FELTWELL is a parish and large village 3 miles north from Lakenheath station, and 6 north-west from Brandon, in the Western division of the county, Grimshoe hundred, Thetford union and county court district, rural deanery of Cranwich, archdeaconry of Norfolk and diocese of Norwich. The parishes of St. Mary and St. Nicholas are now united. St. Mary's church, in the Decorated style, is a beautiful edifice, consisting of chancel, nave and north aisle and tower, which is superbly wrought in stone, with various figures in sculpture surrounding the copings: the nave is divided from the chancel by a handsome carved oak screen, the chancel and east windows of the north side are stained: in the chancel is a piscina: the interior is light, and contains many ancient monuments: here are two brasses in the wall, representing Margaret Moundeford and Francis Hethe, of Mildenhall; also effigies of Francis and Osbert Moundeford, and the two wives of the former, dated in the sixteenth century: here are several brasses of the Newcome family: with the consent and approval of the Bishop of Norwich, this church has been considerably enlarged, and the northern arcade rebuilt, for the use of the inhabitants of the two parishes, at the sole expense of the late Rev. E. B. Sparke. St. Nicholas church is a much smaller and plainer structure, very ancient, except the upper part, which has been rebuilt with flint, and has a small round tower: it stands on a slight acclivity in the western angle of the village, and is used as a mortuary chapel only. The register book is dated, on the cover A.D. 1559, but the first entry is in the year 1562; the first two leaves have evidently been removed many years. The living is a rectory, yearly value £1,296, with residence, in the alternate gift of the Lord Chancellor and the Bishop of Norwich and held since 1879 by the Rev. Henry Thomas O'Rorke M.A. of Trinity College, Dublin. There is a chapel for Wesleyans and one for Primitive Methodists. The Moundeford charity of £486 yearly, subject to deductions for drainage rates, is derived from 612 acres of land; £255 is applied to the school, £180 in support of almshouses, and £50 distributed in clothing: there are about 70 boys who are educated free: the schools and master's residence were built at the expense of the Moundeford Charity Trust: the residence of the school mistress was built by subscription. There are eight almshouses, bearing the date of their endowment in 1642, by Sir Edward Moundeford, and also that of their re-erection by the parish in 1810, and there are many minor charities distributed to the poor, bequeathed by the families of Clough, Rawlins and Atmore. 360 acres of fen are called Poor's Common, on which all the inhabitants of the township legally settled therein, not occupying lands or tenements of more than the yearly value of £10, may cut fuel under the direction of the lords of the manor, rector, churchwardens and overseers, who were appointed trustees for the management of the common by the Enclosure Act, dated 1813. At the eastern approach to the village is an ancient oak tree, of immense size, in the centre of the road, with a mound or green plat about four feet from the stem, with an iron railing for its preservation. Feltwell Lodge is a large brick building, situate in park-like grounds: it is now (1883) unoccupied. The Hall, the seat of Mrs. Newcome, is a modern brick building. East Hall, the seat of Mrs. Edward Sparke, is a fine mansion of brick, in the Elizabethan style. The Rev. William Cyril Newcome is lord of the chief or capital manor; Mrs. Newcome, lady of the manor of South Hall; the representatives of the late Rev. Edward Bowyer Sparke are lords of the manor of Wendlings, Spinvills and Duntons; and the Master and fellows of Christ's College, Cambridge, lords of the manor of East Hall; the above are the principal landowners. The soil is mixed; subsoil, chalk and sand. The chief crops are wheat, barley, oats and turnips. The area is 13,120 acres, one half of which is fen; rateable value, £12,329 10s.; and the population in 1881 was 1,633
Parish Clerk, Henry Rudland.
POST & MONEY ORDER OFFICE & Savings Bank. William Spencer, receiver. Letters arrive from Brandon at 4 a.m. & 5.20 p.m.; delivery at 7 a.m. & 7.20 p.m. dispatched at 1.50 a.m. & 7.55 p.m. The nearest telegraph office is at Northwold.
INSURANCE AGENT. Norwich Union Fire, T. L. Rix
Free School (mixed), for 200 children, average attendance 120, Enoch Mears, master; infants', for 100, average attendance 55, Miss Rix, mistress
© Transcribed by E.C. ("Paddy") Apling, February 1999; links updated November 2010.
1891 Census Names Index
White's 1864 [GENUKI-NFK]
Feltwell Archeology [Norfolk Heritage Explorer]
Feltwell early postmill and Mill Drift postmill, Feltwell tower mill, Mill Drift smockmill, Wilton Road postmill and Wilton Road towermill [Jonathan Neville]
Feltwell watermill [Jonathan Neville]
Local village web-site [Paul Garland]
Feltwell Historical & Archeological Society
More on Feltwell [GENUKI-NFK]
and see Little Ouse
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