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 Volunteers 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 decorator Francklin Mrs Rebecca Frost Arthur Stammers baker and confectioner Gayford Dennis farmer Girling Walter Harry merchant tailor, hatter, and general outfitter Goldspink Charles frmr. and horse dlr Goldspink Richard farmer & butcher Goodwin Wm. cabinet mkr. & joiner Gurney & Co. bankers. Alfred Muskett, agent (branch) 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 masonCARRIERS.-
See also the Attleborough parish page.
Copyright © Pat Newby.