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Norfolk: Feltwell

William White's History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Norfolk 1845

[Transcription copyright © Pat Newby]

FELTWELL is a large village, with several neat houses, 6 miles W.N.W. of Brandon, and 6 miles S. of Stoke-Ferry, comprising in its extensive parish 1512 inhabitants, about 9639 acres of assessable land, and about 1200A. of open common, on which all the tenants have a right of pasturage and fuel. About half the parish is low fen land, for improving the drainage of which a twenty-horse power steam engine was erected in 1835. The parish includes an extra-parochial place called Feltwell Anchor, where there are 19 inhabitants.

A small fair is held at Feltwell, on Nov. 20th and 21st; and in the village are about 30 looms employed in weaving bombasin, crapes, &c., for the Norwich manufacturers. The parish is in several MANORS. Miss P. Clough has a neat seat here, and is lady of South Hall, the chief manor, anciently held by the Bishop of Ely. The Rev. Dr. Chaffy is lord of Wendlings, Spenvilles, and Duntons manors; and Christ's College, Cambridge, has the manor of East Hall or Broomhill.

Here are two parish CHURCHES, both of which were thoroughly repaired about 12 years ago. St. Mary's, the largest, has a nave, aisles, chancel, and a massive square tower, with three bells and a clock. Among its monumental memorials is a fine brass, representing Margaret Mundeford, and the effigies of Francis and Osbert Mundeford, Esqrs., and their wives, all of the 16th century. St. Nicholas' Church is a small pile, on an eminence at the west end of the village, with a tower, round at the base and octangular at the top, and containing five bells. It was nearly destroyed by fire in 1494, when an "indulgence" was granted for its reparation.

The rectories are now consolidated in the alternate patronage of the Crown and the Bishop of Ely. St. Mary's is valued in the King's Book at £14. 17s. 3½d., and St. Nicholas's at £19, and they were valued together, in 1831, at £1207 per annum. The Rev. E.P. Sparke, M.A., is the incumbent, and has 177A. of glebe, and a commodious residence.

The Baptists, Wesleyans, and Primitive Methodists have each a chapel here, and the poor parishioners enjoy the benefit of the following charities:-

Sir Edmund Mundeford, in 1643, bequeathed about 840A. of low fen land in Feltwell parish, to certain trustees to improve by drainage, &c., and to apply the clear profits, one-third for a distribution of clothing among the poor, and two-thirds for the support of a FREE SCHOOL; but as soon as the clear rents had been augmented to more than £60 a year, he directed all the surplusage above that amount to be applied in founding an ALMSHOUSE for the aged poor of the parish. Part of the bequeathed land was taken by the Commissioners for the drainage of the Bedford Level. The charity estate now consists of two houses, outbuildings, a draining-mill, and 623A. 1R. 18P. of poor fen land, now let at rents amounting to little more than £100 per annum, out of which about £80 has to be paid yearly for drainage taxes, which, for many years, exceeded the rents, but have recently been reduced.

Though the trustees were obliged to discontinue the distributions of clothing, and afterwards the schoolmaster's salary, they improperly expended, in 1829, nearly £500 in the erection of an Almshouse, divided into eight tenements. According to the donor's will, the clear yearly sums of £40 for the school, and £20 for distributions of clothing, ought to have been realised before the erection of the almshouse, to which eight poor parishioners are admitted by the trustees, who in 1839 erected a large School, which is conducted on the national system, and attended by about 100 children

The FUEL ALLOTMENT consists of 360A. of the West Fen, awarded at the enclosure in 1815, for the use of the poor, but being entirely under water in the winter, it yields little besides sedges, and the profits arising from the sale of the produce have hitherto been only about sufficient for for [sic] payment of drainage and other expenses. Six poor labourers occupy, rent free, 4A. 2R. 19P. of land, received at the enclosure in exchange for 6A. given by Robt. Clough, in 1737, to be so occupied for the purpose of enabling six poor parishioners to send their children to school. The occupants are to be appointed by the owners of the donor's capital messuage, now belonging to Miss Clough.

As noticed with Foulden, the poor of Feltwell have about £20 every fifth year from Atmere's Charity, for distribution in kersey and flannel. In 1729, the Rev. Thos. Rawlins left for the poor of Feltwell £50, which was laid out in the purchase of 9A. of land at Hockwold, now let for £9 a year, which is distributed on New Year's-day.


	  Archer       George           surgeon
	  Caney        Wm.              shoemaker
	  Chamberlain  Thomas           baker
	  Clough       Misses Pleasance
	                 & Rebca.
	  Constable    Joseph           vict. Chequers
	  Eastgate     Wm.              vict. Oak
	  Flower       Mr. Wm.
	  Feetham      Wm.              vict, Anchor
	  Foster       Joseph           saddler
	  Gibson       John             schoolmaster
	  Goose        Hy.              plumber, painter &c
	  Heading      Henry            corn miller
	  Leach        John             painter, plumber, &c
	  Lord         John             schoolmaster
	  Palmer       Andrew           druggist, (and agt. to Royal
	                                  Exchange Ins. Co.)
	  Parrington   Rev Matw. M.A.   curate
	  Richardson   Jno.             millwright, &c
	  Roberts      Wm. Henry        surgeon, Rose Cottage
	  Rudland      Henry            Post Office
	  Sparke       Rev Edwd.        rector of Feltwell, vicar of
	                 Bowyer, M.A.     Littleport, and prebendary of Ely
	  Spencer      John             vict. Cock
	  Steed        Simon            vict. Blue Bell
	  Upcroft      Wm.              watchmaker
	  Young        Miss

	     Beer Houses.                  Blacksmiths.

	  Drake        Evans            Drake      Anthony
	  Galloway     Wm.              Palmer     Wm.
	  Killingworth Jph

	                     (* are owners.)

	* Anderson     Thos.            Jacob      John
	  Bacon        Daniel         * Lambert    Wm.
	  Barrett      Samuel         * Nurse      Wm. Hill House
	  Boyce        Robert           Prior      Abm. Jno.
	  Coultas      James          * Prior      Thickpenny
	  Flower       Jonth.         * Rudland    Salisbury
	  Flower       Jtn. jun.        Smith      John
	  Gascoigne    Thos.          * Stallam    Mary and Henry
	  Jackson      James            Walden     Robert

	     Grocers & Dprs.

	  Blade        James
	  Moore        John Houghton
	  Rotherham    John

	     Joiners.                      Wheelwrights.

	  Andrews      Robt.            Catlin     George
	  Spencer      John             Cock       Joseph
	                                Grimmer    Robert

POST-OFFICE at Hy. Rudland's. Letters daily, from Brandon
CARRIERS call at the Oak Inn. Joshua Bland and J. Jacob, to Lynn, Bury, &c.

See also the Feltwell parish page.

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Copyright © Pat Newby.
December 2010