Norfolk: Ludham


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

[Transcription copyright © Peter Green]

LUDHAM is a large and well-built village 13 miles N.E. by E. of Norwich, and N.W. of Yarmouth, and its parish is in Smallburgh union, Happing hundred, Happing and Tunstead petty sessional division, Norwich county court district, Norwich bankruptcy district, Stalham polling district of North Norfolk, Happing division of Waxham rural deanery, and Norfolk archdeaconry.

It had 796 inhabitants in 1881, living on 2977 acres of land, and has a rateable value of £6294. The parish is bounded on three sides by the Bure, the Thurne, and the Ant. It is in the two manors of Waltham Hall and Ludham Bacon, of both of which the Bishop of Norwich is lord, but the principal landowners are Aaron Neave, Thomas Slipper, William A. Page, Alfred Neave, F. Green, -- Rudd, and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners.

The parish was granted to the see by Henry VIII. (in exchange for other estates), after the dissolution of the abbey of St. Bennet's at the Holm, to which this parish belonged. This monastery stood in the adjacent parish of Horning, but its mitred abbot had here a residence and farm called The Grange, which was afterwards used as the Bishop's Palace, but the greater part of it was burnt down in 1611, and since then the domestic chapel has been converted into a granary, and the remains of the palace into a farmhouse, now called Ludham Hall.

The navigable river Ant, which bounds the parish on the west, drains a very large district, and the marshes extend to a great width at the lower part of its course from Wayford bridge to Ludham bridge. The latter has but a very narrow waterway, and after much rain, at certain states of the tide, the wherrymen have as great a difficulty in forcing their vessels through it, as formerly the lightermen had at Old London bridge. Ludham bridge was erected and repaired by the Abbots of St. Bennet's, afterwards by the Bishops of Norwich, who succeeded to the Abbots' property, and now by the Drainage Commissioners. It was rebuilt in 1811.

The CHURCH (St. Catherine) is a large and handsome fabric of flint and stone, chiefly of Perpendicular architecture. It consists of nave with aisles and clerestory, chancel, north and south porches, and square embattled tower containing five bells. The chancel, which was restored in 1861 by the Bishop of Norwich, at a cost of £400, contains a piscina and canopied sedilia. The font is octagonal, and ornamented with the symbols of the evangelists. The chancel screen is of elaborate workmanship, and was formerly richly gilt. It has the figures of twelve saints painted on its lower compartments, and is one of the finest screens in the county. The chancel floor is inlaid with encaustic tiles.

In the church chest is preserved a black-letter Bible of the time of James I. The Register dates from the year 1583. Here are brasses to Grace Whitey, dated 1611, and tablets to the Beecroft, Howse, Browne, Johnson, Horsley and Rust families.

The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the King's Book at £5.6s.8d., and now at £303, in the incumbency of the Rev. Henry Walker, M.A., who has a good residence built in 1858, at a cost of £800, and 38 acres of glebe. The Bishop of Norwich is patron, and appropriator of the rectorial tithes. About 314 acres are tithe-free, and the rent-charge on the remainder is £943.

The Wesleyans and Baptists have each a chapel here. The former a fine Gothic building, containing 250 sittings, erected in 1866, at a cost of £550.

In Elizabeth's reign Bishop Redmor procured a fair and market for Ludham, and the former is still held as a pleasure mart, on the Thursday and Friday after Trinity Sunday.

A Board School was built here in 1872, at a cost of £1200, to accommodate 140 children. Mr. Horatio Girdlestone is clerk to the School Board, which was established in 1872.

The three Poor's Allotments, awarded at the enclosure in 1802, comprise 124A.3R.35P. One of them (about 80 acres) is a wet marsh, abounding in reeds, though let for £30 a year. Another, containing 11A.2R.4P. is let for £5, and the other (33A.1R.31P.) is let for £20. The rents and profits are distributed in coals, together with £18 a year, arising from 8A.2R.5P., awarded at the enclosure, in lieu of land left by Philippo and Francis Haddon in 1630, and other donors; and 32s. a year, as the interest of £50, derived from the sale of the Town House, in 1790.

POST, MONEY ORDER OFFICE, and SAVINGS BANK at John Thomas Thurgate's. Letters, via Norwich, at 9 a.m., and despatched at 2.40 p.m., and 5.40 p.m.

         Blaxall     Charles           farmer
         Bunn        Mrs. Ann          victualler, Dog
         Chaplin     John              wheelwright
         Chaplin     John, jun.        wheelwright
         Clarke      John              corn, coal, and manure merchant, farmer,
                                         and wine and spirit merchant,
                                         Staithe house
         Clarke      Mr. Robert
         Clarke      Samuel            maltster, Staithe house
         Clipperton  Joseph            farmer and owner, Common
         Colman      James             tailor and draper
         Dawson      Robt.             farmer, Cold Harbour
         England     Daniel Chasteney  engineer, millwright, iron and brass 
                                         founder, and maker and inventor of
                                         the patent turbine for fen drainage,
                                         and vict. King's Arms
         England     Mrs. H.           grocer and draper
         England     Kirby Edmund      butcher
         Fairhead    Mrs Clara         earthenware dealer
         Farrar      James             plumber and painter
         Fendick     Mrs Sarah
         Frosdick    Thomas            farmer; h. Stalham
         Gibbs       Richard           farm bailiff, Ludham hall
         Girdlestone Horatio           tailor and clerk to School Board
         Gordon      James Alexander,
                       L.R.C.P. Edin.,
                       L.R.C.S. Edin.,
                       L.M.            physician and surgeon, Manor house
         Green       William Frederick farmer and owner; h Wroxham
         Grapes      Miss Emily        corn miller
         Grapes      George            shopkeeper
         Grapes      James             farmer, Common
         Grapes      Wm.               glove mkr. and thatcher
         Hacon       Mrs. Ann Eliza    The Grange
         Hacon       Herbert Jeffery   farmer, The Grange
         Harrison    Robert            farmer and boat builder
         Kittle      Edward            farmer
         Knights     Samuel            saddler
         Lake        William           corn miller and farmer
         Lemon       James             farmer, Walton hall
         Lincoln     George            bricklayer
         Lincoln     Walter            beerhs. and bricklayer
         Lyon        Fred.             grocer, draper, and agent for the
                                         Norwich Equitable Ins. Co.
         Millett     William           farm bailiff, Beech farm
         Neave       Aaron             farmer and owner, Home farm
         Neave       Alfd.             farmer & owner, High hs.
         Newton      Robert            carpenter
         Oakley      Theodore          shoemaker
         Page        Alfred            rate collector and assistant overseer
         Page        William Augustus  farmer and owner, Howe hill; h. Oby
         Page        William Thaxter   plumber and painter, &c
         Robinson    William T. & Miss Board School teachers
         Slaughter   Edward            greengrocer and fishmonger
         Slaughter   John              shoemaker
         Slipper     Thomas            farmer and owner, Fritton house;
                                         and at Blofield
         Spanton     Charles           farmer
         Thurgate    John Thomas       blacksmith, parish clerk, and postmaster
         Thurgate    William Thomas    carrier
         Vince       William Carey     grocer and draper
         Walker      Rev. Hy., M.A.    vicar, Vicarage
         Warley      Robert            blacksmith
         Willgress   Mrs. Juliana      vict. Crown Inn
         Woollsey    Mrs. Mary Ann
         Worts       Thomas            farmer, Ludham hall; h. Sutton
         Wright      James             farmer, Common

CARRIER - Wm. Thos. Thurgate to Norwich, Mon. Wed. and Sat.

See also the Ludham parish page.

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Copyright © Pat Newby.
November 1999