NARBOROUGH, or Narburgh, 10 miles E.S.E. of Lynn, and 5 miles N.W. by W. of Swaffham, is an ancient village, with several neat houses, pleasantly seated on the south-side of the river Nar, which is navigable for small craft from Lynn, and has here a water-mill and a wharf, where much business is transacted in coal, timber, corn, malt, &c., by Messrs. Marriott. The parish contains 360 inhabitants, and about 3512 acres of land, half of which is cultivated heath extending southward to that of Swaffham.
The principal owner of the soil and lord of the manor is Samuel Tyssen, Esq., owner of NARBOROUGH HALL, an ancient mansion of brick and stone, formerly encompassed by a moat, and built in the reign of Henry VIII., by Judge Spelman. The late Mr. Tyssen collected here an extensive and valuable collection of coins, medals and other antiquities, said to have cost him about £20,000, but sold after his death, by auction, for less than a tenth part of that sum. The hall is only occasionally occupied by the owner.
Near it is a lofty entrenchment, from which a large foss and rampart extended southward along the boundary of Clackclose Hundred, to Eastmore fen, a distance of eight miles, as may still be traced. John Brame, in a manuscript history quoted by Spelman in his "Icenia," says, Narborough was a British city in the time of Uter Pendragon, about the year 500; that it was governed by Earl Okenard, and stood a seven months' siege against King Waldy. At the head of the foss, near the hall, Sir Clement Spelman dug up several human bones and pieces of armour, whilst making a garden, in 1600.
The manor was anciently held by a family of its own name, from which it passed to the Spelmans, and from them to the Dashwoods.
The CHURCH (All Saints) has a square embattled tower, and formerly had a spire, which was taken down in 1679. It is an ancient fabric, containing several monuments and fine brasses to the Spelman family. The vicarage, valued in the King's Book at £9.10s., is endowed with the rectorial tithes, and since 1799, has been held with Narford, by the Rev. Wm. Allen, M.A. The Rev. Henry Spelman Marriott is patron, and the annual value of the joint benefices was £521 in 1831.
The sum of £91, given by Wm. Harvey and other donors, was laid out in 1761, in the purchase of ten small tenements, occupied by poor families. In 1793, the Rev. Henry Spelman gave £500 three per cent. stock, and directed the dividends to be applied as follows:- £5. 5s. to the parish clerk, for teaching the catechism every Sunday to poor children; and the remainder for distribution in books and clothing among the children. By his will, dated 1803, he left £722, which was vested in the purchase of £968. 5s. 7d. three per cent. consols; the dividends of which are applied, (agreeable to his will,) as far as required, in paying a surgeon for attending poor lying-in women, and the residue is distributed in coals or money among the poor communicants.
Here is a small Wesleyan Chapel, built in 1808.
Allen Rev Wm., M.A. vicar Blundy Richard book-keeper Coe James tailor Coe Jno. blacksmith Everett Robert corn miller Jempson Jno. blacksmith Kendrick Hempson book-keeper King Henry grocer & draper Leeds Miss Elizabeth Marriott John & Robert maltsters and corn and coal merchants Parker James vict. Ship Inn Smith J. gamekeeper Stebbings Wm. farmer Turner George farmer Tyssen S. Esq. Hall (occasionally) Warner Wm. excise officerCoaches and Carriers from Lynn to Norwich, call at the Ship, daily. James Parker, carrier by water, to Lynn, weekly.
Copyright © Pat Newby.