HEACHAM, 14 miles N.N.E. of Lynn, is a large and scattered village on the sea-coast, and on the Lynn and Hunstanton Railway. It is in Docking union, Lynn county court district, and bankruptcy district, Smithdon hundred, Smithdon and Brothercross petty sessional division, Docking polling district of West Norfolk, Heacham rural deanery, and Norfolk archdeaconry. It has a rateable value of £6814, and had 998 inhabitants in 1881, living on 4853 acres.
Heacham is sheltered behind by a bold acclivity, at the foot of which a small rivulet flows across the salt-marsh to the flat beach. The principal owners of the soil are Hamon Le Strange, Esq., lord of the manor; C.F.N. Rolfe, Esq., and Caius College, Cambridge. The hall, a handsome red brick mansion in a well-wooded park, belongs to Mr. Rolfe, and is occasionally occupied by William Belgrave, Esq.
Heacham had a cell of Cluniac monks, under Lewes Abbey, to which this parish was given by William de Warenne, Earl of Surrey, in the reign of William Rufus. After the dissolution, the manor and rectory were given to Thomas, Duke of Norfolk.
The CHURCH (St. Mary) is a spacious building, originally in the form of a cross; but the transepts are gone. It comprises nave with aisles and clerestory, chancel, south porch and massive square central tower with two bells. The west window is a splendid specimen of the Decorated style, but all the other windows are Perpendicular, and many of them are enriched with stained glass, the original east window has been filled up, a square-headed one now occupying its place. The nave and aisles are filled with high pews. A low ceiling hides the roof of the church and cuts off the whole of the arch of the fine west window. The south doorway is a beautiful specimen of Early English work, and in the porch are the remains of a holy-water stoup. The restoration of the church at an early date is in contemplation.
The church contains numerous tablets of the Rolfe, Redmayne, Elsden and other families. One of the Rolfes sailed with Sir Walter Raleigh, and his marriage with the Princess Pocahontas, daughter of one of the most celebrated Indian chiefs, greatly facilitated the friendly intercourse between the natives and the English.
The vicarage, valued in the King's Book at £6 13s. 4d., was augmented in 1779 with £200 of Queen Anne's Bounty, and is in the patronage of C.F.N. Rolfe, Esq., and in the incumbency of the Rev. George Thomas Thompson, M.A., who has a yearly rent-charge of £263, awarded in 1839 in lieu of tithes. Messrs. Hamon Le Strange and C.F.N. Rolfe are impropriators of the great tithes.
The Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists have each a chapel in the parish. The former was originally occupied by the Independents, and was erected in 1831, and the latter was built in 1862.
The PAROCHIAL SCHOOL, built in 1838, by a former incumbent, is attended by about 110 children. The Infant School was erected in 1815 by subscription, and is attended by about 70 children.
The Poor's Land, 6A. 3R. 15P., with a cottage, is let for £13 10s., and has been vested in trust, from an early period, but was partly exchanged at the enclosure in 1781. The poor have also two yearly rent-charges of 10s. each, left by unknown donors; and the dividends of £500 three per cent. consols, left by Mrs. Frances Rolfe, in 1837, to be given in clothing.
POST OFFICE at Edward Crisp's. Letters arrive at 7.30 a.m., and are despatched, viâ Lynn, at 5.30 p.m. Hunstanton St. Edmunds is the nearest Money Order and Telegraph Office.
Atthow William vict. Wheatsheaf Baney Benjamin Charles farmer Beck Misses Dinah and Susan Belgrave Mr William The Hall Benstead Thomas baker Black Mrs Fanny Bly Francis carpenter Boothby Octavius market gardener Boythorne Miss Mary shopkeeper Boythorne Robert wheelwright Brown William Thomas farmer and oil cake merchant Burcham Mr John Geo. The Poplars Chadwick Mrs Jane Chadwick Crafer Geo. vict. West Norfolk hotel Crisp Edward shopkeeper, banker, and postmaster Crisp Thomas carpenter Desborough Mr John Duffield Thomas farmer & coal mchnt Ferrers Rev. Norman master of Caius College, Cambridge, Macleod, D.D. Heacham lodge Foulsham Miss Edith schoolmistress Foulsham Mr William Fray Charles farmer and butcher Land Miss Annie farmer, College fm Lewis Alfred farmer & corn miller Lewis Mrs Mary Mill house Lord George farmer Mackey Edward carpenter Mallett William Granger blacksmith Massingham Mrs Martha Minns William, jun. beerhouse Monement Edward, L.S.A. surgeon, medical examiner of recruits, Church Hill house Monument Edw secondhand clothes dlr Mouldham George butcher Mullins Mrs Lydia infant schoolmsts Newton Obadiah beerhouse & whlwgt Nourse James bricklayer Nourse Robert Joyce Edmund vict. Fox & Hounds Nourse William carrier Oliver Lionel, Esq. J.P. Summerhill Patrick Robert farmer & brickmaker Perfitt Robert Samuel grocer & drper Pull James painter and paperhanger Rix Robert farmer Robertson John farmer and butcher Russell Benjamin grocer and draper Russell John baker Savory Thomas baker Skerry Thomas bootmaker Southgate Robert grocer Spencer Edward farmer Spencer Miss Jane Spencer Miss Lucy Thompson Rev. Geo. Thos., M.A. vicar Wells Lieut. Robert Wilson James farmer Woodbine Wm. horses & traps for hire Wright Wm. Nelson G.E.R. stationmaster Yaxley Samuel bootmaker
RAILWAY (G.E.R.) - Wm. N. Wright, stationmaster
CARRIER - William Nourse, to Lynn, Tuesdays and Saturdays
Copyright © Pat Newby.