GISSING is a pleasant scattered village and parish, 5 miles N. by E. of Diss, in Depwade union, Diss county court district, Ipswich bankruptcy district, Diss hundred and petty sessional division, Diss polling district of South Norfolk, Redenhall rural deanery, and Norfolk archdeaconry. It had 454 inhabitants in 1881, living on 1907 acres, and has a rateable value of £3246. It is in two portions, called Upper and Lower Streets, and had anciently a weekly market. There was a pleasure fair on July 25, one farm belongs to Doughty's Hospital, Norwich, and another to King Edward VI.'s Grammar School, Norwich, and there are a few smaller proprietors.
The rest of the parish belongs to Sir Kenneth Hagar Kemp, Bart., the 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 converted the uplands and the chief part of the park into a farm, and removed to Ubbeston, in Suffolk. The late Sir Wm. Kemp built a large Elizabethan house on a more elevated spot than the old hall. This is now called Gissing hall, and is the residence of Lieut.-Gen. Horace Wm. Montague, R.E., C.B.
The CHURCH (St. Mary), comprises, nave, chancel, and round tower with five bells, and was restored in 1877. It contains several handsome monuments of the Kemps, and attached to the chancel are two small chapels, (that on the south was rebuilt by Sir K. Kemp in 1879), under one of which is their vault, and in the other is their family pew. In the buttress of the chancel arch are the remains of the stairs which led to the rood loft. The roof is constructed with double hammer-beams, finely carved, and bearing figures of angels, &c.; and the nave retains some of the ancient carved poppies. The north and south doorways are good specimens of Norman architecture, and in the north chapel is a piscina. The organ is the gift of Mrs. Sharpe.
The rectory, valued in the King's Book at £14 6s. 5½d., has a yearly rent-charge of £497, awarded in 1838, in lieu of tithes. Sir K. Kemp, Bart., is the patron and the Rev. John Sharpe, M.A. rector. The old glebe and rectory house were exchanged in 1879. The present glebe farm consists of about 84 acres; and the rectory, which stands in about 3 acres of ground, was erected from the proceeds of the exchange.
The Wesleyans have a small chapel here, built in 1860.
A freehold cottage and garden, left to the poor by Edward Smith, are let for £3 19s. Some copyhold land, left to the poor by Thos. Ringer, passed to the lord of the manor, many years ago, for want of trustees.
A SCHOOL BOARD was formed in 1875, and consists of the Rev. John Sharpe (chairman), and Messrs. Wm. Woolsey, Chas. Self, John Hewitt, and John Norman; Mr. John Furness, Norwich, is clerk. A school to accommodate 86 scholars, with residence attached, was opened in February 1877; there are 88 on the books, and the average attendance is 70. A sum of £1120 has been borrowed from the Commissioners by the Board, repayable in 50 years in half-yearly payments.
POST OFFICE is at Mr. Burwood Brooks'. Letters from Diss arrive at 8.30 a.m., despatched at 5 p.m., no Sunday post. Burston and Tivetshall Railway stations are the nearest forwarding Telegraph stations only.
Ayton William junr. shopkeeper Brooks Burwood wheelwright and post office Brown James baker Ellis Albert farmer Denny - blacksmith; h Tivetshall Fairweather Chas. agent to Sir Kenneth Hagar Kemp, Bart., assessor and collector Fickling Samuel builder Flogdell Joseph farmer, Brooke farm Flogdell Richard farmer & landowner Goodram Mrs Harriet vict. Three Horse Shoes Hewitt John farmer Huggins Charles grocer, draper, and assistant overseer Harrison Henry miller Hubbard John sexton Kemp Mrs the cottage Mason Thomas fowl dealer Montague Lieut.-Gen. Horace Wm., R.E., C.B. Gissing hall Norman John farmer Palmer Robert farmer, Glebe farm Pigney Joseph farmer Sharpe Rev. John, M.A. The Rectory Self Charles Westgate farmer Smith Robert shoemaker Stearn Robert vict. Chequers Warnes Samuel farmer; h Shimpling Woolsey Wm. farmer, Grove farm Wright John vict. Crown
Copyright © Pat Newby.