[Transcription copyright © Pat Newby]
HORNING, 9 miles N.E. of Norwich, is a large straggling village and parish, with 467 inhabitants, 951A. 3R. 17P. of arable land, and 1571A. 3R. 23P. of fertile marshes and meadows, lying between the navigable rivers Bure and Ant. Over the former is a ferry to Woodbaston [sic, should be Woodbastwick]. The lower parts of the valleys are often covered with water.
The Bishop of Norwich owns a great part of the soil, and is lord of the manor, appropriator of the great tithes, and patron of the church; but the tithes are leased to Thomas Heath, Esq., who has an estate and neat mansion here. The village is in two divisions, called Upper and Lower streets, and has several neat houses; and on the Bure are commodious staiths or wharfs. A FAIR is held here on the first Thursday in July.
The celebrated ABBEY OF ST. BENNET'S AT HOLM, stood in this parish, on the north side of the Bure, in a fenny place called Cowholm, where there had previously been a hermitage. It was founded by King Canute, in 1020, for black monks of the order of St. Benedict, who fortified it so strongly, that it resembled a castle more than a cloister, and held out against the attacks of the Norman Conqueror, till betrayed by one of the monks, who was induced to this treachery by a promise of being made abbot, which was done; but immediately after receiving the mitre, he was hanged as a traitor.
The ample endowments and privileges first granted to this mitred abbey, were greatly increased by Edward the Conqueror [sic, should be Confessor], the Empress Maud, and other royal benefactors. According to Speed, they were valued in the 26th of Henry VIII. at £677. 9s. 8d. In the following year, William Rugge or Reppes, the abbot, who had been a powerful instrument in aiding the lascivious propensities of Henry, was translated by that monarch to the See of Norwich, together with the revenues of the abbey, Henry having appropriated to himself those of the bishopric, by an agreement with the preceeding bishop, Richard Nix, who died in the tower, January 14th, 1535; but the new bishop being bound to provide for the prior and twelve monks, was unable to maintain his state and dignity, and obtained leave to retire with a pension of 200 marks.
The abbacy is still annexed to the bishopric, but no monks were appointed after the death of those on the foundation, when the revenues were alienated. All the abbots had a seat in the House of Lords; consequently the present bishop has a double claim to his seat there; and he is the only abbot in England, being styled in legal documents "Bishop of Norwich and Abbot of St. Benedict," or St. Bennet's at Holm.
The walls which surrounded the abbey enclosed an area of 36 acres, defended on the south by the river Bure, and on the other sides by a deep fosse. Part of their foundations may still be traced; but the walls of the once stately abbey are gone, except the chapel, converted into a barn, and part of the magnificent gateway, now partially obscured by a draining mill erected over it. The abbots had their grange, or country seat, at Ludham Hall. The abbey church was a large cruciform structure, with a round tower in the centre, surmounted by a small spire.
The present parish Church (St. Benedict,) stands on an eminence, and has a tall square tower, with one bell. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the King's Book at £8, and was augmented, from 1729 to '93, with £800 of Queen Anne's bounty, vested in 31A. of land, at Stokesby, Acle, and Newton-Flotman; besides which, it has 6A. 2P. of old glebe. The vicarial tithes were commuted, in 1841, for £175. 14s. The Bishop of Norwich is patron, and the Rev. Charles Carver, M.A., incumbent. The Vicarage House was rebuilt about 24 years ago. The Church Land was exchanged, at the enclosure, in 1818, for 4A. 3R. 19P., let for £9. 19s. 10d. a year.
The Poor's Allotment, awarded at the enclosure, consists of 30A. 1R. 33P., upon which the poor cut yearly 3000 turves for each cottage, and let the feeding for about £5 per ann. The poor of Horning have also a yearly rent-charge of 5s., left by the Rev. Daniel Morley, in 1727, out of land at Hoveton St. John.
Bullard and Watts maltsters (and Norwich) Burrell Saml. Wymer vict. Swan Inn Carver Rev Charles, M.A. Vicarage Cook Chas. & Clement wherry owners Colman Thomas joiner Crowe Rt. boat owner & vict. Ferry Crowe Wm. tailor Grapes Wm. vict. Chequers Green John blacksmith Grymes Mrs C. Heath Thos. Esq Hoston Richard corn miller Jay Wm. & George yeomen, Hall Obee Robt. joiner Prior Hy. beerhs Skipper Wm. turf merchant Whaites Mary schoolmistress Wright Thomas boat builder Shoemakers. Shopkeepers. Curme Henry Cook Mordecai Grymes John Cook Wm. Harvey Thomas King Robert Ling Edward Wright Robert
CARRIER, Wm. King, to Norwich, W. & Sat
See also the Horning parish page.
Copyright © Pat Newby.