William White's History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Norfolk 1883
[Transcription copyright © Pat Newby]
BEXWELL parish, 1½ miles E. of Downham, is in Downham union and county court district, Lynn bankruptcy district, Clackclose hundred and petty sessional division, and Downham polling district of West Norfolk, Fincham rural deanery, and Norfolk archdeaconry. It had 79 inhabitants in 1881, living on 1104 acres, and has a rateable value of £2045. The soil belongs to Thomas Hare, J. Grant Morris, and Edward Rodger Murray Pratt, Esqs., the latter of whom is lord of the manor. Although this is a small parish, it is 3 miles long; two of the farm houses and several cottages are 2½ miles S.E. from the church.
The CHURCH (St. Mary) is a small ancient edifice, partly Perpendicular and partly Norman, built chiefly of carstone, with a tower round at the base and octagonal above, and containing one bell. It was restored in 1854, when it was floored with coloured tiles and fitted with moveable benches. During the works a stone coffin-lid was found under the floor. In 1878 the chancel was restored and refloored, and a reredos of Caen stone was placed under the east window; in 1881 the porch, which contains a holy-water stoup, and the interior of the tower, were refloored and the walls were repaired by the present rector, at a cost of about £100.
In the south wall of the nave is a monument in memory of members of the Bexwell family, dated 1581. The Bexwells were ancient owners of the soil, and resided a little north of the church, but the only remaining part of their mansion is now used as a barn. In 1878, a three-light window of cathedral glass was inserted at the east end of the chancel in memory of the Rev. Edward John Howman, M.A., the late rector, by his daughters; he died in 1874, and there is also a brass on the chancel wall to his memory.
The pulpit is of carved Caen stone, and has in front an alabaster carving of Christ carrying the Cross, added, in memory of Mrs. Howman, wife of the late rector. In the chancel is a piscina and a sedilia for three priests. In the churchyard is a stone recording the death of the wife of a former parish clerk, at the age of 106 years. The Registers date from 1558, and are in good condition.
The discharged rectory, valued in the King's Book at £7 11s. 8d., is in the patronage of the Bishop of Norwich, and incumbency of the Rev. James Henchman Clubbe, M.A., who has 48 acres of glebe, a yearly tithe rent-charge of £345, and a pleasantly situated residence, which was considerably enlarged in the early part of the present century, and again in 1842.
The poor have 6A. of land, let for £10 per annum, which is distributed in coals at Christmas.
The children attend the schools at Downham and Denver.
POST from Downham Market, which is the nearest Money Order and Telegraph Office. Those marked * should be addressed West Dereham.
Clubbe Rev. Jas. Henchman, M.A. rector
* Holden Thomas and George farmers
Newell Jacob parish clerk
Proctor Wm. Sexton farmer, The Hall
* Wilkinson Walter farmer
Downham is the nearest Raily. Station.
See also the Bexwell parish page.
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