Norfolk: Attleborough


William White's History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Norfolk 1883

[Transcription copyright © Richard Johns]

ATTLEBOROUGH, a small ancient market town, near the source of a small rivulet, 15 miles S.W. of Norwich, 14 miles N.E. by E. of Thetford, and 6 miles S.W. of Wymondham, is pleasantly situated on the Norwich and Thetford turnpike, and on the north side of the Great Eastern Railway, which has a station here. It is in Shropham hundred, Wayland union, Attleborough county court district, Norwich bankruptcy district, Guiltcross and Shropham petty sessional division, Attleborough polling district of South Norfolk, Rockland rural deanery and Norfolk archdeaconry. It had 2239 inhabitants in 1881, living on 5200 acres of land. The rateable value is £13,325.

During the Saxon era, Attleborough was a place of great consequence, being the seat of Offa and Edmund, successively kings of the East Angles, who fortified it against the predatory incursions of the Danes. These fortifications were conspicuous in the time of Henry II.; and part of them may still be traced in the ridge called Burn Bank. It was afterwards the seat of the Mortimers, whose ancient hall, now a farm-house, is encompassed by a deep moat.

Sir Wm. Bowyer Smijth, Bart., is lord of the manor of Attleborough-Mortimer and its members (fines arbitrary); James C. Grimwade, Esq., is lord of Chanticlere manor (fines arbitrary); and the Rectory has two small manors, subject to a fine of 2s. per acre on land, and to arbitrary fines on the buildings. The soil chiefly belongs to Sir Wm. Bowyer Smijth, Bart.; Arthur Temple Cockell, Esq.; Sir T. B. Beevor, Bart.; Rev. D'Arcy Harrington Preston, B.A., and some smaller owners.

The town is lighted with gas, from works erected in 1860, and consists chiefly of one long street, with several neat houses, good inns, &c. Its market, held every Thursday, is now well attended. The old market cross, which stood on the Market hill, was destroyed in 1787. The Corn Hall, is a commodious white brick building, erected in 1863 at a cost of £1000, raised in £5 shares. It has a reading room and library attached. Near the station is a handsome hotel, opposite to which is a neat obelisk, commemorative of the Peace of 1856.

Three Fairs are held on the Thursdays before Easter and Whitsunday, and the second Thursday in September, for cattle, pedlery, &c. A pleasure fair, held on the day before the March assizes, originated from the throngs who flocked here to see the prisoners pass from Norwich to Thetford, and is still continued, though the assizes have ceased to be held at the latter place.

The Attleborough Company of Rifle Volunteers numbers about 70 men. William Kirk, Esq., is captain; Lancelot Lane, Esq., is lieutenant; Leonard Palmer, Esq., is second lieutenant.

Near the town, on the turnpike to Wymondham, is a square stone pillar, commemorating the gift of £200 by Sir Edward Rich, Knight, in 1675, for the repairs of the road, which is said to be the first turnpike made in England, being formed under an Act of 1695.

A College (Holy Cross) was founded here in the reign of Richard II., by Sir Robert de Mortimer, for a custos and four fellows. It was granted to the Earl of Sussex at the Dissolution, when its yearly revenue amounted to £21 16s. 3d.

The CHURCH, dedicated to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, is in the collegiate form, with an ancient square tower and six bells at the intersection of the transepts. The east end was destroyed by the fall of the spire, and the rest of the edifice exhibits a large nave with aisles, north and south transepts, and a handsome porch on the north side. The south transept was built by Sir Wm. Mortimer, about 1296, and the north transept by Thomas Chanticlere, in 1338. To their families and to the Ratcliffes, here are many monumental memorials; and in the nave is a stone recording the death of Captain Gibbs, the celebrated horse racer and gamester, of the reign of Charles II.

The church was thoroughly repaired, and the interior fitted with new seats, &c., in a very handsome manner, at a cost of about £1600, in 1844, when several mural paintings were discovered. The east window was filled with beautiful stained glass in 1853, in memory of the late Rev. Sir E. B. Smijth, Bart. The pulpit is of finely carved oak, and under the tower is an old screen, which has been removed from its original position.

The rectory is in two consolidated moieties, called Great and Little; the former valued in the King's Book at £19 8s. 9d. and the latter at £8 2s. 6d. Sir W. B. Smijth, Bart., is patron, and the Rev. William Chartres Safford, M.A., is the incumbent, and has a spacious residence. The tithes were commuted about 1844 for £1504 per annum.

