"WATTON is a small but neat MARKET TOWN, pleasantly situated at the junction of roads from Norwich and Dereham to Brandon and Thetford; on the south side of the vale of a rivulet, 21 miles W. by S. of Norwich, 10 miles S.S.W. of East Dereham, 9 miles S.E. by E. of Swaffham, and 90 miles N.N.E. of London. ?Its PARISH contains 1808 acres of land, belonging to a number of proprietors, and has increased its population since the year 1801, from 693 to 1188 souls. It is in two MANORS, viz., Watton Hall, of which W.H. Hicks, Esq., (now a minor,) is lord; and Rockolls, of which Mr. John Land is lord. . . . MARKET to be held every Wednesday, as it still continues, chiefly for corn; but it was formerly celebrated as a great butter mart, . . . five annual FAIRS, . . . The Church (St. Mary,) stands about a quarter of a mile out of the town,  …  has several monumental inscriptions to the Hammond, Wodehouse, Samwell, and other families. The benefice is a discharged vicarage, valued in the King's Book at £7. 0s. 4d., and in 1840, at £90. W.H. Hicks, Esq., is patron, and also impropriator of the rectorial tithes; and the Rev. Peter Blomfield Jeckell, B.A. is the incumbent. . . . The Independents and the Wesleyan and Primitive Methodists have each a chapel in the town. The National School, built by Wm. Robinson, Esq., in 1819, was rebuilt on a larger scale in 1842. ...The Savings' Bank, established in 1819, . . . In the town are Almshouses, . . . founded in 1611, by Edward Goaffe, ... Mr. Edward Stevens, a living benefactor,"   [William White, History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Norfolk (1845) - Transcription copyright © Pat Newby]



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.

Mid-Norfolk Family History Society
Memorial Inscriptions of the Church and Churchyard of St Mary, Watton, Norfolk.
Book 1: The earliest area of the churchyard and inside the church.
Book 2: The east area of the churchyard (from 1891).
[Mid-Norfolk Family History Society, 2001]
Church of St Mary
Transcriptions and photographs of memorials.

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Cemeteries


Church Directories

  • In 1883 the parish was in the Deanery of Breckles, 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 Mary.

Church History

Church of St Mary
Description and pictures.
Church of St Mary
Services, etc.
Church of St Mary
Minister, services, events, groups, etc.
Church of St Mary
Pictures of the church.
Methodist Church
Minister, services, organisations, etc.
Methodist Church
Minister, services, picture, etc.
Follow the link to the home page, then search for the church.
Chapman, Cecil F.; Chapman, Kate; and Chapman, Lesley
The Recollection will now be taken.
Watton New Methodist Church: fiftieth anniversary souvenir booklet, 1927-1977.
[Watton New Methodist Church, 1977]
Primitive Methodist Churches
Description and pictures.
Congregationalism in Watton
Pastors from 1819 to 1877.
Grigson, E.R.
Watton Congregational Church: an historical sketch, and information respecting this church, and the stations at Carbrooke and Shipdham.
[Watton, Printed by J.W. Gowing, 1872]
Pentecostal Church
History over 150 years.
Pentecostal Church
Services, groups, etc.

Church Records

Mid-Norfolk Family History Society
The Registers of St Mary's Church, Watton, Norfolk.
Book 1: Banns 1754-1902. Marriages 1730-1902.
Book 2: Baptisms 1730-1901.
Book 3: Burials 1730-1901.
Book 4: Marriages 1539-1730.
Book 5, Baptisms 1539-1730.
Book 6: Burials 1539-1730.
[Mid-Norfolk Family History Society, 2002]
Parish Register Transcripts
Baptisms 1813-1880
These are not included in Boyd's Marriage Index or Phillimore's Marriage Registers.
Seaman, Peter J.; and Palgrave-Moore, Patrick
Norfolk Nonconformist Registers. No.1: Mattishall and Dereham Congregational 1772-1837, Mattishall and Watton Primitive Methodist 1832-1837; transcribed and indexed.
[Norwich, Norfolk and Norwich Genealogical Society, 1983]
Independent Congregationalist Register Transcripts
Baptisms 1813-1880

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Church Records


Civil Registration

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

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Civil Registration


Description & Travel

Watton Town Council
Councillors, meetings, minutes, etc.
History of Watton
Description, history, events, churches, books, organisations, schools, railway, pictures, etc.
Various topics about Watton.
Chapman, Cecil F.
Grandad's Watton - and - More about Grandad's Watton. (2 volumes)
[Watton, 1985]
Horn, Julian
Watton: Some snapshots of its history.
[Wayland Partnership Development Trust, Capturing our Wayland Heritage, Including DVD, 2011]
Watton Post Mill
Description, history and map.

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Watton which are provided by:




Historical Geography

Watton is in Wayland Hundred.

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

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



Barton, Thomas Frederick
Notices of the town and parish of Watton.
[Norwich, Norfolk and Norwich Archaeological Society, in "Norfolk Archaeology", vol.3, 1852]
Jessup, George
Watton through the ages.
[ISBN 0900616695, Wymondham, George Reeve, 2003]
[First published 1985]
Workers' Educational Association, Watton Branch
Watton in an earlier age, 1700-1900.
[Watton, Workers' Educational Association, Watton Branch, 1976]


You can see maps centred on OS grid reference TF916007 (Lat/Lon: 52.570195, 0.825089), Watton which are provided by:


Military History

RAF Watton
Description, history, people, memories, pictures, etc.
RAF Watton Airfield
Description, history and pictures.
RAF Watton Airfield
Description and picture.
Bodle, Peter
The 3rd Strategic Air Depot and 25th Bomb Group in Norfolk: a pictorial history of the USAAF's 3rd and the 25th Bombardment Group at Watton, during WWII.
[ISBN 0955191645, Stoke Ferry, Liberator Publishing, 2007]
Gardiner, Geoff
Airfield Focus 30: Watton.
[ISBN 1870384598, GMS Enterprises, 1996]
Malayney, Norman
The 25th Bomb Group in World War II.
[ISBN 0764339509, Schiffer Military History, 2011]
Sesler, George R.
An Accounting of the 25th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force, World War 2, Watton, England, 1944-1945: Aerial intelligence of the 8th Air Force.

Military Records

Roll of Honour
World War 1.
Roll of Honour - Church of St Mary
World Wars 1 and 2.
Roll of Honour - Nonconformist Burial Ground
World Wars 1 and 2.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission: Watton St Mary Cemetery
World Wars 1 and 2.

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Military Records


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
1801148155  693
1811168172  794
1821199199  894
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.

1901 Census
"Including Neaton, and Watton Green."


Bardwell, H.F.
History of the Watton Freemasons Lodge no.7107: a story of the events leading up to the foundation and consecration of the lodge and a few important developments that took place in the first ten years.
[Watton, The Lodge, 1962]