KIMBERLEY is a small village, scattered round a green, 3½ miles N.W. of Wymondham, and comprises in its parish 148 inhabitants, and 1607A.1R.17P. of land, of which 1372A. are assessable, and 205 are in woods and plantations.
The whole, except the glebe and poor's land, is the property of Lord Wodehouse, of KIMBERLEY HALL, seated 1 mile E. of the village, in a beautiful park, occupying 646A.3R.4P., of which 276A.1R.31P. are in the Downham division of Wymondham parish; 58A.2R. in Carleton-Forehoe, and the rest in Kimberley.
The first seat here belonged to the Fastolff family, and stood on the west side of the village, until Sir John Wodehouse, who married the heiress of Sir John Fastolff, demolished it, and erected a moated hall, with a tower, at the west end of the park. His descendants occupied this mansion in 1659, when Sir Philip Wodehouse levelled it, and removed to the present hall, which stands on the east side of the park, in the parish of Wymondham, and was built by Sir John Wodehouse, but afterwards enlarged and beautified by Sir Armine Wodehouse, who added four large apartments at the angles. It is a large and handsome brick mansion, with many convenient rooms, and some fine paintings, one of which is a portrait of Vandyck, painted by himself, when young. Queen Elizabeth, in her progress through Norfolk, in 1578, lodged at the old hall.
The park is richly ornamented with wood and water, but has not so many deer as formerly. The rivulet on the west side of the hall, divides the parishes, and is expanded into a lake, apparently environing a large wood of venerable oaks, below which the serpentine stream bounds a fine lawn.
The WODEHOUSE FAMILY has long been settled in Norfolk, and derives its descent, through a succession of knights, from the time of Henry I.; and one of them distinguished himself at Agincourt. The late Sir John Wodehouse, the seventh baronet of his family, represented the county of Norfolk in two Parliaments, and was created Baron Wodehouse, of Kimberley, in 1797, and died, aged 96, in 1834, when he was succeeded by his son John, the present Lord Wodehouse, who has another seat at Witton. He was born in 1777, and his grandson (John, born 1826) is his heir.
Kimberley CHURCH (St. Peter,) is a small, but neat edifice, with a tower, spire and two bells. The steeple was built by the Wodehouse family in 1631, and the whole church was repaired and beautified by Lord Wodehouse, in 1835; and a few years earlier, two of its windows were filled with stained glass, at the cost of the late Lord Wodehouse, of whose family here are a few monumental inscriptions, and several brasses.
The vicarage, valued in the King's Book at £6.12s.3d., was augmented in 1722 with £200, given by Sir J. Wodehouse, and in 1744, with £200 of Queen Anne's bounty. It is consolidated with the rectory of Barnham-Broom. The glebe here is 85A., awarded in 1766 in lieu of the vicarial tithes.
Lord Wodehouse pays £5 a year for 4A. of old poor's land, and £4 for 2A.2R., awarded to the poor at the enclosure in 1811.
Wodehouse Lord Lord-Lieutenant, Vice-Admiral, and Custos Rotulorum of the County of Norfolk, Kimberley Hall Atkins Thos S. farmer Bayes Thos. farmer Cadywold Thos. farmer Colman Jas. blacksmith Matthews Wm. farmer Rudledge Thos. wheelwright
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