WINFARTHING, a pleasant village and parish, 4 miles N. of Diss, has 696 inhabitants, and 2566 acres of land. The Earl of Albemarle owns a great part of the soil, is lord of the manor, (fines arbitrary,) and patron of the rectory, valued in the King's Book at £12, and now enjoyed by the Rev. Wm. Jas. Carver, M.A., with 31A. 1R. 22P. of glebe. The tithes were commuted in 1840.
The Church (Virgin Mary,) has a square tower and five bells, and was, in the superstitious and corrupt age of monachism, in high repute among the ignorant for a certain sword preserved in it by the monks, under the name of the "Good Sword of Winfarthing," and said to possess such virtues in effecting the wishes of devotees, that pilgrims came to it from all parts, with large gifts and offerings, "vow-makings, crouchings, &c." The sword had previously belonged to a thief, who had taken sanctuary in the church.
The manor has all the privileges of ancient demesne, and remained in the Crown till Henry III. gave it to Sir William Montecaniso, or Munchensy, in consideration of his military services against the French. The son of this knight had a large park here, well stocked with deer, and had liberty to keep dogs to hunt the hare, fox, and wild cat, in his wastes and forests. So late as 1604, the park abounded in deer, but it was afterwards enclosed by the Earl of Arundel. It now belongs to the Earl of Albemarle, and comprises 1000 acres of cultivated and tithe-free land.
In the village is a small Primitive Methodist Chapel.
The Town Estate, part of which anciently belonged to a religious fraternity, or guild, was mostly acquired in the reigns of Henry VIII. and Elizabeth, and now consists of the Guildhall; a house, and 35P. of land, occupied, rent free, by the parish clerk; two cottages, called almshouses, one occupied rent free; and 32A. 3R. 17P. of land. The rents, amounting to £70 a year, are carried to the poor-rates, except £2. 11s. 6d., which is distributed among the poor not receiving parochial relief, pursuant to the will of John Alden. At the enclosure in 1781, an allotment of 4A. 3R. 10P. was awarded for a gravel pit, and 40A. for the poor. The latter is let for £54 a year, which is distributed in coals.
Coleman Ann vict. Oak Driver Thomas wheelwright Fox John bleacher Goodwyn Rev Chas. Flowers, B.A. curate Jarrett Wm. corn miller Lansdell Isaac blacksmith Parker Elizabeth beerseller Sharman John joiner and shopkpr Wallis Gude [sic] vict. Fighting Cocks Woods Mary Ann shopkeeper FARMERS. * are Owners. Baker Edward * George Samuel * Banham George * Glandfield Rt. * Barker Robert Goodrum James Bartram Charles * Hart Samuel * Birch James Humphrey Geo. * Catchpole John Nicholson Noah * Catchpole Nath. Palmer Richard Everett Chapman Cph. Parson J. Coleman Robert * Simonds John Eaton Wm. Taylor Francis Oddin, Everett Thomas Park farm * Filby Edward Taylor John Fincham Joseph Woods Robert * Fox John * Wragg Ellis Shoemakers. Driver James Holmes Thomas Jessup Jesse Pretty John Wright Nehemh.
CARRIER to Diss & Attlebro', from the Fighting Cocks, Tuesday
Copyright © Pat Newby.