"WHISSONSETT, a village and parish, 5 miles S. of Fakenham, contains 702 inhabitants, and 1328 acres of land. Colonel Jones is lord of the manor, but here are a number of small land-owners. A fair is held here on Whit-Wednesday, for shoes and pedlery. The CHURCH, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, is a large structure, with a tower, four bells, and several inscriptions to the Bozoun, Hapton, Gybon, and other families. The rectory, valued in the King's Book at £10. 3s. 4d., is consolidated with Horningtoft, in the gift of F.R. Reynolds, Esq., and incumbency of the Rev. E.C. Kemp. The joint benefices were valued in 1831 at £722 per ann. The tithes of this parish have been commuted for the yearly rent of £327. The common was enclosed in 1812. Nicholas Dunham, in 1591, left the yearly rent-charges of 16s. 8d. to this parish, and 3s. 4d. each to Colkirk, Horningtoft, and Oxwick, for the poor." [William White, History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Norfolk (1845) - Transcription copyright © Pat Newby]



Pegg, Lesley
Memorial Inscriptions, St Mary the Virgin, Whissonsett, with plan of church and churchyard, and index.
[Mid-Norfolk Family History Society, 1998]
Surnames in Church Memorials
With names from the War Memorial for WW1 and WW2.

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Cemeteries


Church Directories

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

Church History

Church of the Virgin Mary
Description, history and pictures.
Church of the Virgin Mary
Description and pictures.

Church Records

Marriages 1700-1837
See Phillimore's Marriage Registers, Volume 8.
These are included in Boyd's Marriage Index.

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), Whissonsett was in Mitford and Launditch Registration District.

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Civil Registration


Description & Travel

Whissonsett Village Pages
Description, history, people, events, organisations, pictures, village archives, etc.
Whissonsett North Post Mill
Whissonsett South Post Mill

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Whissonsett which are provided by:




Historical Geography

Whissonsett is in Launditch Hundred.

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

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



Whissonsett - A Norfolk Village.
The history of the village from Saxon days to families in the present century, with illustrations and surname index.
[Privately published, 2000]
List of Surnames
The Changing Face of Whissonsett.
The development of the village over the centuries, how buildings and streets have altered, the agriculture and people, etc. With illustrations.

Land & Property



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference TF919235 (Lat/Lon: 52.774524, 0.843542), Whissonsett which are provided by:


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
Families Population
1801   55   82 387
1811   55   95 434
1821 124 124 522
1831 140 141 628
1841 138   -- 702
1851 149   -- 666
Year   Inhabited
Families Population
1861 156   -- 692
1871 154 155 626
1881 143 147 608
1891 133 136 577
1901 116 116 450
1911   -- 114 433

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.

1851 Census
"The decrease of population in the Parish of Whissonsett is attributed to several families having removed to other parts."
1901 Census
"Including Hamrow."