WRETHAM, EAST and WEST, about 6 miles N.N.E. of Thetford, are two adjoining parishes and villages, in Thetford union, Shropham hundred, Guiltcross and Shropham petty sessional division, Thetford county court district, Norwich bankruptcy court district, Thetford polling district of South Norfolk, Rockland rural deanery, and Norfolk archdeaconry.
East Wretham had 173 inhabitants in 1881, and West Wretham 140. Its rateable value is £1701. Foulmere, a hamlet of West Wretham, 3½ miles from the railway station, adjoins Croxton. Wretham Hall, an elegant mansion about a mile N.W. of the church, is seated in a well-wooded park of about 300 acres, abounding in game. It is the seat of William Morris, Esq., who is lord of the manor and sole landowner.
East Wretham CHURCH (St. Ethelbert) is a small edifice, with a tower and a good Norman doorway; but that at West Wretham (St. Lawrence) has long been in ruins. The church at East Wretham was entirely rebuilt in 1865 by the 'children of Wyrley and Katharine Sarah, his wife,' according to an inscription on the tower. The chancel was at the same time rebuilt by the rector. The fine old Norman doorway, with zigzag mouldings, has been carefully preserved. There is a handsome cross of polished granite in the churchyard, erected in memory of deceased members of the Birch family. The character of the new work is middle Pointed. The sittings in the chancel are of oak, with carved frontages and poppy-heads. There is a good organ, and there are some wall paintings in the chancel.
Mr. Morris is patron of the consolidated rectories, which are valued in the King's Book, one at £11 12s. 3½d., and the other at £12 11s. 3d. The Rev. James Park Whalley, B.A., is the incumbent, and has 11 acres of glebe, a yearly tithe rent-charge of £539, and a good residence, built about thirty years ago.
The School was erected by the late lord of the manor and his sister about the year 1856, and is attended by 60 children.
POST and TELEGRAPH OFFICE - Mr. Robert Adams, receiver. Letters from Thetford arrive at 7.45 a.m., despatched at 6 p.m. Hockham is the nearest Money Order Office. Pillar-box cleared at 5.45 p.m. week days only.
Marked * are in West Wretham.
Adams Robert grocer and draper, post and telegraph office * Banks Jonathan gamekeeper to Wm. Morris, Home lodge Bedford Thomas stationmaster Edwards Henry blacksmith Gayford Thos. John fmr. Manor farm Hutson Frederick farmer, cattle dealer and vict. Dog & Partridge Inn, Stone bridge Littleproud Walter miller and farmer, Wretham mill * Morris Mr William Wretham hall, & 24 Eccleston Square, London, S.W. * Nicholl John farmer, Thorpe farm Stephenson Robt. farmer, Foulmere * Sutton Stephen farm bailiff to Wm. Morris, Hall farm Whalley Rev. James Park, B.A. The RectoryRAILWAY STATION - Thomas Bedford, stationmaster
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