SAHAM-TONEY is a large but scattered village, 1 mile N.W. of Watton. Its parish has increased its population since 1801 from 650 to 1286 souls, and contains 4048 acres of land, chiefly belonging to the Gurney, Harvey, Mann, Castendieck, Mills, Grigson, Clark, and Taylor families. Thomas D. Calthorp, Esq., is lord of the manor of Saham-Toney, which was held by the famous Earl of Warwick, in the reigns of Henry VI. and Edward IV. The Rev. W. Grigson, M.A., is lord of the manors of Howards, Harveys, and Pages, and here is also a small rectorial manor.
A number of bronze rings and ornaments, and many pieces of Roman pottery, have been found here at various times. Near the centre of the village is a lake, or mere, of 12A., abounding in fish, especially eels of two species, one noted for their delicious, and the other for their nauseous flavour.
The Church (St. George) is a large and handsome structure, in the perpendicular style, comprising nave, aisles, south porch, chancel, vestry, and lofty tower with six bells. It was erected in 1480, but the chancel was rebuilt by the late rector about 40 years ago, and the rest of the building has been thoroughly restored by the present rector, at a cost of about £3000. Many of its windows are filled with beautiful stained glass, and the rood screen is handsomely carved, as are also many of the seats. It contains a good organ, several brasses and other monuments, and two piscinæ.
The rectory, valued in the King's Book at £21. 14s. 9d., and now at £1122, is in the patronage of New College, Oxford, and incumbency of the Rev. Wm. Hooper Parker, M.A.
The Wesleyans, Primitive Methodists, and Wesleyan Reformers have each a chapel here.
In 1626, the Rev. Wm. Terry, a late rector, left the Rectory House, well furnished, and 5A. of land, for the use of succeeding rectors. He also left a house and land for the parish clerk to ring the evening eight o'clock bell; and a farm of 23A. 2R., called Kirtling, for the use of the schoolmaster. The latter is now let for about £40.
In 1611, Edward Goaffe left a school-house for the masters' residence, and almshouses, for four poor widows; and endowed the latter with a yearly rent-charge of £5, and the former with a yearly rent-charge of £5, and 4 acres of land, now let for £4.
The Free School was rebuilt in 1837, and enlarged in 1844. It is a plain square building, attended by 80 children. For the endowment arising from the above-named sources, the master teaches, as free scholars, all the sons of parishioners who are sent to him, and the school is also free to six boys of Watton and two of Threxton.
The four almshouses were taken down in 1859, and rebuilt on a new site by the rector, who also built the Girls' and Infants' Schools, the latter in 1838, and the former in 1848. They are each attended by about 60 children.
The Agricultural and Commercial College School is a large and handsome Elizabethan structure, erected by the Rev. W.H. Hooper, M.A., in 1852, and having accommodation for more than forty boarders. It contains a lofty and well ventilated schoolroom, library, dining-room, &c., and attached to it are about three acres of playground, and a good residence for the head master.
The Fuel Allotments, awarded under the enclosure act of the 37th of George III., now comprise 86A. 1R. 39P., let for £185. 5s., which is distributed in coals. The dividends of £760, new 3 per Cents., left by Charles Hunt in 1811, are distributed in clothing among the poor parishioners. The rent of two allotments, comprising 3A. 1R. 12P., is applied in repairing the highways, but part of it is said to belong to the poor, by gift of Mary Duffield, in 1702.
The Rev. Humphrey Prideaux, author of the "Life of Mahomet," was rector here from 1686 to 1694. The singular Mr. Shuckforth, who died here in 1784, aged 91, was buried in a small enclosure on his own estate, but his remains were removed to the churchyard in 1854. Traces of a Roman Camp are still visible in this parish.
POST from Watton.
Allday John gentleman, Bromley hill Ashton John tinner and brazier Barker Rt. gentleman, Saham Cottage Castendieck John, Esquire Fickling Robert victualler, Bull French Mrs Maria, and Wm. baker Greengrass Caroline Infant School Grey John travelling tea dealer Grigson Mrs Mary Page's place Knopwood Robert farm bailiff Lake Machin gentleman Mace Thomas plumber and glazier Mace William wheelwright Marsh John and Maria school teachers Parker Rev. Robt. H., M.A. Rectory Rodwell Francis blacksmith Rose John collar and harness maker Sample Henry vict. White Lion Stacey Zachariah cooper Walker John victualler, Bell Whalebelly Robert flour seller Wiffin Mrs Margy. Williams Hy. D. Montagu master College Woodward Rev. William curate Wright Mr Thos. S. BEERHOUSES. BUTCHERS. Bensley Isaac Barnard Charles Bullen Robert Doubleday James Cater John Fickling George Knopwood Wm. French John Tennant James Whalebelly Robert BRICKLAYERS. CARPENTERS. French Charles Disdale William Lavender James Fickling James Watson William Griggs Thomas Jenness Thomas Tennant Edward FARMERS. * are owners. Back William Greengrass George Brasnett Ts. Park Hunt Robert Bristow John Kiddle William * Bristow Robert Kiddle William B. Carpenter John Whaite Farm * Clark Edward Knopwood Ann Disdale Thomas Knopwood Wm. Durrant Israel Matthews Eliz. (& Fickling John lime burner) French Charles Newton Wm. (& dlr.) French William Payne Joseph Gathergood John * Taylor Robert MILLERS. SHOPKEEPERS. Ashley William Bensley Isaac Burton J. (& baker) Crow Michael Fickling Eliz. Nickells Mary Payne George SHOEMAKERS. TAILORS. Crow Michael Garwood Thomas Curstons Lewis Mower Robert Ellett Jas. & Wm.CARRIER. - G. Payne, to Norwich, Tu. Fri.; and Swaffham, Mon. Thurs.
Copyright © Pat Newby.