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Norfolk: Gresham

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

[Transcription copyright © Pat Newby]

GRESHAM, spelt Gersham in Domesday Book, is pleasantly situated 5 miles S.W. of Cromer, 6 miles S.E. of Holt, and 21 miles N. of Norwich, and takes its name from a small stream anciently called the Gur or Ger, is in Erpingham union, Holt county court district, North Erpingham petty sessional division, Norwich bankruptcy district, Aldborough polling district of North Norfolk, North Erpingham hundred, Repps rural deanery, and Norfolk archdeaconry. It had 382 inhabitants in 1881, living on 1303 acres, and had a rateable value of £1773 15s. in 1882, and a gross estimated rental of £2274 14s. 3d. in 1881. The soil belongs to various owners; but R.W. Ketton, Esq., is lord of the manor, which was held by the son of the celebrated Geoffrey Chaucer.

Sir Edmund Bacon had a license in the reign of Edward II. to embattle his manor house here, which (together with the manor) was for some time in the possession of the Pastons. This castle is said to have been originally built by a family of the name of Stuteville, and was 150 feet square, with a round tower 36 feet in diameter at each corner. It was surrounded by a deep moat, which was cleaned out in 1844, when the old drawbridge (formed of massive timbers), the keel of a boat, a few articles of pottery, and the entrance to a subterraneous passage were discovered. The foundations of the building may still be traced.

The family of Gresham, of which Sir Thomas Gresham, founder of the Royal Exchange, was a member, took their name from this parish.

The CHURCH (All Saints) is mostly of the Decorated period, and comprises nave, chancel, tower, and a beautiful south porch, surmounted by a fine cross. The tower is round at the base and octagonal above; and the font bears representations of the seven Romish sacraments. The Church contains some ancient monuments of former rectors, and recent ones of the Arden and Spurgin families. There are also several memorial stained glass windows. The whole building was restored in 1856 at a cost of £400; the nave by rate and subscription, and the chancel by the late rector. The parish Registers date from 1500.

The discharged rectory, valued in the King's Book at £6 8s. 6d., was once connected with Thetford Priory, and is now in the patronage and incumbency of the Rev. Arthur Dewing Spurgin, B.A., who has a good residence which has been much improved. The glebe is 24A. and the tithes were commuted in 1839 for £321 per annum.

A SCHOOL BOARD for a district comprising Gresham, Bessingham, East Beckham, and North Barningham parishes was established in 1873; Daniel Spurrell, Esq., the Rev. A.D. Spurgin, and Messrs. George Bird, Walter Emery, and Samuel Pyke are the present members. The School, erected in 1856, was enlarged in 1873, at a cost of £560, and has a good parish clock.

The Wesleyans and the Primitive Methodists have each small chapels here. The village mill stands on one of the highest spots in the county, and from it may be distinctly seen 36 churches and objects at a distance of 25 miles. There is a lodge of Oddfellows at the Chequers.

POST from Norwich, viâ Roughton. Here is a wall letter-box, cleared at 2 p.m.

	Amies     James           farmer and lime burner
	Bird      Samuel Wells    farmer; h West Beckham
	Chapman   Thomas          cattle & pig dealer
	Corey     Joseph Burrell  mole catcher
	Cox       Joseph          Board School master
	Curtis    James           farmer and surveyor
	Dew       Walton Newton   assist. schl. mstr
	Farrow    Thomas          bricklayer & farmer
	Flogdale  Joseph          carpenter, &c.
	Gotts     Charles         shopkeeper
	Gotts     Thomas          shoemaker
	Jordan    Thomas White    tailor
	Knights   Edwd. Chas.     grocer, draper, druggist, general
	                            outfitter and agricultural seed merchant
	Knights   James           farmer
	Mann      John Hy.        blacksmith & farmer
	Page      Jas.            farmer, Cromer Road farm
	Pegg      Wm.             market gardener & thatcher
	Pike      John Samuel     farmer
	Pike      Samuel          shoemaker, assistant overseer and tax
	Pike      William         bricklayer and farmer
	Randell   William         farm bailiff
	Ransome   Isaac           farmer
	Reeder    William         shopkeeper
	Sharpen   Mr Robert
	Sharpen   Robert, junr.
	            M.R.C.V.S.    veterinary surgeon and farmer
	Shepherd  George Henry    gamekeeper
	Spurgin   Rev. Arthur     rector, and chaplain to Erpingham union,
	            Dewing, B.A.    The Rectory
	Thornton  Robert          warrener
	Wall      Robert          miller and farmer
	Wilson    Miss Mary       vict. Chequers Inn
	Winter    F.              police constable
	Wright    John            warrener and sexton

See also the Gresham parish page.

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Copyright © Pat Newby.
September 2006