The Baptists, Wesleyans, Friends and Primitive Methodists, have each a chapel here. Gilbert Berkeley, Bishop of Bath and Wells, was rector of Attleborough in 1544. A great part of the town was burnt in 1559.

In 1678, the Rev. Thomas Nerford left 8A. of land towards the support of a graduate of one of the Universities, who should be appointed to teach grammar, and should, in consideration of this land, teach six poor children, to read, write, and cast accounts, without any charge. The school land now comprises about 10A., including an allotment awarded to it at the enclosure, in 1815, and is now let for £21 12s. 6d., which is received by the rector (the nominal master), who pays it towards the support of the National School, where the free scholars attend. Here is a Board School attended by about 100 boys and 80 girls.

The Church Land is 11A. 3R. 14P., and the clerk has 1A. 2R. 32P., for ringing the morning and evening bell.

The Fuel Allotment, awarded at the enclosure for the benefit of all the poor parishioners who do not occupy more [than] £10 a year, comprises 57A. 2R., now let for £53 14s. 9d. per annum. In 1760, Sir Francis Bickley left the College Close, 5A. (let for £22), and directed the rent to be distributed at Christmas, among the most needy poor of the parish; who have also about £8 17s. a year, as the rent of 2A. 3R. 23P., left by Andrew Reeder, in 1655; and £2 12s. from land left by the before named Rev. T. Nerford.

ATTLEBOROUGH COUNTY COURT is held every two months for the parishes enumerated on page 40. [This is the section about County Courts]. Edwin Plumer Price, Esq., Q.C., is judge; Thomas Holloway Slann, registrar and high bailiff; Walter John Amis, clerk; Charles Foulsham, sub-bailiff.

POST, MONEY ORDER AND TELEGRAPH OFFICE AND POST OFFICE SAVINGS BANK, at William B. Page's. Letters despatched to London and all parts at 9 am., and to Norwich and all parts at 12.12 p.m. and 1.15 a.m. Delivery at 7 a.m. and 1 p.m.

