CRANWORTH, on the Blackwater rivulet, is a scattered village, 2½ miles S.E. of Shipdham, and 16 miles W. by S. of Norwich, in Mitford hundred and petty sessional division, Mitford and Launditch union, East Dereham county court district, Norwich bankruptcy district, Hingham polling division of South Norfolk, Hingham rural deanery and Norfolk archdeaconry.
It had in 1881, 239 inhabitants, living on 1110A. 3R. 24P., the rateable value is £1639 5s. The parish mostly belongs to R. T. Gurdon, Esq., M.P., who is lord of the manor. Here was anciently a village called Swathing, but it was depopulated several centuries ago. The CHURCH (St. Mary) is a handsome structure in the Early English style, comprising nave with aisles, chancel, south porch and square tower. The latter contains three bells, and is surmounted by a small wooden spire. The south porch was erected, the chancel rebuilt, and the remainder of the church completely restored in 1852, at a cost of £1500, contributed by members of the Gurdon family. The reredos is of Caen stone, well executed; and the screen, chancel stalls, altar rails, pulpit, and reading-desk are of carved oak. In the aisles are several monuments of the Gurdons of Letton Hall. R. T. Gurdon, Esq., M.P. is patron of the rectory, which was valued in K.B. at £5 18s. 6½d., and is now worth £307 a year, with that of Letton annexed. The Rev. T. P. Garnier, M.A. is the incumbent, and has a good residence, which was considerably enlarged in 1840. The tithes of Cranworth have been commuted for £212 14s. Here is a Primitive Methodist Chapel, built in 1865. The School was built in 1844 by the late T. T. D. Gurdon, Esq., and is supported by the lord of the manor. Attached to it is a residence for the mistress, it is attended by about 100 children, and is used by the parishes of Letton and Southburgh. The Fuel Allotment awarded in 1798, is 6A. 3R. 20P., and the poor have also 5s. a year from Mowting's Charity. The Right Hon. Robert Monsey Rolfe, Lord Cranworth, was born here in 1790, being the only son of a former rector, the Rev. Edmund Rolfe, who was first cousin to Admiral Lord Nelson. He was educated at Winchester and at Trinity College, Cambridge; was 17th wrangler in 1812; was called to the bar in 1816; became King's Counsel in 1832; Solicitor-General in 1834; a Baron of the Exchequer in 1839; a Lord Commissioner of the Great Seal, Vice-Chancellor, and member of the Privy Council in 1850; and Lord Chancellor in 1852. He was M.P. for Penrhyn from 1832 till 1839, received his knighthood in 1835, and was raised to the peerage in 1850.
POST viâ Thetford. Pillar Letter Box near Rectory, cleared at 5.30 p.m., on Sundays at 11.25 a.m. Nearest Money Order Office at Shipdham.
Transcription Copyright © E.C. ("Paddy") Apling, March 1999; links updated February 2010.
1891 Census Names Index
Complete Census Transcripts for 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1891 and 1901.
Mitford & Launditch union
Kelly's 1883 and 1937
Kelly's 1900 (Description only) [Martin & Marie Edwards]
White's 1845 and White's 1854
Cranworth smockmill and watermill [Jonathan Neville]
Cranworth Archeology [Norfolk Heritage Explorer]
More on Cranworth [GENUKI-NFK]
More Parish Information [Geoff Lowe & Andrew Rivett]
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