"SHOULDHAM is a pleasant village, with several neat modern houses, on a small green, 5½ miles N.E. of Downham, and 10 miles W. of Swaffham. Its parish contains 683 inhabitants, and 3,775 acres, of which, 2,674 acres, including a rabbit warren, belong to Sir Thos. Hare, Bart., the lord of the manor; . . . In some old writings it is called Market Shouldham, and it has still two fairs for horses, cattle, and sheep, on Sept. 19th and Oct. 11th. Here was anciently a Priory, founded in the reign of Richard I. . . . To this priory was attached a large Grammar School, of which John Elvedon was master, in 1462. It had also a church, dedicated to St. Margaret, which was standing in 1519. The parish CHURCH, (All Saints,) is at the east end of the village, and has recently been thoroughly repaired, and the chancel rebuilt. . . . The living is a perpetual curacy, (not in charge,) annexed to Shouldham-Thorpe, in the incumbency of the Rev. C.J. Orman, and patronage of Sir Thomas Hare, the impropriator of all the tithes, out of which he pays the curate's stipend, £120 per annum. Here is a Wesleyan Chapel, built in 1816 . . . Here is a Sunday School, attended by more than 100 children. " [William White History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Norfolk (1845) - Transcription copyright © Pat Newby]


Church Directories

  • In 1883 the parish was in the Deanery of Fincham, 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 All Saints.

Civil Registration

For the civil registration of births, marriages and deaths between 1837 and 1930 (and for the censuses from 1851 to 1901), Shouldham was in Downham Registration District.

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Civil Registration

You can see pictures of Shouldham which are provided by:




Historical Geography

Shouldham is in Clackclose Hundred.

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

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


Land & Property

Commissioners Appointed for Inclosing Lands
Shouldham and Shouldham-Thorpe Inclosure: schedule of the public allotments, public, private and bridle roads, footpaths, drain, fences, rules, orders, etc.
[Lynn Regis (King's Lynn), Printed by R. Marshall, 1798]

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Land and Property



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference TF676091 (Lat/Lon: 52.654155, 0.476873), Shouldham which are provided by:


Poor Houses, Poor Law