" KELLING, in a deep valley, 3 miles N. of Holt, has in its parish 223 souls, and 1772 acres of land, including 800A. of heath, which was mostly enclosed in 1781, when the poor received two allotments, viz., 122A. 35P., to cut fuel upon, and 28A. to supply them with pasturage for one cow each. Mrs. Mary Ann Girdlestone, of Kelling Hall, owns most of the soil, and is lady of the manor, and patroness of the Church (St. Mary,) which is a rectory, valued in the King's Book at £12, and in 1831 at £424, with that of Salthouse annexed to it, in the incumbency of the Rev. J.G. Girldlestone [sic], who has here 14A. of glebe, and a good Rectory House." [William White, History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Norfolk (1845) - Transcription copyright © Pat Newby]


Kelling is also known as Low Kelling and as Lower Kelling.
It included the hamlet of High Kelling which, with parts of Bodham and Holt, became a civil parish in 1987.



The Monumental Inscriptions in the Hundred of Holt (Walter Rye).
The parishes covered include Kelling.
See Thornage

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Cemeteries


Church Directories

  • In 1883 the parish was in the Deanery of Holt, 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 Mary.
    There is also a church dedicated to All Saints at High Kelling.

Church History

Church of St Mary
Description and pictures.
Church of St Mary
Services, etc.
Church of All Saints
Description, services, pictures, etc.
Church of All Saints
Description and pictures.

Church Records

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 1930 (and for the censuses from 1851 to 1901), Kelling was in Erpingham Registration District.

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Civil Registration


Description & Travel

High Kelling Society, History Group
The Birth of a Village: A history of High Kelling.
[Holt, High Kelling Society, 2000]
Kelling Post Mill
Description, history and pictures.

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Description and Travel




Historical Geography

Kelling is in Holt Hundred.

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

You can see the administrative areas in which Kelling 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: Statute
Salthouse and Kelling Inclosure Act, 1780.
An act for extinguishing all rights of sheepwalk, common and shackage, in and over the common fields, and half year lands, lying within the parishes of Salthouse and Kelling, in the county of Norfolk, and for dividing and allotting certain warrens, heaths, commons, waste grounds and commonable lands, within the said parishes; and for other purposes therin mentioned.
Great Britain: Statute
Annual inclosure act, 1850.
An act to authorize the inclosure of certain lands (including Runhall, Salthouse, Kelling and Litcham) in pursuance of a special report of the Inclosure Commissioners for England and Wales: 14 August 1850.
[London, George Edward Eyre and William Spottiswoode, 1850]

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Land and Property



Medical History

Simeons, Charles
Kelling Hospital Centenary Book.
[ISBN 1904006205, Dereham, Larks Press for Friends of Kelling, 2004]
Slator, James
Kelling Hospital: The first sanatorium for working men.
[ISBN 0948400900, Dereham, Larks Press, 2000]

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference TG093429 (Lat/Lon: 52.942276, 1.113994), Kelling 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 24 30 132
1811 26 26 132
1821 29 29 163
1831 42 46 213
1841 43 -- 223
1851 43 -- 210
Year   Inhabited
Families Population
1861 50 -- 211
1871 46 48 193
1881 47 49 211
1891 49 50 228
1901 53 53 209
1911 -- 73 398

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.

1911 Census
Out of the population of 398, 128 were in 3 large establishments or institutions.


Coleman, Jill
Kelling School, 1877-1977: A look back.
[Printed by W.H. Hutchins, 1977]