BEESTON ST. LAWRENCE, 10 miles N.E. of Norwich, is a small parish with only 48 inhabitants, and 519 acres of land, nearly all belonging to Sir Jacob Henry Preston, Bart., the lord of the manor, who resides at Beeston Hall, a large Gothic mansion of flint, with stone quoins, &c., and a beautiful park of 300 acres. This has long been the seat of the ancient family of Preston, who distinguished themselves as loyalists during the civil wars in the reign of Charles I. As a last tribute of affection, this unfortunate monarch, when upon the scaffold, presented Jacob Preston, Esq., with an emerald ring, which is still preserved here.
The CHURCH (St. Lawrence,) is a small ancient structure, with a round tower; but a great part of it was rebuilt by the late Sir Thomas Preston, who died in 1820. The east window is of stained glass, and over the altar is a picture of the last supper. Here are many handsome mural monuments to the Preston family.
The rectory, valued in the King's Book at £6, was augmented in 1741, with £200 of Queen Anne's Bounty, and £200 given by Isaac Preston, Esq. These sums were laid out in a house and 18A. 2R., making the glebe about 31 acres. The tithes were commuted in 1841 for £145 per annum. Sir J. H. Preston is patron, and the Rev. Thos. Hulton, A.M., incumbent.
In 1806, Ann Powell, left the interest of £41. 10s. for schooling two poor children.
Preston Sir Jacob Henry, Bart., and Lady Jane Beeston Hall Baker Chas. butler Baker Saml. steward Cubitt Horatio farmer Whitaker Mrs. Ann nurse, (for 46 years.)
See also the Beeston St. Lawrence parish page.
Copyright © Pat Newby.