William White's History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Norfolk 1883
[Transcription copyright © Pat Newby]
RACKHEATH is a parish and scattered village, 4½ miles N.E. by N. of Norwich, on the Stalham road, and is in St. Faith's union, Taverham hundred and petty sessional division, Norwich county court and bankruptcy district, Norwich polling district of South Norfolk, Taverham rural deanery, and Norwich archdeaconry. It had 302 inhabitants in 1881, living on 1980 acres of light loamy land, with a substratum of chalk. It has a rateable value of £3055, and was anciently in two parishes, called Great and Little Rackheath; but the church in the latter division was taken down several centuries ago, and its site is now unknown.
Sir H.J. Stracey, Bart., is the owner of the soil and lord of the manor. He resides at the Hall, a handsome white brick mansion in the Italian style, standing on an eminence in an extensive and richly wooded park, which is well stocked with deer, and contains a large lake. At the entrance are fixed the elegantly designed wrought-iron gates, purchased at the Great Exhibition of 1851, by the present baronet, who has much improved and enlarged both the park and house. The house contains a splendid walnut sideboard, finely carved with figures of men, fruit, fish, and game; and also a choice collection of paintings, amongst which are a Vandyck, and a very valuable Rubens, representing Coriolanus before Rome.
Rackheath was anciently held by a family of its own name, and had a priory, the temporalities of which were valued in 1428 at 41s. 3d. The Yelvertons, afterwards Earls of Essex, were seated here in the reign of Edward II.
The CHURCH (All Saints) is a small structure of the Early Decorated period, standing alone in the fields, and comprising nave with south aisle and clerestory, chancel, and square tower containing three bells. Here are several mural tablets of the Pettus and Stracey families. The windows were all filled with rich stained glass in 1857, at the expense of Sir Henry Josias Stracey, Bart., who is patron of the rectory, valued in the King's Book at £6 13s. 4d., and now having 26 acres of glebe and a yearly rent-charge of £450, awarded in 1837 in lieu of tithes, and is in the incumbency of the Rev. Thomas Harrison, who has a neat brick residence built in 1856, at a cost of £1200.
The school, to which a residence for the mistress is attached, was erected in 1850 by the late baronet, was enlarged in 1881, and is attended by about 75 children. A parish reading-room was built in 1881, and is supplied with the local papers and periodicals.
POST OFFICE at Mr. James Newstead's. Letters arrive at 5.20 a.m., and are despatched at 5.45 p.m., viâ Norwich, which is the nearest Money Order and Telegraph Office.
Arnup Philip parish clerk
Arnup William market gardener
Hammond Miss Ellen schoolmistress
Harrison Rev. Thomas, M.A. rector
Howlett Horace Saml. farmer & vict. Green Man
Ives Henry butler
Kemp William farmer
Morris Samuel farmer and bricklayer
Nicholls Mrs Mary Leman farmer
Newstead James shoemaker
Stracey Sir Henry Josias,
Bart. J.P. D.L. The Hall
Stracey Kingston, Esq. B.A. The Hall
Sutton Henry farmer
Sutton Stephen Robert farmer
Tallowin Samuel farmer, Hall farm and Green farm
Thrower James blacksmith
Vincent Henry head gardener
Vout William estate carpenter
CARRIERS from Ludham and Stalham to Norwich pass through on Mon. Wed. and Sat
See also the Rackheath parish page.
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