Norfolk: Ranworth and Panxworth


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

[Transcription copyright © Pat Newby]

RANWORTH AND PANXWORTH, the former near the river Bure, 10 miles E.N.E. of Norwich, are two parishes united for poor law purposes, and are in the Walsham hundred, Blofield union, Blofield and Walsham petty sessional division, Norwich county court and bankruptcy districts, Blofield polling district of South Norfolk, Blofield rural deanery, and Norwich archdeaconry.

They had 438 inhabitants in 1881, living on 2434A. 1R. of land. The rateable value is £3564 15s. In the parish are several broads or lakes, one of which was a large decoy. Miss Kerrison owns most of the soil, and is lady of the manor, which was anciently held by the Bigods and Howards. She resides at the Hall, a neat mansion, with pleasant grounds and a fine sheet of water.

The CHURCH (St. Helen) comprises nave, chancel, north and south porches, and square embattled tower with five bells, and is celebrated for the rich remains of ancient wood carving still preserved in it. Its magnificent chancel screen, adorned with painting and gilding, is considered to be one of the best examples of that branch of art in the county, and bears figures of St. Simon, St. Thomas, St. Bartholomew, St. James the Greater, St. Andrew, St. Peter, St. Paul, St. John, St. Philip, St. James the Less, St. Jude, and St. Matthew. The parclose screens are equally gorgeous, the angels above the figures producing a striking and brilliant effect, but they are not remarkable for beauty of execution. The north side has figures of St. Withburga, St. John the Baptist, St. Joseph, St. Barbara, St. George, and St. Stephen. Above the latter is the figure of a bishop. The south side has figures of St. Lawrence (with an archbishop above him), St. Michael, St. Salome, St. Mary the Virgin, St. Mary (the mother of James), and St. Etheldreda.

The ancient lectern is also deserving notice, but much of the splendid carving which once adorned this church has been destroyed by mistaken zeal or the slower decay of time. In the chancel is a piscina, and here are several tablets of the Kerrison, Preston, and Heath families.

The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the King's Book at £4, and now at £308, with that of Upton annexed to it. In 1773 and 1787 it was augmented with £400 of Queen Anne's Bounty. The Rev. John William Greaves, B.A., is the incumbent, and the Bishop of Norwich patron. The rectorial tithes are now the property of George Danby Palmer, Esq. The glebe here is 10A. 19P., and the tithes were commuted in 1839 - the vicarial for £132 5s., and the rectorial for £225 5s. per annum. The Vicarage House is a good white brick residence, built in 1845, at a cost of £900.

There is a Church of England school here. The building is held in trust by the bishop, and attended by over 60 children. The school is held in a small building purchased in 1859. Miss Sarah Mallet is mistress.

The Poor's Land (about 3½ acres), belonging to Ranworth-with-Panxworth, is let for £2 15s. 6d., but the donor is unknown. The common was enclosed in 1800.

PANXWORTH, 9 miles E.N.E. of Norwich, is a small village and parish, containing about 577 acres of land. Miss Kerrison and the trustees of the late H.N. Burroughs, Esq., own most of the soil, and the former is lady of the manor.

The CHURCH (All Saints), after being many years in ruins, was entirely rebuilt in 1847, at a cost of £600, except the ancient tower, which still remains and has two bells. It is a neat but small edifice, with good open benches, having sittings for 120 hearers. The benefice is a rectory, valued in the King's Book at £6, and has been consolidated with Woodbastwick since 1699. The glebe here is 32A. 2R. 30P., and the tithes were commuted in 1839 for £143 15s. 9d. per annum.


POST from Norwich, via Blofield. Letter Box near Staithe cleared at 3 p.m., delivery at 9 a.m. Nearest Money Order and Telegraph Office Blofield.

         Barnes     Robert           shopkeeper
         Chapman    Harry            carrier
         Goulder    Robert           farmer
         Greaves    Rev. J. W., B.A. vicar of Ranworth-with-Upton, The Vicarage
         Jermey     William          parish clerk
         Kerrison   Miss Charlotte   The Hall
         Kerrison   Miss Julia       The Hall
         Kerrison   Miss Mary Anna   The Hall
         Lemmon     Robert           reed merchant
         Mallet     Miss Sarah
         Mills      Jacob            mltstr. (Mealing & Mills, maltsters,
                                       Norwich); h Surrey street, Norwich
         Palmer     George Danby,    The Priory
                      Esq., J.P.
         Starling   Thomas Jas.      blacksmith and victualler, The Maltsters
         Waters     Hy. Jas.         frmr.; h Panxworth
CARRIER - Hy. Chapman, to and from Norwich, Wed. and Sat.


POST from Norwich, via Blofield.

         Alexander  Miss Sarah       shopkeeper
         Chapman    James            corn miller and merchant
         Mealing                     maltsters; and Norwich and Ranworth
           & Mills
         Smithdale                   iron founders and agricultural
           & Son                       implement makers; and Norwich
         Smithdale  Thomas           (Smithdale & Son)
         Sutton     Benjamin         grocer and butcher
         Walker     David            farmer
         Walker     E. F.            valuer, &c.
         Waters     Henry James      farmer
         Wright     William          victualler, The Lion

See also the Ranworth and Panxworth parish pages.

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Copyright © Pat Newby.
August 2000