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Norfolk: Feltwell

William White's History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Norfolk 1883

[Transcription copyright © Pat Newby]

FELTWELL is a parish and a large village, 6 miles W.N.W. of Brandon, and 6 miles S. of Stoke-Ferry, in Thetford union, Grimshoe hundred, Thetford county court district, Norwich bankruptcy district, and southern division of Cranwich rural deanery, and Norfolk archdeaconry. The parish includes Feltwell St. Mary, and St. Nicholas, which are in Grimshoe petty sessional division and Southrey [sic] polling district of West Norfolk. It had 1681 inhabitants in the year 1881, and comprises 1400 acres of land, including 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.

A part of the mother parish of St. Mary and St. Nicholas, extending over 6069 acres, and containing 310 inhabitants in 1871, now forms part of the ecclesiastical parish of St. John, Little Ouse, Cambridgeshire, which also includes Feltwell Anchor, a part of Hilgay, in Norfolk, and part of Littleport, in Cambridgeshire (see page 59 [which is the Ecclesiastical History of Norfolk]). A small fair is held at Feltwell on November 20 and 21.

The parish is in several manors, and belongs to a large number of small freeholders, and some copyholders. The Rev. William C. Newcome, who has a neat mansion here, is lord of the capital or chief manor, anciently held by the Bishop of Ely. Mrs. Newcome is lady of South Hall manor; the representatives of the late Rev. E.B. Sparke are lords of Wendlings, Spenvilles, and Duntons manor; and the Masters and Fellows of Christ's College, Cambridge, are lords of the manor of East Hall or Broomhill.

Here are two parish CHURCHES, both of which were thoroughly repaired about the year 1834. St. Mary's, the larger, is a handsome edifice, comprising nave with aisles and clerestory, chancel, and a massive square tower with three bells and a clock. The north aisle was rebuilt in 1862, and furnished with new open benches. It has a fine roof, and the corbels and capitals of the pillars are beautifully carved. Many of the windows are filled with rich stained glass, representing a number of scriptural scenes, chiefly from the New Testament. The piscina, the sedilia, and the stairs which lead to the rood-loft still remain. The nave contains old open benches with carved poppies, and its roof is ornamented with figures of angels. The screen is modern, and has upon it seven figures playing musical instruments. Here are kneeling effigies of Francis and Osbert Mundeford, and a fine brass representing Margaret Mundeford, all of the sixteenth century. There is also a brass to the Rev. William Newcome, who died about fifteen years ago.

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 octagonal above, and containing five bells. It was nearly destroyed by fire in 1494, when 'an indulgence' was granted for its reparation. Its chancel was taken down in 1862, when the rest of the building was repaired; but it is now only used as a mortuary chapel. The Registers date from 1562.

The two rectories are consolidated, and are in the alternate patronage of the Lord Chancellor and the Bishop of Norwich. St Mary's is valued in the King's Book at £14 17s. 3½d., and St. Nicholas's at £19. The Rev. H.T. O'Rorke is the rector, and has a good residence, 160A. of glebe, and a yearly tithe rent-charge of £1328 per annum.

The Wesleyans, Independents, and Primitive Methodists have each a chapel here.

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. The drainage taxes, which, for many years, exceeded the rents, have now been reduced.

Though the trustees were obliged to discontinue the distributions of clothing, and afterwards the schoolmaster's salary, they expended, in 1829, £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 boys, who are all educated free. A girls' school was also built about the year 1854, and the pupils pay small sums ranging from 1d. a week to 7s. 6d. a quarter. Good houses for the master and mistress are attached, and an infant school is about to be added.

The Fuel Allotment consists of 360A. of the West Fen, awarded at the enclosure in 1815, for the use of the poor, and now let for £114 a year, out of which about £85 are paid for drainage taxes. Six poor labourers occupy, rent free, 4A. 2R. 19P. of land, received at the enclosure, in exchange for 6A. given by Robert 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.

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. Thomas Rawlins left for the poor of Feltwell £50, which were laid out in the purchase of 9A. of land at Hockwold, now let for £9 a year, out of which £5 are paid for taxes. About 17 years ago, Miss Pleasance Clough left about £664 13s. 4d. to the poor of this parish, and the interest, amounting to about £20 a year, is distributed on New Year's Day.

POST and MONEY ORDER OFFICE at Mr. William Spencer's. Letters viâ Brandon.

Those with * opposite their names should be addressed Southery, Downham.

