Norfolk: Heacham


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

[Transcription copyright © Pat Newby]

HEACHAM, 14 miles N.N.E. of Lynn, is a large and scattered village on the sea-coast, and on the Lynn and Hunstanton Railway. It is in Docking union, Lynn county court district, and bankruptcy district, Smithdon hundred, Smithdon and Brothercross petty sessional division, Docking polling district of West Norfolk, Heacham rural deanery, and Norfolk archdeaconry. It has a rateable value of £6814, and had 998 inhabitants in 1881, living on 4853 acres.

Heacham is sheltered behind by a bold acclivity, at the foot of which a small rivulet flows across the salt-marsh to the flat beach. The principal owners of the soil are Hamon Le Strange, Esq., lord of the manor; C.F.N. Rolfe, Esq., and Caius College, Cambridge. The hall, a handsome red brick mansion in a well-wooded park, belongs to Mr. Rolfe, and is occasionally occupied by William Belgrave, Esq.

Heacham had a cell of Cluniac monks, under Lewes Abbey, to which this parish was given by William de Warenne, Earl of Surrey, in the reign of William Rufus. After the dissolution, the manor and rectory were given to Thomas, Duke of Norfolk.

The CHURCH (St. Mary) is a spacious building, originally in the form of a cross; but the transepts are gone. It comprises nave with aisles and clerestory, chancel, south porch and massive square central tower with two bells. The west window is a splendid specimen of the Decorated style, but all the other windows are Perpendicular, and many of them are enriched with stained glass, the original east window has been filled up, a square-headed one now occupying its place. The nave and aisles are filled with high pews. A low ceiling hides the roof of the church and cuts off the whole of the arch of the fine west window. The south doorway is a beautiful specimen of Early English work, and in the porch are the remains of a holy-water stoup. The restoration of the church at an early date is in contemplation.

The church contains numerous tablets of the Rolfe, Redmayne, Elsden and other families. One of the Rolfes sailed with Sir Walter Raleigh, and his marriage with the Princess Pocahontas, daughter of one of the most celebrated Indian chiefs, greatly facilitated the friendly intercourse between the natives and the English.

The vicarage, valued in the King's Book at £6 13s. 4d., was augmented in 1779 with £200 of Queen Anne's Bounty, and is in the patronage of C.F.N. Rolfe, Esq., and in the incumbency of the Rev. George Thomas Thompson, M.A., who has a yearly rent-charge of £263, awarded in 1839 in lieu of tithes. Messrs. Hamon Le Strange and C.F.N. Rolfe are impropriators of the great tithes.

The Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists have each a chapel in the parish. The former was originally occupied by the Independents, and was erected in 1831, and the latter was built in 1862.

The PAROCHIAL SCHOOL, built in 1838, by a former incumbent, is attended by about 110 children. The Infant School was erected in 1815 by subscription, and is attended by about 70 children.

The Poor's Land, 6A. 3R. 15P., with a cottage, is let for £13 10s., and has been vested in trust, from an early period, but was partly exchanged at the enclosure in 1781. The poor have also two yearly rent-charges of 10s. each, left by unknown donors; and the dividends of £500 three per cent. consols, left by Mrs. Frances Rolfe, in 1837, to be given in clothing.

POST OFFICE at Edward Crisp's. Letters arrive at 7.30 a.m., and are despatched, viâ Lynn, at 5.30 p.m. Hunstanton St. Edmunds is the nearest Money Order and Telegraph Office.

         Atthow     William            vict. Wheatsheaf
         Baney      Benjamin Charles   farmer
         Beck       Misses Dinah
                      and Susan
         Belgrave   Mr William         The Hall
         Benstead   Thomas             baker
         Black      Mrs Fanny
         Bly        Francis            carpenter
         Boothby    Octavius           market gardener
         Boythorne  Miss Mary          shopkeeper
         Boythorne  Robert             wheelwright
         Brown      William Thomas     farmer and oil cake merchant
         Burcham    Mr John Geo.       The Poplars
         Chadwick   Mrs Jane Chadwick
         Crafer     Geo.               vict. West Norfolk hotel
         Crisp      Edward             shopkeeper, banker, and postmaster
         Crisp      Thomas             carpenter
         Desborough Mr John
         Duffield   Thomas             farmer & coal mchnt
         Ferrers    Rev. Norman        master of Caius College, Cambridge,
                      Macleod, D.D.      Heacham lodge
         Foulsham   Miss Edith         schoolmistress
         Foulsham   Mr William
         Fray       Charles            farmer and butcher
         Land       Miss Annie         farmer, College fm
         Lewis      Alfred             farmer & corn miller
         Lewis      Mrs Mary           Mill house
         Lord       George             farmer
         Mackey     Edward             carpenter
         Mallett    William Granger    blacksmith
         Massingham Mrs Martha
         Minns      William, jun.      beerhouse
         Monement   Edward, L.S.A.     surgeon, medical examiner of
                                         recruits, Church Hill house
         Monument   Edw                secondhand clothes dlr
         Mouldham   George             butcher
         Mullins    Mrs Lydia          infant schoolmsts
         Newton     Obadiah            beerhouse & whlwgt
         Nourse     James              bricklayer
         Nourse     Robert Joyce
                      Edmund           vict. Fox & Hounds
         Nourse     William            carrier
         Oliver     Lionel, Esq. J.P.  Summerhill
         Patrick    Robert             farmer & brickmaker
         Perfitt    Robert Samuel      grocer & drper
         Pull       James              painter and paperhanger
         Rix        Robert             farmer
         Robertson  John               farmer and butcher
         Russell    Benjamin           grocer and draper
         Russell    John               baker
         Savory     Thomas             baker
         Skerry     Thomas             bootmaker
         Southgate  Robert             grocer
         Spencer    Edward             farmer
         Spencer    Miss Jane
         Spencer    Miss Lucy
         Thompson   Rev. Geo. Thos.,
                      M.A.             vicar
         Wells      Lieut. Robert
         Wilson     James              farmer
         Woodbine   Wm.                horses & traps for hire
         Wright     Wm. Nelson         G.E.R. stationmaster
         Yaxley     Samuel             bootmaker

RAILWAY (G.E.R.) - Wm. N. Wright, stationmaster

CARRIER - William Nourse, to Lynn, Tuesdays and Saturdays

See also the Heacham parish page.

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Copyright © Pat Newby.
December 2009