"IRSTEAD, a parish and straggling village, 11 miles N.E. of Norwich, has 170 inhabitants, and 1065A. of land, including a broad of 114 acres in the river Ant, and 18A. 1R. 3P. in the Neatishead broad. Sir J.H. Preston, Bart., owns the greater part of the soil, and is lord of the manor, which, in Domesday Book, is called Orsteada, and was formerly held by the Glyn and Horner families; the latter of whom sold it to the late Sir T. Preston. The CHURCH (St. Michael,) has recently been thoroughly repaired and beautified; the pews removed; the ancient carved oak benches, &c. restored; the east end paved with ornamental tiles, and a new east window of painted glass inserted. . . . The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the King's Book at £6. 13s. 4d., and consolidated with Barton-Turf, in the gift of the Bishop, and incumbency of the Rev. John Gunn . . ." [William White, History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Norfolk (1845) - Transcription copyright © Pat Newby]


See also Kirstead.



Not all memorials may be included, even when a transcription is marked as complete, for example when stones are not legible enough to be read or photographed.

Church of St Michael
Monumental Inscriptions in the church and churchyard, with plan of the churchyard.
The Monumental Inscriptions in the Hundred of Tunstead (Walter Rye).
The parishes covered include Irstead.
See Ashmanhaugh
Church of St Michael
Transcriptions and photographs of gravestones in the churchyard.

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Cemeteries


Church Directories

  • In 1883 the parish was in the Deanery of Waxham, in the archdeaconry of Norfolk.
    It could have been in a different deanery or archdeaconry both before and after this date.
  • The parish church is dedicated to St Michael.

Church History

Fox, Dennis
What to look for in Irstead Church.
Updated by Norman E. Mitchell.
[Irstead, The Church, 1980s]
Church of St Michael
Description and pictures.
Church of St Michael
Services, parish magazine, pictures, etc.
Church of St Michael
Paintings in the Church.

Church Records

Parish Register Transcripts
Baptisms, Marriages and Burials.
These are not included in Boyd's Marriage Index or Phillimore's Marriage Registers.

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Church Records


Civil Registration

For the civil registration of births, marriages and deaths between 1837 and 1869 (and for the censuses in 1851 and 1861), Irstead was in Tunstead and Happing Registration District.

This district was renamed on 1st January 1870 and, from then until 1930, Irstead was in Smallburgh Registration District for civil registration and for the censuses of 1871 to 1901.

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Civil Registration


Description & Travel

You can see pictures of Irstead which are provided by:




Historical Geography

Irstead is in Tunstead Hundred.

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

You can see the administrative areas in which Irstead has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.


Land & Property



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference TG365206 (Lat/Lon: 52.731094, 1.501263), Irstead which are provided by:


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
Families Population
1801 26 27 117
1811 26 26 124
1821 27 27 152
1831 30 31 169
1841 34 -- 170
1851 33 -- 155
Year   Inhabited
Families Population
1861 34 -- 149
1871 37 37 142
1881 35 35 148
1891 31 32 136
1901 28 28 103
1911 -- 26 119

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.

1821 Census
"One female in Irstead Parish upwards of 100 years or age."
1861 Census
"TUNSTEAD. The decrease of population in most of the parishes comprised in the Tunstead District, which forms the "Tunstead and Happing Incorporation" for the support of the poor, is attributed to emigration and the migration of young persons to other parts."