"DISS, which gives name to this hundred, is a small but pleasant and well-built MARKET TOWN, on the acclivities of a deep lake, or mere, on the north side of the vale of the river Waveney, which divides it from Suffolk, 22 miles S.S.W. of Norwich, 23 miles N. by W. of Ipswich, and 91 miles N.E. by N. of London. The projected Ipswich and Norwich Railway is intended to pass through Diss, and it has been proposed to extend a railway from Diss to Beccles and Yarmouth. The parish of Diss has increased its population, since the year 1801, from 2246 to 3205 souls, and contains 3382 acres of land; of which 243 acres were enclosed in 1814. The soil is generally fertile, belongs to a great number of proprietors, and lies in the four MANORS of Diss-cum-membris, Heywood, Heywood Hall, and the Rectory manor. . . . The MERE, or lake, round which the town is built, is a large natural pool. . . . The CHURCH (Virgin Mary,) is a large and handsome Gothic structure, consisting of a nave, chancel, aisles, north and south porch, and a square tower at the west end . . . . The rectory, valued in the King's Book at £33. 6s. 8d., is in the patronage and incumbency of the Rev. Wm. Mauning [sic], M.A. . . . There are in the town six Dissenters' chapels; two belonging to the Baptists, and one each to the Wesleyans, Independents, Unitarians, and the Society of Friends." [William White, History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Norfolk (1845) - Transcription copyright © Ann Duncan]


Archives & Libraries

Diss Museum
Description and pictures.



Church Directories

  • In 1883 the parish was in the Deanery of Redenhall, 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 the Virgin Mary.

Church History

Abbott, Basil
The abiding glory: the parish church of St Mary the Virgin, Diss.
[Norwich, 1986]
Methodist Church
Minister, services, picture, etc.
Follow the link to the home page, then search for the church.
Dunford, Michael G.
Diss United Reformed Church 1835-1985.
[Diss, Diss United Reformed Church, c1985]

Church Records

Bodle, A.N. and Palgrave-Moore, Patrick
Norfolk nonconformist registers, no.5: Diss particular baptist chapel: births 1806-1836. transcribed and indexed.
[Norwich, Norfolk and Norwich Genealogical Society, 1987]
Crosby, J.; Farrow, C.W. and Palgrave-Moore, Patrick
The Parish registers of Diss 1551-1837; transcribed, edited and indexed.
[Norwich, Norfolk and Norwich Genealogical Society v.19, 1987]

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), Diss was in Depwade Registration District.

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Civil Registration


Description & Travel

Cross, Dennis
Diss and district, a portrait in old picture postcards, 1901-1939.
[ISBN 1870708792, Market Drayton, S.B. Publications, 1991]
Piper, Cyril
Diss: the pictorial past 1860-1905 (a booklet of nearly 100 old photographs).
[ISBN 0950359017, Diss Publishing Company, 1982]

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Diss which are provided by:




Historical Geography

Diss is in Diss Hundred.

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

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



Evans, Nesta (editor)
Aspects of Diss history.
[Diss, Diss Museum, 1994]
Evans, Nesta (ed)
A Collection of Diss History.
(Results of research undertaken by a University of East Anglia Extra-mural Studies course).
[Part 1: ISBN 0952189267, Diss, 1998]
[Part 2: ISBN 0952189224, Diss, 1998]
Evans, Nesta (editor)
Early Victorian Diss - The Town Centre.
(Results of research undertaken by a University of East Anglia Extra-mural Studies course).
[Norwich, University of East Anglia, 1992]
Evans, Nesta (editor)
A Nineteenth-century Diss Miscellany.
[ISBN 0952189216, Diss, Diss Museum Trustees, 1995]
Green, Mike
Diss memories (1901-1939).
[ISBN 1856206769, Wymondham, Stylus Press, 1996?]
Sussex, Vivien J.
Diss, a postal history.
[Bishops Stortford, East Anglia Postal History Study Circle, 1974]

Land & Property

Great Britain: Statute
Diss Inclosure Act, 1814.
An act for inclosing lands in the parish of Diss, in the county of Norfolk.

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Land and Property



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference TM118801 (Lat/Lon: 52.377905, 1.110475), Diss which are provided by:


Names, Personal


Poor Houses, Poor Law



Diss School
Prize distichs on a dead nightingale, in Latin and English, and other pieces written by the pupils of Diss School.
[Diss, printed by E.E. Abbott, 1820]