BRESSINGHAM, a large scattered village, on the north side of the vale of the Waveney, 2 miles W. by N. of Diss, is in Guiltcross union, Diss county court district, Ipswich bankruptcy district, Diss hundred, Diss petty sessional division, Diss polling district of South Norfolk, Redenhall rural deanery and Norfolk archdeaconry. It had 509 inhabitants in 1881, living on 2313 acres, and has a rateable value of £3601 5s.
The parish lies mostly in the Duke of Norfolk's manors of Bressingham and Boyland, (fines arbitrary), and partly in the rectory manor and Buckenham Priory manor, of which the rector is lord. The Duke of Norfolk, Arthur Pontifex, Esq., Mr. Rt. N. Bunn and Mr. H.R. Woodcock, of Fersfield Hall, are the principal landowners.
Bressingham Hall, the seat of Arthur Pontifex, Esq., is a spacious mansion pleasantly situate near game covers. Boyland Hall, an ancient mansion, with a large farm, is the Duke's property, and was built by Sir Richard de Boyland, a judge of the time of Edward I., who formed here a subterraneous walk, or conduit, by which water was brought to his baths and moats, from an overflowing well, which still remains.
The CHURCH (St. John the Baptist) was rebuilt by Sir Roger Pilkington, in 1526, and is a large structure, chiefly of Perpendicular architecture, comprising nave with aisles, chancel, porch, and fine tower with five bells. In the porch are the remains of a holy water stoup; and the east window has four figures in stained glass.
The rectory, valued in the King's Book at £15, is in the gift of Jno. Wilson, Esq., of Bridgenorth, and incumbency of the Rev. George Henry Clarke Bidwell, B.A., who has 35A. of glebe, a handsome rectory house, built in 1842, and a yearly rent of £614, awarded in 1843, in lieu of tithes.
The Wesleyans, Baptists, and Primitive Methodists have chapels here.
The School Board, elected July 1, 1875, consists of the Rev. Edmund Farrer (chairman), and Messrs. A. Goodchild (vice-chairman), G. Hall, G. Hawes, and F. Crick. Mr. F. Fowell, of Garboldisham, is their clerk. A school was opened December 31, 1877, to accommodate 100 children. The Board have borrowed £836 at 3½ per cent., repayable in 49 annual instalments of £4 5s. 3d. and the balance of principal and interest at the expiration of fifty years.
In 1728, Elizabeth Barker left a house and land to be applied by the rector and churchwardens in the support of a School for poor children. The property, including an allotment awarded to it at the enclosure, consists of a house and schoolroom, and 5A. 3R. 8P. of land, worth about £12 a year. This is now used as a Sunday School.
A yearly rent-charge of £2, left by John Welham, in 1702, is distributed among the poor in bread. The Fuel Allotment, 24A. 15P., was awarded at the enclosure in 1802, and is divided into small lots, on which the poor cut turf, &c. The Town Lands, partly acquired at the enclosure, comprise 10A. 31P., let for £15 a year, which is carried to the church and poor rates. Here are also two houses and 3R. of land, occupied by paupers.
LETTERS from Diss arrive at 7.30 a.m., depart at 6.15 p.m., no Sunday post. Diss is the nearest Money Order and Telegraph Office.
Bailey James shoemaker Bidwell Rev. George Henry Clarke, M.A. The Rectory Bunn Rt. Newson farmer and land owner, assessor of taxes Crick Arthur farmer, High street Crick Fredk. farmer, parish clerk and sexton, assistant overseer and road surveyor, Poplar farm Denny Chas. frmr. Three Gates farm Eaton Peter grocer Elliott Wm. farmer, Valley farm Elwood James shoemaker Fairweather Jas. Wm. blacksmith Farrer Rev. Edmund curate Goodchild Alf. farmer, Boyland hall Gooderham Mrs Mary yeast and coal dealer and carrier Hall George farmer Hawes - farmer, Wilney green Huson Mrs Elizabeth Ivy cottage Jolly John farmer Jolly Wm. beerhouse and thatcher Knights Miles miller and owner Landamore Mrs Eliza shopkeeper Last Mrs Sophia blacksmith Long Rt. farmer, Folly farm Loveless William farrier Mason John farmer Matthews Charles miller Noble Mrs Emily shopkeeper Noble James working cutler Noble Robert working cutler Orford George farmer Orford Harry farm steward to Arthur Pontifex, Esq. Page Joseph farmer Pontifex Arthur, Esq. landowner, Bressingham hall Porcher Frederick shoemaker Porcher John farmer Read William cottager, Common Shepherd Charles cottager, Common Skerry Saml. Cornelius Board schlmstr Spurdens William farmer Styles Thos. butcher and pig dealer Wade Barnabas wheelwright Woodcock Mrs Elizabeth farmer and landowner, The Oaks Woodcock Horace Rt. farmer and landowner; h Fersfield Hall Wright John farmer, The Common Youngman Benjamin farmer, Bressingham wood; h Wortham
Copyright © Pat Newby.