ELMHAM (or NORTH ELMHAM) is a village, station on the Great Eastern railway, and parish, 5 miles north from East Dereham and 111 from London, in the Western division of the county, Launditch hundred, Mitford and Launditch union, East Dereham county court district, rural deanery of Brisley and archdeaconry and diocese of Norwich. A railway has been constructed from Wroxham, which terminates at BROOME GREEN, in this parish Elmham was anciently a city and the seat of the bishops of the diocese from 673 to 1075: the church of St. Mary the Virgin is a large building of flint with stone dressings, in the Perpendicular style, consisting of chancel with side chapels, nave, aisles, porch and square tower containing 8 bells: there are two marble monuments in the chancel to Richard Warner and Richard Milles esqrs. ancestors of the present Earl Sondes, the former of whom was lord of the manor, and built Elmham Hall; he died in 1757: the church was thoroughly restored in 1882 at the cost principally of the present vicar: the original carved pulpit of 1626 has been replaced, the chancel furnished with oak stalls, beautifully carved, and the church has been reseated with carved oak benches: there is also a beautiful stained glass window at the east end, a memorial to the 4th Baron Sondes, subscribed by the county of Norfolk: the side chapels are separated from the chancel by oak screens with delicate carving: the old screen was, during restoration, discovered lying face to the earth, serving as the floor of several pews; this has been replaced in the original position: this church was for four centuries the cathedral of the diocese. The register dates from the year 1538. The living is a vicarage, yearly value £463, with residence and 8 acres of glebe, in the gift of Earl Sondes and held since 1867 by the Rev. Augustus George Legge M.A. of Christ Church, Oxford. There are church lands of 80 acres, let at £89 yearly. The Norfolk County School is situated about 3 miles from Earlham station, on the summit of a hill near the river Wensum, standing n 57 acres of land in this and Bintry parishes: the foundation stone was laid on Easter Monday, 1873, by H. R .H. the Prince of Wales, and the school was opened in 1874: it is a handsome range of building, in the Domestic Gothic style, consisting of great central hall, a school room, dining hall (each being 80 feet by 40), library, class rooms and dormitories, having the headmaster's residence so situated as to have direct communication with all parts of the school: it is owned by a limited liability association (capital £15,000), and is conducted on the public school system: the education staff comprises: the head master, second master and 6 assistants: pupils may be admitted after the age of 8 years: the Prince of Wales has marked his wish to be permanently considered a founder and benefactor by presenting £250 for annual scholarships: a scholarship of £10 has been founded as a memorial of the late Mr. Robert Overman, of Egmere, and there are seventeen other scholarships and numerous endowed prizes: the school is a centre for the Cambridge local examinations. A chapel for the use of the scholars has been erected in connection with the school. Here are Congregational and Wesleyan chapels. There is a fuel allotment of 50 acres, let at £30 yearly, and charities of £9 yearly value for distribution. In the reign of Richard II. Bishop Spencer obtained a licence to embattle his manor house at Elmham: some traces of the foundation and intrenchments may still be seen. In part of the parish called Broom Close it is supposed there was a Roman station, a great number of urns, coins and other Roman antiquities having been found there. Elmham Hall, the seat of Earl Sondes, but now, 1883, occupied by Gilbert McMickling esq. was built in 1727: it is a red brick mansion, and stands in a park of 300 acres, well timbered with oak, and containing a small lake: the plantations are well stocked with game and the park contains a herd of fallow deer: the estate has acquired considerable reputation for its herd of Norfolk red polled cattle, which have been kept on it for a great many years, and are still to be seen there. The parish is in two manors viz. Elmham Nawers and North Elmham; Earl Sondes is lord of the former and the Dean and Chapter of Norwich are lords of the latter. The Earl of Leicester owns 479 acres and Caius College, Cambridge, about 110 acres; nearly all the remainder is the property of Earl Sondes. The soil is loam and clay; subsoil, clay and gravel. The chief crops are wheat, barley, turnips and hay. The area is 4,631 acres; rateable value, £7,446; and the population in 1881 was 1,090.
POST, MONEY ORDER & TELEGRAPH OFFICE & Savings Bank. George E. Goddard, sub-postmaster. Letters arrive from East Dereham at 5.10 a.m. and 5 p.m.; dispatched at 7.20 & 10.30 p.m. Delivery on Sunday morning to callers only.
National School (mixed), rebuilt in 1873, at a cost of about £760, raised by subscription: it is endowed with lands of about £56 yearly value & will hold 212 children; average attendance 170; William Webster Pearson, master.
Railway Station, Geo. Frederick Soloman, station master
Transcription Copyright © E.C."Paddy" Apling, July 2000; links updated June 2010.
1891 Census Names Index
North Elmham Wills
White's 1845 [GENUKI-NFK]
Hunt's 1850 [GENUKI-NFK]
North Elmham postmill and watermill[Jonathan Neville]
North Elmham Archeolofy [Norfolk Heritage Explorer]
More on North Elmham [GENUKI-NFK]
More Parish Information [Geoff Lowe & Andrew Rivett]
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