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1891 Census Names Index for Thetford St.Cuthbert
1891 Census Names Index for Thetford St.Mary
1891 Census Names Index for Thetford St.Peter
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Norfolk - Thetford

Kelly's Directory for Cambridgeshire, Norfolk & Suffolk, 1883, pp.518-22.

[Complete entry. Transcription Copyright © E.C."Paddy" Apling]

T H E T F O R D

THETFORD is an ancient borough, railway station, market town, municipal borough and polling place for the South division of the county, chiefly in Norfolk, but a small part is in Suffolk; the counties are divided by the Little Ouse, over which is a cast-iron bridge, erected by the corporation in 1829. The rivers Thet and Little Ouse join a little above the bridge. The town is head of a union and county court district, in the rural deanery of Thetford and ardeaconry and diocese of Norwich, 7 miles east-south-east from Brandon, 12 from Bury St. Edmunds, 23 from Ely, 31¼ south-west from Norwich, 20¼ south-east from Wymondham, 28 south-south-east from Lynn, 78 north-east from London by road and 95¼ by rail: it is governed by a mayor, recorder, four aldermen and twelve councillors who form the Urban Sanitary Authority. The borough has a commission of the peace and separate court of quarter sessions. The town is lighted with gas. The little Ouse is navigable by barges from Lynn to Thetford, by which coal and timber are imported, and corn, malt and wool exported. The Great Eastern railway has two stations here: one on the line from Ely and the other on the Thetford and Bury line which connects this place with Bury St. Edmunds. The borough formerly returned two members to Parliament; by the "Representation of the People Act, 1867," it was to have returned one, but the one member was lost on the passing of the "Representation of the People (Scotland) Act, 1868." The town consists of three parishes:— St. Mary, St. Peter and St. Cuthbert.

The church of St. Mary, situated on the Suffolk side, is a large and very handsome structure of flint with stone dressings restored in 1866: it is in the Norman and Perpendicular styles and consist of chancel, nave and lofty square tower with 6 bells; the west gallery has been removed, the east and west windows have been filled with stained glass, the former is very beautiful, subject, The Crucifixion, and was inserted by the family of the late rector, the Rev. William Collett M.A.; two other stained windows are placed in the nave, and the family of the late L. S. Bidwell esq. one of the oldest inhabitants of the town, have placed others in the chancel to his memory; the tomb of Sir Richard Fulmerston knt. anciently a benefactor of the town and founder of the Grammar School, was some years since removed, and the parts containing the inscription were placed against the south wall of the nave: in 1878 the nave was new roofed, at a cost of £500. The register dates from the year 1653. The living is a rectory, yearly value £83, in the gift of trustees and held since 1862 by the Rev. Alfred Fowler Smith M.A., LL.D. of Pembroke College, Cambridge, and ad eundem Oxford, who is also preacher of the school and hospital. Connected with this church is a preachership, founded by the above Sir Richard Fulmerston and endowed by him with £95 per annum, now held by the Rev. Alfred Fowler Smith M.A., LL.D.

St. Cuthbert's church, situated near the Market place, was almost rebuilt in 1852; it is a structure in flint in the Late Perpendicular style, consisting of chancel, nave and aisles; the chancel is separated from the nave by a beautiful oak screen. The register dates from the year 1672. The living is a vicarage, gross yearly value £90 in the gift of the Bishop of the diocese, and held since 1880, by the Rev. William George Norwood, of St. Bees.

St. Peter's. White Hart street, is built of cut flint, whence it was formerly called the "Black Church;" it is in the Decorated style, and consists of a chancel, nave and aisles; the tower was rebuilt in 1789, and contains a fine peal of 8 bells, with were re-hung in 1875 through the exertions of the late rector (Rev. R. Hay-Hill), at a cost of £40, nothing having previously been done since 1791, when the bells were placed in the belfry by Lord Petre. The register dates from the year 1642. The living is a rectory, yearly value £122, including 43 acres of glebe, in the gift of Alfred Marshall esq. and held since 1881 by the Rev. Philip Edmund Phelps M.A. Cantuar.

There are Baptist, Congregational, Primitive Methodist and Wesleyan chapels, and a Friends' meeting-house seldom used. The Catholic church is dedicated to St.Mary, erected in 1826, is in London road, and has schools for 55 children connected with it.

The Cemetery, on the London road, established 1854, occupies about 3 acres of land, and has two mortuary chapels: it is under the control of a burial Board of 18 members.

