Norfolk: Catfield


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

[Transcription copyright © Peter Green]

CATFIELD, a large but straggling village, in several detached portions, on the Yarmouth and North Walsham Line, 14 miles N.W. of Norwich, and 3 miles S. by E. of Stalham, is in Smallburgh union, Norwich bankruptcy district, Happing hundred, North Walsham county court district, Happing and Tunstead petty sessional division, Stallingborough polling district of North Norfolk, Waxham rural deanery, and Norfolk archdeaconry. It had 630 inhabitants in 1881, living on 2393 acres. The rateable value is £3858, and the gross estimated rental £4418. The parish includes part of Hickling and Barton Broads.

The Hall, a good residence, situated on a verdant lawn, embosomed in woods, belongs to and is occupied by John Joseph L'Oste Lubbock, Esq., J.P., the lord of the manor. The other principal landowners are Mr. W. Barber, Mrs Rudd, Mr Rope, and Mr W. Salmon.

The CHURCH (All Saints) is an ancient building of flint and rubble, consisting of a nave with aisles, chancel, south porch with parvise, and low square embattled tower containing a fine peal of five bells. It is chiefly of the late Decorated period of architecture, and contains a good chancel screen. In the chancel are marble tablets of the Cubitt, Prowett and Storey families, and also a stone coffin in fine preservation.

In 1840, on removing the whitewash, it was found that the whole surface of the walls of the nave had been covered with paintings, representing a variety of scriptural and legendary subjects. The finest of these was of such curious character as to have been deemed unique. The general idea of the artist seems to have been to represent a tree, bearing for its fruit the seven deadly sins, and at the same time exhibiting their fatal consequences in a language that the most ignorant could not fail to comprehend with ease, the most learned to contemplate with advantage. The whole picture was treated with great spirit and displayed much artistic skill; from the dresses of some of the figures, the work must have been executed about the reign of Edward III. All the paintings have again been hidden from observation.

In 1852 the seats in the church were re-arranged, by which 145 additional sittings were obtained; and the nave was new roofed in 1864. In 1875 the chancel was restored at a cost of £500.

The living is a discharged rectory and vicarage united, and is valued in the King's Book at £7.10s. The Bishop of Norwich and the executors of the Rev. B.L. Cubitt are patrons alternatively, the present incumbent being the Rev. Arthur Brown. The rectory house is a good residence of white brick, erected in 1852, near the site of an older building in which the poet Cowper often stayed as a visitor. The glebe is 21A.3R.11P., and the tithes have been commuted for £606 per annum.

The Registers date from 1559, and contain some curious entries by a former rector, Anthony Harrison, who was chaplain to the Bishop of Norwich in the beginning of the 17th century.

Here is a PRIMITIVE METHODIST CHAPEL, built in 1838 and enlarged in 1859. The NATIONAL SCHOOL was built in 1853, and will accommodate about 100 children.

The poor have 4A.22P. of land at Ludham, given by unknown donors, and now let for £10; and the interest of £43, arising from the sale of five tenements. The Poor's Allotment, awarded at the enclosure in 1802, consists of 57A.9P. of heath and marsh land now let for about £50 per annum.

POST OFFICE at Mr John Huson's. Letters, via Stalham to Norwich arrive at 7.50 a.m. and depart at 2.55 p.m.; via Yarmouth, depart at 5.55 p.m. Stalham is the nearest Money Order and Telegraph Office.

         Addy       James         farm bailiff
         Baldwin    George        bricklayer
         Baldwin    John          bricklayer
         Barber     William       farmer and owner, coal, corn, seed,
                                    &c. merchant, and thrashing machine
                                    owner; and at Sea Palling
         Bean       -             farmer
         Beck       William       miller and farmer
         Bensley    Robert        butcher and farmer
         Brookes    Charles       shoemaker and horse and trap letter
         Brown      Rev. Arthr.,
                      B.A.        rectr. Rectory
         Christmas  William       tailor
         Crowe      Miss Sophia   Providence cot.
         Dawson     George        farmer and owner
         Dawson     Robert
                      Greensmith  farmer
         Dyball     -             stationmaster
         Dye        William       emigration agent
         Fox        -             farmer, Longmoor
         Gibbs      Hy. Thos      vict. White Horse Inn
         Gibbs      Mrs Sarah     grocer and draper
         Gibbs      William & Son blacksmiths
         Hammond    Mrs My.Ann    vict. Crown Inn
         Harbord    Thomas        blacksmith
         Hewitt     Richard       farm bailiff
         Hindrey    -             grocer, draper & overseer
         Huson      John Watson   grocer, draper and postmaster
         Lowe       William       baker and shopkeeper
         Lubbock    John Joseph
                      L'Oste,J.P. farmer and owner, The Hall
         Mace       John          farmer and owner
         Marler     (Miss Mary)
           & Coe    (Mrs Rebecca) grocers and drapers
         Myhill     Edward        wheelwright, parish clerk,
                                    assistant overseer & collector
         Neve       Edwd.         cattle salsmn., Paradise hs
         Page       John          wheelwright
         Pigg       Philip
                      & James     frmrs. & ownrs
         Pollard    George        market gardener
         Pycroft    Thomas        shoemaker
         Riches     Edward        corn & coal merchant,
                                    and miller at Stalham
         Riches     John George   corn, seed, cake, manure and coal
                                    merchant, The Staithe; and Stalham,
                                    North Walsham, and Yarmouth
         Rope       John Gillett  farmer and owner
         Rudd       Mrs           frmr. & owner, Heath frm
         Salmon     Wm.           frmr. & ownr. Bleak hs
         Simms      Friday        carpenter
         Slipper    William       farmer
         Stimpson   Miss Eliza    schoolmistress
         Whittleton George Walter farmer, Wood Street farm
         Woolston   Robert        cartowner
         Wright     John          farmer

RAILWAY STATION on the Yarmouth & North Norfolk line. Trains to and from Yarmouth and North Walsham several times a day. Robert Harvey, collector.


"for 'Stallingborough,' read 'Stalham.'

See also the Catfield parish page.

Copyright © Pat Newby.
February 1999