CRESSINGHAM (GREAT) is a parish and scattered village near the river Wissey, 5 miles S. by E. of Swaffham, 12 miles N. of Thetford, 5 miles from Watton Station, and 6 miles from Swaffham Station, in Swaffham union and county court district, Lynn bankruptcy district, South Greenhoe hundred and petty sessional division, Swaffham polling district of West Norfolk, West Cranwich rural deanery, and Norfolk archdeaconry. It had 464 inhabitants in 1881, living on 2424 acres, and has a rateable value of £2440. The soil mostly belongs to E. A. Applewhaite, Esq. and Joseph Trueman Mills, Esq, J.P., the former of whom is lord of Glosebriggs manor and lessee of an estate here called Collins' manor, which belongs to the Dean and Chapter of Norwich, who have a peculiar jurisdiction in this parish. Here is likewise a small rectorial manor, in which there was a chapel and hermitage, dedicated to St. George, the site of which is the 'Stone Close,' where a cattle and horse fair was held on the first Wednesday in August, paying tolls to the rector. The whole parish was held by the Bishop of Thetford at the Domesday survey, and remained with the See till the reign of Stephen, when Bishop Eborard was obliged to resign it to two powerful knights, in order to preserve the rest of his diocese. The CHURCH (St. Michael) is a large edifice in the Perpendicular style, comprising nave with aisles, chancel, south porch, and lofty square tower with three bells. It contains several fine brasses, and inscriptions to the Eyre, Fludd, and other families, and is fitted with neat open benches. The chancel was restored, newly roofed, and floored with encaustic tiles, in 1863, when a handsome screen, reading desk, lectern, altar rails, and communion table of carved oak, were provided. Here are mural tablets to the Chamberlain, Lobb, and Philpot families. The rectory, valued in K.B. at £17 8s. 1d., and now at £714, with that of Bodney annexed, is in the patronage of the Lord Chancellor, and incumbency of the Rev. Henry Stuart Fagan (late of Penzance), who was appointed in 1882, and has here 52 acres of glebe and a good residence. The National School is a neat brick building, erected in 1840, and attended by 60 children. Here is a Primitive Methodist Chapel, built in 1856. In 1621, the Rev. Leonard Burton left £60 to be laid out in land; one moiety for repairing the church, and the other for the parish clerk. This land (8A.) is let for £20 a year. The Fuel Allotment, awarded in 1803, is 35A., let for £71 per annum, which is distributed in coal among the poor.
POST OFFICE at Mr. Arthur Eastick's. Letters arrive at 8.20 a.m., and despatched at 5.20 p.m., from Thetford, viâ Watton, which is the nearest Money Order and Telegraph Office.
Transcription Copyright © E.C."Paddy" Apling, April 1999; minor corrections, January 2000; links updated November 2010.
1891 Census Names Index
White's 1845 and 1854
White's 1864 [GENUKI-NFK]
Kelly's 1883 and 1937
Great Cressingham Archeology [Norfolk Heritage Explorer]
Manor Court Rolls of Great Cressingham 1328-29 (Search down for Cressingham)
Great Cressingham postmill [Jonathan Neville]
More on Great Cressingham [GENUKI-NFK]
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