"UPWELL, sometimes called WELL, is a long and populous village, adjoining Outwell, 6 miles S.E. of Wisbech, and 9 miles W. by S. of Downham, in the fens, where the old rivers Nene, Welney, and Well Creek fall into the Wisbech canal. It is the largest parish in the county,- having increased its population since 1801, from 3,076 to 3,895 souls, and comprising no less than 15,000 acres of land; but 1,491 of the inhabitants, and 7,000 acres are in the Isle of Ely, Cambridgeshire, where the poor are maintained separately from the Norfolk part of the parish, which lies in R.G. Townley, Esq.'s manor of Beaupre Hall,  ... but Wm. Lee, Esq., and some others have estates here. Both townships are in Downham Union  ...   Welney, which lies to the south, is considered as a parochial chapelry to Upwell. King John granted it a weekly market on Wednesday, to which Henry VI. added a fair, to be held on St. Peter and St. Paul's day.  ... The greater part of the parish is fen,  ... including the hamlets of LAKESEND, TIPSEND, and BRIMSTONE HILL, from 4 to 5 miles S. of the CHURCH, (St. Peter,) which stands in Norfolk, and is a large edifice,  ... The RECTORY, valued in the King's Book at £16, is consolidated with Welney, in the patronage of R.G. Townley, Esq., and incumbency of the Rev. W.G. Townley, of Beaupre Hall, in Outwell. The joint benefices are worth upwards of £4,000 per annum. The Wesleyan and Primitive Methodists, and the Baptists have each a chapel here; and in the village is a Free School, for 200 children," [William White, History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Norfolk (1845) - Transcription copyright © Pat Newby]


Upwell was formerly in both Cambridgeshire and Norfolk.
See also the Genuki/Cambridgeshire Upwell page.


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 St Peter.

Church History

Church of St Peter
Description of the bells and picture of the church.
Methodist Church
Minister, services, picture, etc.
Follow the link to the home page, then search for the church.

Civil Registration

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

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Civil Registration

You can see pictures of Upwell which are provided by:




Historical Geography

Upwell 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 Upwell has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.



Jeans, Richard
Upwell: History of a Fenland Village.
[ISBN 0951291106, Elspeth Press, 1987]

Land & Property



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference TF505027 (Lat/Lon: 52.601536, 0.220667), Upwell which are provided by:


Military Records

Roll of Honour for World Wars 1 and 2
Names, ages, families, dates of death, etc.

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Military Records


Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • After 1834 Upwell became part of the Wisbech Union, and the workhouse was at Wisbech in Cambridgeshire.