BARTON BENDISH (with the hamlet of EASTMOOR) is a patish and village, 8 miles east from Downham Market, in the Western division of the county, Clackclose hundred, Downham union and county court district, rural deanery of Fincham, archdeaconry of Norfolk and diocese of Norwich. The church of St. Andrew is a finely-proportioned structure, built of flint and freestone, mainly in the Decorated style, and consists of chancel, nave, porch and tower. in which are 5 bells; the porch front is diversified with shields and St. Andrews crosses wrought in stone, and a niche, with mutilated effigy of St. Andrew: the doorway into the church is a fine specimen of Norman work : a massive roof, of plain open timber work and slate, of the original pitch, was erected over the nave by subscription and at the expense of the parish in 1868, replacing a dilapidated one of thatch : two Norman windows in the north side of he nave, and one other of late date, were repaired by a former rector and filled with stained glass : the old staircase to the rood-loft is perfect, and a niche is partially visible behind the pulpit : a solid oak screen separates the tower from the nave, and the east wall of the chancel below the window is lined with oak panelling : open sittings prevail in this church, dating from 1623 : on the chancel south wall are traces (visible only from the outside) of a leper's window : a few relics of ancient tesselated pavement of the church may still be seen within the communion rails. The register dates from the year 1695. The living is a rectory, yearly value about £385, with residence,in the gift of the Lord Chancellor and held since 1856 by the Rev. John Holley M.A. of St/ Peter's College. Cambridge. The church of St. Mary is of about the same period as St Andrew's : the tower fell. in Queen Anne's reign, beating down a portion of the nave, and marring thereby the proportions of the church : a stone campanile was erected in memory of Sir Hanson and Lady Berney in 1871 : in the modern western gable is a fine Norman arch. once forming the north entry to All Saints church in this parish, and over this arc h is a stained window, representing Christ Teaching the Little Children and Healing the Sick, in memory of M. A. Read : on the south wall of the nave are remains of a mediĉval painting of St. Catherine's Wheel, representing a human figure, bound alive on the wheel, descending head downwards towards a bier, on which a corpse lies stretched : the tacery in the windows of this church merits attention for the glowing and graceful lines: in the chancel south wall is a priest's door, embellished outside with a carved canopy : on the south side of the Communion table is a flat stone, believed to have originally covered the remains of Walter Baldwin, rector of this church, A.D. 1349. The register dates from the year 1726. The living is a rectory consolidated with All Saints, joint yearly value £380, with 10 acre of glebe, on the gift of Sir Henry Hanson Berney bart. and held since 1865 by the Rev Stephen Gooch Read M.A. of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. The rectory house of St. Mary-cum-All Saints was rebuilt in 1866 in the Domestic Gothic style, of white and red brick, with stone dressings. A little to the south-west of St. Andrew formerly stood the church of All Saints, described in Blomfield as a venerable pile: this church was pulled down on the summer of 1767, and part of the materials used for the repair of St. Mary's, but the greater part to make a new road: its three large ancient bells were sold at the same time. A Gothic Wesleyan chapel was erected in 1875. The poor's allotment lands now let for £30 and £6 respectively. Here was anciently a seat of the Berney family, who became possessors of the parish by purchase from the Hare family in the reign of Charles II.: the present Hall is part of the old mansion, and has been restored, with some new work added, in the Elizabethan style: it is a fine old family house, and is occupied at the present time by Mr. George Read. Sir Henry Hanson Berney bart. is lord of the manor and principal landowner. In the hamlet of EASTMOOR stood anciently a chapel, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, the patronage of which was vested in the Abbot of Dereham, but at the dissolution of monastic houses it was turned into a farmhouse, and scarcely a vestige remains. The soil is chalk; subsoil, clay. The chief crops are wheat, barley, roots and seeds. The area is 4,390 acres; ratable value, £4,626; the population in 1881 was 437, of which 100 are in Eastmoor.
Church of England School, Miss Georgina Coleby, mistrs
CARRIER TO LYNNGeorge Rumball, tuesday
© Transcribed by E.C. ("Paddy") Apling, July, 2009; links updated February 2010.
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Barton Bendish smockmill and Lovell's postmill [Jonathan Neville]
Barton Bendish archeology [Norfolk Heritage Explorer]
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