BESTHORPE is a parish of scattered houses, 1 mile from Attleborough, [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 Norwich archdeaconry. It had, in 1881, 480 inhabitants, living on 2164 acres of land of a rateable value of £5000. The Earl of Winterton is lord of the manor and impropriator of the rectorial tithes, Messrs. Leonard J. Palmer, Richard Bryant, and James Clarke, and some smaller owners have estates here. The ancient Hall, now a farm house occupied by Mr. Bryant, was formerly a seat of the Drury family.
The CHURCH (All Saints) is a cruciform structure with a lofty square tower, and five bells. It was restored in 1861, and contains a marble monument representing Sir William Drury, his wife, and five children. The living is a vicarage valued in the King's Book at £5. 6s. 11½d., and now in the incumbency of the Rev. Edward Utten Browne, who is also patron of the benefice. The glebe comprises 35A., the yearly rent charge is £250, and the vicarage house was built in 1859.
A Primitive Methodist Chapel was built here in 1866.
The National School, erected about 1862, has been since enlarged, and is now attended by about seventy children.
The Fuel Allotment, 15A. 3R. 16P., was awarded at the enclosure in 1806, and was let in 1881 by public auction for eight years, the rent received being distributed in coal. There are 4A. 1R. 3P. of land, the rent of which goes towards payment of church expenses.
POST OFFICE at Mr. William Nelson's. Letters delivered at 7 a.m., and despatched at 7.40 p.m. via Attleborough, which is the nearest Money Order and Telegraph Office.
Ayton Charles farmer Ayton Noah farmer Brasnett Mrs. Anne Brown Albert farmer Browne Rev. Edward Utten vicar, Vicarage Bryant Richd. frmr & owner, The Hall Burt David farmer Caddy William shopkeeper Canham Miss Frances Anne shopkpr Clarke Charles farmer Clarke James farmer and owner Cowles Miss Emma schoolmistress Drake Edward farmer and owner Edwards Samuel carpenter and vict. The Rule and Compasses Edwards William farmer Forster John farmer Gilham Robert Edward farmer Gogle John farmer Greenacre Geo. farmer & corn miller Howard Samuel farmer Howes John farmer Johnson Jas. frmr; h Carleton Rode Larkman Jas. machinist & blacksmith Page Burrell farmer Palmer Robert farmer Pooley John bricklayer Potter Daniel Womack farmer and cattle dealer Quantrill William farmer Warren John farmer Weddup Henry beerhouse, Prince of Wales Wigby Obadiah wheelwright Woodrow David blacksmith and beer house, The Fox and Hounds Wright Charles billposter
"for 'Norwich [archdeaconry],' read 'Norfolk [archdeaconry].'"
Copyright © Pat Newby.