Norfolk: Merton


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

[Transcription copyright © Pat Newby]

MERTON is a small detached village, 1½ mile S. by W. of Watton, 2 miles from Watton Station, and its parish is in Wayland union and hundred, Attleborough county court district, Lynn bankruptcy district, Watton petty sessional division, Watton polling district of West Norfolk, Breckles rural deanery, and Norwich archdeaconry. It had 170 inhabitants in 1881, living on 1349 acres, and has a rateable value of £1575.

All the parish belongs to Lord Walsingham, the lord of the manor, which was given by William the Conqueror to Ralph Baynard, and was carried in marriage by the heiress of Fulke Baynard, Esq., to Sir Thomas de Grey, who settled here in 1337. His descendant, Sir William de Grey, Kt., was born here in 1719, and after having been successively solicitor-general, attorney-general, and lord chief justice of the Court of Common Pleas, was created Baron Walsingham, of Walsingham, October 17, 1780.

The present Right Hon. Thomas de Grey, 6th Lord Walsingham, was born in 1843, and succeeded his father in 1870. His seat, Merton Hall, is a fine Elizabethan brick mansion, which was rebuilt in 1610, and enlarged in 1847, and extensive alterations have since been made, and a new conservatory was added in 1874-5. The Hall stands in a richly wooded park, in which are some magnificent oaks, one of which is supposed to be 1000 years old, and measures 24 ft. 4 in. in circumference at 5 feet from the ground.

The CHURCH (St. Peter) comprising nave, chancel, and round tower with three bells, stands in the Park, and contains several monuments with fine brasses of the noble family of de Grey. The rectory, valued in the King's Book at £6 0s. 5d., is in the patronage of Lord Walsingham and incumbency of the Rev. George Crabbe, B.A., who has a yearly rent-charge of £200, awarded in 1843. The rectory house stands in the parish of Thompson, over a mile from Merton church, and is a handsome residence, erected by the patron in 1851.

The Town Estate consists of five cottages and 5 acres, let for £20, applied with the church and poor rates. The poor have 20s. a year left by Sir William de Grey.

POST through Thetford, viâ Watton, which is the nearest Money Order and Telegraph Office.

         Ames         Charles           estate office clerk
         Blanchflower Robert            parish clerk
         Buckle       Israel            head gardener
         Buckle       John              head gamekeeper
         Chaston      William           farmer
         Crane        Charles           flock shepherd
         Crane        James             assist. estate office clerk
         Day          John              shepherd
         Herring      Mrs Sarah         infant shl. mistress
         Mallott      Frederick         head carpenter
         Matthews     Miss Martha and
                        Charlotte Ann   farmers
         Rudd         Henry Edward      farm bailiff to Lord Walsingham
         Silcock      Cubitt            farmer
         Woods        Henry             agent to Lord Walsingham
         Walsingham   Lord, D.L.        Merton hall

See also the Merton parish page.

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Copyright © Pat Newby.
November 2009