GISSING, a pleasant scattered village, 5 miles N. by E. of Diss, has in its parish 498 souls, and 1907 acres of fertile land. It is in two portions, called Upper and Lower Streets, and had anciently a weekly market. It has a pleasure fair on July 25th.
Two farms belong to the Earl of Orford and Doughty's Hospital, Norwich, and here are a few smaller proprietors. The rest of the parish belongs to the Rev. Sir Wm. Rt. Kemp, Bart., the patron and incumbent of the rectory, and lord of the manors, of Gissing, Kemps-with-Dallings, and Gissing-cum-Dagworth. His family has held lands here more than five centuries. Robert Kemp was created a baronet by Charles I, in 1641, and suffered greatly for his loyalty to that monarch.
Gissing Hall, the ancient seat of the Hastings, whose heiress carried it in marriage to the Kemp family, was a moated mansion,* but was taken down about 1700, by Sir Robert Kemp, who removed to Ubbeston, in Suffolk. He converted the uplands and the chief part of the park into a farm, for which he built a commodious house on a more elevated spot than the old hall.
The Church (St. Mary,) is a neat structure, with a round tower and four bells. It has several monuments of the Kemps, and attached to the chancel are two small chapels, under one of which is their vault, and in the other is their family pew. In one of the buttresses, are the remains of the stairs which led to the rood-loft where the Rev. - Gibbs, a harmless rector, but a nonjuror, used to sleep, with a window at his head, so that he could see the altar.
The rectory, valued in the King's Book at £14. 6s. 5½d., has a good residence, about 45 acres of glebe, and a yearly rent of £487, awardedin 1838, in lieu of tithes.
A freehold cottage and garden, left to the poor by Edward Smith, are let for £3. Some copyhold land, left to the poor by Thos Ringer, passed to the lord of the manor, many years ago for want of trustees.
Kemp Rev. Sir Wm. Robert, Bart. Rectory Ayton Chas and Robert carpenters Baxter Edward beer seller Bond Royal blacksmith Brooke John miller and baker Harrison Rt. gardener and par. clerk Sandy Noah bricklayer Smith John shoemkr. & vict. Crown Smith Wm. sen. & jun. shoemakers Stanley Mrs. Frances Thompson William wheelwright Turner Edw. vict. Three Horse Shoes FARMERS. Breeze William Brooke John Carter William Flogdell Richard Hawes Elizabeth Hewitt James Norman Susan Saunders Chas. Shaw John Shaw John, jun. Simonds J. Sutton Mary Websdale Mary Shopkeepers. Bond William Norman Richard Shelverton Isaac Tailors. Calton James Cann Charles Fisher Robert Jordan Samuel* NOTE:- in the original text a small inverted "t" comes after the word mansion.
Copyright © Pat Newby.