ELMHAM NORTH, a populous village, pleasantly situated 5 miles N. of East Dereham, and 18 miles N.W. by W. of Norwich, was once a city, and the seat of the Bishops of Norfolk from 673 to 1075. The parish contains 1,211 inhabitants, 265 houses, and 4,631a. 17p. of land, of which the Earl of Leicester owns 479a. ; Gonville and Caius College 107a. ; and nearly all the rest is the property of Lord Sondes. Bisus, the fourth bishop of East Angles, about the year 673, divided his diocese, and one bishop was appointed to reside here, when the first cathedral was a wooden fabric. After the removal of the see to Thetford, about the year 1070, and finally to Norwich in 1096, Elmham still continued a favourite residence of the succeeding bishops. In the reign of Richard II., Bishop Spencer obtained a license to embattle and make a castle of his manor house at Elmham. Some traces of the entrenchment and foundations of the building, which stood upon an artificial mount above the village, may still be seen. It was defended by a deep foss, which enclosed about 2a., and from the castle was a communication underground to the church. The extensive park which belonged to it, now called Old or Westfield Park, is still preserved. Adjoining to it is the well-wooded deer park of Elmham Hall, one of the seats of the Right Hon. Geo. John Milles, LORD SONDES, who succeeded his brother in the peerage in 1836. The Hall is a handsome brick mansion, situated on elevated ground, rising gently from the margin of a fine sheet of water. Broom Close is supposed to have been a Roman Station : numerous urns, coins, and other antiquities have been found. The CHURCH, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, is a spacious and handsome edifice, which was partly new pewed, and the chancel new roofed in 1853. It contains many ancient carved seats, and several beautiful marble monuments. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the King's book at £13 15s. Lord Sondes is patron and impropriator, and the Rev. Hy. E. Knatchbull is the incumbent. The rectorial tithes were commuted in 1838 for £291, and the vicarial for £463. Petty Sessions are held on the third Wednesday in every month ; hirings for servants at Michaelmas ; and a large Fair for cattle on April 6th, unless that day fall on a Saturday or Sunday, when the fair is held on the following Monday. Here is a Lodge of Odd Fellows ; several Friendly Societies ; and a good Bowling Green at the George Inn. In 1853, a pike was taken in the ponds of Lord Sondes which weighed 175lbs. The Dereham and Fakenham Railway, opened in 1847, has a neat station here. The Free School, now conducted on the National system, was built by R. Miles, Esq., who also vested 13a. of land in trust for its support, and at the enclosure in 1831, it received an allotment of 2a. 2r. 15p., which with the 13a., is let for about £20 a year. In 1850, an Infant School was added to the National school. The Church Lands, 74a. 20p., are let for £74 a year. The Fuel Allotment consists of 50a. 21p., and the herbage is let for £10 a year. The poor have also the interest of £100 left by Peter Johnson ; £1 11s. 8d. left by Robt. Shettles and John Culling ; and 35s. from Gooch's charity.
Post Office at Mr. William Wither's ; letters arrive at 7 a.m. and are despatched at 6 p.m.