DUNHAM (GREAT), 6 miles N.E. of Swaffham, and 2 miles S. by W. of Litcham, is a scattered village and parish, in Mitford union, Swaffham county court district, Launditch petty sessional division, Lynn bankruptcy district, Swaffham polling district of West Norfolk, Launditch hundred, Brisley rural deanery, and Norwich archdeaconry. It had 394 inhabitants in 1881, living in 1968 acres of land, and had a rateable value of £3573. The soil belongs chiefly to R. Blake-Humfrey, Esq., lord of the manor; but J.W. Davy, Esq., the Rev. W.A.W. Keppel, and some smaller owners, have estates here. The manors of East and West Lexham extend into this parish.
Here were formerly two churches, dedicated to St. Mary and to St. Andrew, and their advowsons, which had belonged to Castleacre Priory, were granted at the Dissolution to the Duke of Norfolk. One of them appears to have been taken down about this time, and its foundations are yet discoverable in the rectory garden, where fragments of the ancient altar stone, and several capitals, mullions, &c., were found some years ago.
The present CHURCH (St. Andrew), exhibits many features of great interest. It consists of a nave and chancel with a square tower between them, and a porch on the south side. The chancel is Perpendicular, but the nave and tower are of Saxon workmanship. The tower has long-and-short work at the angles, small round-headed windows, splayed inside and out, and belfry windows with a central shaft supporting a long stone but having Norman caps and bases. At the west end is a singular triangular canopy over a square-headed doorway, consisting of a fillet with the edges cut into a kind of square billet ornament, and shafts ornamented in a similiar manner, having square imposts or caps. The south doorway is Early English, but the porch over it is plain Perpendicular.
The rectory, valued in the King's Book at £12 1s. 10½d., was anciently in two medieties, and is in the patronage of Robert Blake-Humfrey, Esq., and incumbency of the Rev. John Blake-Humfrey, B.A., who has 44A. 16P. of glebe, a yearly tithe rent-charge of £562, awarded in 1840, and a neat residence, improved, and for the most part rebuilt, in 1875 by the patron.
The Primitive Methodists have a chapel in the parish. The School Board consists of the Rev. John Blake-Humfrey (chairman), and Messrs. S.P. Wharton (vice-chairman), R.J. Chamberlayne, and Jas. Betts. Mr. R. Curtis, is clerk. The Poor's Allotment Lands contain 33A. 2P., and are let for the yearly sum of £55. The poor have also an annuity of £5, left by Dalton Chamberlayne in 1806; and £1 12s. a year from Allee's Charity. All the poor's charities are distributed in coals.
POST OFFICE at Mr. Jonathan Dunger's. Letters arrive at 5.30 a.m., and are despatched at 6.55 p.m., on Sundays at 1.40 p.m., by mail cart viâ Swaffham. Litcham is the nearest Money Order and Telegraph Office.
Bear John vict. Flower Pot Betts Jas. Porritt frmr. Castle Acre rd Blake-Humfrey Rev. John, B.A. rector, The Rectory Chamberlain Henry blacksmith Chamberlayne Robert John farmer Clitheroe - farmer Cony William parish clerk Daniel Miss E.A. Board schoolmstrss Downs Robert farmer Dunger Jonathan shpkpr. & post office Fleet - steward to S.H. Wharton Gamble John carpenter Girling George miller Johnson James farmer Larwood John farmer Mann Robert farmer Porritt Walter builder Rallison William vict. Horse Shoes Ram - wheelwright Rawling James shopkeeper Rawling Walter shoemaker Regester James baker Rix William farmer and landowner; h The Rookery Savage William blacksmith Scase Henry farmer Tuck John farmer Wharton Samuel Porter farmer Whales William carpenter Whisker Montague rat and mole catcher and thatcher
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