1891 Census Names Index
1891 Census for Downham Market Workhouse
White's 1854
Kelly's 1900 Directory entry [Martin Edwards]
Index of Marriages (1725-1812) [Alan Gresley]
Catholic church of St. Dominic [Simon Knott] (with my backview in the foreground)
Cemetary Chapels [Simon Knott]
Bexwell road postmill, Cowgate street towermill, Denver road postmill, Howdale postmill, Lynn road postmill,
    Mill Hill postmill, Downham Market steam mill, and Salters Lode smockmill [Jonathan Neville]
Downham Market Archeology [Norfolk Heritage Explorer]
More on Downham Market [GENUKI-NFK]
More Parish Information [Geoff Lowe & Andrew Rivett]
Return to villages index
Paddy's home page

Norfolk - Downham Market

Kelly's Directory for Cambridgeshire, Norfolk & Suffolk, 1883, pp. 300-304.

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

DOWNHAM (or DOWNHAM MARKET) is a parish, union and market town, head of a county court district, station on the East Anglian branch of the Great Eastern railway (there is also a branch line of railway from Downham Market to Stoke Ferry), and is a polling place for the Western division of the county, 88 miles from London, 59¼ west from Norwich, 15¾ north from Ely and 11 south from Lynn, in Clackclose hundred, rural deanery of Fincham, archdeaconry of Norfolk and diocese of Norwich : the town is situated in the eastern acclivity of the vale of the navigable river Ouse, over which and the neighbouring country is a fine uninterrupted view: the main streets and roads are well paved, and the town lighted by gas, and governed by a board of Improvement Commissioners of 36 members, who, under the Public Health Act, are the Urban Sanitary Authority of the district. An old wooden bridge crossing the Ouse has, through the energy of the bridge reeves, T. L. Reed and G. F. Wood esqrs. been superseded by an iron bridge with two piers of cast iron supporting the wrought iron lattice girders, and buckled iron flooring plates, at a total cost of £3,500: it was opened on the 9th February, 1879: the engineer was Mr. David Oldfield C.E. The church of St. Edmund is an ancient pile, built in the Norman era, re-built and altered in the Early English period, and again altered extensively in each succeeding period, consisting of chancel, nave and aisles, having at the western end a low square tower, built of carr or rag stone, with buttresses and quoins of freestone, containing a good peal of 8 bells: in 1855 it underwent considerable repairs, at a cost of £700; since then other repairs have been carried out, a large number of sittings added, a handsome shaft for the curious old font, designed and executed by Mr. Lawrie, of this town, the plaster removed from the whole of the outside, and the walls pointed, and the belfry windows in the tower restored: a handsome memorial window of three lights has been placed at the east end of the Lady chapel by the Oakes family, of this town, in memory of their parents; the centre light has the figure of Our Saviour, in the character of the Good Shepherd, under rich canopy work, beautifully executed; the side lights, a handsome border with rich bosses, medallions, rosettes and diagonal texts of Scripture, set upon a ground of flowered quarry work, each quarry or diamond having elaborate ornaments traced thereon, and partially stained a gold colour; the effect of the whole is exceedingly good: a stained window has been placed on the south side in the Lady chapel in memory of Miss Oakes, subject the raising of Jairus' daughter: and in 1882 two more (the bequest of Mr. James Oakes, a native of this parish, who died at Madras, September 29th, 1875) were placed in the chancel, the one on the south side representing Our Saviour during his Agony in the garden of Gethsemane, and on the north side His first appearing to Mary Magdalene after His Resurrection; the last three windows are the work of Messrs. Meyer & Co. of Munich: in 1873, while building the new organ chamber, an original Norman window in situ was discovered, built up in the wall behind the chancel arch, on the north side: the large east window of five lights was give by Mr. G. W. Mills, of this town, in memory of his wife, the stonework designed and executed by W. Lawrie: in 1876, while certain repairs were going on, advantage was taken to add and restore some decorations mentioned in the history of the county, which were all lost to the church, viz.—the arms of the ancient family of the Lords Bardolph, those of Ramsey Abbey while those of Canterbury and Norwich have been added, with emblems, monograms &c. and the arms of t he present lord of the manor, Thomas Leigh Hare, executed by W. Lawrie. The register dates from the year 1560. The living is a discharged rectory, gross yearly value £564, with residence, in the gift of the Rev. Edward Robert Franks B.A. and held since 1882 by the Rev. Arthur Simon Latter M.A. of Queen's College, Oxford; the tithes are commuted at £513 yearly, with nearly 20 acres of glebe land. There are chapels for Wesleyans, Baptists, Particular Baptists and Primitive Methodists, and the Society of Friends have a meeting house. Mount Tudor chapel, Bridge street, erected in 1859, by public subscription for the United Methodist Free Church, has an imposing appearance, the front having four large pillars with moulded caps and cornice: it seats about 260 persons: the school-room is at the back of the chapel. The Wesleyan chapel, in Lynn road, is an extensive edifice: in 1864 it was re-roofed, thoroughly repaired, two vestries built and the school-room enlarged, and in 1876 a new organ loft added. Zion chapel situated in Parson's lane was rebuilt in 1874. A Cemetery, with two mortuary chapels, was formed in 1856, at a cost of about £1,600, and comprises an area of about two acres. There are charities of about £86 yearly value, for distribution in fuel and clothing and provisions, viz.: £66, being the proportion of Hundred Acres charity, producing about £20 yearly, and equally divisible between the parishes of Wimbotsham, Stow and Downham, and about £20, Batchcroft charity, from rent of land; an estate for keeping the church in repair, and another for the maintenance of the bridge over the river Ouse. The Literary Institute and Stanley Library, established in 1865, is founded on the remains of the Mechanics' Institute, dissolved in December, 1865, and provides in the reading-room most of the daily and weekly London papers; the weekly local papers and the principal periodicals are also taken: the library, and extensive and carefully selected one, was established from a nucleus of £50, given by the Earl of Derby, when member for King's Lynn, and supplemented by subscriptions: the members number between 80 and 90: the subscription is merely nominal. The Market place is a spacious square: the market is held every Friday, There large fairs for horses and cattle are held yearly, on March 3rd, first Friday in May and the 2nd Friday in November; and hirings for servants are held on the Saturday fortnight before and the Saturday after Old Michaelmas Day. The Downham Market Company Limited was formed in 1856. In the market square stands a beautiful Gothic clock tower, presented to the town by James Scott esq. 1878: the shat and lower portion is octagonal up to the dials, when the work becomes rectangular, presenting four illuminated dials, enriched with perforations filled with ruby glass: the roof has open Gothic tracery, and surmounted by a weather vane: the clock is made to automatically turn the gas off and on at the proper time for illuminating the dials: the bell is by Warner & Son: the whole was designed and carried out by William Cunliffe of Forest Hill and London. The Police Station has rooms for the use of the superintendent and two constables, besides cells. There are tow large brick yards, where a superior class of white bricks and pantiles are made. There are some extensive steam flour mills, a brass foundry and two breweries. The town is famed for its American nursery, near the railway station, of several acres in extent, well stocked with evergreens and. ornamental trees and shrubs: the inhabitants through the kindness of the proprietor, Mr. James Bird, are allowed to make this place a promenade during the summer moths. In the town are several good hotels and inns: the Crown hotel and inland revenue office, in the Market place, and the Castle hotel, High street, are old established houses, replete with every convenience. Thomas Leigh Hare and Edward R. M. Pratt esquires, who are lords of the several manors, J. Wortley esq. Mr. Robert Haylett sen. Mr. Edward Hyde, and the trustees of the late Joseph Keep are the chief landowners. The area is 2,490 acres, of which 853 acres are in the Improvement Commissioners' district; raeable value, £10,759; the population in 1881 was 3,264, of which 1,286 are in the Improvement Commissioner's district.

