LITCHAM, formerly a market town, is now a large and well-built village, 3½ miles from Great Dereham [sic] railway station, 8 miles N.E. by N. of Swaffham and N.W. of East Dereham, and 24 miles W. by N. of Norwich. It is in Mitford union, East Dereham county court district, Norwich bankruptcy district, Launditch hundred and petty sessional division, Litcham polling district of West Norfolk, Brisley rural deanery, and Norwich archdeaconry. It had 801 inhabitants in 1881, living on 1932 acres, and had a rateable value of £3516.
About 1300 acres belong to the Rev. W.A. Keppel, B.A., J.P., and T.W. Collison, Esq. The rest belongs to a number of smaller proprietors, except about 90 acres, which lie in two small commons, on which the inhabitants have right of pasturage and cutting fuel. In 1296 Robert de Felton had a grant of a weekly market at his manor of Litcham, and a fair yearly on the day and morrow of All Saints. These are now obsolete. On one of the commons there was formerly a hermitage, occupied by Thomas Cannon.
Since the railway to East Dereham Litcham has decreased in importance, and the magistrates, who formerly held monthly sessions here, now only come occasionally. It was once proposed to make the line through Litcham, but this was successfully opposed at the time. H.M. Barton, Esq., is clerk to the magistrates.
The Priory was formerly a house of rest for pilgrims on the road to Walsingham, the next stage being Fakenham. Henry VIII. is said to have made a pilgrimage to this shrine in the early part of his reign.
The CHURCH (All Saints) is a good building, consisting of nave with aisles, chancel, south porch, vestry, and square brick tower with five bells. The latter were recast by Matthew Halcott, who rebuilt the tower in the 17th century. In 1850 the church was restored and reseated. Two handsome stained glass windows were also inserted in the south aisle by Mr. and Miss Lynes, in memory of their parents. Here is a finely carved chancel screen. The discharged rectory, valued in the King's Book at £9 2s., has that of East Lexham annexed, and is in the patronage and incumbency of the Rev. George William Winter, M.A., who has 45 acres of glebe, a yearly tithe rent-charge of £441, and a handsome residence with pleasant grounds.
The National School, built in 1845, has 180 on its books; average attendance 140; accommodation for 185.
The United Methodists and the Primitive Methodists have chapels here.
In the village is a small Almshouse for two poor aged people, founded in 1677 by John Halcott, who endowed it with a yearly rent-charge of £8, out of a farm at Beeston, called Barkhams. The poor parishioners have the following yearly doles: £1 12s. from Allee's Charity (see 398 [which is the entry for East Lexham]); £3 left by Sir Thomas Wodehouse in 1634, out of the manor farm; £2 left by Martha Glover in 1741, out of land called Minns; and 35s., left by Matthew Halcott in 1673. The Poor's Land, 6A. 2R. 8P., partly purchased with £30 benefaction money in 1709, and partly allotted at the enclosure in 1765, is divided into garden plots, and let to poor persons at rents amounting to £17 16s. 4d. per annum.
The Society for Prosecuting Felons hold their meetings at the Bull Inn.
POST, MONEY ORDER, SAVINGS BANK, TELEGRAPH and LICENSE OFFICE at Mr. Nicholas Polkinhorne, sub-postmaster. Letters received from Swaffham at 5.45 a.m., and despatched at 6.40 p.m.
Ashley George Alfred cattle dealer Askew Edward farmer, Chalk farm Askew Sharman John watch & clock maker, and jeweller Baker Wm. Carmichael plumbr. & glzr Banham John bricklayer Bown John, M.R.C.V.S. assistant veterinary surgeon Bunting Mrs Susan carrier Burton Abel vict. King's Arms, farmer and thrashing machine owner Carter James Nicholson, M.R.C.V.S.Eng. veterinary surgeon Chatten James vict. Bull Commercial Inn and Posting House Collison Henry shoemaker Cooke Chas. Earsham farmer, High hs Copeman William Hicks saddler and harness maker Cottrill John victualler, New Inn Crispe George builder & contractor, carpenter and wheelwright Cullam George porkbutcher Curtis Wm. bricklayer & contractor, agent to the Norwich Equitable Insurance Co. Farrer Mr William Money Fitt James baker & corn & hay dlr Frost William bootmaker Hopper Rev. Charles Wesley (United Methodist Free Church) Hopson Alfred farmer Houchen John farmer, The Priory Howard Benjamin basket maker Johnson Thos. shoemkr. & photogrphr Judd Jas. ironmonger, oil merchant, tinman, zinc & sheet iron worker King John farrier King John wheelwright & carpenter King William tailor & parish clerk Massingham Ripps butcher & dealer Middleton Joseph farm bailiff to W.A.W. Keppel Mitchell James Parker wheelwright and carpenter Munday David, M.R.C.S.Eng. surgeon Noakes Fras. Geo. farmer, Manor farm Overman Jacob hardwareman and general dealer, agent to the Prudential Assurance Co. Overton John boot and shoe maker Polkinhorne Nicholas fancy & general stationer, newsagent, tobacconist & confectioner, National schoolmaster, assessor & collector of taxes, poor's rate collector and postmaster, post office savings bank & telegraph office Randall Wm. Fortin grocer & draper Raven Henry, F.R.C.S. surgeon, surgeon to the Mitford district of the Mitford and Launditch union Rayner Fredk. plumber and glazier Savage Samuel shopkeeper Short Robert inspector of police for Litcham subdivision, including Fransham, Whissonsett & Weasenham Sizeland Mrs Sophia Temple Mr Lynes Charles Utting Mrs Charlotte shopkeeper Wagg George blacksmith Wales Mrs Emma straw bonnet mkr Walker Charles Stapleton vict. Green Dragon, & thrashing machine ownr Ward John grocer, draper & agent for Jph. Travers & Sons' wines & spirits Warren Mrs Emma ladies' boarding and day school, The College Waters George blacksmith Wheatcroft Samuel Hanson, surgeon, medical officer to the L.R.C.P.Edin. Fransham district of the Mitford & M.R.C.S.Eng. & Launditch union White Walter chemist and druggist Winter Rev. George William, M.A. rector, The Rectory Wright James baker & flour dealerCARRIER - Mrs Susan Bunting to Great Dunham
Reading Room & Village Library; Alfred Hopson, sec. and treasurer
Village Hospital; Hy Raven, surgeon
for 'Great Dereham,' read 'Little Dunham.'
insert 'Archer George, farmer;'
for 'Bunting Mrs Susan,' read 'Bunton Mrs Susan' (so in Carriers);
for 'Chatton James,' read 'Ringwood John;'
for 'Cullam George,' read 'Cullum;'
omit 'Frost William,' 'King John,' 'Noakes Francis George,' 'Temple Mr Lynes C.;'
insert 'Lynes Miss J. Temple,' 'Ramm George, farrier;'
for Utting Mrs 'Charlotte,' read 'Maria;'
for 'Warren Mrs Emma,' read 'Richmond Miss E.'
Copyright © Pat Newby.