William White's History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Norfolk 1845[Transcription copyright © Richard Johns]
OXNEAD, a small parish on the east side of the Bure, 2½ miles S.S.E. of Aylsham, has only 56 inhabitants, 641 acres of land, in two farms, and a large duffield, blanket, &c. manufactory, established about 24 years ago, and now employing about 100 hands.
S. Bignold, Esq., purchased this manor in 1828, of Viscount Anson, now Earl of Lichfield. From 1423 till 1732, it was held by the Paston family, two of whom were Earls of Yarmouth, and one of them was the famous Clement Paston, whom Henry VIII. called his champion; Protector Somerset, his soldier; Queen Mary, her seaman; and Queen Elizabeth, her father. He erected the once splendid mansion of Oxnead Hall, in the reign of Elizabeth, to which additions were made by the first Earl of Yarmouth, who built the banqueting room to receive Charles II. and his royal and noble attendants, in 1676. The building was in the form of the letter H, but the whole was taken down many years since, except one wing occupied by a farmer. William Paston, the second Earl of Yarmouth, died without male issue, in 1732.
Six Tenements, built by the famous Clement Paston, in 1594, for the residence of the aged servants of his family, are now taken possession of by poor people, as opportunities occur.
The Church (St. Michael,) is a small edifice embowered in trees. The chancel is paved with black and white marble, and has a handsome marble tomb, on which lies the effigy of Clement Paston, who died in 1597. By him lies also the effigy of his wife, and at his feet is a pelican. The rectory, valued in the King's Book at £9. 1s. 5d., is consolidated with Buxton and Skeyton. (See page 471 [which is the entry for Skeyton]. The tithes of Oxnead have been commuted for £180 per annum.
Bleakley Robert and Page duffield, blanket, &c. mfrs., Oxnead Mill, (and Norwich) Bond George farmer Spink Wm. farm steward to Executors of R. Waters
See also the Oxnead parish page.
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