Norfolk: Great Dunham


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

[Transcription copyright © Pat Newby]

DUNHAM (GREAT), 6 miles N.E. of Swaffham, and 2 miles S. by W. of Litcham, is a scattered village and parish, in Mitford union, Swaffham county court district, Launditch petty sessional division, Lynn bankruptcy district, Swaffham polling district of West Norfolk, Launditch hundred, Brisley rural deanery, and Norwich archdeaconry. It had 394 inhabitants in 1881, living in 1968 acres of land, and had a rateable value of £3573. The soil belongs chiefly to R. Blake-Humfrey, Esq., lord of the manor; but J.W. Davy, Esq., the Rev. W.A.W. Keppel, and some smaller owners, have estates here. The manors of East and West Lexham extend into this parish.

Here were formerly two churches, dedicated to St. Mary and to St. Andrew, and their advowsons, which had belonged to Castleacre Priory, were granted at the Dissolution to the Duke of Norfolk. One of them appears to have been taken down about this time, and its foundations are yet discoverable in the rectory garden, where fragments of the ancient altar stone, and several capitals, mullions, &c., were found some years ago.

The present CHURCH (St. Andrew), exhibits many features of great interest. It consists of a nave and chancel with a square tower between them, and a porch on the south side. The chancel is Perpendicular, but the nave and tower are of Saxon workmanship. The tower has long-and-short work at the angles, small round-headed windows, splayed inside and out, and belfry windows with a central shaft supporting a long stone but having Norman caps and bases. At the west end is a singular triangular canopy over a square-headed doorway, consisting of a fillet with the edges cut into a kind of square billet ornament, and shafts ornamented in a similiar manner, having square imposts or caps. The south doorway is Early English, but the porch over it is plain Perpendicular.

The rectory, valued in the King's Book at £12 1s. 10½d., was anciently in two medieties, and is in the patronage of Robert Blake-Humfrey, Esq., and incumbency of the Rev. John Blake-Humfrey, B.A., who has 44A. 16P. of glebe, a yearly tithe rent-charge of £562, awarded in 1840, and a neat residence, improved, and for the most part rebuilt, in 1875 by the patron.

The Primitive Methodists have a chapel in the parish. The School Board consists of the Rev. John Blake-Humfrey (chairman), and Messrs. S.P. Wharton (vice-chairman), R.J. Chamberlayne, and Jas. Betts. Mr. R. Curtis, is clerk. The Poor's Allotment Lands contain 33A. 2P., and are let for the yearly sum of £55. The poor have also an annuity of £5, left by Dalton Chamberlayne in 1806; and £1 12s. a year from Allee's Charity. All the poor's charities are distributed in coals.

POST OFFICE at Mr. Jonathan Dunger's. Letters arrive at 5.30 a.m., and are despatched at 6.55 p.m., on Sundays at 1.40 p.m., by mail cart viâ Swaffham. Litcham is the nearest Money Order and Telegraph Office.

         Bear          John            vict. Flower Pot
         Betts         Jas. Porritt    frmr. Castle Acre rd
         Blake-Humfrey Rev. John, B.A. rector, The Rectory
         Chamberlain   Henry           blacksmith
         Chamberlayne  Robert John     farmer
         Clitheroe     -               farmer
         Cony          William         parish clerk
         Daniel        Miss E.A.       Board schoolmstrss
         Downs         Robert          farmer
         Dunger        Jonathan        shpkpr. & post office
         Fleet         -               steward to S.H. Wharton
         Gamble        John            carpenter
         Girling       George          miller
         Johnson       James           farmer
         Larwood       John            farmer
         Mann          Robert          farmer
         Porritt       Walter          builder
         Rallison      William         vict. Horse Shoes
         Ram           -               wheelwright
         Rawling       James           shopkeeper
         Rawling       Walter          shoemaker
         Regester      James           baker
         Rix           William         farmer and landowner; h The Rookery
         Savage        William         blacksmith
         Scase         Henry           farmer
         Tuck          John            farmer
         Wharton       Samuel Porter   farmer
         Whales        William         carpenter
         Whisker       Montague        rat and mole catcher and thatcher

See also the Great Dunham parish page.

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Copyright © Pat Newby.
February 2009