BILLINGFORD, or Pyrleston, on the north side of the vale of the Waveney, 3 miles W. [sic] of Diss, is a parish in Depwade union, Harleston county court district, Ipswich bankruptcy district, Earsham hundred and petty sessional division, Diss polling district of South Norfolk, Redenhall rural deanery, and Norfolk archdeaconry. Together with Thorpe Parva it had 194 inhabitants in 1881, living on 1395 acres, and has a rateable value of £1414. The parish contains 1050 acres of land, mostly belonging to George Holt Wilson, Esq., lord of the manor. The Rev. Edmund Hollond, of Benhall, Suffolk, has an estate here.
The CHURCH (St. Leonard) is a very plain Early English structure consisting of nave and chancel. It has one bell, but the tower has long since disappeared. The painted rood screen (probably 1450) and staircase to rood loft still remain, and on the south wall of the nave are traces of a fresco. The church has recently been restored and reseated, at a cost of about £450.
A new rectory house, in the Tudor style, was erected by the present rector in 1879, on an eminence near the church, commanding a fine view of the valley of the Waveney, towards the building of which £800 was contributed from Queen Anne's Bounty. Mr. Wilson is patron of the rectory, valued in the King's Book at £9, and now at £365, with that of Little Thorpe annexed to it, and in the incumbency of the Rev. Robert White, B.A. The glebe here is 32 acres, and the tithes were commuted in 1842 for £296 10s. per annum, and £26 for Thorpe.
Here was a hospital, with 13 beds for travellers, founded by William Beck, in the reign of Henry III. Martha Brighton died here in 1844, aged 101 years. The poor have £2 a year out of the Hall farm, left by Thomas Holt; and 5s. a year left by the Rev. John Bryers in 1717, out of a cottage. This parish is united with Scole for educational purposes, and the voluntary school is at Scole.
POST OFFICE at Mrs. Ann Cooper's. Letters arrive at 7.30 a.m., and despatched at 7 p.m.; Sundays at 11 a.m., viâ Scole, which is the nearest Money Order and Telegraph Office.
Baterham John frmr. & timber mert Bloomfield George Fredk. grocer, &c. Bolton John farmer, Grove farm Flowerdew Arthur John farmer, The Hall Gardner Amos William blacksmith Goddard Henry farmer King Geo. shoemaker & shopkeeper Peake Robert victualler, Three Horse Shoes, and pork butcher Weaver Robert miller White Rev. Robert, B.A. rector, The Rectory
See also the Billingford near Diss parish page.
Copyright © Pat Newby.