1891 Census Names Index
White's 1845 [GENUKI-NFK]
Diss Archeology [Norfolk Heritage Explorer]
Diss Chapel Street postmill, Heywood towermill, Rose Lane postmill and towermill,
       Sandy Lane postmill, Stuston road postmill and smockmill,
       and Victoria road tower mill [Jonathan Neville]
Holy Trinity church and Church of St. Nicholas [Simon Knott]
Local web-site [Diss Town Council]
More on Diss [GENUKI-NFK]
More Parish Information [Geoff Lowe & Andrew Rivett]
and see Roydon (for Shelfanger road postmill)
Return to villages index
Paddy's home page

Norfolk - Diss

Kelly's Directory for Cambridgeshire, Norfolk & Suffolk, 1883, pp. 294-298.

[Complete entry. Transcription Copyright © E.C."Paddy" Apling]

DISS is a parish and well-built market town, head of a county court district, a polling place for the Southern division of the county, and a station on the Great Eastern railway, which passes through the parish about a mile east from the town, in Diss hundred, Depwade union, rural deanery of Redenhall, archdeaconry of Norfolk and diocese of Norwich, 26½ miles east from Bury St. Edmunds, 19 south-west from Norwich and 94½ north-east from London, and is separated from Suffolk by the river Waveney. The town is flourishing, and contains some good shops: it stands principally on an acclivity, encompassing a large sheet of water, or mere, of the extent of nearly 6 acres, the banks of which are laid out in gardens at the rear of the houses, which have a pleasant effect from the lower part of the town: the mere receives all the rainwater from the town, and the overflow discharges itself into the river Waveney: it contains eels and a curious fish locally called the chaser, a kind of carp.

The town in under the Public Health Act: the board consists of nine members.

The church of St. Mary the Virgin is a large handsome structure in the Perpendicular style, consisting of cancel, nave with clerestory, aisles and porches with a fine square tower containing 8 bells, upon which a set of chimes play every four hours: the nave and aisles underwent considerable repair in 1850, at a cost of £1,700: it is lighted by twenty clerestory windows: the chancel was restored and enlarged (to its original length) in 1857 by the present rector: the exterior is of squared flints, with massive buttresses, panelled and carved with armorial bearings: it contains a very strikng and beautiful reredos (erected by the present rector in 1869) of Caen stone, inlaid with coloured marbles, and bosses of spar and gold with alabaster emblems of the four Evangelists, and a black marble and gold mosaic cross in the centre: the rest of the wall, within the rails, is beautifully panelled with oak, with diapered devices in gold and colours: the architect who designed all the work is Augustus E. Browne esq, of London, a native of Diss: in 1877, the interior of the chapel was entirely refitted with oak choir-stalls, and the floor paved with black and red tiles, and the walls ornamented with painting: a new organ containing 28 stoops and 1,400 pipes was also erected in the north chapel adjoining the chancel: the instrument is by Messrs. Rayson & Son, of Ipswich: a great improvement was also effected at the west end of the church, by removing the gallery in which the former organ stood: the cost of these alterations was about £800: the large stained east window, of five lights, is a memorial to the late Rev. William Manning, 46 years rector, and represents the Birth, Death, Burial and Resurrection of our Lord, with the Evangelists and other figures above: one of the south windows of the chancel is also fitted with stained glass, of very beautiful design: a third was erected in 1864, to the memory of Mrs. Manning, and is a sequel to the east window: at the east end of the south aisle is another memorial window, to the late Mrs. Darby: and the adjoining one, on the south side, is to the Fincham family, of this place: in the south aisle are three other beautiful windows, one to the memory of Mrs. Edward Wallace, daughter of the late rector, representing Ruth, Anna and Dorcas; the second to other members of the Manning family, representing scenes from the history of Joseph; and the third to the late Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Farrow, depicting three parables of Our Lord—the Good Samaritans, the Talents, and the Ten Virgins: in the north side and three more memorial windows, one to T. E. Wallace esq. representing scenes referring to the history of Nathaniel: another to the wife of J. Muskett esq. representing Our Lord blessing children and the instruction of Timothy: the third is to J. Muskett esq, and there is an armorial window in the vestry: the communion rails and gas standards are of an ecclesiastical pattern, in brass and iron: a handsome stone font, with oak cover, and an oak pulpit, reading desk and lectern, were placed in the church in 1858, purchased by subscription in the parish, and executed in the town: there are several monuments to former inhabitants of the parish. The register dates from the year 1551. The living is a rectory, yearly value £200, with 12 acres of glebe and house, in the gift of and held since 1857 by the Rev. Charles Robertson Manning M.A. of Corpus Christi college, Cambridge, and rural dean of the deanery of Redenhall.

Here are Wesleyan, Congregational, Baptist, Unitarian, Primitive Methodist and Free Methodist chapels, and the Society of Friends have a meeting house,

The Cemetery is on the Heywood road and has two mortuary chapels, in the Early Perpendicular style, connected by a screen-lodge: it consist of 5 acres, and cost nearly £3,000, and is under the control of a Burial Board of 9 members.

The town estate of 97 acres, situate at Framlingham, in Suffolk, produces £347 gross rental: the net amount of income is applied under a scheme settled by the Charity Commissioners, in 1873, as follows:- £90 to the churchwardens of Diss for repairs of the church and their general expenses, and the residue to the local Board of Health, for the use and benefit of the inhabitants. Charities of £55 yearly value are distributed, principally in fuel.

