Norfolk: Felbrigg


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

[Transcription copyright © Pat Newby]

FELBRIGG, a pleasant village, on a declivity, nearly 3 miles S.S.W. of Cromer, is in Erpingham union, Holt county court district, Norwich bankruptcy district, North Erpingham hundred and petty sessional division, Cromer polling district of North Norfolk, Repps rural deanery, and Norfolk archdeaconry. It had 165 inhabitants in 1881 living on 1559 acres, and has a rateable value of £1906 6s. 3d., and a gross estimated rental of £2069 15s.

All the parish is the property of the executors of the late John Ketton, Esq., of Felbrigg Hall, a large and handsome mansion, on a commanding eminence, in a beautiful and richly wooded park of 600 acres. This stately house, in the style which prevailed in the reign of Henry VIII., has been considerably enlarged by the Windham family, at different periods; and most of these additions and alterations are in a style corresponding with the ancient south front.

The apartments contain many excellent paintings, by Rembrandt, Berghem, Vandevelde, and other eminent masters; and the library comprises a large collection of valuable books and prints. W.H. Windham, Esq., a former owner, in 1843 improved and beautified the interior, and filled the great hall windows with stained glass, brought from Belgium. In 1841 and '2, he erected three handsome lodge gateways, at the entrances to the park. A noble quadrangle of stables, with embattled towers at the angles, in the same style as the hall, was built by the late Admiral Windham, in 1825. The mansion and estate were sold in 1862 by W.F. Windham, Esq., to the late owner.

About ¼ of a mile S.E. of the hall, embowered in the park plantations, and approached by a fine avenue of oak and beech, is the CHURCH (St. Margaret), a handsome edifice, comprising nave, chancel, north and south porches, and a square embattled tower. The chancel is kept in good preservation by the rector; but the north side of the nave is in a very dilapidated condition.

The Church contains many monuments of the Felbrigge and Windham families. On a large marble slab is a fine brass, representing, in a complete suit of plate armour, the figure of Sir Simon de Felbrigge, K.G., standard-bearer to Richard II., who died in 1413.

On the south side of the chancel is a beautiful monument, with a fine bust by Nollekens, of the late Right Hon. William Windham, a profound scholar, an accomplished orator, and a distinguished statesman, who was born in London, in 1750, and died there in 1810, after undergoing a surgical operation occasioned by his having injured his hip in endeavouring to save the library of his friend, Mr. Frederick North, when his house was on fire. He sat in Parliament 28 years, first for Norwich, and afterwards for various boroughs; and accepted under Mr. Pitt the office of secretary-at-war, with a seat in the cabinet, an honourable distinction which had never before been annexed to that office. This post he held till 1801, and he accepted it again in 1806, but resigned in the following year, along with the other members of the Grenville administration. Having no issue, his estates descended to his nephew, the late Admiral Lukin, who assumed the name of Windham

The rectory, valued in the King's Book at £6 18s. 4d., and now at £310, with that of Metton annexed to it, is in the gift of John Ketton, Esq., and incumbency of the Rev. Robert James Simpson, M.A., of Metton. The tithes of Felbrigg were commuted in 1841 for £179 per annum.

POST from Roughton.

         Cawston   Mr Nicholas                The Green
         Crouch    John William               butler
         Harris    Robert                     gamekeeper
         Jillings  -                          farmer
         Ketton    Mr R.W., Mrs Rachel Annie,
                     and the Misses           The Hall
         Larwood   John                       sexton
         Lincoln   Robert                     farm bailiff
         Martins   Charles                    farmer and surveyor
         Pearse    James                      farmer
         Simpson   Rev. Robert James, M.A.    rector; h Metton

See also the Felbrigg parish page.

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Copyright © Pat Newby.
April 2008