GREAT CRESSINGHAM is a parish and village on the river Wissey, 5 miles west from Watton station, and 4 1/2 south-west from Holme Hale station, both on the Lynn and Thetford line of the London and North-Eastern Railway, and 6 south from Swaffham, in the South Western division of the county, South Greenhoe hundred and Petty Sessional Division, Swaffham Rural District and county court district, rural deanery of Swaffham, archdeaconry of Lynn and diocese of Norwich. The church of St. Michael is a noble building of flint and stone, in the Gothic Style, consisting of chancel, nave with clerestory, aisles, south porch and a western tower containing a clock with 3 bells; there is a window to the wives of the Rev. Charles Taylor B.A. Rector (1859- 82), to whom there is also a memorial window: the tracery of the windows in the north east aisle contains some stained glass formerly in the east window: the chancel and south aisle retain piscinae, and in the porch is a holy water stoup; the roof is of oak, with richly carved heads; there is a carved oak screen, and the font has an oaken canopy; the walls bear tablets to Sarah Lobb, 1748; Thomas Lobb, 1749; the Rev. Edward Chamberlayne M.A., 1773, and his wife Elizabeth (Grey), 1751, and there are brasses to John Aberfeld, 1503, William Eyre and his wife, circa 1526, William Smith, ob. 1596, and Dorothy his wife ob. 1629, and to Richard Rysle; the church was restored in 1864 and the tower in 1883; the interior was partly renovated in 1885, and affords 250 sittings. The register dates from the year 1557. The living is a rectory; with that of Bodney annexed, joint NET yearly value £744, with 8 acres of glebe and residence, in the gift of the Lord Chancellor and held since 1927 by the Rev. Charles Phocion Barff Montgomery M.A. of Keble College, Oxford. A large fair was formerly held annually in the glebe lands, from which the rector received dues, but it was abolished by the Rev.Charles Taylor B.D. Rector 1859 - 80. There is a Methodist chapel. The advowson formerly belonged to the Bishop of Norwich, but since the time of Henry VIII. it has been in the gift of the Lord Chancellor. The fuel allotment of 33 acres is let for £24 yearly which is applied to the purchase of coals; there are also 8 acres of land let at £9 yearly, one half of which is allowed to the clerk and the remainder is applied to the repairs of the church. An ancient building here, of the 15th century, formerly belonging to the Jenney family, whose crest is on the south front, is now the Priory farmhouse. J.C.T. Mills esq. Reginald Foster esq. and J. Smith Moreton esq. are the principal landowners. The soil is light and sandy, and the subsoil is chalk and gravel. The chief crops are wheat, barley, and roots. The area is 2,424 acres of land and 6 of water; the population in 1931 was 268 in the civil and 338 in the ecclesiastical parish.
POST & TELL CALL OFFICE. Letters though Thetford. Watton nearest M.O. & T office.
Transcription Copyright © E.C."Paddy" Apling, January 1999; links updated November 2010.
1891 Census Names Index
White's 1845, 1854 and 1883
White's 1864 [GENUKI-NFK]
Great Cressingham Archeology [Norfolk Heritage Explorer]
Manor Court Rolls of Great Cressingham 1328-29 (Search down for Cressingham)
Great Cressingham postmill [Jonathan Neville]
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