Official Establishments, Local Institutions, &c.

COUNTY MAGISTRATES FOR THE DIVISION OF CLACKCLOSE.

DOWNHAM COMMISSIONERS.
(Acting as the Urban Sanitary Authority)

William Bennett, sen.
William Bennett, jun.
Robert S. Bennett
James Bird
William Bunkall
Edward Casebow
Benjamin H. Calver
John Flatman
William Benjamin Parrott
John Goodchild
John Hammaway
Alfred William Langman
Michael Lallam
George William Mills
John J. Nunn
Henry Oakes
William Pope, sen.
Benjamin Parrott
Arthur Pilgrim
William Pope, jun.
Thomas L. Reed
Harry Pope
James Scott
John W. Sly
Samuel George Trotter
John Z. Vince
Thomas G. Wales
George F. Wood
James Watson
Thomas H. Wenn
Harry Wayman
      & six vanacies

OFFICERS OF THE IMPROVEMENT COMMISSIONERS.

© Transcribed by E.C.Apling, February, 2006 with minor corrections and links updated, May 2010.

1891 Census Names Index
1891 Census for Downham Market Workhouse
White's 1854
Kelly's 1900 Directory entry [Martin Edwards]
Index of Marriages (1725-1812) [Alan Gresley]
Catholic church of St. Dominic [Simon Knott] (with my backview in the foreground)
Cemetary Chapels [Simon Knott]
Bexwell road postmill, Cowgate street towermill, Denver road postmill, Howdale postmill, Lynn road postmill,
    Mill Hill postmill, Downham Market steam mill, and Salters Lode smockmill [Jonathan Neville]
Downham Market Archeology [Norfolk Heritage Explorer]
More on Downham Market [GENUKI-NFK]
More Parish Information [Geoff Lowe & Andrew Rivett]
Return to villages index
Paddy's home page