RYSTON (or RISTON) is a parish 2 miles east-by-south from Downham Market station and 1 mile north of Ryston station, in the Western division of the county, rural deanery of Fincham, archdeaconry of Norfolk and diocese of Norwich. The church of St. Michael is a small building, fisnished with great care: it contains several handsome monuments, all to the Pratt family, one especially noticeable, a statue in white marble of Lady Pratt: most of the windows are stained: it has a square tower, built with quoins of freestone, which, after being for 300 years in a decayed state, was restored in 1858 by Edward Roger Pratt esq. since which the church has been newly seated with oak benches; the chancel roof was restored in 1868, the plaster ceiling taken down and the original roof, 500 years old, discovered: this, which was originally covered with reed, now has flat tiles: it has been carefully cleaned, strengthened and restored where necessary: the work was executed mainly by workmen upon the Ryston estate, under the direction of Mr.Lawrie of Downham Market: in clearing the plaster from the walls several interesting discoveries were made: two lepers' windows, an aumbrie and a very beautiful piscina have been brought to light and restored: the porch has been stripped of its plasterm the two curious windows restored, a new roof put on and a warming apparatus fixed, the whole being carried out at Mr.Pratt's expense; a handsome organ was also added. The register dates from the year 1687. The living is a vicarage, with that of Ryston annexed and united with Fordham in 1878 by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, joint yearly value £326, in the gift of the Dean and Chapter of Norwich and held by the Rev. Robert Rogers, M.A. of Trinity College, Dublin, who resides at Fordham. The impropriate tithes are commuted at £282 yearly; there are 31 acres of glebe land. In this parish and about 300 yards south of Ryston Hall, stands Kett's Oak, or the Oak of Reformation, where Coniers, the chaplain of the rebels, read prayers and preached, and their court sat to administer justice andregulate disorders. Ryston Hall, which underwent conderable improvement in 1867, is the seat of Edward Roger Murray Pratt esq. B.A. J.P. who is lord of the manor and owns the whole parish. The Pratt family is one of the six Norfolk families mentioned by Sir Henry Spelman as living upon their property, in the male line for more than 300 years: the estate lies in this parish and in Roxham, Fordham and Bexwell. The soil is of mixed quality; subsoil, clay and sand. The chief crops are wheat and barley. The area, including Roxham, is 1,199 acres; rateable value of Ryston, £983; the population of Ryston in 1881 was 35
Letters received through Downham, which is the nearest money order & telegraph office
Hardy James, head gamekeeper to E. R. M. Pratt esq. J.P.
Newell George, farm bailiff to E. R. M. Pratt esq. J.P.
Turner Henry William, farmer, & road surveyor for Ryston
1891 Census Names Index
White's 1883 [GENUKI-NFK]
Marriages (1725-1812) [Alan Gresley]
Ryston Archeology [Norfolk Heritage Explorer]
More information on Ryston [GENUKI-NFK]
More Parish Information [Geoff Lowe & Andrew Rivett]
Paddy's home page