METHWOLD, vulgarly called Muel, is a large village, with several neat houses, 6 miles N.N.W. of Brandon, and 4 miles S.S.E. of Stoke-Ferry. It has in its parish 1441 inhabitants, and 12,958 acres of land, a great part of which is fen and sandy heath, all enclosed, the latter under an act passed in 1807, previous to which here was an extensive warren, famous from an early period for the abundance and excellence of its rabbits, called by the poulterers, Muel rabbits, under which name those from the surrounding warrens are still sold.
The Queen is lady of the manor of Methwold, and owner of 5432 acres of the soil, as part of the Duchy of Lancaster, but the manorial rights are leased to H.S. Partridge, Esq. The other principal land owners are, Misses Clough, W. Newton, Esq., (1475A.,) and Christ's College, Cambridge, (212 acres.) The latter has the manor of Broomhill, which extends into this parish. Being ancient demesne, the inhabitants of Methwold are exempt from serving on juries out of the manor, and from tolls at markets and fairs.
A small FAIR for horses, cattle, &c., is held here on April 23rd, and a Hiring Session on the Tuesday before Old Michaelmas; but a market, formerly held here every Tuesday, has long been obsolete.
The Church (St. George) is a large fabric, with a fine tower, containing six bells, and surmounted by an octangular spire. In the chancel are several neat mural monuments to the Partridge family. H.S. Partridge, Esq., is impropriator of the great tithes, and patron of the living, which is a discharged vicarage, valued in the King's Book at £9. 1s. 3d., and consolidated with Cranwich rectory. (See page 392 [which is the entry for Cranwich].) Here is about 140 acres of glebe, and the impropriate tithes were commuted, in 1840, for £1474. 15s. 2d. per annum.
Here is a large Methodist chapel, built in 1831; and a Free School, supported out of the revenues of the Duchy of Lancaster.
The poor parishioners have 2A. of pasture land, in Foulden, let for £8. 15s., and purchased with 100 marks, left by Dr. Thomas Batchcroft, in 1660. They have also the following yearly doles, viz., £34. 12s., as the rent of 26A. 22P. of arable land, received at the enclosure in exchange for the old poor's land; 30s., left by Jeffery Towler, out of land now belonging to Dr. Chafy; and 17s. 6d., as the interest of £22, left by the Revs. J. Partridge and N. Poyntz. An acre of land, belonging to the Church, is let for £4. 15s.
The POST OFFICE is at the Cock Inn, where letters are received and despatched daily.
In the following Directory, those marked 1, are at METHWOLD HITHE, a hamlet 2 miles W. by N. of Methwold.
Allen Charles tailor Crane James saddler Curtis Mr Jas. Folthorpe Mr Jph. Green Daniel millwright Larner Thomas schoolmaster Stirling Rev. N.O. curate Thorpe Robert cooper Vince Wm. gardener INNS AND TAVERNS. Smith Robert Bell Erratt Steward Chequers Gathercole Wm. Cock Coates Thomas Crown Scott Geo. George and Dragon Spinks Robert Green Man Tedder Wm. Swan Blacksmiths. Boldry Wm. Larner Wm. Pooley J. Carpenters. Corn Millers. Scott George Batterbee John Watson Robert Thompson John, (and baker) FARMERS. (* are Owners.) * Boggers John * Griffin John Bullivant John, (& * Hewen P. auctioneer) Rudland John * Cocks Wm. * Simons John Constable John * Tedder Eliz. 1* Constable Pp. * Webb George Curry Henry Whitmore Geo. Flatt John * Wortley James * Flatt Robert * Wortley Thos. 1* Flatt Wm. 1* Young Chpr. Flanders Shrewsbury Shopkeepers. Wheelwrights. Baxter Wm. Coote James Cock Wm. Flatt Robert Johnson James Palmer Robert
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