         Adams        Fredk.            farmer, Dairy farm
         Adamson      Miss Rosa         stationer
         Allen        George            horse dealer & trainer
         Allen        Henry             horse clipper
         Amis         Walter John       law clerk
         Bacon        Jas.              auctioneer, valuer & estate agt. & agt.
                                          for Norwich Union Fire & Life, General
                                          Hail-Storm Insce. Society, & agt. for
                                          Norfolk Agricultural Association, & at
                                          East Dereham and Lynn
         Balls        Rev. Wm.          Prim. Meth. minister
         Barker       Henry             pork butcher and vict. King's Head
         Barley       John              shopkeeper
         Barnard      Mrs Mary          dressmaker
         Barwell      Mrs Mary
         Bateman      Colin             builder & upholsterer
         Bateman      William           wine and spirit merchant,
                                          The London Tavern
         Baxter       Ezaniah James     farmer
         Bayes        Jph.              bricklayer & shopkeeper
         Beales       George            machinist & agent for Hornsby's
                                          agricultural implements
         Beck         Wm.               blksmith & shoeing smith
         Beckett      John              grocer and draper
         Bennett      F. J.             H.M. Geological Survey
         Brooke       M. W. Lombe       solicitor, commissioner for affidavits,
                                          clerk to Attleborough School Board, &
                                          agt. for Norwich Union Fire and Life
                                          Insurance Company
         Brothers     George            thatcher
         Brown        Mrs Sophia
         Buddle       Benjamin          wheelwright
         Bush         Robert            farmer
         Caley        William           bill poster
         Capes        John              farmer, carrier and vict. The Crown Inn
         Carleton     John              farmer & horse dealer
         Chatters     Henry             boot & shoe maker
         Childerhouse Fredk.            frmr. & horse dlr
         Childerhouse John              shoemaker
         Childerhouse Robert            leather cutter & shoemaker and farmer
         Clarke       Wm.               frmr. & (h) Gt. Ellingham
         Claxton      Miss Harriet      dressmaker and milliner
         Claxton      James             shoemaker
         Claxton      Noah              saddle & harness mkr
         Clifford     Henry John        vict. Dolphin Tavern, Ludgate Hill,
                                          London; h Kent House, Attleborough
         Clowes       Wm. C.            chemist and druggist
         Cockell      Mr. Arthur        Temple Hill hse
         Coleman      Abraham           chemist
         Coleman      James             Sergeant-Instructor, Attleborough
         Coller       R. & Sons         merchants, and Norwich, Watton, Lynn,&c.
         Copland      Robt.             School Board officer
         Cushing      Stephen           baker
         Dawes        William           watch maker
         Downes       Robert            bricklayer
         Drake        John              toy dealer
         Dunnett      Jeremiah          dealer and vict. The Old Railway Tavern
         Edwards      Geo.              saddler & harness maker
         Edwards      Thomas            farmer
         Ellis & Horn                   physicians and surgeons
         Ellis        George Carteret   (Ellis & Horn)
         Ettridge     Henry             shoemaker
         Forkes       Frederick Wm.     blacksmith
         Foster       Henry George      surgeon and medical officer of health,
                                          College Hill House
         Foulsham     Mrs Susan         porkbutcher
         Foulsham     Chas.             auctioneer and county court bailiff
                                          and vict. The Cock
         Fox          Charles           painter, plumber, glazier and house
         Francklin    Mrs Rebecca
         Frost        Arthur Stammers   baker and confectioner
         Gayford      Dennis            farmer
         Girling      Walter Harry      merchant tailor, hatter, and general
         Goldspink    Charles           frmr. and horse dlr
         Goldspink    Richard           farmer & butcher
         Goodwin      Wm.               cabinet mkr. & joiner
         Gurney & Co.                   bankers. Alfred Muskett, agent
         Hall         William Henry     baker
         Hammond      P. & W. W.        butchers
         Hammond      Philip            (P. & W. W.)
         Hammond      Wm. Walden        (P. & W. W.)
         Hanton       Henry             farmer
         Harbour      John              vict. The Royal Oak
         Harrison     John              carpenter and builder and victualler,
                                          The Angel Inn
         Harwood      Thos.             gardnr. The Vineyards
         Hewitt       Mr James
         Hewitt       Mr William
         Hook         Ephraim           farmer
         Houchen      Mr William
         Howard       William           coal dealer and victualler,
                                          The Oddfellows
         Howlett      Mrs Rebecca       farmer
         Hubbard      Charles           farmer
         Huggins      George            cattle dealer
         Humphrey     Theophilus        grcr.'s managr
         Jary         Thomas            farmer
         Jessup       George (exors.of) farmers
         Jessup       Robert & Joseph   farmers
         Jessup       Joseph            (R. & J.)
         Jessup       Robert            (R. & J.)
         Johnson      Mrs Elizabeth     fishmonger
         Johnson      Horace Cornelius  ironmonger and machinist, & agt. for
                                          Lancashire Fire and Life Insurance Co.
         Johnson      James             fishmonger
         Jones        Mr Edward
         Kenny        Robert            merchant's clerk
         Ketteringham Mrs Caroline
         Ketteringham Robert            builder and contractor, brick, pipe,
                                          and tile manufr
         Ketteringham Mr William
         Ketteringham Wm. jun.          miller & grdnr
         Ketteringham William H.        bricklayer and plasterer
         King         Miss Helen        dressmaker
         Kirk         Wm.               frmr. & owner, Besthorpe
         Knights      John              sergeant of police
         Knights      Robert            butcher
         Land         Mr Robert         The Ferns
         Lane         Mrs Mary
         Lawrence     Jessie            boot and shoe maker
         Lawrence     Michael           farmer
         Lebbell      Isaac Thomas      farmer
         Le Grice     Charles           grocer and draper, and agent for
                                          W. & A. Gilbey's wines and spirits
         Le Grice     Mr Samuel
         Leverington  James             farmer & coal dlr
