MERTON is a small detached village, 1½ mile S. by W. of Watton, 2 miles from Watton Station, and its parish is in Wayland union and hundred, Attleborough county court district, Lynn bankruptcy district, Watton petty sessional division, Watton polling district of West Norfolk, Breckles rural deanery, and Norwich archdeaconry. It had 170 inhabitants in 1881, living on 1349 acres, and has a rateable value of £1575.
All the parish belongs to Lord Walsingham, the lord of the manor, which was given by William the Conqueror to Ralph Baynard, and was carried in marriage by the heiress of Fulke Baynard, Esq., to Sir Thomas de Grey, who settled here in 1337. His descendant, Sir William de Grey, Kt., was born here in 1719, and after having been successively solicitor-general, attorney-general, and lord chief justice of the Court of Common Pleas, was created Baron Walsingham, of Walsingham, October 17, 1780.
The present Right Hon. Thomas de Grey, 6th Lord Walsingham, was born in 1843, and succeeded his father in 1870. His seat, Merton Hall, is a fine Elizabethan brick mansion, which was rebuilt in 1610, and enlarged in 1847, and extensive alterations have since been made, and a new conservatory was added in 1874-5. The Hall stands in a richly wooded park, in which are some magnificent oaks, one of which is supposed to be 1000 years old, and measures 24 ft. 4 in. in circumference at 5 feet from the ground.
The CHURCH (St. Peter) comprising nave, chancel, and round tower with three bells, stands in the Park, and contains several monuments with fine brasses of the noble family of de Grey. The rectory, valued in the King's Book at £6 0s. 5d., is in the patronage of Lord Walsingham and incumbency of the Rev. George Crabbe, B.A., who has a yearly rent-charge of £200, awarded in 1843. The rectory house stands in the parish of Thompson, over a mile from Merton church, and is a handsome residence, erected by the patron in 1851.
The Town Estate consists of five cottages and 5 acres, let for £20, applied with the church and poor rates. The poor have 20s. a year left by Sir William de Grey.
POST through Thetford, viâ Watton, which is the nearest Money Order and Telegraph Office.
Ames Charles estate office clerk Blanchflower Robert parish clerk Buckle Israel head gardener Buckle John head gamekeeper Chaston William farmer Crane Charles flock shepherd Crane James assist. estate office clerk Day John shepherd Herring Mrs Sarah infant shl. mistress Mallott Frederick head carpenter Matthews Miss Martha and Charlotte Ann farmers Rudd Henry Edward farm bailiff to Lord Walsingham Silcock Cubitt farmer Woods Henry agent to Lord Walsingham Walsingham Lord, D.L. Merton hall
Copyright © Pat Newby.