[Transcription copyright © Pat Newby]
FINCHAM is a neat village, forming a long street, with several good houses, on the Swaffham road, 5 miles E.N.E. of Downham, comprising in its parish 807 inhabitants, and 2,884A. 2R. 2P. of land, belonging to several proprietors; but about one-third is owned by Sir Thos. Hare, Bart., the lord of the manors of Fincham-Hall, Curple, Grancourt, Combe, Baynard-Hall, and Littlewell. Part of the parish is in the following manors, viz: - Fareswell, of which the Rev. J. Humfrey, is lord; Talbots', of which Mr. Geo. Aylmer, is lord; and Platers, of which Mr. Wm. Hebgin, is lord.
Fincham Hall, built about the reign of Edward IV., was formerly the seat of the Finchams, but is now a farm-house, and though frequently repaired and modernized, some portions of it retain their ancient character, exhibiting an early specimen of the revived Grecian style, with pillars of the Ionic order.
Fincham gives name to the deanery, which comprises the whole of Clackclose Hundred. There were anciently two CHURCHES here, but that dedicated to St. Michael, was appropriated to Shouldham priory, in 1350, and no traces of it now remain; the vicarage being consolidated after the Reformation, with the rectory of St. Martin's, a large and well-built church of flint, boulders, &c., with a lofty square tower, having quoins and battlements of freestone, and six bells, erected in 1844, in lieu of the old peel of four. A few brasses remain on the floor; but all the painted glass is gone, except the figure of an abbess in the window, at the east end of the south aisle. The large stone font has a basin a yard square, and is ornamented with figures emblematical of the fall of man, and the birth, baptism, and resurrection of our Saviour, but some of the devices are nearly defaced.
St. Michael's rectory and St. Martin's vicarage, the former valued in the King's Book at £10, and the latter at £7 6s. 8d., are consolidated, in the incumbency of the Rev. Arthur Loftus, and alternate patronage of the Crown, and the Rev. Edward Gwyn Blyth, of Burnham. The tithes have been commuted for £690 per annum to the rector, and £325 to Mr. Wm. Hebgin, the impropriator of one moiety. The glebe is worth about £50 a year. The church land, 9A, 4P., with a cottage, lets for £17 10s. the rectory-house was built in 1624, and has been often repaired and enlarged, the last renovation being in 1827; but its original style of architecture is still preserved.
At the enclosure in 1774, an allotment of 51A. 3R. 17P. was awarded to the poor, and is now let for £75, which is distributed yearly, in coals. The poor have also a yearly rent-charge of 9s. 4d., left by the Rev. Thos. Bodham; and the interest of £23, given by unknown donors.
Wm. Corston, one of the earliest patrons of Joseph Lancaster, was born here, in 1757, and died in 1843. In the church yard is an inscription to his memory, from the pen of James Montgomery, the poet.
The Wesleyans have a chapel here, built in 1809.
Abel John butcher Arthy Edward surgeon Aylmer Geo. grocer and draper Ball Rev. Thos. Jennings, M.A. curate Barsham John gentleman Barton Charles manager Bird Jacob miller and baker Bywater Thomas butcher Embling John joiner & timber dlr. Chapman Misses Susan and Eliz. Flood Edmund harness maker and ironmonger Flood William vict., White Swan Garman James hair dresser Garner William butcher Gent Frederick surgeon Hebgin William gent., Slater's Hall Hopkin James bricklayer Hubbard William wheelwright, &c. Kemps Thomas vict., Crown Loftus Rev. Arthur, M.A. Rectory Matthews Joseph beer house Matthews Mrs. Sus. Nurse John tailor and draper Pigott Rd. druggist, (& Stoke Ferry) Rumble James tailor Sadd Mr. Pat. Small William saddler Southgate Thomas beer house Tiffin Rd. plumber, painter, &c. Tingey James shopkeeper Vare Indah schoolmistress Young Henry gentleman Bakers. Cater Henry Fryer John Blacksmiths. Kendall William Riches Edward FARMERS. * are owners. * Aylmer George Talbots' Manor house Aylmer Rbt. Hall * Barsham James * Bywater John Dunthorn Richd. Everett Mrs. Hebgin William Parker William Towers Thomas * Wetherell Thos. Wright Robert Malt house Shoemakers. Belham Edward Brett Henry Emerson William Harvey George
See also the Fincham parish page.
Copyright © Pat Newby.