ASHWELLTHORPE, a parish and village 9 miles S.W. of Norwichhas 89 houses, 467 souls, and 979 acres of land, formerly divided into two parishes, called Ashwell and Thorpe, possessed in early times by the family of De Thorpe, from whom the manor passed to the Bouchier, Knyvett, and Wilson families. Lord Berners, as the representative of the latter family, is the present owner, and also patron of the rectory, valued in the King's book at £6 13s. 4d., and in 1831, at £650, with that of Wreningham annexed to it, in the incumbency of the Rev. Arthur Wilson Upchurch. The Church, dedicated to All Saints, has a square tower and five bells, and has a handsome octangular font. A side chapel contains the altar tomb of Sir Edmd. de Thorpe, bearing effigies of himself and lady. He was slain at the siege of Lover's Castle, in Normandy, but was interred here. A neat mural tablet remembers Lord Berners, who died in 1838. The father of the above-mentioned Sir Edmd. de Thorpe, having married without obtaining license of King Edward III., was fined £20. The tithes of Ashwellthorpe are commuted for £340, and those of Wreningham for £400. The Hall, a brick Elizabethan mansion, is occupied by the Hon. Mrs. Wilson, and Hy. Wm. Sheppard, Esq. The Fuel allotment, 1a. 1r. 31p., awarded at the enclosure in 1814, adjoins 10a. enclosed for the use of the workhouse 65 years ago, and the whole is let for £18 a year. The old workhouse was sold after the formation of the Depwade Union. A National school, established in 1841, is attended by fifty children.
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