         Leyton       J. & W.           butchers
         Leyton       John              (J. & W.)
         Leyton       William           (J. & W.)
         Limmer       Jas.              agt. for Finch's manures and cake
         Littleproud  Robert            shopkeeper
         Long         Charles           coal and corn merchant
         Long         Zedekiah          farmer, corn and coal merchant
         Loveday      Nathaniel         iron founder and agricultural
                                          implement maker and machinist
         Lovett       Mr Robert J.      Tenby villa
         Lusher       George            market gardener
         Lusher       James             thatcher
         Macro        Mrs Mary
         Manning      James H.          music-teacher and agent for Northern
                                          Assurance Company (Fire and Life)
         Middleton    William           farmer
         Mills        Mr James
         Moore        Henry             drill-owner
         Murrell      Charles           shoemaker
         Muskett      Alfred            grocer, draper, and stamp office,
                                          & agent to Gurney's Bk
         Muskett      William           farmer
         Myhill       John              farmer
         Myhill       Mrs Sarah Elizth. shopkeeper
         Nash         John              grocer's manager
         Nicholls     John              farmer
         Nicholls     William Miles     general supply stores, tailor,
                                          draper, milliner, &c.
         Nobes        Philip            victr., The White Horse
         Nurse        William           farmer
         Page         Wm. B.            postmaster & parish clk.
         Parson       Mrs Alice         printer
         Peck         Mr Richard
         Peck         Mrs Sarah
         Petley       Chas. Edwd.       frmr. & cattle-dlr
         Pratt        George            corn-miller
         Precious     Miss Hannah
         Preston,     Rev. D'Arcy       Point House
                        Harington. B.A.
         Reeve        Mr James
         Riches       Mrs Elizabeth     victualler, The White Lodge
         Riches       Charles           maltster and farmer
         Rose         Mrs Margaret      grocer and draper, and agent
                                          for Green's Bury Ales, &
                                          Reid's Stout & Allsopp's Ales
         Rowat        Miss Isabella     schoolmistress
         Safford      Rev. William
                        Chartres, M.A.  The Rectory
         Salter &
           Simpson                      auctioneers & valuers
         Salter       William           (S. & Simpson), house Attleborough Hall
         Sanford      Rev. Elias Thos   (Wesleyan)
         Saunders     William           farmer
         Sayer        George Walpole    watchmaker
         Scott        Mrs Fanny
         Self         Robert            farmer
         Sewell       Thomas            fishmonger
         Sheldrake    Alpheus           carpenter
         Shepherd     George            farmer, Fen farm
         Shorten      William           nursery and seedsman, and
                                          victualler, Bear Inn
         Simpson      William Thomas    (Salter & S.), & farmer; h Old Buckenham
         Simpson      John T.           draper's manager
         Skoyles      Henry             beerhouse, The Castle
         Slann        Thomas Holloway   solicitor (Wilkinson & Slann), and
                                          registrar, Attleborough Count Court;
                                          comsnr to administer oaths in the
                                          Supreme Ct of Judicature in England,
                                          perpt comsnr for taking
                                          acknowledgments by married women, and
                                          agent for Sun Fire Office; and Holt
         Smith        Robert            bricklayer and beerhouse, The Grapes
         Snelling     Robert            carpenter and joiner
         Snelling     Robert            pork butcher
         Sparrow      Charles           corn chandler
         Sparrow      Charles           fishmonger and beerhouse, Spread Eagle
         Sparrow      Mr Jonathan       Bellevue House
         Sparrow      William F.        painter, plumber, and glazier, and
                                          house decorator
         Spence       Mathew            market gardener
         Stebbings    William           ironmonger
         Steele       Robert            postman
         Steff        William           land surveyor
         Stubbings    Mrs Maria         draper
         Stubbings    William           dealer
         Taylor       Arthur            stationmaster
         Taylor       Charles           tea dealer
         Tillot       John              tailor
         Tillot       Leonard           victualler and posting establishment,
                                          The Royal Hotel
         Tillot       Wm. Self          mineral water manfr
         Turner       John              blacksmith
         Turner       Rev. Thomas       Baptist minister
         Tyrrell      Rice Baly         manager to Coller & Sons, merchants
         Upston       George            nursery and seedsman
         Wales        George            confectioner
         Want         Robert            victualler and carrier, The White Hart
         Warren       Mr Samuel
         Warren       Wm                tea hawker and shopkpr
         Watling      George            farmer
         Watling      James             vict. The New Railway Tavern
         Watling      Jonas             vict. The Grove Inn
         Webster      Miss Elizabeth    dressmaker
         Webster      George            coachbuilder
         Webster      Joseph            hairdresser & glover
         Webster      Miss Lucy         dressmaker
         Webster      Wm.               shoemaker & shopkeeper
         Wells        Arthur            Gasworks manager
         Welton       George            schoolmaster
         West         Mr Robert
         Wharton      Chas.             corn and coal merchant
         Wick         John Park         coal merchant
         Wigby        Frederick         fowl dealer
         Wiles        Dr Charles Barsham
         Wilson       David             farrier
         Winch        Robert James      printer
         Wingfield    John              shopkeeper
         Woor         David             wheelwright and blacksmith,
                                          cart and carriage builder
         Wordingham   Misses            ladies' private sch
         Wordingham   John              boys' private school
         Wright       Frederick         coal dealer
         Wright       Jno.              painter, plumber, & glazier
         Wright       Mrs Martha
         Wright       Mrs Mary
         Youngs       George            stone & marble mason

John Capes to Norwich, Tues. and Sat.;
Robert Want to Norwich, Wed. and Sat.

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See also the Attleborough parish page.

Copyright © Pat Newby.
November 2001