"BESTHORPE is a parish of dispersed houses, within 1 mile E. of Attleborough, containing 536 inhabitants, and 2132A. of land, mostly the property of the Earl of Winterton, the lord of the manor, impropriator of the rectorial tithes, and patron of the vicarage, valued in the King's Book at £5. 6s. 10½d., and now enjoyed by the Hon. and Rev. A.A. Turnour, with 35A. of glebe. The tithes have been commuted for the yearly payment of £255 each to the vicar and impropriator. The CHURCH (All Saints) is cruciform, and has a lofty square tower." [William White, History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Norfolk (1845) - Transcription copyright © Pat Newby]


Besthorpe is about 5 miles S.W. of Wymondham.


Church Directories

  • In 1883 the parish was in the Deanery of Rockland, in the archdeaconry of Norfolk.
    It could have been in a different deanery or archdeaconry both before and after this date.
  • The parish church is dedicated to All Saints.

Church History

Church of All Saints
Description and pictures.
Church of All Saints
Services, picture, etc.
Barringer, Christopher
Besthorpe Vicarage.
[Typescript in Norwich Local Studies Library, 1980s]

Church Records

Parish Register Transcripts
Baptisms 1813-1880
Parish Register Transcripts
Baptisms, Marriages and Burials.
These are not included in Boyd's Marriage Index or Phillimore's Marriage Registers.

See also Norfolk Parish Links: 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), Besthorpe was in Wayland Registration District.

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Civil Registration


Description & Travel

Besthorpe Mill Lane Post Mill
Description, history and map.
Besthorpe Smock Mill
Description and history.
Besthorpe Tower Mill
Description, history and pictures.

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Besthorpe which are provided by:




Historical Geography

Besthorpe is in Shropham Hundred.

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

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


Land & Property

Great Britain: Statute
Besthorpe Inclosure Act, 1806.
An act for inclosing lands in the parish of Besthorpe in the county of Norfolk.
[London, George Eyre and Andrew Strahan, 1806]

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Land and Property



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference TM061964 (Lat/Lon: 52.526039, 1.036234), Besthorpe which are provided by:


Military Records


Poor Houses, Poor Law



These figures are from the population tables which were produced after the 10-yearly national censuses. The "Families" heading includes families and single occupiers.

Year   Inhabited
Families Population
1801   76 76 391
1811   54 86 430
1821   62 96 519
1831   99 99 542
1841 104 -- 536
1851 125 -- 614
Year   Inhabited
Families Population
1861 114 -- 554
1871 123 123 514
1881 129 130 488
1891 117 121 487
1901 126 126 478
1911 -- 134 523

There may be more people living in detached parts of the parish (if there were any) and, if so, the number may or may not be included in the figures above. It is quite difficult to be sure from the population tables.