Norfolk Hundreds


White's History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Norfolk 1845


Is of an irregular figure, averaging about twelve miles in length, and nine in breadth; bounded on the north by Freebridge-Lynn and Launditch; on the east by Mitford and Wayland; on the south by Grimshoe; and on the west by Clackclose. It has near its centre the neat market-town of Swaffham, on a fertile eminence, encompassed by an extensive belt of heath; indeed, the whole Hundred abounds in sheep-walks, and has generally a light sandy soul[sic], except on its eastern side, where it has a rich loam, and its highly cultivated fields are watered by a fine rivulet flowing southward to the Wissey, or Stoke river, which skirts it on the south, as the navigable Nar does on the north-west. It has its name from the green hills, or tumuli, on the heath between Cockley-Cley and North Pickenham, where the Hundred Court was held until the early part of the last century.

Its Petty Sessions are held every Saturday, at the Shirehall, in Swaffham; and Mr. Robert Sewell is clerk to the magistrates.

It forms, with Grimshoe Hundred, the Deanery of Cranwich, and contains 24 parishes, of which the following is an enumeration, shewing their population in 1841, the annual value of their lands and buildings, as assessed to the County Rate, in 1843, and their territorial extent, in assessable acres.

PARISHES. Pop. Annl.
Bodney 98 1232 2538
Bradenham (East) 368 2870 2388
Bradenham West 364 2682 1703
Caldecote 48 252 662
Cockley-Cley 244 1140 4160
Cressingham (Gt) 476 2272 2391
Cressingham (Ltl) 244 1766 1504
Didlington 77 612 1322
Foulden 500 2818 3354
Gooderstone 500 2490 2743
Hilborough 337 1664 2807
Holm-Hale 488 3876 2547
Houghton-on-the-Hill 41 800 600
Langford 57 472 1248
Narborough 360 3664 3512
Narford 113 1350 1872
Necton 991 5430 3316
Newton 93 1290 1005
Oxborough 316 2150 2317
Pickenham North 269 1730 1516
Pickenham South 170 1546 1751
Southacre 100 2130 2312
Sporle-with- }
Palgrave }
773 5364 4153
Swaffham * 3358 12,704 6200

Total + 10,385 62,304 57,921

[There is more information about individual parishes]

+ Its population, in 1831, was 10,237 souls. Its annual value, as assessed to the property tax, was £55,144, in 1815, and £69,330 in 1842. Its Agricultural Association is notced[sic] with Swaffham.

* Swaffham return included 89 persons in the Union Workhouse, and 60 in the House of Correction. SHINGHAM parish is partly in this, but mostly in Clackclose Hundred. (See page 622. [this is in Clackclose Hundred description])

SWAFFHAM UNION comprises all the 24 parishes of South Greenhoe Hundred; the parishes of Beechamwell and Shingham, in Clackclose Hundred; those of Ashill, Saham-Toney, and Threxton, in Wayland Hundred; and those of Buckenham Tofts, Ickburgh, Colveston, and Stanford, in Grimshoe Hundred.

The 33 parishes of this Union comprise an area of 26 square miles, and in 1841 had a population of 13,084 souls, of whom 6459 were males, and 6625 females. Their average annual expenditure on the poor, during the three years ending March 1835, was £12,089; for the succeeding three years, £8724; and for the three years ending March, 1841, £8089. Their expenditure for the quarter ending June, 1844, was £2008.

The Union Workhouse, at Swaffham, was built in 1836, at the cost of £5425, and has room for 400 paupers; but the average daily number of inmates, in summer, is only about 100. They are clothed and fed at the average weekly cost of 2s. 10d. per week per head. Robert Sewell, Esq., is Union Clerk and Superintendent Registrar; Mr. James Philo is Registrar of Marriages; Messrs. Geo. Whittby and Wm. Holt are Registrars of Births and Deaths; and Mr. Reuben Harwood is governer of the Workhouse.

South Greenhoe Hundred is mostly in Castle-Acre Police Division, and partly in those of Stoke-Ferry, Dereham, and Hockham.


Some placenames in the transcription (of pages 371 to 372) above are given below together with their standard spelling :-
Bradenham (East)/East Bradenham, Bradenham West/West Bradenham, Cressingham (Gt)/Great Cressingham, Cressingham (Ltl)/Little Cressingham, Holm-Hale/Holme Hale, Newton/Newton by Castle Acre, Pickenham North/North Pickenham, Pickenham South/South Pickenham, Southacre/Acre South

For more information see :-

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Copyright © Mike Bristow.
April 2006