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Norfolk: Horning

William White's History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Norfolk 1883

[Transcription copyright © Pat Newby]

HORNING, 9 miles N.E. of Norwich, is a large and straggling village and parish, in Smallburgh union, Tunstead hundred, Happing and Tunstead petty sessional division, Norwich county court district and bankruptcy district, Coltishall polling district of North Norfolk, Tunstead division of Waxham rural deanery, and Norfolk archdeaconry. The rateable value in 1882 was £3675 10s., and the gross estimated rental £4173.

It had 435 inhabitants in 1881, and comprises 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 Woodbastwick. The lower parts of the valleys are often covered with water. The Ecclesiastical Commissioners own a great part of the soil, and are lords of the manor, appropriators of the great tithes, and patrons of the living; but the tithes are leased to Mr. Thomas Worts, of Ludham. The village is in two divisions, called Upper and Lower streets, and has several neat houses; and on the Bure are commodious staiths or wharves. A fair is held here on the third 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 Knut, 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 Confessor, the Empress Maud, and other royal benefactors. According to Speed, they were valued in 1535 at £677 9s. 8d. In the following year, William Rugge or Reppes, the abbot, who had been a faithful servant of Henry's, was translated by that monarch to the See of Norwich, to which the revenues of the abbey were granted in place of those of the bishopric, which Henry had appropriated to himself by an agreement with the preceding bishop, Richard Nix, who died in the Tower, January 14, 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 mitred 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), seated on an eminence, having a tall square tower with one bell, was restored in 1874, at a cost of £2000. 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 31 acres 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. Augustus Pyne, M.A., incumbent. The Vicarage House was enlarged in 1858.

A SCHOOL BOARD was established here in 1874, and consists of Jonathan Nicholson (chairman), F.S. Carman (vice-chairman), James Leckett [sic] (treasurer), William Crowe, and John Lamb. Mr. Aaron Coben is the clerk. The school was built in 1874, at a cost of £1140, for 96 children, and there is an average attendance of about 50.

The Church land was exchanged at the enclosure, in 1818, for 4A. 3R. 19P., let for £13 15s. a year. The Poor's Allotment, awarded at the enclosure, consists of 30A. 1R. 33P., let for £18 5s., which is distributed in coals. 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.

POST OFFICE at Frederick Bane's. Letters, viâ Norwich, arrive 7 a.m., depart 4 p.m.; Sundays, arrive 7.20 a.m., depart 11.25 a.m. There is also a Wall Letter Box in Upper street, cleared at 3.25 p.m., and on Sundays at 11.15 p.m. [sic] Ludham and Neatishead are the nearest Money Order Offices; Wroxham is the nearest Money Order and Telegraph Office, and Railway Station.

	Bane      Frederick           grocer, draper and postmaster
	 & Sons                       malsters; & Norwich
	Carman    Frederick Stanford  farmer & surveyor, The Grove
	Colman    Thos.               carptr. shopkr. & collectr
	Coben     Aaron               miller's manager and
	                                clerk to School Board
	Crowe     John                cowkeeper & wherryownr
	Crowe     Mr William
	Ford      Robert              vict. White Swan Inn
	Grimes    Benjamin            shopkeeper
	Grimes    Benjamin, jun.      parish clerk
	Grimes    Richard             farmer
	Holmes    John                pork butcher
	Jay       James Henry         farmer, Hall farm
	Lockett   James               beerhse. coal mercht. marshman and
	Long      William             market gardener
	McKenna   Miss                Board schoolmistress
	Nicholson Jonathan            miller, corn, coal, cake, seed, &c.,
	                                merchant, & farmer
	Obee      Mr Obediah
	Ottway    John                shopkeeper
	Pyne      Rev. Augustus, M.A. vicar, The Vicarage
	Sims      James               shoemaker
	Skipper   John, jun.          carrier
	Slaughter Robt.               vict. Half Moon Inn, and overseer
	Smith     Henry               chair maker
	Smith     John                fish curer
	Thompson  George              vict. Ferry Inn, and ferry boat owner

CARRIER to Yarmouth, John Skipper, jun. Wed. and Sat.

See also the Horning parish page.

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Copyright © Pat Newby.
July 2011