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Norfolk: Upwell

William White's History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Norfolk 1845

[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.

	                      * 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

	                                 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.

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Copyright © Pat Newby.
July 2015