HETHEL, a parish of scattered houses, 7 miles S.W. by S. of Norwich, is in Henstead union, Wymondham county court district, Norwich bankruptcy district, Swainsthorpe petty sessional division, Humbleyard hundred, Wymondham polling district of South Norfolk, Humbleyard rural deanery, and Norfolk archdeaconry. It had 149 inhabitants in 1881, living on 1428 acres, and has a rateable value of £1946 5s. The trustees of the late Hudson Gurney, Esq., and Sir F.G.M. Boileau, Bart, J.P., own most of the soil and have manors here, but part of the parish is in the manor of East-Carlton-with-Hethel, and the trustees of the Great Hospital, Norwich, have an estate in the parish.
The CHURCH (All Saints) is a singular brick building, seating 140 persons, and comprising nave, chancel, north aisle, and square tower with one bell. New windows have been inserted in the church at different periods during the last twenty years, the three new chancel windows being inserted in 1882, at expense of the rector. Here is a large vault of the Beevor family, and in the porch is a holy-water stoup. In the chancel is a large alabaster monument, in a splendid state of preservation, dated 1612, with recumbent effigies of Miles Branthwayte and his wife, and kneeling figures of their three children. Here are also several tablets of the same family, and one of the Finch family.
The rectory, valued in the King's Book at £10, and now having 60A. 1R. 39P. of glebe, and a yearly rent of £473, awarded in 1839, in lieu of tithes, is in the patronage of John Steward, Esq., and incumbency of the Rev. Henry Steward, B.A. A large handsome rectory house, surrounded by a moat, over which are four picturesque bridges, and standing in extensive and tastefully laid out grounds, was built by the rector in 1866.
Hethel is united with Bracon Ash as a School Board district, and the school is at Bracon Ash (see page 160 [which is the entry for Bracon Ash]).
Near the church is an ancient and wide-spreading thorn, recorded to have stood here for more than 600 years, and it is probably much older. It measures at one foot from the base of the truck, 12 feet 1 inch in circumference, and at five feet high, 14 feet 3 inches, whilst the circumference of the space over which its branches spread is 31 yards. Its trunk is reduced to a mere shell, and the branches are most curiously intervolved. Its bark is as hard and heavy as iron, and nearly all the interior wood is gone. It is covered with lichen and crowned with mistletoe, but still puts forth blossoms and haws everywhere yearly. Tradition says that this tree is mentioned in an old chronicle as the meeting place in an insurrection during the reign of King John.
The nearest POST OFFICE is at Bracon Ash; the nearest MONEY ORDER OFFICE is at Wrenningham; and the nearest TELEGRAPH OFFICE at Wymondham. Letters viâ Norwich, except those marked w, which are viâ Wymondham.
Bailey Edward parish clerk w Banham Henry frmr. Neales farm Bassingthwaighte James farmer [see note below] Claxton James farmer Gardiner Robert farmer, Hill farm w Millard Geo. frmr. Corporation farm Myhill Frederick farmer, & agent for Alliance Fire & Life Assurance, & saddler, Bracon Ash Steward Rev. Henry, B.A. rector w Wotherspoon John frmr. Wood farm
RAILWAY STATIONS: Hethersett, Swainsthorpe, and Flordon, are each distant about 2½ miles; and Ashwellthorpe, on the branch line from Wymondham to Forncett, is about 1½ miles
The nearest carriers to here pass through Bracon Ash from Norwich
Copyright © Pat Newby.