"RIDDLESWORTH parish, 4 miles S.W. of East Harling, and 6 miles E. by S. of Thetford, has a few scattered houses, 70 inhabitants, and 1137 acres of land, in the vale of the Little Ouse. Except 14 acres of glebe, all the land is the property of and occupied by Thomas Thornhill, Esq., of Riddlesworth Hall, a neat white mansion, in a pleasant park, erected on the site of the old manor house, by Sylvanus Bevan, Esq., who purchased the estate in 1712, previous to which it had long been the seat of the knightly family of Drury, which ended in female issue. The CHURCH (St. Peter,) has a square tower and one bell. In the chancel is a fine monument of Sir Drue Drury, with his effigy in armour, and two angels kneeling under a canopy. The rectory, valued in K.B. at £11. 2s. 8½d. is consolidated with Gasthorpe, in the gift of T. Thornhill, Esq., and incumbency of the Rev. Wm. Darby, M.A." [William White, History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Norfolk (1845) - Transcription copyright © Mike Bristow]


See also Gasthorpe.



Not all memorials may be included, even when a transcription is marked as complete, for example when stones are not legible enough to be read or photographed.

Church of St Peter
Transcriptions and photographs of memorials.

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Cemeteries


Church Directories

  • In 1883 the parish was in the Deanery of Rockland, in the archdeaconry of Norfolk.
    It could have been in a different deanery or archdeaconry both before and after this date.
  • The parish church is dedicated to St Peter.
    Its rectory was consolidated with Gasthorpe in 1681.

Church History

Church of St Peter
Description and pictures.
Church of St Peter
Services, etc.

Church Records

King, Graham Loveday
Riddlesworth with Gasthorpe Parish Registers.
Baptisms 1686-1840, Marriages 1688-1840, Burials 1686-1840.
[Transcript in Norwich Local Studies Library, 2010]
Parish Register Transcripts
Baptisms 1813-1880 for Riddlesworth with Gasthorpe
These are included in Boyd's Marriage Index.
They are not included in Phillimore's Marriage Registers.

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Church Records


Civil Registration

For the civil registration of births, marriages and deaths between 1837 and 1902 (and for the censuses of 1851 to 1901), Riddlesworth was in Guiltcross Registration District.

This district was abolished on 1st April 1902 and, from then until 1930, Riddlesworth was in Thetford Registration District for civil registration.

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Civil Registration


Description & Travel

Harper, Charles Hugh Richardson
Breckland Portraits: recollections of a Norfolk parson.
Bridgham, Riddlesworth and West Harling.
[ISBN 1901470032, East Harling, Taverner Publications, 1997]

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Riddlesworth which are provided by:




Historical Geography

Riddlesworth is in Guiltcross Hundred.

Parish outline and location.
See Parish Map for Guiltcross Hundred
Description of Guiltcross Hundred
1845: White's History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Norfolk

You can see the administrative areas in which Riddlesworth has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.


Land & Property

Lamb, Ceri
Riddlesworth Hall: a brief history.
[Lowestoft, 1996]
Land Tax
Principal property owners and occupiers, and the amounts paid.

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Land and Property



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference TL967812 (Lat/Lon: 52.393882, 0.889288), Riddlesworth which are provided by:


Poor Houses, Poor Law



These figures are from the population tables which were produced after the 10-yearly national censuses. The "Families" heading includes families and single occupiers.

Year  Inhabited
18011313  67
1811  913  73
18211013  83
18311013  76
184114--  70
Year  Inhabited

There may be more people living in detached parts of the parish (if there were any) and, if so, the number may or may not be included in the figures above. It is quite difficult to be sure from the population tables.

1841 and 1851 Censuses
"Gasthorpe having no church is united with Riddlesworth for ecclesiastical purposes."
1861 Census
"GUILTCROSS. The decrease of population in most of the parishes of this District is attributed partly to the migration of labourers to towns and manufacturing districts. In some parishes it has also been consequent upon the failure of hand-loom hemp-cloth weaving."

Other population figures