THORPE-NEXT-NORWICH, or Thorpe St. Andrew, is a handsome village, delightfully situated 2 miles E. of Norwich, on the side of a declivity, which overlooks the city, the railway, and the river Yare, enlivened by the frequent passage of steam-packets, pleasure-boats, and wherries. The beauty of this vicinity has induced many gentlemen to erect elegant mansions here, to which are attached spacious gardens and ornamental plantations. The views down the river and over the adjacent country, skirted in the distance by flourishing plantations, are highly picturesque; and this "Richmond of Norfolk" is considered one of the most charming inland summer retreats in the kingdom, though its rural harmony is now somewhat disturbed by the Norwich and Yarmouth Railway.
The parish of Thorpe St. Andrew comprises about 2000 acres, and had 1041 inhabitants, in 1841, including 167 in the County Lunatic Asylum.
Thorpe Hamlet, which maintains its poor, &c., as a member of the City and County of the City of Norwich, is ecclesiastically a part of this parish, (see p.52 [which is the entry for the Population of Norwich] and 153 [which is the entry for the Hamlets of Norwich],) together with a large portion of Mousehold Heath, which was enclosed in 1800, and abounds in chalk and flint.
Jas. Cuddon, Esq., is lord of the manor, but the soil belongs to the Harvey, Wodehouse, Frost, Jecks, Blakiston, and other families, some of whom have neat mansions here. The copyholds are subject to arbitrary fines, and the manor extends into great and Little Plumstead, Brundall, and Thorpe-Hamlet. The parish was anciently called Thorpe Episcopi. It was held by the Bishop, and the Prior and Convent of Norwich, from 1101 till it was seized by Henry VIII. The Bishop had a palace here, of which some remains may still be seen, in the coach-house and stables at Thorpe Lodge, long a seat of the Harveys.
The parish CHURCH is a thatched Gothic fabric, with a nave, chancel, porch, and embattled tower. The living is a rectory, valued in the King's Book at £8, and in 1831 at £421. The Rev. Armine Herring is patron, and officiates for the Rev. James Maxwell, the incumbent.
The Norfolk County Lunatic Asylum stands a little south-east of the village of Thorpe, three miles from Norwich. It is a spacious and handsome building, of white brick, with stone quoins, erected in 1814, under an act of the 48th of Geo. III., for the better care and maintenance of lunatics, being paupers or criminals. It is 430 feet long, with a Grecian portico in the centre, supported by four columns. The cost of the erection and the adjacent grounds was £40,000, paid out of the county rates. It was enlarged in 1842, at the cost of £2300. The stone staircase is particularly worthy of notice, from the lightness and strength of its construction. The apartments and galleries are well ventilated, and fitted up for the accommodation of more than 200 patients, of whom it has generally upwards of 150, who are maintained at the average weekly cost of 5s. 9½d. per head for the pauper lunatics, and 10s. for the boarders. The asylum is under the control of a committee of the county magistrates. W. Warner, M.D., is the physician; Mr. G.W.W. Firth, surgeon; Mr. Fras. John Blake, clerk and treasurer; the Rev. E. Cole, chaplain; and Mr. E. and Mrs. Owen, governor and matron.
The Free School and charities of Thorpe parish are as follows:-
In 1706, the Rev. Samuel Chapman left 45A. of copyhold land, at Brundall, in trust for the education of six poor children, except the yearly payment of 26s., as follows:- viz., 13s. 4d. for a sermon, 1s. 8d. for the clerk, and 11s. for distribution among the poor. The land is now let for £43 a-year.
In 1730, a Mr. Newman left £50 for schooling poor children, and in 1785 it was laid out in the purchase of 3A. of land, at Caston, now let for £3. 16s.
In 1766, Thomas Vere left £350, to be invested in (£373. 2s. 4d.) three per cent. stock, and the dividends applied yearly as follows:- £3 for a sermon, £3 for a distribution of bread on St. Thomas's day, 30s. for the parish clerk, 40s. to the schoolmaster, for teaching two poor children, and 20s. for repairing the school. There is now a balance of £42 belonging to this charity, and the interest is paid for the education of two additional children.
The Free School, now conducted on the national system, is held in a building recently erected, with a house for the master, who receives from the three charities named above about £45 per annum, for which he instructs twelve poor children in reading, writing, and arithmetic. In 1813, the Rev. Richard Humfrey, a late rector, left £100 towards building a house for the schoolmaster.
The poor parishioners have a yearly rent-charge of 20s., left by Wm. Johnson, and the dividends of £130 three per cent. stock, of which £40 was left by John Boycatt, in 1780, and £90 by Rice James, in 1821. The Fuel Allotment, 57A. 2R. 15P., awarded to the poor at the enclosure, is let, with 4A. allotted to the Town Houses, for £40 a year, which is distributed in coals. The Church Houses (four tenements,) with an orchard and 2A. of land, are let for £18. 13s. a year, which is applied with the church rates.
Barton Mrs Hannah Oak Cottage Batley Mrs Sus. Betts Mr Thos. Blakiston Capt. Robert, R.N. Hall Brinded John coal dealer, &c Charlesworth Wm. police officer Clayton Misses Cooper John silversmith, &c Dale Rt. merct. Davey Jph. gent Digby John lime burner Etheridge Mr Philip Feltham Mrs S. Frost Rev. Wm. Thorpe Lodge Gibson Samuel gentleman Hardy General Sir Robert [Note: should be 'Harvey'] John, Kt.C.B. Mousehold House Harvey Rt. John Harvey, Esq. ditto Harvey Roger Kerrison, Esq. (now at Boulogne) Herring Rev. Armine Rectory Jecks Charles, Esquire King Robt. gent. Lacey Mr Robt. Leathes Henry Mussenden, Esq. Guild House Matthews John beer seller Moll Isaac butcher Owen Ebenezer gov. Lunatic Asylum Palmer Nathl. Esq. barrister Palmer Mrs. Shardlow Benj. plumber, painter, &c Smith John tailor Steward Mrs. Waite John Newman, jun. gent Weeds Frederick parish clerk Wells Robert gentleman Weston Chas. Esq. Wright Rt. Esq. Wodehouse Edmond, Esq., M.P. (now at Bracondale) Blacksmiths. Gardeners. Martin Wm. Emms Thomas Sabberton Thos. Rayner John Stone Daniel White - Youngman - Bricklayers. Joiners and Wheelwrights. Brinded Robert Baldwin Wm. Hardy John Firman Robert Lincoln Thomas Mace John FARMERS. Shoemakers. Albin Daniel Bracey Fredk. Albin Samuel Plow Wm. Batley Benj. Grant George Howes Wm. Leggett Wm. Shopkeepers. Matthews John Scarf Samuel Bracey Robert Starling Wm. Bulley Wm. Winfield James Burton Thomas Whitaker Saml. King Horace (& baker)
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