BRACON-ASH, 6 miles S.W. of Norwich, is a parish with a village in an elevated situation, and its air is pure and bracing. The parish is in Henstead union, Norwich county court district and bankruptcy district, Humbleyard hundred, Swainsthorpe petty sessional division, Norwich polling district of South Norfolk, Humbleyard rural deanery, and Norfolk archdeaconry. It had 282 inhabitants in 1881, living on 974 acres, and has a rateable value of £1657 8s.
The parish is mostly the property of the Rev. Thomas Berney, M.A., who is lord of the manor, and Sir Kenneth H. Kemp, Bart. The former resides at the Hall, a spacious brick mansion, standing on the site of a much older building, which Queen Elizabeth is said to have visited, and situated in the ancient 'Brakene Ashe Parke.' The Berney family is of great antiquity, having originally come from Berney, now called Bernay, in Normandy, and settled prior to the Conquest in this county, where they gave name to the parish and manor of Berney (see p. 138 [which is the entry for Barney]). E. Corbould Warren, Esq., resides at Bracon Lodge, a handsome modern brick mansion, about half a mile east of the village.
The CHURCH (St. Nicholas) is a neat little structure, comprising nave, chancel, south aisle, north porch, and bellcot with one bell. It is mostly of the Decorated period; but the south aisle and the columns between the nave and aisles are Perpendicular. The piscina and chancel-screen still remain, and here are also a vault of the Berney family, and a tablet dated 1694 to William Bedingfield. The parish Register commences in 1563.
The Rev. Thomas Berney, M.A., is patron and incumbent of the rectory, which was valued in the King's Book at £10, and now has a yearly rent-charge of £243 8s., awarded in 1842 in lieu of tithes. Archbishop Tenison held this living for a short time, and resigned it in 1662.
A School occupies a neat building erected in 1846 by the late Miss Berney, and is now used as a Sunday School only. Here is a Board School for Bracon-Ash and Hethel. The Board consists of Mr. B.S. Fryer (chairman), Mr. Charles Cremer, Mr. William Gardiner, Mr. Frederick Myhill, and Mr. John Swann.
A house and garden, left by Anne Woode in 1720, are let for £2 a year, which is divided amongst four poor aged widows.
POST OFFICE at Mrs. Elizabeth Spurgeon's. Letters arrive at 8.40 a.m., and are despatched at 5.20 p.m., viâ Norwich. Mulbarton is nearest Money Order, and Flordon nearest Telegraph Office.
Berney Rev. Thomas, M.A. rector; h Bracon Hall Church James (C. & Son); h The Beeches Church Joseph Watts (C. & Son); h The Vineyards Church farmers and fruit growers, & Son The Vineyards Cremer Charles farmer, Hall farm Dye William parish clerk Gillings Edward farmer Kemp Sir Kenneth Hagar, Bart King Jeffries farmer Law N. George shoemaker Middleton Arthr. butchr. & mkt. grdnr Middleton William shoemaker Myhill Frederick saddler; h Hethel Pyle Miss Curtis Board schoolmistress Rice Robert blacksmith Scales Bernard farmer Spurgeon (Mrs Elizabeth) & Brigham (Mrs Sophia) grocers and drapers Warren Mr E. Corbould Bracon Lodge
CARRIERS from Forncett, New Buckenham, and Carlton Rode pass through to Norwich on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday
Copyright © Pat Newby.