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 FARMERS. (* 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.
Copyright © Pat Newby.