Great Dunham


"DUNHAM, (GREAT) 6 miles N.E. of Swaffham, and 2 miles S. by W. of Litcham, is a scattered village and parish, containing 520 souls, and about 2000A. of land, belonging to F.W. Keppel, Esq., Capt. Davy, the Rev. J. Humfrey, Major Loftus, and several smaller proprietors; and partly in the manors of East and West Lexham. The CHURCH (St. Andrew,) is an interesting Anglo-Saxon structure, with a tower between the nave and chancel. The interior has lately been cleansed and repaired under the direction of the present curate, and contains a curious font and piscina. Fragments of a Roman altar, and the foundations of another church, which was dedicated to St. Mary, have recently been discovered in the garden attached to the Rectory House. The rectory, valued in the King's Book at £12.1s.10½d., was anciently in two medieties, and is in the patronage and incumbency of the Rev. John Humfrey, M.A., of Wroxham Hall, who has a manor here, and has lately erected a commodious National School near the church. The glebe is 44A. 16P., and the tithes were commuted in 1840 for £562 per annum. Here are three small chapels, belonging to the Baptists, and the Wesleyan and Primitive Methodists." [William White, History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Norfolk (1845) - Transcription copyright © Susan Well]


See also Little Dunham.


Church Directories

  • In 1883 the parish was in the Deanery of Brisley, in the archdeaconry of Norwich.
    It could have been in a different deanery or archdeaconry both before and after this date.
  • The parish church is dedicated to St Andrew.
    There was also a church dedicated to St Mary.

Church History

Church of St Andrew
Description and pictures.
Church of St Andrew
Services, etc.
Carthew, George Alfred
Notices of the Saxon or Early Norman Church of Great Dunham.
[Norwich, Norfolk and Norwich Archaeological Society, in "Norfolk Archaeology", vol.1, 1847]
Great Dunham Chapel
Reminiscences of Great Dunham Chapel.
[The Chapel, 1998]

Church Records

Marriages 1538-1812
See Phillimore's Marriage Registers, Volume 2.
These are included in Boyd's Marriage Index.
Parish Register Extracts
From "Norfolk Archaeology" vol.1, 1847.

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), Great Dunham was in Mitford and Launditch Registration District.

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Civil Registration


Description & Travel

Great Dunham Smock Mill
Description and history.
Great Dunham Tower Mill
Description, history and pictures.

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Great Dunham which are provided by:




Historical Geography

Great Dunham is in Launditch Hundred.

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

You can see the administrative areas in which Great Dunham 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. Inclosure Commissioners
Statement of Claims (39): East Lexham and Great Dunham.
Drawn up in pursuance of the Act of Inclosure, 1795.
Great Britain: Statute
East Lexham and Great Dunham Inclosure Act, 1795.
An act for dividing, allotting and inclosing the whole-year lands, common fields, half-year or shack lands, commons and waste grounds within the parishes of East Lexham and Great Dunham in the county of Norfolk.

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Land and Property



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference TF872143 (Lat/Lon: 52.693656, 0.7681), Great Dunham 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
1801  50  66361
1811  50  66330
1821  61103468
Year  Inhabited
1881  99100394
1901  85  85333
1911--  91364

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.

1841 or 1851 Census
"Several persons have emigrated from Great Dunham Parish since 1831."