MARSHAM, a large village, pleasantly situated on the turnpike, 2 miles S. of Aylsham and 10 miles N. of Norwich, in Aylsham union and county court district, South Erpingham hundred and petty sessional division, Norwich bankruptcy district and Aylsham polling district of North Norfolk, Ingworth rural deanery and Norwich archdeaconry. It has a rateable value of £2361, and had 554 inhabitants in 1881, living on 1819 acres.
The parish belongs to Chas. Le Neve, Esq., and several smaller owners. It is in the manor of Hevingham, except a small portion, which is in the rectory manor. The Hall, a neat white mansion, is now the rectory house for the neighbouring parish of Brampton, having been purchased for that purpose about 1844.
Several Romano-British urns have been found in this parish, and traces of a Roman road, which crossed the Norwich and Aylsham turnpike near the ninth milestone, may well be seen. On Marsham Heath are many of those singular pits which have been described at page 56 [which is the entry for the Antiquities of Norfolk], and some very fine tumuli, near which stone celts are frequently picked up.
The CHURCH (All Saints), which has a tower containing eight bells, was completely restored in 1880: the nave by subscription, and the chancel by the rector. It has an ancient painted screen in good preservation, and a curious old font, on which are carved the sacraments of the Romish Church, four Saints, four Confessors, and St. George and the Dragon. The Register dates from 1538.
The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the King's Book at £10 12s. 9d. It is in the gift of the Earl of Lichfield, and incumbency of the Rev. John Gunton, B.A., for whom a new rectory-house was built in 1845. The glebe is 66A. 1R. 19P., and the tithes were commuted in 1839 for £344, exclusive of £30 per annum for the impropriate tithes of about 100 acres.
The School, which was erected about 1852 by the rector, is attended by 75 children. The Mutual Improvement Society was established in 1859, and has a good library of more than 200 volumes. In the winter season there are evening classes, lectures, &c., for the instruction of the members. There is a Friendly Society at the White Hart.
The Primitive Methodists have a small chapel here.
The Town Meadow, 4A. 2R. 19P., held of the manor of Hevingham-with-Marsham, has belonged to the poor from time immemorial, and they have also 8A. 2R. 21P., purchased with £100 left by Thos. Bulwer in 1693. To these lands an allotment of 3A. 20P. was awarded at the enclosure, and the whole now produces a yearly rental of £23 15s. 6d. The Fuel Allotment, 181A. 6P. was awarded at the enclosure, in 1801, for the poor to cut fuel thereon. It is now thickly covered with Scotch firs. The poor have also two yearly rent-charges: viz. 20s. left by John Swan in 1692, out of Feverill's farm, and 15s. left by Elizabeth Swan, in 1693, out of Wanley's closes.
The notorious Titus Oates was the son of the Rev. Samuel Oates, a former rector of this parish, and is supposed to have been born here.
Buxton Reformatory stands in this parish, and was built by subscription in 1853, and certified on July 7, 1855. It occupies a healthy situation, and is a square brick building, with a court-yard in the centre. On September 7, 1881, there were 51 inmates, 6 of whom were on license. The average number maintained during the year 1880-1, was 54; the total cost for 1881 was £1087 19s. 3d., net cost per head £20 15s. 5d., industrial profits £31 4s. 6d. C.M. Philip E. Sewell, Esq., St. Clement's Hill, Norwich, is secretary. Mr. and Mrs. Babington are governor and matron. Boys are admitted from 11 to 15 years of age, and some are taught tailoring, shoemaking, &c., but the majority are employed in cultivating about 40 acres of land, which are attached to the house.
POST OFFICE at Mr. Thomas Crane's. Letters are received at 5.15 a.m., and are despatched at 5.30 p.m. Aylsham and Hevingham are the nearest Money Order and Telegraph Offices, and Aylsham is the nearest railway station.
Blyth William farmer Bowman Mr Benjamin Buxton C.L., Esq., J.P. Bolwick hall Case Thos. farmer; h Hevingham Coldham George farmer Cook John shopkeeper Cook Mr Thomas William Copeman Miss Mary Crane Thomas blacksmith, draper, grocer and postmaster Delph John parish clerk Dyke Nathaniel farmer Edridge John blacksmith & whlwrght Edwards Luke bootmaker Edwards Thomas shopkeeper Gladden Edward hawker Gladden Henry farmer Gunton Rev. John, M.A. rector Hall James farmer & carpenter Harmer William schoolmaster Jones John shopkeeper Jones Robert shopkeeper Le Neve Charles farmer Lovett John vict. Plough & Shuttle Morgan Rev. Lewis curate Neave John farmer Randall James beerhouse Shreeve Chas. R. miller and farmer Shreeve Edward farmer Soame James farmer Soame Saml. G. engineer, iron & brass founder, & agricultural machinist Thurtle William bootmaker Spink Henry baker and farmer Warner Rev. A.S. rector of Brampton, The Hall Watts Christopher vict. White Hart Watts William farmerBuxton Reformatory, Thos. Babington, governor; Mrs E. Babington, matron; W. Claxton, schlmastr.; Thos. Babington, jun. labour master
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