"ROLLESBY is a large scattered village and parish, 8 miles N.W. by N. of Yarmouth, containing 589 inhabitants, 1407 acres of enclosed land, and about 200 acres of the waters, called the Broads. J.M. Ensor, Esq., now in France, owns most of the soil, and is lord of the manor. He formerly resided at the Hall, a handsome building, . . . The Church (St. George) stands on an eminence, at the west end of the village, and has monuments of the Claxton, Gleane, and Mapes families. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the King's Book at £17, and now having a clear yearly rent of £648 in lieu of tithes, by commutation in 1839. J.M. Ensor, Esq., is patron, and the Rev. E.S. Ensor, B.A., incumbent. The Workhouse for the incorporated Hundreds of East and West Flegg, stands in this parish, . . . In 1620 and 1669, Cphr. Amys and Leonard Mapes left to the poor parishioners 1½A. of land, now let for £4. 10s., which is applied towards the support of a Sunday School, which was opened as a daily National School, in 1844." [William White History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Norfolk (1845) - Transcription copyright © Pat Newby]



Church of St George
Transcriptions of gravestones in the churchyard.

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Cemeteries


Church Directories

  • In 1883 the parish was in the Deanery of Flegg, in the archdeaconry of Norwich.
    It could have been in a different deanery or archdeaconry both before and after this date.
  • The parish church is dedicated to St George.

Church History

Church of St George
Description and pictures.
Church of St George
Services, etc.
Bates, A.
St George's Church, Rollesby: A History and Guide.
Sangster, Andrew
Diary of a Parish Priest: a History of England.
Letters from the incumbents of Rollesby from 1160 to 2001, with their views on both national and local political, social and ecclesiastical matters.
[ISBN 1842980483, John Hunt, 2002]

Church Records

Parish Register Transcripts
Baptisms 1813-1880
Parish Register Transcripts
Baptisms, marriages and burials
Search the Flegg Island web pages.
These are not included in Boyd's Marriage Index or 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 1923 (and for the censuses from 1851 to 1901), Rollesby was in Flegg Registration District. Between 1837 and 1850, the district was called East and West Flegg.

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Civil Registration


Description & Travel

Sangster, Andrew
Rollesby Photograph Album, 1881-2001: a hundred photographs of Rollesby past and present.
[Rollesby, 2001]

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Rollesby which are provided by:




Historical Geography

Rollesby is in West Flegg Hundred.

Parish outline and location.
See Parish Map for East Flegg and West Flegg Hundreds
Description of East Flegg and West Flegg Hundreds
1845: White's History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Norfolk

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


Land & Property

Great Britain: Statute
Rollesby Inclosure Act, 1813.
An act for inclosing lands in the parish of Rollesby, in the county of Norfolk: 1st April 1813.
[London, George Eyre and Andrew Strahan, 1813]
[London, J. Dorington, 1813]

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Land and Property



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference TG455158 (Lat/Lon: 52.684135, 1.631297), Rollesby which are provided by:


Military Records


Names, Personal


Poor Houses, Poor Law

After 1775 Rollesby became part of the East and West Flegg Incorporation, and the workhouse was in this parish.

East and West Flegg Incorporation
Parishes in the incorporation, etc.
East and West Flegg Incorporation and Workhouse
Description from White's Directory of Norfolk, 1845.
East and West Flegg Incorporation and Workhouse
Description and pictures.
Batley, Peter
The effect of the old and new poor laws on the East and West Flegg Poor Law Union in Norfolk, from 1750 to 1850.
[Great Yarmouth, 2002]
Page, R.A.
The East and West Flegg House of Industry, 1774-1803: a survey of the administration of the old poor law in a rural hundred of Norfolk.
[ISBN 0900592583, University of Cambridge Thesis, Board of Extra-Mural Studies, 1972]


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
1801  4660420
1811  7171385
1821  6884619
1831  9292717
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.

1821 Census
"The Return of Rollesby includes 231 paupers, resident in the House of Industry (or Workhouse) of the Hundreds of East and West Flegg."
1831 Census
"The Return of Rollesby Parish includes 297 Paupers, resident in the House of Industry (or Workhouse) of the Hundreds of East and West Flegg."
1851 Census
"The Return for Rollesby Parish includes 231 persons in 1821, 297 in 1831, 73 in 1841, and 106 in 1851, in the East and West Flegg Union Workhouse, which, before the New Poor Law, was the House of Industry for the Hundreds of East and West Flegg."
1901 Census
"Including Low Street and Narrowgate Corner."
1911 Census
Out of the population of 502, 40 were in a large establishment or institution. This was probably the workhouse.


Woodrow, Barbara
Rollesby School Then and Now.