CREAKE (NORTH), a parish and large village on the Fakenham road, 3 miles S. by E. of Burnham Market, is in Docking union, Fakenham county court district, Brothercross hundred, Smithdon and Brothercross petty sessional division, Docking polling district of West Norfolk, Burnham rural deanery, and Norfolk archdeaconry. It had 618 inhabitants in 1881, living on 3601 acres, and has a rateable value of £4679. Earl Spencer, who has a shooting-box here, and the Master and Fellows of Christ's College, Cambridge, are the principal owners and lords of the manors.
Creake Abbey, in an open vale at the north end of the parish, was first founded for a master, 4 chaplains, and 13 lay brethren, by Sir Robert de Narford and Alice his wife, about the year 1206; but they were afterwards made an abbot and canons of the Augustine order, and had a church dedicated to St. Bartholomew. After the Dissolution, this abbey, with all the lands belonging to it, was granted by Margaret, Countess of Richmond, to Christ's College: and the estate, which comprises 620 acres, is now held on lease by Mr. S.R. Crisp. A great part of the abbey walls still remains, and forms a highly interesting and venerable ruin; the choir of the church is still distinguishable, and several of its pointed arches and lofty pillars are still entire, but the nave is gone, except those parts of its materials which may be observed in the adjacent farmhouse.
About 2000 Roman coins were dug up near the village, in 1799.
The parish CHURCH (Virgin Mary) stands near the south end of the village, and is a fine building with lofty nave, north aisle and clerestory, chancel, south porch, and massive square tower with 6 bells. The nave is of 4 bays, and has a fine open timber roof with figures of angels on the hammer beams and along the cornice, and at the intersections of the rafters. It is lighted by windows of the Perpendicular period; but the chancel (dating from 1301) is in the Decorated style, and has a beautiful east window of five lights. The roof, of the same date as that of the nave, is still more ornate, carrying besides the angels as above, figures of the Apostles, with scrolls bearing the creed in Latin.
The piscina and three sedilia still remain; and on the north side of the chancel is a sacristy, now used as a vestry, which also contains a piscina. On the floor is a fine brass, believed to represent Sir W. Calthorpe, lord of the manor in the 15th century, bearing the model of the church which he restored; and over the chancel arch were remains of a fresco painting, now plastered over.
The rectory, valued in the King's Book at £33 6s. 8d., is in the alternate patronage of Earl Spencer and the Bishop of Norwich, and in the incumbency of the Rev. John Nassau Simpkinson, M.A., who has 187A. of glebe; a handsome Elizabethan residence, built in 1845, at a cost of £3500; and a yearly rent-charge of £1081, awarded in 1839 in lieu of tithes.
The Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists have each a small chapel in the parish.
The National School is a handsome building, erected in 1849 at a cost of £450, by Earl Spencer, who also gave the site, and has since built a large infant school. It is chiefly supported by subscription.
Here are 4 Almshouses for 4 poor widows, founded by Richard Mansaur, in 1592, and endowed with £4 3s. a year out of land belonging to Earl Spencer. The poor have 10s. a year out of 3A. of land bequeathed by the Rev. Samuel Pancke, in 1680.
POST OFFICE at Mr. Thomas Walker's. Letters arrive at 9.0 a.m., and are despatched at 3.45 p.m., viâ Fakenham. South Creake is the nearest Money Order Office. Burnham is the nearest Railway Station.
Adcock James bootmaker Bambridge Joshua blacksmith Billing Thos. Richd. vict. Jolly Farmers Bygott Robert farmer, Cross house Collison Mrs Mary grocer Corke George farmer Crisp Stillingfleet Rayner frmr. Abbey Everitt Thomas farmer Fishbourne William gamekeeper Goshawk John baker Hendry Edward baker and farmer High Edward wheelwright Howell Benjamin blacksmith; and South Creake Lucking Mrs. schoolmistress Neale Peter victualler, Victoria Oliver Edward (O. & Wright) Oliver & Wright grocers and drapers Parker Robert farmer Rix Wm. parish clerk & assist. overseer Simpkinson Rev. John N., M.A. rector Smith John miller, baker, and farmer Walker Thomas tailor, draper, and postmaster Walker Wm. grocer, baker, and farmer Walker Zachariah outfitter Wasey Isaac cattle dealer & farmer Wright Mrs Wright William farmer and agent to Earl Spencer, Slys farm Wright William (Oliver & W.)
Copyright © Pat Newby.