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Cranworth watermill [Jonathan Neville]
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Norfolk - Cranworth

Kelly's Directory of Norfolk, 1937, pp. 103-104.

© Transcription copyright by E.C. ("Paddy") Apling, September 2006.

CRANWORTH (or Cranworth-cum-Letton) is a village and parish. 4½ miles west from Hardingham station on the Dereham and Wymondham section of the London and North Eastern railway, 7 north-east from Watton and 6½ south from Dereham, in the South Western division of the county, Mitford and Launditch petty sessional division and rural district, Mitford hundred, East Dereham county court district, rural deanery of Mitford, archdeaconry of Norfolk and diocese of Norwich. The church of St. Mary the Virgin, erected about the middle of the 13th century, is a small building of flint and stone in the Early English style, consisting of chancel, naive, aisles, north porch and an embattled western tower, with spire, containing 3 bells: in the church are several monuments to various members of the Gurdon family, of Letton Hall, including Brampton Gurdon esq. M.P. for Sudbury, who commanded the Suffolk horse at Naseby, June 14, 1645, and died in 1669, and to Mary (Polsted), his wife, d. 1679: and Thornhaugh Gurdon, receiver-general of the county of Norfolk, d. 1733, and Elizabeth (Cooke), his wife, d. 1745: there is also a fine monument to Sir William Cooke bart, M.P. (Norf.), d. at Letton in 1708, and one to the first Baron Cranworth, d. 1902: in the churchyard are buried Brampton Gurdon esq. M.P. (W. Norf.), d. 1881 and Henrietta Susanna, his wife, daughter of Lord Colborne, d. 1880; and also the Rev. Philip Gurdon, rector 1832-74: the chancel retains a piscine and cedilla: there is an oak screen and choir stalls of carved oak: the church was restored in 1852, and in 1899 the porch was rebuilt, in memory of the Rev. Canon T. P. Garner MA rector of the parish 1874-96; a choir vestry was added to the south side in 1921: the church affords 250 sittings. The register dates from the year 1653. The living is a rectory, with the rectories of Letton and South burgh annexed, joint net yearly value £684, and 38 acres of glebe, with residence, in the gift of the Martyrs' Memorial Trust, and held since 1936 by the Rev. Charles Harris M.A. of Christ Church, Oxford. There is a Methodist chapel. On the church green still stand the village "stocks," and in good preservation. The poor have £12 yearly for fuel, derived from land. Dr. Christopher Sutton the celebrated author of "Disce Vivere" and "Disce Mori," and sometime incumbent of Woodrising, was rector here in 1623. Robert Monsey Rolfe, son of the Rev. Edmund Rolfe, sometime curate of Cranworth and rector of Cockley Cley, was born in the rectory house here, December 18th, 1790; being afterwards appointed (December 28th 1852) Lord High Chancellor of England, he was raised to the peerage by the title of Baron Cranworth, after the name of his birthplace, but dying without issue, July 26th, 1868, the title became extinct in that family, but was revived 28 Jan. 1899, in favour of Robert Thornhaugh Gurdon, then created Baron Cranworth, who died 13 Oct. 1902. A. W. Gordon esq. is lord of the manor and principal landowner. The soil is mixed: subsoil, gravel. The chief crops are wheat, barley and oats. The area is 5,095 acres: the population in 1931 was 505 in the civil and 402 in the ecclesiastical parish.

By the County of Norfolk Review Order, 1935, the civil parishes of Letton, Southburgh and Woodrising were added to this parish.

Letters through Thetford, via Shipdham, which is the nearest M. O. & T. office

LETTON is situated 4 miles west of Thuxton station on the Wymondham and Dereham section of the London and North Eastern railway and 6 south from Dereham. Of the church of All Saints only the foundations now remain; the parishioners attend the church of the adjoining parish of Cranworth. The register dates from the year 1653. The living is a rectory, annexed with Southburgh to that of Cranworth. Letton Hall is the property and residence of A. W. Gordon esq. who is lord of the manor and principal landowner; the house, which stands within a park of about 230 acres, was designed by Sir John Soane. The soil is mixed; subsoil, mixed, clay and gravel. The chief crops are wheat, barley, roots and oats.

By the Count of Norfolk Review Order, 1935, this civil parish was transferred to Cranworth.

Letters through Thetford, via Shipdham, which is the nearest M. O. & T. office

SOUTHBURGH is a village, 3 miles west from Hardingham station on the Wymondham and Dereham section of the London and North Eastern railway, and 8 south from Dereham. The church of St. Andrew is a building of flint with stone dressings, in the Early English style, consisting of chancel, nave, south porch and an embattled western tower with spire containing 2 bells: the church was rebuilt in the years 1887-82, under the direction of Mr. J. A. Reeve, architect and diocesan surveyor, at a cost approaching £5,000, the greater part of which was contributed by members of the Gurdon family: the tower and spire were completed as a memorial to the Hon. Mrs. Henrietta Gurdon, who died May 28th, 1880: there are 250 sittings. The register dates from the year 1558. The living is a rectory, annexed with Letton to the rectory of Cranworth. The churchyard has been enlarged by the addition of land given by the 1st Lord Cranworth (d. 1902) and the Rev. A. T. Hodgson, rector 1896-1914. There is a reading room, built about 1876 by Canon Garner. The fuel allotment of 13 acres is let at £20 yearly. The land is mainly owned by the farmers. The soil is mixed; subsoil, gravel. The chief crops are wheat, barley, oats and roots.

Post Office. Letters through Thetford. Hingham is the nearest M. O. & T. office.

© Copyright E. C. ("Paddy") Apling, September, 2006; links updated February 2010.

1891 Census Names Index
Complete Census Transcripts for 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1891 and 1901.
Kelly's 1883
White's 1845, 1854, and 1883
Kelly's 1900 (Description only) [Martin & Marie Edwards]
1891 Census Names Index
Complete Census Transcripts for 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1891 and 1901.
Cranworth smockmill [Jonathan Neville]
Cranworth watermill [Jonathan Neville]
Local web-site
Cranworth Archeology [Norfolk Heritage Explorer]
More on Cranworth [GENUKI-NFK]
More Parish Information [Geoff Lowe & Andrew Rivett]
More on Letton
More on Southburgh
More on Woodrising
Return to villages index
Paddy's home page