[Transcription copyright © Pat Newby]
UPWELL, sometimes called WELL, is a long and populous village, adjoining Outwell, 6 miles S.E. of Wisbech, and 9 miles W. by S. of Downham, in the fens, where the old rivers Nene, Welney, and Well Creek fall into the Wisbech canal. It is the largest parish in the county,- having increased its population since 1801, from 3,076 to 3,895 souls, and comprising no less than 15,000 acres of land; but 1,491 of the inhabitants, and 7,000 acres are in the Isle of Ely, Cambridgeshire, where the poor are maintained separately from the Norfolk part of the parish, which lies in R.G. Townley, Esq.'s manor of Beaupre Hall, (see p.621 [which is the entry for Outwell];) but Wm. Lee, Esq., and some others have estates here. Both townships are in Downham Union (see p.609 [which is the entry for Clackclose Hundred.) The houses are many of them neat modern buildings, and extend on both sides of the navigation to Outwell.
Welney, which lies to the south, is considered as a parochial chapelry to Upwell.
King John granted it a weekly market on Wednesday, to which Henry VI. added a fair, to be held on St. Peter and St. Paul's day. The market is trivial, and the fair held on June 29th and 30th, is merely a pleasure mart.
The greater part of the parish is fen, but now well drained and cultivated under an act passed in 1801, and including the hamlets of LAKESEND, TIPSEND, and BRIMSTONE HILL, from 4 to 5 miles S. of the CHURCH, (St. Peter,) which stands in Norfolk, and is a large edifice, with a nave, aisles, chancel, and a tower with 6 large bells. The interior is neatly pewed, and contains a few ancient brasses, and a modern one records the names of 67 persons, who died in this parish, of cholera, in 1832, from June 21st to Aug. 13th. From 1836 to 1838, the church was thoroughly repaired and beautified, at the cost of more than £6,000. The doors, pulpit, reading-desk, and seats, are of oak, exquisitely carved by Ollet of Norwich. The roof of the nave and aisles are ornamented with ancient carved work.
The magnificent east window (the gift of the rector,) is filled with stained glass, in numerous beautiful designs, by Hondley and Oldfield, of London, illustrative of biblical subjects. This window was inserted after the old one had been blown out by a hurricane, in 1842, when the exterior of the church was stuccoed, and stone battlements were added. In the same year, the churchyard was enlarged and neatly enclosed. The gates, brought from Peterborough Cathedral, and the vases from Wanstead House, were the gift of the patron.
The RECTORY, valued in the King's Book at £16, is consolidated with Welney, in the patronage of R.G. Townley, Esq., and incumbency of the Rev. W.G. Townley, of Beaupre Hall, in Outwell. The joint benefices are worth upwards of £4,000 per annum.
The Wesleyan and Primitive Methodists, and the Baptists have each a chapel here; and in the village is a Free School, for 200 children, established and supported by the rector.
The rents of two tenements, and 10A. of land, left by John Fox, in 1626, are applied in repairing the church. They are now let for £50 a year. Certain "Bishop's Lands," in the fen, called Welney Russus [sic], were devised in 1765, for three lives, renewable perpetually, to the poor of the Cambridge parts of Upwell and Welney, and are now let for £68 10s. a year. The Charities, &c., belonging to the Norfolk part of Upwell, are as follows:- two houses divided into several tenements, and about 30A. of land, let for more than £100 per annum, were bequeathed to the poor by Thos. Lamb, in 1562, and John Fox, in 1626. The clear rents, together with the interest of £30, left by John Boss and Thos. Dixon, are distributed among the poor on St. Thomas's day.
Marked 1 are in the Isle of Ely, Cambridgeshire; and 2 in North Delph.
1 Harris Henry land agent Hodgson Thomas auctioneer, &c. Lee Wm., Esq. Oliver Wm. Seayears baker, &c. 1 Orton Richd., Esq. 1 Overland Geo. painter, plumber, &c. 1 Palmer Hanslip solicitor Pleasant Henry cooper Seba James millwright Tiffen Robert auctioneer, &c. Wakefield Robert fellmonger 1 Waudby Mrs. Mary Webber Jas. carpenter & millwright Wills Rev. Edmund, B.A. curate Wiles Thos. agent to Phœnix Fire Off. INNS AND TAVERNS. Bellamy Edward Black Bull Markilee James Black Horse Yardy Robert Chequers Chorley J. Crown 1 Hawkin Jno. Duke's Head, (Old) Baker John Duke's Head, (New) Hawkin Thomas Five Bells Inn 1 Cragg William Horse and Groom Rodgers William Marquis of Granby 1 Smith Francis Queen's Head Jarvis John Red Hart Ogden William White Hart 1 Notson Benjamin White Lion Academies. Blacksmiths. 1 Seayears Joseph 1 Andrews Robt. Waudby George Baker Thomas Whitham John Beerhouses. Butchers. Green Henry 1 Dennis James Main William Kay John Stephens Thomas Quince Thomas Corn Millers. Chenery J. Clark James Richards William Roper Henry Smith Fredk. FARMERS. * are Owners. Beart James Morton John 1*Berry Samuel Morton William Berry Thos. T. Mudd John 2 Berry John Nix John, Neat Moor Chapman Adam Olphin William Cope Robert Gaine Aaron [See note below] Curties Thomas Rowell John 1 Drake John Seayears Robert Elmer John Shaw Thomas 2*Elmer Wm. & Robert Smith David Green William R. Stoney William 2 Green William, Hill Farm 1*Turner J.W. 1 Hobourn James Wiles William 1 Hodgson Wm. Wiles Thomas *Hopkin J. & W. Wooll Charles James William Wooll George Jones Joseph 1*Wooll Hugh Shoemakers. SURGEONS. 1 Bridgeman Plp. Garrett Seaman 1 Cooper John Tubb John S. 1 Silburn Robert Tailors. 1 Markilee Thos. Marriott James SHOPKEEPERS. Wheelwrights, &c. 1 Chapman Chas. Chenery J., (machine maker) Goulding Thos. 2 Chapman Wm. Ibberson Fredk. Goodman Henry 2 Lyon Samuel Harding John Osborn Jno. Chas. Harding Thomas Smith Henry Overland Charles Tiffen Robert Tomlinson Wm. Turner Ann Ward Burton Wilson Benjamin
CARRIER. Jno. Rumbold, to Wisbech, m., w., friday & sat.
Note: In White's Directory for 1854, this is "Aaron Pain".
See also the Upwell parish page.
Copyright © Pat Newby.