NEEDHAM is a parish and scattered village 8 miles east from Diss and 1½ south-west from Harleston station, in the Southern division of the county, Earsham hundred, Depwade union, Harleston county court district, rural deanery of Redenhall, archdeaconry of Norfolk and diocese of Norwich, situated on the banks of the Waveney, which here separates the county from Suffolk. The church of St. Peter is an old building in the Norman style, having chancel, nave, round tower and porch; the tower is of stone and flint, and the walls of the church are built of bricks, with stone dressings. The register dates from about the year 1650. The living is a vicarage, gross yearly value, from 18 acres of land, £72, with residence, in the gift of Lord Waveney and held since 1882 by the Rev. John Gallienne Bichard. The town estate lets for about £79 yearly, which is distributed mainly in gifts of coals &c. to the poor, the maintenance of the school, and the remainder to meet the ordinary charges in connection with the church. The parish consists of five manors. The following are the lords of the manors, who are also the principal landowners:- Witchington, Lord Waveney; Bourts-in-Needham, Frederick B. Frank esq.: Densons, George Dunbar esq.: Gunshaws, William Martin Hazard esq.: and Seymers, George Warner Lawton esq. The soil is marshy in the valley, but heavy on the high lands; subsoil, clay. The chief crops are wheat, barley, peas and beans. The area is 1,101 acres; rateable value £1,655 10s.; and the population in 1881 was 367.
Letters through Scole. Harleston is the nearest money order & telegraph office; WALL BOX cleared 2 p.m. daily.
National School, erected in 1873 for 70 children, average attendance, 50; Mrs. Mary Lewis, mistress
Transcription Copyright © E.C."Paddy" Apling, July 2000; links updated November 2009.
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