KENNINGHALL is a parish and small market town 3 miles south-east from Eccles station, 7 north-west from Diss and 107¼ from London, in the Southern division of the county, Guiltcross hundred and union, Attleborough county court district, rural deanery of Rockland, archdeaconry of Norfolk and diocese of Norwich. There is a fine avenue of trees upwards of a mile in length, leading from Kenninghall to Quidenham. The church of St. Stephen, [see Note below] situated on a hill, is a very large building in the Perpendicular style, and consists of chancel, nave, aisles, porch, with a square tower of flint and stone and ornamental devices of the former material inlaid, and the crest of the Norfolk family on the buttresses at the south side: it contains a fine peal of 8 bells and a clock: the chancel was thoroughly restored in 1874. The register dates from the year 1558. The living is a vicarage, gross yearly value £347, with residence and 11 acres of glebe, in the gift of the Bishop of Norwich and held since 1874 by the Rev. John Francis James, Ph.D. The vicarage was rebuilt in 1879, and is pleasantly situated adjoining the church. The Particular Baptists, Primitive Methodists and the Wesleyans have each a chapel here, with small burial ground attached: the Wesleyan chapel was rebuilt and enlarged about 1873 and an organ placed in it in 1877. The fuel allotments of 50 acres let for £69 yearly. John Dyer left in 1828 about £40 for educational purposes. The Guiltcross Union Workhouse is situated 1½ miles south of the town: it is a plain building principally constructed of clay lump, faced with red bricks, and was erected in 1836 for 280 inmates at a cost of about £3,000: for particulars of union see New Buckenham. A market for cattle is held every Monday in a yard belonging to the Crown hotel, toll-free. The fairs are for sheep and neat cattle July 18th and September 30th. Kenninghall is supposed to have been the seat of Boadicea and the East Anglian Kings, and the ancient mounds supposed to mark the site of the royal castle are still visible, as also the parks, now converted into farms, and called Kenninghall Place. Kenninghall Place was for some time a palace of Queen Mary. The Duke of Norfolk is lord of the manor, which is an ancient demesne and held by the service of chief butler at the coronation. The Duke of Norfolk and the Earl of Albermarle are chief landowners. The land is mixed soil; subsoil, chiefly clay and gravel. The chief crops are wheat, barley and oats. The area is 3,600 acres; rateable value, £5,693; the population in 1881 was 1,152.
POST, MONEY ORDER & TELEGRAPH OFFICE & Savings Bank.Charles Buxton, postmaster. Letters through Thetford viâ Harling, received at 7 a.m.; dispatched at 5.50 p.m. Wall Box, on the Heath cleared at 5.20 p.m. weekdays; sundays at 11.40 a.m.
A School Board of 5 members was formed in 1871: Lancelot Lane, clerk to the Board
Board School, built in 1872 at a cost of about £840 for 330 children, average attendance 260, Henry Meek master; Miss Louisa Oddy, mistress
© Transcribed by E.C.Apling, January 1999; links updated November 2010.
Note (ECA): The Church dedication is given as St. Mary in the 1892 Directory, so either the ascription to St. Stephen in this directory is a printer's (or editor's) error or the church was re-dedicated between 1883 and 1892. The latter seems unlikely, although the 1892 directory notes that the nave was restored in 1890 at a cost of £1,000.
1891 Census Names Index
White's 1845 [GENUKI-NFK]
Hunt's 1850 [GENUKI-NFK]
Kenninghall Archeology [Norfolk Heritage Explorer]
Kenninghall 13th-century postmill and 15th-century postmill; Banham Road postmill, smockmill and towermill;
Chimney towermill, Fersfield Road towermill, Lopham Road smockmill; Mill Lane postmill and towermill;
Park Common postmill and Kenninghall steam mill [Jonathan Neville]
More about Kenninghall [GENUKI-NFK]
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