WITCHINGHAM (GREAT) is a parish containing 2153A. 3R. 7P. of land, 624 inhabitants, and 129 houses, mostly in the hamlet or village of LENWADE, near Lenwade Bridge, on the north side of the river Wensum, 3½ miles S. of Reepham, and 10 miles N.W. of Norwich. The soil belongs chiefly to Chas. Kett Tompson, and Peter Le Neve Foster, Esqrs., the former of whom resides at the Hall, a large brick mansion, with embattled towers, and pleasant grounds, on the north bank of the Wensum.
John Norris, Esq., who died in 1777, founded the Norrissian professorship at Cambridge, and built what is now called Witchingham Old Hall. Peter Le Neve, Esq., who died in 1724, was the first president of the Antiquarian Society, and in 1704 was made Richmond herald, and norroy king-at-arms. Two other worthies of this parish were, John Brettin, bishop of Hereford, who died in 1275; and Sir Wm. Wychingham, Judge of the Common Pleas, in 1363.
Eades Mill is partly in Whitwell parish. There is a corn mill, and large inn, near the bridge, at Lenwade.
The Church (St. Mary) stands on an eminence, about a mile N. of Lenwade Bridge, and is a handsome structure, with a square tower, and two bells.
The vicarage, valued in the King's Book at £5, is consolidated with the rectory of Little Witchingham, and enjoyed by the Rev. Wm. Howard, who has 34A. 1R. 4P. of glebe, and has lately rebuilt the Parsonage House. The joint benefices were valued in 1831 at £700 per annum. In 1843, the tithes were commuted for the following yearly rents, viz., those of Little Witchingham for £236; the vicarial tithes of Great Witchingham for £250, and the rectorial tithes for £488 12s. The patronage, and the appropriation of the latter, belong to New College, Oxford, together with the manors of Witchingham-Longville, Weston-Longville, and their members, for which E.R. Grigson, Esq., of Watton, is steward.
The Methodists have a chapel at Lenwade.
John Norris, Esq., in 1777, left £400, Three per Cent. Consols, in trust, to apply the dividends for the education of 12 poor children of Great Witchingham parish, who are now taught in the National School, erected about 15 years ago, at the expense of C.K. Tompson, Esq.
The Church Land is 15 acres, let for about £15. The Fuel Allotment, awarded at the enclosure, in 1811, comprises 25A. 3R. 11P., of which 3½ acres is let for £5, and the remainder is used by the poor, who cut turf upon it. In 1674, Oliver Le Neve charged certain lands with the yearly payment of £6, to be applied as follows:- £5. 4s., in a weekly distribution of 2s. worth of bread; 6s., for the poor, at Christmas; and 10s. to the trustees for their trouble. Peter Le Neve Foster, Esq., who holds the rectorial tithes of the parish, under a lease from New College, Oxford, is bound by the covenant contained therein, to provide and distribute among the poor parishioners 10 bushels of peas yearly, on Ash Wednesday.
Blyth Robert machine mkr. wheelwright, and vict. King's Head Boyce Barrington blacksmith Breese Matthew saddler, &c Brigham Henry grocer and draper Brigham Elizabeth baker Buxton Wm. Tempce. Coffee House Campling Mrs. Cann Geo. schoolr Dunt Ricd. & John joiners & bldrs Dutt Hy. corn miller and merchant Eggett Hannah milliner Ellett John tailor [see note below] Ellett Thos. carrier [see note below] Henley Wm. and C. gentlemen * Howard Rev. Wm. Vicarage Howlett Benj. shoemaker & shopkr Hubbard Richard thatcher Large John butcher * Neale Wm. beerhouse keeper Osborn Fanny Natl. School mistress Palmer Geo. blacksmith & shopkr Siggens Benjamin shopkeeper Spooner Robert tailor Taylor Henry baker Thomas Thomas bricklayer * Tompson Charles Kett and H.K. Esqrs. Witchingham Hall Thurling James vict. Bridge Inn Verdon John auctioneer & land agt Waters Robt. wheelgt. and gig mkr * Wilden John miller, Eades Mill FARMERS. Dann John Dann Wm. * Ebbetts John * Knights George * Leeds Robert Plane Wm.CARRIERS to Norwich, Fakenham, &c. call at the Bridge Inn
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