Wiggenhall St Mary Magdalen


"WIGGENHALL ST. MARY MAGDALEN is a large village on the west side of the Great Ouse river, which is here crossed by a long wooden bridge, 6 miles S.S.W. of Lynn. The parish contains 775 inhabitants, and about 4,000 acres of land, of which nearly three-fourths are enclosed fens, extending three miles to the south, and now well drained by three wind-mills and a steam engine of 40 horse-power. The latter was erected in 1834. The drainage rates amount on the fen lands to about 10s. 6d. per acre per annum. The soil belongs to a number of freeholders, many of whom are residents; but E.H. Browne, Esq., is lord of the manor. The CHURCH is an ancient fabric, consisting of a nave, chancel, aisles, and porch, with a square tower . . . The vicarage, valued in the King's Book at £5 15s. 10d., and in 1831 at £400, is in the gift of W. Francks, Esq., and incumbency of the Rev. John Richard Thackeray.  . . . The Baptists and Wesleyans have each a chapel here; and in the village is a National School, built in 1841. CRABHOUSE NUNNERY stood on the banks of the Ouse, north of this village," [William White, History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Norfolk (1845) - Transcription copyright © Pat Newby]


Wiggenhall St Mary Magdalen is also called just Magdalen.
See also Wiggenhall St German, Wiggenhall St Mary the Virgin, and Wiggenhall St Peter.


Church Directories

  • In 1883 the parish was in the Deanery of Lynn Marshland, in the archdeaconry of Norwich.
  • The parish church is dedicated to St Mary Magdalen.

Church History

Church of St Mary Magdalen
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.

Church Records

These are not included in Boyd's Marriage Index or Phillimore's Marriage Registers.
Archdeacon's Transcripts
Marriages This is a link to an archived copy.

Civil Registration

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

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Civil Registration


Description & Travel

You can see pictures of Wiggenhall St Mary Magdalen which are provided by:




Historical Geography

Wiggenhall St Mary Magdalen is in Freebridge Marshland hundred.

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


Land & Property

Owen, Dorothy M. and Owen, A.E.B.
The Records of a Commission of Sewers for Wiggenhall 1319-1324.
[Norfolk Record Society, vol.48, 1981]
Great Britain: Statute
Fitton in Wiggenhall Inclosure Act, 1807.
An act for inclosing lands of the manor of Fitton, in the parish of Wigginhall Saint Mary's, and other parishes therein mentioned, in the county of Norfolk.
[Independently printed edition, 1807]
Great Britain: Inclosure Commissioners
Statement of Claims: Fitton, 1808.
The manor of Fitton, with lands in the Wiggenhall parishes. 58 claims, drawn up in pursuance of the Act of Inclosure.
Great Britain: Statute
Wiggenhall Drainage Act, 1757.
An act for draining and preserving certain marsh and fen lands and low grounds, in the parish of Wiggenhall Saint Mary Magdalen, in the county of Norfolk.
[London, Thomas Baskett, 1757]
Great Britain: Statute
Wiggenhall Saint Mary Magdalen Drainage Act, 1783.
[London, Charles Eyre and William Strahan, (1783) 1784]
Great Britain: Statute
Wiggenhall Saint Mary Magdalen Drainage Act, 1833.
[London, George Eyre and Andrew Spottiswoode, 1833]
Great Britain: Statute
Wiggenhall Saint Mary Magdalen Drainage Act, 1878.
[London, George Edward Eyre and William Spottiswoode, 1878]


You can see maps centred on OS grid reference TF598113 (Lat/Lon: 52.675497, 0.361517), Wiggenhall St Mary Magdalen which are provided by:


Poor Houses, Poor Law