	  Addison    Henry           hardware dealer
	  Addison    Henry jun.      painter, plumber, and glazier
	  Archer     George          surgeon & apothecary, medical officer
	                               for Methwold district of Thetford
	                               union and Foresters' & Odd Fellows'
	                               Societies, and medical referee for
	                               Norwich Union & National Provident
	                               Insurance offices
	  Armstrong  Geo.            farmer, Popylot, Fen
	  Ashton     Job             brazier and blacksmith
	  Ashton     Park            ironmonger, brazier, and blacksmith
	  Banham     Thomas          farmer, Fen
	* Barnes     George Henry    farmer, Fen
	* Barnes     John Wm.        farmer, Fen
	* Barnes     Joseph          farmer, Fen
	  Bartlett   John Robert     seedsman
	  Blyth      Rev. Gwyn, B.A. curate
	  Brewington Shedrach        bootmaker
	  Brown      Mrs Ann
	  Brown      Anthony         agricultural implemt. proprietor
	  Brown      Philip          farmer
	  Buckle     Hy.             cabinet mkr. upholsterer, and shopkeeper
	  Caney      George          bootmaker
	  Carr       William         farmer, Fen
	  Cock       Greenfield      carpenter, builder, wheelwright,
	                               hurdle, field-gate, and bin maker,
	                               and corn miller
	  Cock       Robert          beerhouse
	  Cocks      Miss Mary Ann   grocer and fancy repository
	  Currey     William         beerhouse
	  Daines     John            carpenter
	  Day        Arthur          blacksmith & machinist
	  Edwards    -               bricklayer
	  Edwards    William         bricklayer
	* Feetham    James           vict. Anchor, and farmer, Fen
	  Foulsham   Edward          butcher
	  Griffin    Mrs Emma        frmr. Manor house
	  Gunstone   Jacob           farmer & landowner
	  Harlock    Henry           farmer, The Grange
	  Harwin     Francis King    butcher
	  Heading    Henry           farmer & landowner, Cambridge house
	* Hollox     John            beerhouse, Fen
	  Hudson     John            farmer
	  Johnson    George          baker, miller, & corn merchant
	  Kelland    John            victualler, Oak Tree, and veterinary
	  King       Horace Edmund   bkr. & confctr
	  King       Francis         butcher, grocer, & frmr
	  Kingdon    James           inland revenue officer
	  Lambert    Daniel          farmer
	  Lambert    William         farmer and landowner, Glebe farm
	  Lambley    Mrs Martha      grazier
	  Leach      Miss Susan
	  Leach      Mr Thomas
	  Macnalley  Miss Mary Ann   day and boarding school
	  Maggs      James           vict. Ship Inn, Fen
	  Minns      John            farm bailiff, Shrubb hill
	  Morley     Miss Elizabeth  schoolmistress
	  Nattriss   Mark            schoolmaster
	  Newcome    Mrs Amelia      The Hall
	  Newcome    Lieut. Frncs.
	               D'Arcy        The Hall
	  Olliff     Robt.           grcr. pork btchr. & beerhse
	  O'Rorke    Rev. Hy. Thos.
	               M.A.          rector
	  Palmer     Jonathan        grocer, draper, and wine and beer
	  Parker     George          grocer, draper, and clothier;
	                               and (h) Northwold
	  Pearson    John            bricklayer
	  Pightling  Samuel          farm bailiff
	  Prior      Mrs Susan       druggist & stationer
	  Pryer      Edward          farmer
	  Pryer      Robert          farmer and landowner, Elm Tree farm
	  Ray        Frederick       bootmaker
	  Rice       Robert          farmer
	  Rice       Robert          victualler, Chequers
	  Richardson Walter          tailor
	  Riches     John            carpenter & wheelwright
	  Rix        Thos. Lincoln   assessor & collector of taxes, and agent
	                               for the Norwich Union Fire office
	  Rolph      Richard         farmer
	  Rolph      Robert          farm bailiff
	  Rowe       Miss Sarah Ann
	  Rudland    Henry           farmer & parish clerk
	  Rudland    Mrs Mary        farmer
	  Secker     John            farm bailiff
	  Shearing   Rudd Wilson     carpenter, wheelwright, and blacksmith
	* Simpson    Thomas          engineer, Fen
	* Smith      Charles         farmer, Fen
	  Southgate  William         turf dealer
	  Sparke     Mrs Catherine
	  Spencer    Mrs Elizabeth   vict. The Cock
	  Spencer    Francis         plmbr. glzr. painter, and farmer
	  Spencer    William         assistant overseer, land surveyor,
	                               and postmaster
	  Spencer    Wm. jun.        frmr. & land agent
	  Stallon    Edward          farmer
	  Stallon    John            beerhouse and farmer
	* Starling   Robert          farmer, Fen
	  Stebbings  William         farm bailiff
	  Steward    Samuel          saddler
	  Taylor     John            beerhouse
	  Turnell    Jabez           grocer and draper
	  Upcher     Henry Morris,
	               Esq. J.P.
	  Upcraft    Walter          farmer & bootmaker
	  Watts      Joseph          bootmaker
	  Watts      Josiah          bootmaker
	  West       Mrs Elizabeth   (exors. of), frmrs
	  West       Mrs Susannah
	  Whitmore   Henry           tailor and shopkpr
	  Whitmore   Mrs Mary
	  Whitmore   John Taylor     blacksmith, coal merchant, and farmer
	  Whittle    George          farmer
	  Willingham William         beerhouse

See also the Feltwell parish page.

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Copyright © Pat Newby.
December 2010