KIRBY-BEDON is a village on an acclivity overlooking the vale of the Wensum, 3 miles S.E. of Norwich, and its parish is in Henstead union and hundred, Swainsthorpe petty sessional division, Norwich county court and bankruptcy district, Norwich polling district of South Norfolk, [and] West Brooke rural deanery of Norfolk archdeaconry. It had 269 inhabitants in 1881, living on 625 acres, and has a rateable value of £2457.
J.B. Coaks, Esq. (lord of the manor), F.T. Keith, W. Butcher, Samuel Taylor, and James Christie, Esquires, are the principal landowners. Norwich Corporation has a portion used for sewerage works. The Hall, which was the seat of Sir Hanson Berney, Bart., was taken down in 1841.
The village is yet ecclesiastically in two parishes. That of St. Mary, containing 152 inhabitants, is tithe free, and St. Andrew, containing 117 inhabitants, is commuted at £250. The vicarage of St. Mary was abolished in 1721, when Mrs. Brooke, the patroness, gave £9 per annum to the rector of St. Andrew for performing divine service in his church to the parishioners of St. Mary. The register of St. Mary commenced 1558, and ceased in 1603.
The parish was formerly divided between two churches, but that dedicated to St. Mary has been in ruins several centuries, though much of its walls remains. Its round tower is nearly perfect, and seems to be very late Norman, with a Decorated belfry added, and has brick jambs, arches, and mullions to the windows. The original belfry windows below are Early English; and the rest of the church seems to be very late Norman to Early English, but none of its windows are perfect.
St. Andrew's Church has nave, chancel, south porch, and tower. The latter contains three bells, and is of wood, resting upon the base of the old round tower. The CHURCH (St. Andrew) was thoroughly restored and reroofed in 1876 by the present rector, when the east and south walls were rebuilt, the floor and the walls raised 18 inches, and the church repewed with open benches; in the nave is a stained two-light window in memory of Jeremiah Woolsey, who died 1875.
In the churchyard is a mausoleum over the remains of the Harvey family, and a granite monument to the late Sir William Foster, Bart.; also a large slab protected by a strong iron railing in memory of the late Charles Weston, Esq. The south doorway is Norman, with the original oak door and ironwork, and inside it is the holy-water stoup. The chancel arch is Transitional Norman, and the windows are all plain Perpendicular, and are square-headed. Here are a piscina, a good Decorated font, several tablets of the Brooke, Day, and Foster families, and a monument with kneeling figures of Robt. Sheppard and his wife, dated 1600.
The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the King's Book at £6 4s. 9½d, and now having £250 per annum, awarded in 1842 in lieu of tithes. The Rev. Ralph Kinder is patron and rector.
A BOARD SCHOOL, with school-house attached, was built at a cost of £1200, for the accommodation of 93 children, for the parishes of Kirby-Bedon and Bramerton, and is now attended by about 60 mixed scholars. The Board was elected in 1881, and consists of Rev. Ralph Kinder (chairman); Mr. William Mitchell and Mr. S. Taylor, for Kirby-Bedon; and Mr. George England and Mr. F. Miller, for Bramerton. Mr. Josiah Chaplin, of Poringland, is the clerk.
The steeplechases, which were annually held in this parish, were removed to Hetheringsett [sic] about seven years ago, but were revived in 1882. They are supported principally by the officers at the Norwich barracks.
Jeremiah Dunham, who died here at the age of 102 in December 1881, retained his faculties to the last.
WALL POST OFFICE cleared at 5.15 p.m. week-days, and 12.15 on Sundays. Letters viâ Norwich, which is nearest Telegraph Office. Trowse is nearest Money Order Office.
Grix Miss Jane schoolmistress Horne Robert victualler, Stracey Arms Kinder Rev. Ralph patron & rector Leeds Mr E. Neave Richard market gardener Newstead Abraham market gardener Mitchell William farmer, Vale farm Riches Mr Wm. Wood End cottage Taylor Mr Samuel Thurlow Wm. farmer, Church farm Willgrass Nathaniel cowkeeperCARRIERS from Rockland & Surlingham pass through to Norwich on Wednesday and Saturday
Copyright © Pat Newby.