"AYLSHAM, which gives name to a large Union and Police Division, is a neat and well-built market town, pleasantly seated on the southern acclivity of the vale of the Bure, nearly 12 miles N. by W. of Norwich; 10 miles S. by W. of Cromer; 7 miles W.S.W. of North Walsham; and 120 miles N.E. by N. of London. . . . The Bure, which washes the foot of the town, was formerly only navigable from Yarmouth to Coltishall, (11 miles below Aylsham bridge by the water, and 7 by land;) but in 1773, an act was obtained for extending the navigation to Aylsham, for boats of 14 tons burthen, drawing two feet five inches water, which was completed after many difficulties and interruptions, in Oct., 1779, at a cost of upwards of £6000, including the cost of the basin and wharfs near the bridge, where much business is done in coal, corn, timber, &c. The PARISH OF AYLSHAM, including many scattered houses and villas, and the hamlets of Dunkirk and Drabblegate on the opposite side of the river, has increased its population since the year 1801, from 1667 to 2448 souls, and comprises 4311A.2R.4P., of which 4102 acres are assessable, and 100A. woods and plantations. . . . The CHURCH (St. Michael,) is a handsome Gothic structure, situated near the summit of an abrupt acclivity, on the north side of the Market place, commanding an extensive and picturesque view of the surrounding country." [William White, History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Norfolk (1845) - Transcription copyright © Richard Johns]



See also Norfolk Parish Links: Censuses


Church Directories

  • In 1883 the parish was in the Deanery of Ingworth, in the archdeaconry of Norwich.
    It could have been in a different deanery or archdeaconry both before and after this date.
  • The parish church is dedicated to St Michael.

Church History

Church of St Michael
Pictures of the church.
Aylsham Parish notes
Nos.1-180, 1889-1903
No author
The Methodist Church Aylsham: a short history of the buildings.
[Vol. 1: 1784-1884, Methodist Church, Aylsham, 1984?]

Church Records


Civil Registration

For the civil registration of births, marriages and deaths between 1837 and 1930 (and for the censuses from 1851 to 1901), Aylsham was in Aylsham Registration District.

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Civil Registration


Description & Travel

Aylsham by Poppyland.
Description, history and pictures.

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Aylsham which are provided by:




Historical Geography

Aylsham is in South Erpingham Hundred.

Parish outline and location.
See Parish Map for South Erpingham Hundred
Description of South Erpingham Hundred
1845: White's History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Norfolk

You can see the administrative areas in which Aylsham has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.



Aylsham Local History Society
Aylsham in the seventeenth century: documents from the Manor of Aylsham Lancaster.
[ISBN 0946148325, Poppyland, 1988]
Aylsham Local History Society
A Backwards Glance: Events in Aylsham's past.
[ISBN 0952156466, Aylsham Local History Society, c1995]
Gale, Elizabeth
Aylsham Inns and Public Houses: a history.
[ISBN 0952156482, Aylsham Local History Society, 2001]
LLoyd-Prichard, Muriel Florence and Martyn, C.W.
The story of Aylsham and her parish church: a short history, 1290-1949.
[Aylsham, 1950]
Mollard, Tom
Millgate, Aylsham: a study.
[ISBN 0952156407, Aylsham Local History Society, 1993]
Sapwell, John
A history of Aylsham.
[Norwich, Rigby, 1960]


Aylsham Local History Society
A survey map of Aylsham; prepared by James Wright 1839.
(14 maps in plastic wallet).
[Aylsham Local History Society, 1995]

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference TG193267 (Lat/Lon: 52.793109, 1.251582), Aylsham which are provided by:


Names, Personal


Poor Houses, Poor Law

Eve, Julian R.
A study of the poor in two Norfolk parishes - Aylsham and Horsham St Faith 1700-1834.
(From "East Anglian Studies", presented to J.C. Barringer).
[Norwich, Marwood Publishing, 1995]
Eve, Julian R.
The poor in Aylsham 1700-1836.
[Aylsham Local History Society, 1995]