BACTON is a parish on the sea coast, 5 miles N.E. by E. of North Walsham, containing 1585A. of land and 513 inhabitants, residing chiefly in the hamlets of Bacton, Bacton Green, Keswick, and Bromholm, distant nearly half a mile from each other; but a narrow point of the parish extends three miles to the S.W., where there are two farms called the Wood. Lord and Lady Wodehouse are the principal landowners, impropriators and patrons of the church; but here are a number of smaller proprietors, some of whom have neat mansions in the parish.
The CHURCH (St. Andrew,) stands on a summit above the village of Bacton, about half a mile from the sea, and has a square tower with five bells. The vicarage, valued in the King's Book at £5. 3s. 1½d., was augmented in 1746 with £200 (in land,) given by Miles Branthwayt, Esq.; and in 1747, and in 1792, with £400 of Queen Anne's bounty. The Rev. G. L. W. Fauquier is the incumbent. The glebe is about 30A., and the tithes were commuted in 1844, for the yearly rents of £215. 10s to the vicar, and £284. 10s to the impropriators.
Some of the children of Bacton are admitted to the Free-School, at Witton. The poor have the interest of £10, left by J. Bradfield and another donor. Two Fairs are held here on the first Monday in August, and Nov. 30th, but they are chiefly pleasure marts.
BACTON GREEN, half a mile E. of the church, is a fishing hamlet, near the beach, having two curing houses and four large and a number of small fishing boats. The discovery of extensive oyster beds in the offing, in 1821, greatly encreased the prosperity of this hamlet. Crabs, shrimps, herrings, and other fish are caught by the fishermen in great quantities and despatched to various markets. In 1836 and in Jan. 1845, the sea made great encroachments on the coast.
KESWICK, half a mile S.E. of Bacton Green, had a church standing in 1382, but no vestiges of it now remain. Here is a Baptist Chapel, erected in 1826; and on the beach is a station-house for a coast guard, consisting of a commander and five men.
The ruins of BROMHOLM PRIORY are near the west end of Keswick. This priory for Clugniac monks, was founded by Wm. de Glanville, as a cell to Castleacre priory, in 1113, and dedicated to St. Andrew. A great source of profit to the monks here was a cross, said to be made of the wood of that on which our Saviour suffered, "and possessed of such virtues, that (according to Capgrave,) nineteen blind persons were restored to sight by it."
At the dissolution, this priory and its adjacent estate were granted to Thomas Wodehouse, and are now possessed by Lord Wodehouse. The building was chiefly of flint. A lofty pointed arch gateway is still entire, but the other walls now remaining are much decayed, and reduced in many places to the height of a few feet.
In the following Directory, those marked 1, reside at Bacton; 2, Bacton Green; 3, Bromholm; 4, Keswick; and 5, at the Wood.
1 Atkinson Rev Hy. rector of Crostwight Bands Rev --- (Baptist minister) 4 Cannon Jas. tailor and draper 4 Cannon Mary schoolmistress 1 Clark Wm blacksmith Denham Hannah fish curer 1 Fauquier Rev G.L.W., B.A. vicar Gaze Mr. Ths. Jackson Wm. R.N coastguard 1 Lord Wm. grocer 3 Maris Ann grocer and draper 3 Maris Henry saddler 1 Maris Ths. gent 4 Nash Mr Saml 4 Marshall Francis boat owner 2 Marshall Jas. fish curer and vict. Ship 2 Marshall Wm. joiner 3 Mason Saml. Butcher 2 Pratt Wm. plumber, glazier, &c. 1 Postle Bartw. vict. King's Arms 1 Postle Wm. thatcher 2 Sexton Robert beer house 3 Sturgess Wm. schoolmaster 2 Wiseman Mrs Marian 1 Lacey Wm boot and shoe mkr 1 Long Francis boot and shoe mkr 2 Manship J.C. boot and shoe mkr 4 Gee Daniel bricklayer 2 Gotts John bricklayer 5 Appleton John farmer 1 Bond Jn. Mayes farmer 1 Collings John owner farmer 3 Cubitt Ann farmer 3 Cubitt Thomas owner farmer Culley Roger farmer 1 Garland John owner farmer 1 Jeary John owner farmer 5 Neave Wm farmer 1 Newman Robt farmer 1 Wright Wm. farmerCARRIER to Norwich, John Neave, Friday
Copyright © Pat Newby.