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Norfolk: Hilgay

William White's History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Norfolk 1845

[Transcription copyright © Pat Newby]

HILGAY is a considerable village on the southern acclivity of the vale of the river Wissey, opposite Fordham, and 4 miles S. of Downham. Its parish contains 1,515 inhabitants, and 7,583A. of land, half of which is fen, but now well drained and cultivated, forming part of the great Bedford level. For improving the drainage, a Steam engine was built on the Ten Mile Bank, in 1842. W.L. Jones, Esq., and Mrs. Peel, are the principal owners of the soil; but here are several smaller proprietors. The first is lord of the two principal manors, called Woodhall and Modeney Priory.

The CHURCH, (All Saints,) is a large and handsome edifice, approached by a long walk margined with trees. It has a nave and chancel of equal breadth and height, and a square tower, rebuilt of brick in 1794, and containing eight bells. The rectory, valued in the King's Book at £10, and now at £1,600, has about 70A. of glebe, and is in the patronage and incumbency of the Rev. W.J. Parkes, M.A.

In the parish are many scattered houses, and two Wesleyan and two Primitive Methodist chapels. The old workhouse was converted into a National School, a few years ago.

The CHURCH ESTATE, comprising two houses and 53A. 2R. of land, is let at rents amounting to £111 per annum. One of the houses and 11A. 2R. of the land, were left by the Rev. Nicholas Spencer, in 1701, subject to the yearly distribution of 30s. among 15 of the poorest parishioners; and 20s. for the ringers.

For the general benefit of the poor parishioners, there are two allotments, viz:- the TOWN HUNDRED, comprising 102A., supposed to have been awarded at the enclosure of the Sedge Fen, on the west side of the river Ouse, in the reign of Charles II; and the POOR'S PARTS, 67A., supposed to have been partly given to the poor in exchange for other land, in Flag Fen. These lands are let by the overseers, at rents amounting to about £130 per annum; out of which they pay yearly about £33 for drainage rates, and £13 2s. to the schoolmaster, for teaching ten poor children reading, writing, and arithmetic. The residue they apply in the payment of the rents of cottages occupied by poor families, and in aid of the poor rates. A yearly rent-charge of 20s., left by Thos. Power, in 1795, for a distribution of bread, is paid out of the Bell Inn lands.

	  Baker       John             grocer and draper
	  Boyce       John             gentleman
	  Day         William          miller and baker
	  Engledow    John             butcher
	  Jeaurdan    William          beerhouse
	  Jones       Wm. Lowton, Esq. Wood Hall
	  Mountseer   Jas.             grocer and draper
	  Nixon       John             shoemaker
	  Parkes      Rev. Wm. Jph.,
	                M.A.           Rectory
	  Poll        James            baker
	  Pryer       Robert           gentleman
	  Scott       John             millwright
	  Scott       William          gentleman
	  Staples     John             beerhouse
	  Smith       William          blacksmith
	  Sterndale   John             surgeon
	  Tingay      Wm.              beerhouse & shopkeeper
	  Townsend    Chas.            National schoolmr.
	  Whitham     William          beerhouse

	                  PUBLIC HOUSES.

	  Fuller      Rt.              George and Dragon
	  Howlett     William          Jolly Anglers
	  Girdlestone Thomas           Rose and Crown (& plumber, &c.)
	  Creek       William          Ship
	  King        Fras.            White Swan (& butcher)

	                   (* are Owners.)

	  Bassingham  Wm.              Goodchild   Wm.
	  Boyce       Henry            Goodchild   John
	  Boyce       Joseph           Miller      Hy., White Hall
	* Boyce       John             Peacock     William, Creek
	  Brundell    William        * Proctor     William
	  Canham      Rt. Geo.         Rose        Thomas
	* Case        John & Rt.     * Scott       Thomas
	  Cook        George           Turner      William
	  Cooper      Thomas           Wayman      William
	* Dams        John             Wootton     John
	  Driver      Henry            Wright      James, Hilgay Lodge

COACH to London, 10½ mg., & to Lynn 6½ evg.
CARRIER to Lynn, Jno. Barrett, Tues. & Sat.

See also the Hilgay parish page.

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Copyright © Pat Newby.
July 2015