Goodwin      Wm.               cabinet mkr. & joiner
	Gurney & Co.                   bankers. Alfred Muskett, agent
	Hall         William Henry     baker
	Hammond      P. & W. W.        butchers
	Hammond      Philip            (P. & W. W.)
	Hammond      Wm. Walden        (P. & W. W.)
	Hanton       Henry             farmer
	Harbour      John              vict. The Royal Oak
	Harrison     John              carpenter and builder and victualler,
	                                 The Angel Inn
	Harwood      Thos.             gardnr. The Vineyards
	Hewitt       Mr James
	Hewitt       Mr William
	Hook         Ephraim           farmer
	Houchen      Mr William
	Howard       William           coal dealer and victualler,
	                                 The Oddfellows
	Howlett      Mrs Rebecca       farmer
	Hubbard      Charles           farmer
	Huggins      George            cattle dealer
	Humphrey     Theophilus        grcr.'s managr
	Jary         Thomas            farmer
	Jessup       George (exors.of) farmers
	Jessup       Robert & Joseph   farmers
	Jessup       Joseph            (R. & J.)
	Jessup       Robert            (R. & J.)
	Johnson      Mrs Elizabeth     fishmonger
	Johnson      Horace Cornelius  ironmonger and machinist, & agt. for
	                                 Lancashire Fire and Life Insurance Co.
	Johnson      James             fishmonger
	Jones        Mr Edward
	Kenny        Robert            merchant's clerk
	Ketteringham Mrs Caroline
	Ketteringham Robert            builder and contractor, brick, pipe,
	                                 and tile manufr
	Ketteringham Mr William
	Ketteringham Wm. jun.          miller & grdnr
	Ketteringham William H.        bricklayer and plasterer
	King         Miss Helen        dressmaker
	Kirk         Wm.               frmr. & owner, Besthorpe
	Knights      John              sergeant of police
	Knights      Robert            butcher
	Land         Mr Robert         The Ferns
	Lane         Mrs Mary
	Lawrence     Jessie            boot and shoe maker
	Lawrence     Michael           farmer
	Lebbell      Isaac Thomas      farmer
	Le Grice     Charles           grocer and draper, and agent for
	                                 W. & A. Gilbey's wines and spirits
	Le Grice     Mr Samuel
	Leverington  James             farmer & coal dlr
	Leyton       J. & W.           butchers
	Leyton       John              (J. & W.)
	Leyton       William           (J. & W.)
	Limmer       Jas.              agt. for Finch's manures and cake
	Littleproud  Robert            shopkeeper
	Long         Charles           coal and corn merchant
	Long         Zedekiah          farmer, corn and coal merchant
	Loveday      Nathaniel         iron founder and agricultural
	                                 implement maker and machinist
	Lovett       Mr Robert J.      Tenby villa
	Lusher       George            market gardener
	Lusher       James             thatcher
	Macro        Mrs Mary
	Manning      James H.          music-teacher and agent for Northern
	                                 Assurance Company (Fire and Life)
	Middleton    William           farmer
	Mills        Mr James
	Moore        Henry             drill-owner
	Murrell      Charles           shoemaker
	Muskett      Alfred            grocer, draper, and stamp office,
	                                 & agent to Gurney's Bk
	Muskett      William           farmer
	Myhill       John              farmer
	Myhill       Mrs Sarah Elizth. shopkeeper
	Nash         John              grocer's manager
	Nicholls     John              farmer
	Nicholls     William Miles     general supply stores, tailor,
	                                 draper, milliner, &c.
	Nobes        Philip            victr., The White Horse
	Nurse        William           farmer
	Page         Wm. B.            postmaster & parish clk.
	Parson       Mrs Alice         printer
	Peck         Mr Richard
	Peck         Mrs Sarah
	Petley       Chas. Edwd.       frmr. & cattle-dlr
	Pratt        George            corn-miller
	Precious     Miss Hannah
	Preston,     Rev. D'Arcy       Point House
	               Harington. B.A.
