MELTON-CONSTABLE, WITH BURGH-PARVA, extends from 4½ to 6 miles S.W. by S. of Holt, and contains 19 houses, and 106 inhabitants. Of the 1,300 acres of land in Melton-Constable, about 800 acres are in the park and woods which encompass the handsome mansion of Lord Hastings, the owner of the parish and lord of the manor, which has been held by this family for many centuries. The mansion was erected or rebuilt about the year 1680, but has since undergone many additions and alterations. It is a noble quadrangular building of brick and stone, and many of the apartments are elegantly furnished. The paintings are numerous and valuable, and there is a fine collection of coins and antique china. The park is well stocked with deer, and richly diversified with sylvan beauty, having been greatly improved by planting, and other embellishments, during the present century. An aviary contains a fine collection of birds, and the tower called Bellevue has several handsome apartments, which command an extensive prospect of the adjacent country and the ocean, though distant more than ten miles from the coast. The Church, dedicated to St. Peter, stands half a mile from the mansion, and has a tower between the nave and chancel, with three bells. The rectory, valued in the King's book at £6, and in 1831 at £220, has annexed to it that of Burgh-Parva, in the patronage of Lord Hastings, and incumbency of the Rev. Jas. W. Bird, B.A. It has about 19a. of glebe, and has been augmented with £200 Queen Anne's Bounty, and a like sum given by Sir Jacob Astley in 1722. The Astleys derive their name from a manor in Warwickshire. Thomas Lord Astley, who married the co-heiress of Sir Robt Constable, was the great ancestor of this family, and was killed at the battle of Evesham, in the 49th of Henry III. Sir Jacob Astley, who died in 1651, was created Baron Astley, of Reading, by Charles I. This peerage became extinct on the death of the third Lord Astley, in 1688, but the baronetcy, created in 1660, still remains. Sir Jacob Henry Astley, the late baronet, who died in 1817, was many years M.P. for Norfolk ; and his son, the present Right Hon. Sir Jacob Astley, LORD HASTINGS, was for some years one of the representatives of the Western division of this county ; but in 1841 he succeeded to the ancient Barony of Hastings, which was created by writ in 1290, and was claimed and held by the late Marquis of Hastings from 1809 till his death in 1826. His lordship's grandmother was eldest sister of the late Lord Delaval, whose estate at Seaton-Delaval, Northumberland, passed to his lordship in 1818. He was born in 1797, and married in 1820, Georgiana Caroline, youngest daughter of Sir H. W. Dashwood, Bart. His eldest son, the Hon. Jacob Henry Delaval Astley, was born in 1822, and his youngest, the Hon. Delaval Astley in 1825.
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White's 1883 [GENUKI-NFK]
Melton Constable Archeology [Norfolk Heritage Explorer]
Church of St Mary, Burgh Parva [Simon Knott]
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