FLITCHAM-CUM-APPLETON is an ancient village and parish lying in a picturesque valley, north of Hillington Park, 9 miles N.E. of Lynn, in Freebridge Lynn union, petty sessional division, and hundred, Lynn county court and bankruptcy district, Lynn deanery and Norwich archdeaconry, and Massingham polling district of West Norfolk. It had 466 inhabitants in 1881, living on 4130 acres. The rateable value is £4684. There are in its parish only three farm houses. The Earl of Leicester is lord of the manor and owner of the soil.
The CHURCH (Virgin Mary) comprises nave with south aisle and clerestory, south porch, and tower containing a bell on which is inscribed, 'John Draper made me, 1619.' The chancel has long been destroyed and the south transept is in ruins; so that the tower, which formerly stood in the centre, is now at the east end, and its lower part is of the Norman period, but the rest of the building is Perpendicular. In 1881 the church, except the transept, was restored by the Earl of Leicester, the walls repaired, the floor relaid, a wagon-headed roof erected, a new east window inserted, and a vestry built on the south side. The nave is not quite filled with seats, and the old-fashioned pews still occupy the aisle; the pulpit and reading desk are of pitch pine. On the floor of the nave is an ancient brass in memory of Edward Runthworth (1614), and on the north wall is a brass in memory of Miss A.M.B. Ffolkes, and Fanny Anna West (wife of Colonel Wale) who erected the parsonage; and a tablet in memory of William Middleton (1855), and Mary Anne, his wife (1839). The font is octagonal. The oak altar table is the gift of Mr. Henry Billing. During the restoration some ancient frescoes were opened to view over the tower arch.
The Earl of Leicester is patron of the perpetual curacy, which was certified at £20, but is now worth £200. The living was augmented from 1780 to 1812 with £800 by Queen Anne's Bounty; in 1853 with £300, given by Miss West; and more recently with £200 raised through the exertions of the present incumbent, who literally tramped the country for the purpose - the money being placed in the hands of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners and Commissioners of Queen Anne's Bounty. The Rev. Bryan O'Malley, M.A., is the incumbent. The parsonage was built by Miss West in 1853, at a cost of £700.
The Primitive Methodists have a preaching room here.
The school was erected in 1875 by the parishioners and the Earl of Leicester, and is attended by 96 children.
In the outbuildings of the Abbey farm house are some remains of Flitcham Priory, founded in the reign of Henry III. by Sir Robert Aguillon, for Augustine canons, subject to the Prior of Walsingham, and valued at the Dissolution at £62 10s. 6½d. per annum. On the hill above the village is a remarkable tumulus, called Flitcham Burgh, where the Hundred Court was anciently held.
Mrs. Lydia Bridges, who died in this village on December 24, 1881, is said to have reached the age of 106 years.
APPLETON is an ancient decayed parish, 8 miles N.E. by E. of Lynn, lying in the vale between West Newton and Flitcham, and united with the latter for the maintenance of the poor. It contains only one farm house, four cottages, and about 700 acres of land, belonging to H.R.H. the Prince of Wales and the Earl of Leicester. The ancient lords of the manor were the Pastons, whose handsome mansion here was burnt to the ground in 1707, the family being in bed when the conflagration was discovered. The hall was never rebuilt, and since then the small Church (St. Mary) has been a deserted ruin, of which the ancient round tower, the walls of the nave, and part of the south porch are all that remain. The discharged vicarage, which has only a yearly modus of £8, is in the patronage of the Prince of Wales, and is consolidated with the rectory of Sandringham, and incumbency of the Rev. F.A.J. Hervey, M.A. The Sandringham water works are in this parish.
POST OFFICE at Mr. Henry Creamer's. Letters arrive at 6.15 a.m., and are despatched at 6.30 p.m., viâ Lynn. Hillington is the nearest Money Order and Telegraph Office.
Betts Matthew bootmaker Betts William farmer, Harpley dams Billing Henry carpenter, builder, wheelwright, and blacksmith Brereton George farmer, the Hall Bridges Mrs Frances vict. Bell Inn, and blacksmith Britten James grocer and draper Cooke Fredk. Isaac farmer, the Abbey Creamer Hy. postmaster, & pig & skin dlr Curson Samuel shopkeeper Dowdy James carrier and coal dealer Lambert James grocer & draper; and at Snettisham Layland Jno. Rigby schoolmstr, & agent for the Lion fire, life, & accidnt. office Linford James parish clerk O'Malley Rev. Bryan, M.A. vicar Patrick James butcher Rippingill Martin vict. Bell Inn, and cattle dealerHillington is the nearest raily. station.
POST. - Letters viâ Lynn, through Dersingham.
Blyth Charles Horatio Day farmer, Appleton hall
Copyright © Pat Newby.