LANGLEY is a parish, chiefly of scattered dwellings, extending from the river Yare to within a mile of Loddon, and about 10 miles S.E. of Norwich. It comprises 312 souls, 59 houses, and about 2,400 acres of land, of which 1,000a. are in low marshes. Sir William Beauchamp Proctor, Bart, is owner of the soil, lord of the manor, impropriator and patron of the Church, and resides at Langley Hall, a spacious and elegant mansion, in a verdant and richly wooded park, of about 800a. The Hall was chiefly built about the year 1740, by Mr. Recorder Berney, of Norwich, and it was considerably enlarged by W. B. Proctor, who was created a baronet in 1744. The centre has a handsome doric portico, and the wings are connected with it by a semicircular sweep, and at each end of them are statues from the antique, placed in niches. The apartments are elegantly furnished, and contain a fine collection of paintings, statues, and busts, etc. Sir William Beauchamp, the first baronet, was a son of the heiress of the Proctor family, and added their names and arms to his own. In the park is a stone cross, ornamented with four statues in niches, and about 1½ mile north are the ruins of Langley Abbey, founded in 1198, by Roger Fitz Roger, for an abbot and 16 canons of the Premonstratensian order. The abbot obtained the grant of a fair and market to be held at Langley, with sac, soc, and other privileges. The revenues of the abbey at its dissolution were valued at £128 19s. 9d., and were granted with the site to John Berney, Esq. The Church, dedicated to St. Michael, is a neat edifice, with a square tower, and was thoroughly repaired about 1816, by the Beauchamp family, and its windows beautified with stained glass, by the Dowager Lady Beauchamp. The curacy has been augmented with £600 Queen Anne's bounty, and was valued in 1831, at £45. The Rev. Barrett is the incumbent. About a mile from the Church is Langley Staith, with a small navigable stream crossing the marshes to the river Yare. The Church Land consists of 2a. 1r. 18p., and at the enclosure, 40a. were allotted to the poor, and about an acre as a parish gravel pit.
Transcription Copyright © the late A.J. Carter, April, 2001; links updated January 2011.
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