Norfolk: Litcham


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

[Transcription copyright © Pat Newby]

LITCHAM, formerly a market town, is now a large and well-built village, 3½ miles from Great Dereham [sic] railway station, 8 miles N.E. by N. of Swaffham and N.W. of East Dereham, and 24 miles W. by N. of Norwich. It is in Mitford union, East Dereham county court district, Norwich bankruptcy district, Launditch hundred and petty sessional division, Litcham polling district of West Norfolk, Brisley rural deanery, and Norwich archdeaconry. It had 801 inhabitants in 1881, living on 1932 acres, and had a rateable value of £3516.

About 1300 acres belong to the Rev. W.A. Keppel, B.A., J.P., and T.W. Collison, Esq. The rest belongs to a number of smaller proprietors, except about 90 acres, which lie in two small commons, on which the inhabitants have right of pasturage and cutting fuel. In 1296 Robert de Felton had a grant of a weekly market at his manor of Litcham, and a fair yearly on the day and morrow of All Saints. These are now obsolete. On one of the commons there was formerly a hermitage, occupied by Thomas Cannon.

Since the railway to East Dereham Litcham has decreased in importance, and the magistrates, who formerly held monthly sessions here, now only come occasionally. It was once proposed to make the line through Litcham, but this was successfully opposed at the time. H.M. Barton, Esq., is clerk to the magistrates.

The Priory was formerly a house of rest for pilgrims on the road to Walsingham, the next stage being Fakenham. Henry VIII. is said to have made a pilgrimage to this shrine in the early part of his reign.

The CHURCH (All Saints) is a good building, consisting of nave with aisles, chancel, south porch, vestry, and square brick tower with five bells. The latter were recast by Matthew Halcott, who rebuilt the tower in the 17th century. In 1850 the church was restored and reseated. Two handsome stained glass windows were also inserted in the south aisle by Mr. and Miss Lynes, in memory of their parents. Here is a finely carved chancel screen. The discharged rectory, valued in the King's Book at £9 2s., has that of East Lexham annexed, and is in the patronage and incumbency of the Rev. George William Winter, M.A., who has 45 acres of glebe, a yearly tithe rent-charge of £441, and a handsome residence with pleasant grounds.

The National School, built in 1845, has 180 on its books; average attendance 140; accommodation for 185.

The United Methodists and the Primitive Methodists have chapels here.

In the village is a small Almshouse for two poor aged people, founded in 1677 by John Halcott, who endowed it with a yearly rent-charge of £8, out of a farm at Beeston, called Barkhams. The poor parishioners have the following yearly doles: £1 12s. from Allee's Charity (see 398 [which is the entry for East Lexham]); £3 left by Sir Thomas Wodehouse in 1634, out of the manor farm; £2 left by Martha Glover in 1741, out of land called Minns; and 35s., left by Matthew Halcott in 1673. The Poor's Land, 6A. 2R. 8P., partly purchased with £30 benefaction money in 1709, and partly allotted at the enclosure in 1765, is divided into garden plots, and let to poor persons at rents amounting to £17 16s. 4d. per annum.

The Society for Prosecuting Felons hold their meetings at the Bull Inn.

POST, MONEY ORDER, SAVINGS BANK, TELEGRAPH and LICENSE OFFICE at Mr. Nicholas Polkinhorne, sub-postmaster. Letters received from Swaffham at 5.45 a.m., and despatched at 6.40 p.m.

