STOW-BARDOLPH, a small village on the Lynn and Ely Railway, and on the Lynn road, nearly 2 miles N. by E. of Downham, is in Downham union and county court district, Lynn bankruptcy district, Downham polling district of West Norfolk, Clackclose hundred and petty sessional division, Fincham rural deanery, and archdeaconry of Norfolk.
It had 1054 inhabitants in 1881, living on 6127 acres of land, more than half of which is fen, but well cultivated, being drained and enclosed under Acts passed in 1798 and 1802. It extends beyond the middle level drain, and nearly to North Delph Bridge, including parts of Salter's Lode and Barroway Drove, and has a rateable value of £8550.
About 2 miles W.N.W. of the village is the hamlet of Stow-Bridge, on the river Ouse, where there is a fair for the sale of horses, cows, &c., on the Saturday after Whitsuntide.
Thomas Leigh Hare, Esq., owns a great part of the soil, and is lord of the manors, which were purchased in 1553 by his ancestor, Sir Nicholas Hare, who was lord keeper of the great seal and one of the privy council of Queen Mary. Messrs. Joseph Morton, Charles Edwards, and other smaller owners have estates in the parish. Stow Hall, the seat of Thomas Leigh Hare, Esq., originally built in 1589, at a cost of £40,000, by Nicholas Hare, Esq., and modernised in 1796, was rebuilt of red brick with stone dressings in 1874, at a cost of about £18,000. It is in the Elizabethan style, and stands in a well-wooded park of about 260 acres. It is the seat of Thomas Leigh Hare, Esq.
The CHURCH (Holy Trinity) consists of nave, north porch, chancel with north chapel, and low square tower. The latter is Norman, and contains five bells and a clock with chimes, but the rest of the building is Early English, and was thoroughly restored and partly rebuilt in 1850, at a cost of about £2100. The patron contributed more than £1500, and the remainder was raised by subscription and rate.
The seats are open benches of oak with poppy heads, and the new oak screen is a beautiful example of the Decorated style. The pulpit, altar and font are of handsomely carved Caen stone. All the windows of the church are filled with stained glass, and the floor is paved with Staffordshire tiles. On the south side of the chancel are three sedilia, a double piscina, a lychnoscope, and a priest's door, all of which have been judiciously restored.
The mortuary chapel on the north side of the chancel was built in 1589 by Nicholas Hare, Esq., and re-roofed and leaded in 1624 by Sir John Hare. It contains several beautiful monuments of the Hare family, amongst which is an altar-tomb of white marble, on which lies the effigy of Sir Thomas Hare. During the restoration a number of mural paintings were discovered in the nave, some of them possessing considerable merit. The represented St. Christopher, the martyrdom of King Edmund, &c. The ancient Norman stoup, and portions of several stone coffins, were found in the walls.
The discharged vicarage, valued in the King's Book at £6 6s. 8d., and now worth £538 per annum, with rectory of Wimbotsham attached, is in the patronage of Thomas Leigh Hare, Esq., who also owns the great tithes. The Rev. Edward Blencowe, B.A., is the vicar, and has a good residence, built in 1778 and enlarged in 1847. The tithes of Stow-Bardolph were commuted in 1845 for £352 4s. 8d. to the impropriator, and £159 to the vicar.
In 1873, a handsome school, with master's house adjoining, was erected by the late Sir Thomas Hare, near Stow-Bridge, at a cost of about £1000. The school is dedicated to St. Paul, and is licensed for divine worship. In 1877 a SCHOOL BOARD was formed for this parish and Wimbotsham. The present members are Messrs. William Goulder (chairman), John Morton, E. Durrant, William Lewis, and John Hutson. Mr. E.S. Copeman is clerk to the Board. They hold the schools belonging to T.L. Hare, Esq., at a low rent.
Here are six almshouses, built by Sir Ralph Hare, Kt., who endowed them in 1622 with 86A. 3R. of land in the parish of Wiggenhall St. Mary Magdalen, the rent of which, after payment of incidental expenses, ought to be divided in money, coal, and clothing, among the six almspeople, who are generally poor widows, and are appointed by Thomas L. Hare, Esq., the sole trustee. The rent of the Town Lands, 18 acres, is partly carried to the overseers' accounts, and partly dispensed in doles to the poor.
At Stow-Bridge are chapels belonging to the Baptists, Primitive Methodists, and Methodist Free Church.
Here is a Wall Letter-Box, cleared at 7 p.m. week days, and 11.15 Sundays. There is also a receiving office at Mr. Geo. Howlett's, Stow-Bridge, where letters are received at 7.30 a.m. and despatched at 5.45 p.m., viâ Downham, which is the nearest Money Order and Telegraph Office.
Alflatt Goodens bricklayer, builder, brickmaker, and farmer Alflatt Jas. Hy. bricklayer and builder Asplin Peter farmer, Stow bridge Bates Mrs Hanh. fmr. Barroway drove Beart Chas. farmer, West Head farm Bell Thomas blacksmith Blencowe Rev. Ed. Everard, B.A. vicar Bonus Wm. bootmaker, Stow bridge Bush George farmer Bussens William estate agent to T.L. Hare, Esq. Carter Elijah farmer Carter Samuel coal mert. Stow bridge Cooper Robert beerhouse, brewer, and farmer, Stow bridge Filby Edward farmer Flatman Charles farmer, Stow bridge Foreman Jas. farm bailiff, Salter's lode Fox Geo. bootmaker, Stow bridge Gill William police sergeant Goddard John G.E.R. station-master, Stow bridge Gooden - beerhouse, Stow bridge Gore Frederick farmer Griggs John vict. Crown Inn, butcher, and farmer, Stow bridge Groom George beerhouse, Stow bridge Grounds John farmer and landowner, Barroway drove Hammond Wm. blacksmith, Stow bdge. Harpley John blacksmith, Stow bridge Hopkin Wm. Wells farmer, Home frm. Howlett Geo. grocer & draper, Stow bdge. Howlett Robt. assistant overseer, road surveyor, & collctr. of taxes for Stow Bardolph & Wimbotsham, Stow bdge. Hudson Fredk. farmer Hutson John corn & coal merchant, & farmer, Stow bridge Jones George farmer, Hill farm * Judd John farmer, Fen King Thomas farmer, Salter's lode Lewis Fras. jun. fm. blff. Barroway drove Lewis Wm. farmer & land owner, Barroway drove Lockwood Chas. carpenter & wheelwrt. Morton Jno. fmr. & ld. owner, Fences fm. Morton Jph. fmr. & ld. owner, New bdge. Murfet John Thomas farmer * Proctor Wm. Kemp farmer, Fen Reeve John farmer, Westhead road Reeve Wm. Thos. corn miller & farmer, Stow bridge Rolfe Edward farmer, Westhead road Rolfe Fredk. Wm. farmer, Stow bridge Rolfe Thomas farmer, Westhead road Rolfe William farmer, Stow bridge Savage Robert farmer, Stow bridge Sayle Harry vict. Hare Arms, plumber, glazier, painter, and paperhanger Sherwood Edward blacksmith Southwell Robt. farmer & landowner, Barroway drove Stimson Samuel cowkeeper Taylor Westwood Tiffin carpenter, Stow bridge Fowler Isaac beerhouse, Stow bridge Wright Wm. grocer, draper, & baker, Stow bridgeG.E. RAILY. STATION. - John Goddard, stationmaster. Trains to Lynn, Ely, and all parts, several times a day
Copyright © Pat Newby.