CATFIELD, a large but straggling village, in several detached portions, on the Yarmouth and North Walsham Line, 14 miles N.W. of Norwich, and 3 miles S. by E. of Stalham, is in Smallburgh union, Norwich bankruptcy district, Happing hundred, North Walsham county court district, Happing and Tunstead petty sessional division, Stallingborough polling district of North Norfolk, Waxham rural deanery, and Norfolk archdeaconry. It had 630 inhabitants in 1881, living on 2393 acres. The rateable value is £3858, and the gross estimated rental £4418. The parish includes part of Hickling and Barton Broads.
The Hall, a good residence, situated on a verdant lawn, embosomed in woods, belongs to and is occupied by John Joseph L'Oste Lubbock, Esq., J.P., the lord of the manor. The other principal landowners are Mr. W. Barber, Mrs Rudd, Mr Rope, and Mr W. Salmon.
The CHURCH (All Saints) is an ancient building of flint and rubble, consisting of a nave with aisles, chancel, south porch with parvise, and low square embattled tower containing a fine peal of five bells. It is chiefly of the late Decorated period of architecture, and contains a good chancel screen. In the chancel are marble tablets of the Cubitt, Prowett and Storey families, and also a stone coffin in fine preservation.
In 1840, on removing the whitewash, it was found that the whole surface of the walls of the nave had been covered with paintings, representing a variety of scriptural and legendary subjects. The finest of these was of such curious character as to have been deemed unique. The general idea of the artist seems to have been to represent a tree, bearing for its fruit the seven deadly sins, and at the same time exhibiting their fatal consequences in a language that the most ignorant could not fail to comprehend with ease, the most learned to contemplate with advantage. The whole picture was treated with great spirit and displayed much artistic skill; from the dresses of some of the figures, the work must have been executed about the reign of Edward III. All the paintings have again been hidden from observation.
In 1852 the seats in the church were re-arranged, by which 145 additional sittings were obtained; and the nave was new roofed in 1864. In 1875 the chancel was restored at a cost of £500.
The living is a discharged rectory and vicarage united, and is valued in the King's Book at £7.10s. The Bishop of Norwich and the executors of the Rev. B.L. Cubitt are patrons alternatively, the present incumbent being the Rev. Arthur Brown. The rectory house is a good residence of white brick, erected in 1852, near the site of an older building in which the poet Cowper often stayed as a visitor. The glebe is 21A.3R.11P., and the tithes have been commuted for £606 per annum.
The Registers date from 1559, and contain some curious entries by a former rector, Anthony Harrison, who was chaplain to the Bishop of Norwich in the beginning of the 17th century.
Here is a PRIMITIVE METHODIST CHAPEL, built in 1838 and enlarged in 1859. The NATIONAL SCHOOL was built in 1853, and will accommodate about 100 children.
The poor have 4A.22P. of land at Ludham, given by unknown donors, and now let for £10; and the interest of £43, arising from the sale of five tenements. The Poor's Allotment, awarded at the enclosure in 1802, consists of 57A.9P. of heath and marsh land now let for about £50 per annum.
POST OFFICE at Mr John Huson's. Letters, via Stalham to Norwich arrive at 7.50 a.m. and depart at 2.55 p.m.; via Yarmouth, depart at 5.55 p.m. Stalham is the nearest Money Order and Telegraph Office.
Addy James farm bailiff Baldwin George bricklayer Baldwin John bricklayer Barber William farmer and owner, coal, corn, seed, &c. merchant, and thrashing machine owner; and at Sea Palling Bean - farmer Beck William miller and farmer Bensley Robert butcher and farmer Brookes Charles shoemaker and horse and trap letter Brown Rev. Arthr., B.A. rectr. Rectory Christmas William tailor Crowe Miss Sophia Providence cot. Dawson George farmer and owner Dawson Robert Greensmith farmer Dyball - stationmaster Dye William emigration agent Fox - farmer, Longmoor Gibbs Hy. Thos vict. White Horse Inn Gibbs Mrs Sarah grocer and draper Gibbs William & Son blacksmiths Hammond Mrs My.Ann vict. Crown Inn Harbord Thomas blacksmith Hewitt Richard farm bailiff Hindrey - grocer, draper & overseer Huson John Watson grocer, draper and postmaster Lowe William baker and shopkeeper Lubbock John Joseph L'Oste,J.P. farmer and owner, The Hall Mace John farmer and owner Marler (Miss Mary) & Coe (Mrs Rebecca) grocers and drapers Myhill Edward wheelwright, parish clerk, assistant overseer & collector Neve Edwd. cattle salsmn., Paradise hs Page John wheelwright Pigg Philip & James frmrs. & ownrs Pollard George market gardener Pycroft Thomas shoemaker Riches Edward corn & coal merchant, and miller at Stalham Riches John George corn, seed, cake, manure and coal merchant, The Staithe; and Stalham, North Walsham, and Yarmouth Rope John Gillett farmer and owner Rudd Mrs frmr. & owner, Heath frm Salmon Wm. frmr. & ownr. Bleak hs Simms Friday carpenter Slipper William farmer Stimpson Miss Eliza schoolmistress Whittleton George Walter farmer, Wood Street farm Woolston Robert cartowner Wright John farmerRAILWAY STATION on the Yarmouth & North Norfolk line. Trains to and from Yarmouth and North Walsham several times a day. Robert Harvey, collector.
"for 'Stallingborough,' read 'Stalham.'
Copyright © Pat Newby.