FELBRIGG, a pleasant village, on a declivity, nearly 3 miles S.S.W. of Cromer, has in its parish 133 inhabitants, and 1559A. 2R. 10P. of land, all the property of William Howe Windham, Esq., of FELBRIGG HALL, a large and handsome mansion, on a commanding eminence, in a beautiful and richly wooded park of 600 acres.
This stately house, in the style which prevailed in the reign of Henry VIII., has been considerably enlarged by the Windham family, at different periods; and most of these additions and alterations are in a style corresponding with the ancient south front. The apartments contain many excellent paintings, by Rembrant, Bergham, Vandersvelt, and other eminent masters; and the Library comprises a large collection of valuable books and prints.
Mr. W. has recently improved and beautified the interior, and filled the great hall windows with stained glass, brought from Belgium. In 1841 and '2, he erected three handsome lodge gateways, at the entrances to the park. A noble quadrangle of stables, with embattled towers at the angles, in the same style as the hall, and other improvements, were made by the late Admiral Windham, in 1825.
About ¼ of a mile S.E. of the hall, embowered in the park plantations, and approached by a fine avenue of oak and beech, is the CHURCH, (St. Margaret,) a handsome edifice, containing many monunents to the Felbrigge and Windham families. On a large marble stone is a fine brass, representing the figure, in complete armour, of Sir Simon de Felbrigge, who lived in the reign of Henry VI.
On the south side of the altar, is a beautiful monument, with a fine bust, by Nollekins, of the late Right Hon. Wm. Windham, a profound scholar, accomplished orator, and distinguished statesman, who was born in London, in 1750, and died there in 1810, after undergoing a surgical operation on his hip, which was injured in his endeavours to save the library of his friend, Mr. Frederick North, when his house was on fire. He sat in Parliament 28 years, first for Norwich, and afterwards for various boroughs; and accepted under Mr. Pitt, the office of secretary-at-war, with a seat in the cabinet, an honourable distinction which had never before been annexed to that office. This office he held till 1801, and accepted it again in 1806, but resigned in the following year, along with the other members of the Grenville administration. Having no issue, his estates descended to his nephew, the late Admiral Lukin, who assumed the name of Windham.
The rectory, valued in the King's Book at £6. 18s. 4d., and in 1831 at £310, with that of Metton annexed to it, is in the gift of W.H. Windham, Esq., and incumbency of the Rev. Robert Courtenay Windham, A.B. The tithes of Felbrigg were commuted in 1841 for £179 per annum.
Windham W.H., Esq. Hall Cawston Nicholas farmer Cawston Nicholas, jun. joiner Clark John farmer
Copyright © Pat Newby.