         Ashley      George Alfred     cattle dealer
         Askew       Edward            farmer, Chalk farm
         Askew       Sharman John      watch & clock maker, and jeweller
         Baker       Wm. Carmichael    plumbr. & glzr
         Banham      John              bricklayer
         Bown        John, M.R.C.V.S.  assistant veterinary surgeon
         Bunting     Mrs Susan         carrier
         Burton      Abel              vict. King's Arms, farmer and
                                         thrashing machine owner
         Carter      James Nicholson,
                       M.R.C.V.S.Eng.  veterinary surgeon
         Chatten     James             vict. Bull Commercial Inn and
                                         Posting House
         Collison    Henry             shoemaker
         Cooke       Chas. Earsham     farmer, High hs
         Copeman     William Hicks     saddler and harness maker
         Cottrill    John              victualler, New Inn
         Crispe      George            builder & contractor,
                                         carpenter and wheelwright
         Cullam      George            porkbutcher
         Curtis      Wm.               bricklayer & contractor, agent to
                                         the Norwich Equitable Insurance Co.
         Farrer      Mr William Money
         Fitt        James             baker & corn & hay dlr
         Frost       William           bootmaker
         Hopper      Rev. Charles
                       Wesley          (United Methodist Free Church)
         Hopson      Alfred            farmer
         Houchen     John              farmer, The Priory
         Howard      Benjamin          basket maker
         Johnson     Thos.             shoemkr. & photogrphr
         Judd        Jas.              ironmonger, oil merchant, tinman,
                                         zinc & sheet iron worker
         King        John              farrier
         King        John              wheelwright & carpenter
         King        William           tailor & parish clerk
         Massingham  Ripps             butcher & dealer
         Middleton   Joseph            farm bailiff to W.A.W. Keppel
         Mitchell    James Parker      wheelwright and carpenter
         Munday      David,
                       M.R.C.S.Eng.    surgeon
         Noakes      Fras. Geo.        farmer, Manor farm
         Overman     Jacob             hardwareman and general dealer, agent
                                         to the Prudential Assurance Co.
         Overton     John              boot and shoe maker
         Polkinhorne Nicholas          fancy & general stationer, newsagent,
                                         tobacconist & confectioner,
                                         National schoolmaster,
                                         assessor & collector of taxes,
                                         poor's rate collector and
                                         postmaster, post office savings
                                         bank & telegraph office
         Randall     Wm. Fortin        grocer & draper
         Raven       Henry, F.R.C.S.   surgeon, surgeon to the Mitford district
                                         of the Mitford and Launditch union
         Rayner      Fredk.            plumber and glazier
         Savage      Samuel            shopkeeper
         Short       Robert            inspector of police for Litcham
                                         subdivision, including Fransham,
                                         Whissonsett & Weasenham
         Sizeland    Mrs Sophia
         Temple      Mr Lynes Charles
         Utting      Mrs Charlotte     shopkeeper
         Wagg        George            blacksmith
         Wales       Mrs Emma          straw bonnet mkr
         Walker      Charles Stapleton vict. Green Dragon,
                                         & thrashing machine ownr
         Ward        John              grocer, draper & agent for Jph.
                                         Travers & Sons' wines & spirits
         Warren      Mrs Emma          ladies' boarding and day school,
                                         The College
         Waters      George            blacksmith
         Wheatcroft  Samuel Hanson,    surgeon, medical officer to the
                       L.R.C.P.Edin.     Fransham district of the Mitford
                       & M.R.C.S.Eng.    & Launditch union
         White       Walter            chemist and druggist
         Winter      Rev. George
                       William, M.A.   rector, The Rectory
         Wright      James             baker & flour dealer

CARRIER - Mrs Susan Bunting to Great Dunham

Reading Room & Village Library; Alfred Hopson, sec. and treasurer
Village Hospital; Hy Raven, surgeon


First Paragraph:
for 'Great Dereham,' read 'Little Dunham.'

In Directory,
insert 'Archer George, farmer;'
for 'Bunting Mrs Susan,' read 'Bunton Mrs Susan' (so in Carriers);
for 'Chatton James,' read 'Ringwood John;'
for 'Cullam George,' read 'Cullum;'
omit 'Frost William,' 'King John,' 'Noakes Francis George,' 'Temple Mr Lynes C.;'
insert 'Lynes Miss J. Temple,' 'Ramm George, farrier;'
for Utting Mrs 'Charlotte,' read 'Maria;'
for 'Warren Mrs Emma,' read 'Richmond Miss E.'

See also the Litcham parish page.

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Copyright © Pat Newby.
February 2009