	Reeve        Mr James
	Riches       Mrs Elizabeth     victualler, The White Lodge
	Riches       Charles           maltster and farmer
	Rose         Mrs Margaret      grocer and draper, and agent
	                                 for Green's Bury Ales, &
	                                 Reid's Stout & Allsopp's Ales
	Rowat        Miss Isabella     schoolmistress
	Safford      Rev. William
	               Chartres, M.A.  The Rectory
	Salter &
	  Simpson                      auctioneers & valuers
	Salter       William           (S. & Simpson), house Attleborough Hall
	Sanford      Rev. Elias Thos   (Wesleyan)
	Saunders     William           farmer
	Sayer        George Walpole    watchmaker
	Scott        Mrs Fanny
	Self         Robert            farmer
	Sewell       Thomas            fishmonger
	Sheldrake    Alpheus           carpenter
	Shepherd     George            farmer, Fen farm
	Shorten      William           nursery and seedsman, and
	                                 victualler, Bear Inn
	Simpson      William Thomas    (Salter & S.), & farmer; h Old Buckenham
	Simpson      John T.           draper's manager
	Skoyles      Henry             beerhouse, The Castle
	Slann        Thomas Holloway   solicitor (Wilkinson & Slann), and
	                                 registrar, Attleborough Count Court;
	                                 comsnr to administer oaths in the
	                                 Supreme Ct of Judicature in England,
	                                 perpt comsnr for taking
	                                 acknowledgments by married women, and
	                                 agent for Sun Fire Office; and Holt
	Smith        Robert            bricklayer and beerhouse, The Grapes
	Snelling     Robert            carpenter and joiner
	Snelling     Robert            pork butcher
	Sparrow      Charles           corn chandler
	Sparrow      Charles           fishmonger and beerhouse, Spread Eagle
	Sparrow      Mr Jonathan       Bellevue House
	Sparrow      William F.        painter, plumber, and glazier, and
	                                 house decorator
	Spence       Mathew            market gardener
	Stebbings    William           ironmonger
	Steele       Robert            postman
	Steff        William           land surveyor
	Stubbings    Mrs Maria         draper
	Stubbings    William           dealer
	Taylor       Arthur            stationmaster
	Taylor       Charles           tea dealer
	Tillot       John              tailor
	Tillot       Leonard           victualler and posting establishment,
	                                 The Royal Hotel
	Tillot       Wm. Self          mineral water manfr
	Turner       John              blacksmith
	Turner       Rev. Thomas       Baptist minister
	Tyrrell      Rice Baly         manager to Coller & Sons, merchants
	Upston       George            nursery and seedsman
	Wales        George            confectioner
	Want         Robert            victualler and carrier, The White Hart
	Warren       Mr Samuel
	Warren       Wm                tea hawker and shopkpr
	Watling      George            farmer
	Watling      James             vict. The New Railway Tavern
	Watling      Jonas             vict. The Grove Inn
	Webster      Miss Elizabeth    dressmaker
	Webster      George            coachbuilder
	Webster      Joseph            hairdresser & glover
	Webster      Miss Lucy         dressmaker
	Webster      Wm.               shoemaker & shopkeeper
	Wells        Arthur            Gasworks manager
	Welton       George            schoolmaster
	West         Mr Robert
	Wharton      Chas.             corn and coal merchant
	Wick         John Park         coal merchant
	Wigby        Frederick         fowl dealer
	Wiles        Dr Charles Barsham
	Wilson       David             farrier
	Winch        Robert James      printer
	Wingfield    John              shopkeeper
	Woor         David             wheelwright and blacksmith,
	                                 cart and carriage builder
	Wordingham   Misses            ladies' private sch
	Wordingham   John              boys' private school
	Wright       Frederick         coal dealer
	Wright       Jno.              painter, plumber, & glazier
	Wright       Mrs Martha
	Wright       Mrs Mary
	Youngs       George            stone & marble mason
John Capes to Norwich, Tues. and Sat.;
Robert Want to Norwich, Wed. and Sat.
These pages are for personal use only. They may not be copied, and the links within them may not be harvested for use on your own web pages. Please see the Copyright Notice.

See also the Attleborough parish page.

Copyright Pat Newby.
November 2001