HILLINGTON is a well-built village, pleasantly situated on the Fakenham turnpike, 8 miles N.E. by E. of Lynn, and has in its parish 321 souls, and 2,437 acres of land, nearly all belonging to Sir Wm. John Henry Browne Ffolkes, Bart., the lord of the manor, who resides at HILLINGTON HALL, a handsome mansion, seated in a spacious and well-wooded lawn and park, on the north side of the village, commanding a fine prospect of the vale down to Lynn Deeps.
The hall was erected in 1627, by Richard Hovell, Esq., whose father purchased the estate in the reign of Elizabeth; most of his descendants made additions and alterations; and since the present owner succeeded to the property, in 1821, great improvements, both in the house and grounds, have been made. From 1828 to 1838, the mansion was considerably enlarged by the erection of a noble entrance hall, staircase, library, and other apartments; and the exterior walls of all the old parts were rebuilt, so that the whole has now a modern and uniform appearance, and a very picturesque effect, - being constructed of large iron-coloured car-stone, except the quoins, battlements, pediment, &c., which are of brick, cemented in imitation of freestone. The north front presents an elevation of the early style of the 15th century, and in the centre rises a large square tower.
The rivulet which flows through the park has been opened out into a beautiful serpentine lake; and a handsome lodge has been erected on the south side of the park, flanked by curtain walls, on the extremities of which are placed the shafts of two ancient crosses.
The CHURCH, (St. Mary,) except the tower and chancel, was rebuilt in 1824, at the cost of £800. It contains several tombs and effigies of the Hovell family, whose estates passed to the Brownes and the Ffolkes. Here is also a handsome monument in memory of the late Sir Martin Browne Ffolkes, who was created a baronet in 1774. The rectory, valued in the King's Book at £13 6s. 8d., and in 1831 at £426, is in the patronage of Sir W.J.H.B. Ffolkes, Bart., and incumbency of the Rev. Robt. Hales, M.A., who has about 60A. of glebe.
On an elevated spot, a mile from the village, are the ruins of Bellemont House, which was built by Sir Jas. Johnstone.
Petty Sessions are held at the Ffolkes' Arms Inn, on the first Monday of every month.
Lady Ffolkes pays for the education of a number of poor girls; and here is a Sunday school for boys.
In 1509, Fras. Callibutt gave a decayed tenement, and 33A. of land in Grimstone, and directed the yearly payments thereof to be applied in paying the fifteenths and other King's taxes, charged on the inhabitants of Hillington and East Walton, and the surplus to be divided among the poor of those parishes. This charity estate now consists of 31A. 2R. 32P., let for £46 a year, which is divided equally between the two parishes, for distribution among the poor, pursuant to a decree of Chancery, obtained in 1823. The poor of Hillington have also £1 16s. yearly, left by an unknown donor.
Ffolkes Sir Wm. J.H.B., Bart. Hillington Hall Ffolkes Martin, Esq. Hall Bone John butcher Bridges Benj. blksmith. & vict., Buck Cutting Wm. vict., Ffolkes' Arms Inn Hadley Samuel gent., Up-Hall Hales Rev. Robt., M.A. Rectory Hayward Chas. shopkpr. (Post office) Hebgin John farmer, Field house Howard James farmer Pickrell John Harrison farmer; and steward to Sir William Ffolkes Thompson Simon farmer Yallop Isaac parish clerk
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