BARNEY, or Berney,* at the source of the Stiffkey rivulet, 6 miles E.N.E. of Fakenham, is a village and parish in Walsingham union, Fakenham county court district, Norwich bankruptcy district, North Greenhoe hundred and petty sessional division, Hindringham polling district of North Norfolk, Walsingham rural deanery, and Norwich archdeaconry. It had 267 inhabitants in 1881, living on 1389 acres, and had a rateable value of £2201. 410 acres of the parish are tithe free, having been held by Binham Priory.
The parish took its name from the well-known Norfolk family of Berney, who came from Normandy at the Conquest; and is in two manors, viz.:- Wighton-Lancaster, of which the Earl of Leicester is lord; and Berney-on-the-part-of-Barney, of which Lord Hastings is lord. The copyholds in the latter are on the tenure called smockhold, from the wife having an equal claim with the husband, and should he die intestate, she has one-half of his estate. This singular tenure exists only in two other Norfolk manors, viz.:- Binham and Shipdham. Lord Hastings owns most of the soil, and is impropriator of the great tithes and patron of the living; but W.S. Phillippo, J.S. Scott Chad, and E.B. Sparke, Esqrs., and some smaller owners have estates here.
The CHURCH (St. Mary), is a small ancient structure, comprising nave, chancel, south transept and porch, and square tower with one bell; and was appropriated to Binham Priory in the reign of Edward III. The doorway and south windows are Early English, but all the other windows are Perpendicular. The tower arch is open to the church, but the nave is disfigured by square pews, and the fine roof and the few old seats which remain are much mutilated. In the transept are monuments to the Reeve and Phillippo families. The piscina and some portions of the sedilia still exist in the chancel.
The vicarage, valued in the King's Book at £6 13s. 4d., is in the incumbency of the Rev. Dashwood Pratt, B.A., who has 38½ acres of glebe, a yearly tithe rent-charge of £108, and a neat brick residence, built in 1848, at a cost of £500. The rectorial tithes have been commuted for £168.
The Wesleyans have a chapel here.
A School Board was established in 1876, for the united districts of Barney and Fulmodeston-with-Croxton. The school is at Fulmodeston (See Fulmodeston).
A curious pavement and several brass coins were dug up in 1822 on the hills east of the village, where traces of entrenchments may still be seen. They are now in the possession on Wm. Skinner Phillippo, Esq., who has a good collection of Roman and British coins, and is author of 'Thoughts on Fox Hunting,' 'The Game Laws Considered,' and other works. Near the same place were ploughed up in 1815 a massive gold shield and a large gold torques [sic], and other relics. They are now in the possession of Lord Hastings.
The rent of two tenements and 2A. of land, given by an unknown donor, is carried to the poor rates; and that of 4A., allotted at the enclosure in 1811, is carried to the surveyor's rates.
POST OFFICE at Mr. Robert Thos. Dodman's. Letters arrive at 8.30 a.m., and are despatched at 4.45 p.m., viâ East Dereham. Walsingham is the nearest Money Order Office.
Atherton John miller Barker Robert farmer Barratt John Louis farmer Butler John William farmer & estate agent, Barney Lodge Caley William parish clerk Craske James vict. Plough, & farmer Dodman John Mins & Son builders Dodman Robt. Thos. (Jno. Mins & Son) Dodman William farmer Elgar Mrs Ann Elgar John Butler grocer, wine mercht and farmer Peck John farmer Parker Nicholas engineer, blacksmith and machine owner; & Fulmodeston Pratt Rev. Dashwood, B.A. vicar Rix Mrs Ellen shopkeeper Russell Edward bootmaker Seppings Jno. W. butcher & vict. Bell West James miller
* Since the above was in type we have been informed that this is the proper spelling; the word is pronounced Barney. (See p. 160. [This is the entry for Bracon Ash])
Copyright © Pat Newby.