SPROWSTON is an extensive and well built village, 2 miles N. by E. of Norwich, the parish having increased in population since 1801, from 248 to 1,308 souls, and has 2,700 acres of land. There are 314 houses, and many handsome villa residences have been erected during the last few years, especially on the south side of the parish, which adjoins the city suburbs, and is commonly called New Sprowston. The manor, anciently held by the Corbets, was sold by Sir Thos. Corbet, in 1645, to Sir Thos. Adams, from whose family it passed in like manner to Sir Lambert Blackwell, who was created a baronet in 1718. It was held by three successive baronets of this family, but the last, who died in 1801, sold it to Mr. Boycott, of Norwich, whose grandson, John Morse, Esq., sold it in 1802, and after passing through the hands of Alderman Davy and others, by whom a large portion was separately sold to various persons, the manor house and chief part of the estate were sold to Thos. Woodruffe Smythe, Esq., of Stockwell Park, Surrey, and is now the property of G. H. Head, Esq., who is also lord of the manor. The Hall, said to have been erected in 1559, was much improved some years ago, but is now unoccupied. Sprowston Lodge, a neat white brick mansion, 3½ miles N. by E. of Norwich, is the seat of John Stracey, Esq., who has in his pleasure grounds a flourishing willow, raised from a branch of the tree that overshadowed the tomb of Napoleon, on the Island of St. Helena. Near Sprowston Cottage are the remains of St. Magdalen's Chapel, now converted into cottages. The Church, dedicated to St. Margaret, is an ancient edifice, and has two gothic stalls, and several memorials to the Corbet family, one of whom was Miles Corbet, Esq., who sat as one of the judges, and signed the death warrant of King Charles. The benefice is a curacy not in charge, but has been augmented with £400 Queen Anne's bounty, and £1,000 Parliamentary grant. The Rev. Hy. Banfather, B.D., is the incumbent, and the Dean and Chapter of Norwich are the patrons and impropriators ; but the tithes are leased to the landowners. At the enclosure in 1800, about 1,000 acres of Mousehold Heath (partly in this parish,) were charged with the yearly payment of £30 to the poor of Sprowston, for distribution in coals. Six cottages for the poor, left by Catherine and Ann Corbet, were sold under the authority of the Poor Law Commissioners, and the proceeds applied to the poor rates. A fair, formerly held on August 2nd, was discontinued in 1826. The Huntingtonians built a school here in 1839, which is also used as a place of worship.
Post Office at Thos. Edwards'. Letters arrive at 7.30 a.m, and are despatched at 6 p.m.
Transcription Copyright © the late A.J. Carter, March 2001; links updated February 2011.
1891 Census Names Index
St. Faith's union
Norwich county court district
White's 1845 and Hunts 1850 [GENUKI-NFK]
Church of St. Cuthbert; St. George; and Sprowston Methodist Church [Simon Knott]
Sprowston postmill and tower mill; Sprowston road postmill and Austin's tower mill and Sprowston tower saw-mill [Jonathan Neville]
Sprowston archeology [Norfolk Heritage Explorer]
Sprowston Parish web-site
More on Sprowston [GENUKI-NFK]
More Parish Information [Geoff Lowe & Andrew Rivett]
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