SAHAM-TONEY, a large but scattered village, 1 mile N.W. of Watton, is a parish in Swaffham union, Wayland hundred and petty sessional division, Swaffham county court district, Lynn bankruptcy district, Watton polling district of West Norfolk, Breccles rural deanery, and Norwich archdeaconry. It had 1212 inhabitants in 1881, living on 4148 acres, and has a rateable value of £4742. The principal landowners are Mrs. Perkins, of Saham Hall, John Gurney, Mrs. Mann, J. T. Mills, Sir Charles Harvey, and some smaller owners. Thomas D. Calthorp, Esq., is lord of the manor of Saham-Toney, which was held by the famous Earl of Warwick in the reigns of Henry VI. and Edward IV. The Rev. W. S. Grigson, M.A., of Whinburgh, is lord of the manors of Howards, Harveys, and Pages, and here is also a small rectorial manor. The parish derives its name from Sir Toney, who was William the Conqueror's standard-bearer. A number of bronze rings and ornaments, and many pieces of Roman pottery, have been found here at various times. Near the centre of the village is a lake, or mere, of 12 acres, abounding in fish, especially eels. The CHURCH (St. George) is a large and handsome structure in the Perpendicular style, comprising nave, aisles, south porch, chancel, vestry, and lofty tower with six bells. It was erected in 1480, but the chancel has been rebuilt during the present century, and the rest of the building has been restored by the late rector, Rev. W. H. Parker, M.A., at a cost of about £3000. Many of its windows are filled with beautiful stained glass, and the rood-screen is handsomely carved, as are also many of the seats. It contains a good organ, several brasses and other monuments, and two piscinas. The patronage was formerly vested in seven monks of Rouen, from whom it was taken by Henry V. during his war with France. His son, Henry VI., the founder of Eton College, gave this rectory to New College, Oxford. The living was valued in K.B. at £21 14s. 9d., and now at £1110. The Rev. Coker Adams, M.A., is rector. The Wesleyans, Primitive Methodists, and Wesleyan Reformers have each a chapel here. In 1626 the Rev. William Terry, a late rector, left the rectory-house, well furnished, and 5 acres of land, for the use of succeeding rectors. He also left a house and land for the parish clerk to ring the evening eight o'clock bell; and a farm of 23A. 2R., called Kirtling, for the use of the schoolmaster. The latter is now let for about £40. In 1611 Edward Goaffe left a school-house for the master's residence, and almshouses for four poor widows; and endowed the latter with a yearly rent-charge of £5, and the former with a yearly rent-charge of £5, and 4 acres of land, now let for £4. The Free School was rebuilt in 1837, and enlarged in 1844 and 1877. It is a plain square building, attended by 80 children. For the endowment arising from the above-named sources, the master teaches, as free scholars, all the sons of the parishioners who are sent to him, and the school is also free to six boys from Watton and two of Threxton. The four almshouses were taken down in 1859, and rebuilt on a new site by the rector, who also built the Girls' and Infants' Schools, the latter in 1838, and the former in 1848. They are each attended by about 60 children. The Agricultural and Commercial College School is a large and handsome Elizabethan structure, erected by the Rev. W. H. Parker, M.A., in 1852, and having accommodation for about 40 boarders. It contains a lofty and well-ventilated schoolroom, library, dining-room &c., and attached to it are about 2 acres of playground, and a good residence for the headmaster. The school is at present closed. There is also a dwelling-house, with 1½ acre of grass land and garden, left as a residence for the curate, but this has been closed for some time. The Fuel Allotments, awarded under the Enclosure Act of the 37th of George III. now comprise 86A. 1R. 39P., let for £185 5s., which is distributed in coal. The dividends of £760, new 3 per Cents., left by Charles Hunt in 1811, are distributed in clothing among the poor parishioners. The rent of two allotments, comprising 3A. 1R. 12P., is applied in repairing the highways, but part of it is said to belong to the poor, by gift of Mary Duffield, in 1702. The Rev. Humphrey Prideaux, author of the 'Life of Mahomet,' was rector here from 1686 to 1694. The singular Mr. Shuckforth, who died here in 1784, aged 91, was buried in a small enclosure, on his own estate, but his remains were removed to the churchyard in 1854. Traces of a Roman camp are still visible in this parish.
SUB-POST OFFICE at Mr.James Fickling's. Letters from Watton received at 7.30 a.m. Box closes at 6.10 p.m. Sundays, arrive at 7.30 a.m.; no evening departure.
Transcription Copyright © E.C. ("Paddy") Apling, May 1999; links updated February 2010.
1891 Census Names Index
White's 1845 and 1854
White's 1864 [GENUKI-NFK]
Saham Toney tower mill; Saham Hills north, north-east, east and south postmills and towermill [Jonathan Neville]
Saham Toney church (and audio tour) [Wayland and Watton info]
Saham Toney Parish Council
Saham Toney archeology [Norfolk Heritage Explorer]
Wikipedia on Saham Toney
Addtional Historical Information
More on Saham Toney [GENUKI-NFK]
More Parish Information [Geoff Lowe & Andrew Rivett]
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