An Almshouse, pleasantly situated on the Common, at the entrance to the town, with pleasure ground and garden attached, has rooms for thirteen aged couples or widows: at one end is a large room for the transaction of parish business; and a full-length portrait of the late rector, painted by John Roods esq. of London, which was taken at the request of the inhabitants, and paid for by subscription, is now in the vestry.

In 1854 Thomas Lombe Taylor esq. of this town, at his own cost, erected an elegant building in Crown street, to be used as a Corn Exchange, which is vested in trustees: it is in the Ionic style, with a lofty stone portico, and was designed and executed by Mr. George Atkins, of this town: the entrance hall communicates by three doors with the Corn hall, which is 77 feet long, 42 feet wide, and 27 feet high, and lighted from above on the same principle as at Mark Lane, except that the blinds are rendered unnecessary by the use of ground glass; the whole of the ceiling is of this material, and divided into compartments; the roof is very thick glass, and is supported by large iron girders: the interior walls are ornamented with pilasters of Parian cement, having enriched capitals, and supporting a cornice, and the door openings have dressings of Ransome's patent stone: an elegant organ, presented by Miss Taylor, has been erected in the hall by Mr. Bullen, of Pulham, for the use of the Sacred Harmonic Society of this town: adjoining the hall are two handsome rooms, the lower of which is appropriated for use of the magistrates, in which the petty sessions are held: the upper room is used as a public library and reading-room; the library is extensive, comprising between 2,000 and 3,000 volumes, and the London daily papers and periodicals are taken.

In addition to the library in the corn Exchange is one belonging to the Diss Book Club, supported by the leading gentry of the town and neighbourhood: there is also a free lending library at the National school.

The Montgomerie Lodge of Freemasons, established here in 1878, meet at the "King's Head.";

There are several sick and benefit clubs and temperance societies established in the town, also a musical society.

A company was incorporated in May, 1864, styled "The Diss Gas Light and Coke Company Limited," the object of which is to supply the town of Diss and neighbourhood with gas. There are two branch banks, that of Messrs. Gurneys and Co. and he London and Provincial. Here is a brewery, supplied with water form a well bored through the chalk to a depth of 615 feet. The brush, mat and cocoa-nut matting manufactories of Messrs. Aldrich Brothers give employment to a large number of hands of both sexes; malting is also carried on here to some extent.

There is a weekly market on fridays for corn, cattle, sheep and pigs, toll free: the corn market is well attended by merchants and farmers: important stock sales are also held weekly alternately at the Crown Hotel yard and the "Saracen's Head"; yard, and are well attended. A fish market is held on tuesday.

Francis Taylor esq. is lord of the manor. The principal landowners are Sir K. H. Kemp bart. H. R. Rump esq. W. Betts esq. Thomas Mann esq. Mr. William Andrews, Mr. Charles Farrow and Mr. Charles Chase.

The area is 3,627 acres; rateable value, £11,958; the population in 1881 was 3,846.

WESTBROOK GREEN 1¼ miles north and WALCOT GREEN three-quarters of a mile north-by-east, are hamlets.

At DISS HEYWOOD, situated 2½ miles north from the parish church, is a chapel-school, erected in 1865 as a school for the children of that part of the parish, and licensed for divine service: the fittings are so arranged that the whole can be used on sundays for service; and during the week a portion is screened off for school purposes; it was built by subscription, at a cost of about £800.

The Earl of Albermarle is lord of the manor of Diss Heywood.

Official Establishments, Local Institutions, &c.

POST, MONEY ORDER & TELEGRAPH OFFICE, Savings Bank & Government Annuity & Insurance Office.—F. Mendham, postmaster. Letters delivered at 7 a.m. & 12.45 p.m.

LOCAL BOARD, 9 members.
Board day, 1st monday in the month at 7.30 p.m. Offices, King's Head

COUNTY MAGISTRATES FOR DISS PETTY SESSIONAL DIVISION.

INSURANCE AGENTS:— PUBLIC ESTABLISHMENTS:— PUBLIC OFFICERS:— PLACES OF WORSHIP, with times of service:— SCHOOLS:— NEWSPAPER.----Diss Express & Norfolk & Suffolk Journal, published very friday, by Edward Abbott, Mere st
Railway Station, John Haythorpe, station master. Omnibus and flys from 'King's Head' & 'Crown' hotels to meet every train

CARRIERS TO:—

© Transcribed by E.C.Apling, April 2005; links updated January 2011.

1891 Census Names Index
White's 1845 [GENUKI-NFK]
Diss Archeology [Norfolk Heritage Explorer]
Diss Chapel Street postmill, Heywood towermill, Rose Lane postmill and towermill,
       Sandy Lane postmill, Stuston road postmill and smockmill,
       and Victoria road tower mill [Jonathan Neville]
Holy Trinity church and Church of St. Nicholas [Simon Knott]
Local web-site [Diss Town Council]
More on Diss [GENUKI-NFK]
More Parish Information [Geoff Lowe & Andrew Rivett]
and see Roydon (for Shelfanger road postmill)
Return to villages index
Paddy's home page