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Norfolk: Great Bircham

William White's History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Norfolk 1864

[Transcription copyright © Pat Newby]

BIRCHAM (GREAT) a village and parish, on the Burnham road, 14 miles N.E. of Lynn, has 489 inhabitants, and 3606 acres of land, of which a part is sheep walk, and 476A. are in woods and plantations. The Marquis Cholmondeley is owner of the soil and lord of the manor.

The Church (St. Mary) is a handsome structure in the perpendicular style, comprising a nave with aisles and chancel, a large north porch, and a square tower at the west end of the south aisle, containing five bells and surmounted by a small wooden spire. The nave is of four bays, and the arches opening to the aisles are finely pointed and rest on quatrefoil columns. The rood screen and staircase still exist, and in the chancel are remains of the sedilia and a piscina. There is another piscina in the south aisle, and a holy water stoup in the porch. The doorway leading from the south aisle to the tower is a fine specimen of the transitional Norman style.

The rectory valued in the King's Book at £22, has about 70 acres of glebe, and a yearly tithe rent-charge of £585. Anthony Hamond, Esq., is patron, and the Rev. Wm. Pratt, B.A. of Harpley, incumbent. The Rectory House is occupied by the curate.

In 1740, an Act of Parliament was passed for confirming and establishing an exchange between the lord of the manor and the rector, and for enclosing the commons.

A Free School, for the poor children of the three Bircham parishes, was built in 1842 by the Marquis Cholmondeley, who partly clothes the scholars and added an Infants' School in 1857. The average attendance is 50 boys, 70 girls, and 40 infants.

POST OFFICE at Frances Bale's. Letters despatched to Lynn, at 5.30 p.m.

	Bradfield   Chas.              wheelwright; h Rudham
	Butcher     Charles            builder and valuer
	Forster     Hy.                plumber
	Fryett      J.                 par. clk.
	Humphrey    George             corn miller & baker
	Ives        Edward             brickkiln manager
	Kitton      Rt.                grocer & draper; h Rudham
	Lawson      George             saddler; h Snettisham
	Layland     John and Harriet   Free School
	Lown        Charles            shoemaker
	Parnell     (Pleasance)
	  and Clarke  (Joseph John)    grocers and drapers
	Preston     Rayner             victualler, King's Head
	Robinson    John               shopkeeper
	Winckworth  Rev. John
	              Broomfield, B.A. curate, Rectory

	   BLACKSMITHS.

	Groome      Mary
	Mace        Thomas

	   FARMERS.

	Beck        E                  h Harpley
	Cutter      John               Heath House
	Hebgin      Susannah
	Hebgin      W. Wright
	Kitton      Edward W.


See also the Great Bircham parish page.

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Copyright © Pat Newby.
April 2006