The Grammar school and hospital foundation, with endowment producing about £590 yearly, was founded by Act of Parliament in 1610, according to the last will and testament of Sir Richard Fulmerston knt.: the school-house was thoroughly restored in 1880, and forms part of the old Trinity church; one of the original arches is still in a good state of preservation; the residence for the masters was also rebuilt in the same year. The management of this ancient foundation is under twelve governors.

There is a fund for apprenticing out of Sir Joseph Williamson's Charity; it is governed by 15 trustees. There are other charities producing about £500 or £600 yearly.

The Guildhall, where the quarter sessions for the borough are held, is situated in the centre of the town, overlooking the Market place, which is encirced by an iron railing. Petty sessions for the borough are held at the Guildhall on mondays. The Mechanics' Institution has a library of 1,700 volumes.

At the eastern part of the town are a few tenements occupied by the poor, on the site of the Harbord Hospital, so called from their having been endowed by Sir Charles Harbord for 99 years, which time expired many years ago. In St. Mary's parish are also four almshouses, built chiefly of flint, with antique brick chimneys, which, as well as the Grammar school, bear the date 1610 and the name of their founder, Sir Richard Fulmerston knt.

In the town are a brewery, an extensive tannery and fellmongery, brick and lime kilns, also powerful water and steam mills (flour), several maltings, bone crushing, manure and chemical works, and Messrs. Charles Burrell and Sons' extensive iron foundry and steam engine works, employing about 350 hands, and which is situated on the site of old St. Nicholas' church; also a manufactory of paper maché goods.

The market is held on Saturday for fish, meat and vegetables. There is a Lamb fair held her August 16th.

The gaol, enlarged in 1816, is a flint and stone building, but since the removal of the assizes to Norwich, in 1833, is now only a police station.

The King's house, in King street, stands on a slight eminence; it is flint and brick built, and bears the royal arms over the door: there is a lawn before the house, and beautiful gardens attached: it was formerly the residence of Queen Elizabeth and James I.; the last named gave it to Sir P. Wodehouse; it is now occupied by Cornell H. Fison esq.

In the parish of St. Mary, and on the Suffolk side of the river, are the remains of a monastery (St. Sepulchre's): the porter's gate is visible, as also a part of the church, now converted into a barn; it is called the "Canons'" and is occupied by William Dalziel Mackenzie esq. J.P.: a great portion of the land is a rabbit warren, where thousands of rabbits are to be seen on the open ground: the particular breed most cultivated here known as the "silver grey," although they appear nearly black; they are the most valuable to furriers.

Thetford formerly has twenty churches and eight monasteries, of which there are numerous ruins, and the surrounding country contains several "barrows." At the eastern extremity of the town is Castle hill, a mound upwards of 1,000 feet in circumferences at the base, supposed to be an ancient fortification of Roman or Saxon origin: its height is 100 feet, and the top, overlooking an immense tract of country, is crowned by five stately trees.

Thetford was a Roman station, and was for some time the see of the Bishops of East Anglia. In 1004 King Sweyne burned this place. Here was anciently a mint.

The principal landowners are William Dalziel Mackenzie esq. J.P. who is lord of the manor, Sir R. J. Buxton bart. M.P., D.L and T. S. Bidwell esq.

The area is, St. Cuthbert's parish, 306 acres; rateable value £4,332 10s.: St. Mary's, 4,620; rateable value, £3,944 10s.; St. Peter's. 2,370; rateable value £7,785: combined rateable value of the borough, £16.062.

Official Establishments, Local Institutions &c.

POST & MONEY ORDER & TELEGRAPH OFFICE, Savings Bank & Government Annuity & Insurance Office, Market place.— Harry Howard, postmaster. Letters arrive from London & are delivered at 7.0 a.m.; from north & south, delivery commenced at 1.15 p.m. Letters dispatched to London, Cambridge, Norwich, Attleborough & Brandon at 11.20 a.m.; to West & North of England & Scotland 5.20 p.m.; to London & all parts 10 p.m. Pillar Letter Box, Bridge street, cleared week days at 11 a.m. & 10 p.m.; sundays at 10 p.m. Money orders are granted & paid from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; on saturdays, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Parcels Post delivery commences at 9 a.m. & 2.45 p.m.

CORPORATION.

MAYOR—William Pechey esq

RECORDER—Carlos Cooper esq.

ALDERMEN.

COUNCILLORS.

OFFICERS OF THE CORPORATION & URBAN SANITARY AUTHORITY.

BOROUGH MAGISTRATES.

The Mayor.

INSURANCE AGENTS.

RURAL SANITARY AUTHORITY.

PUBLIC ESTABLISHMENTS.

THETFORD UNION.

RURAL SANITARY AUTHORITY.

PUBLIC OFFICERS.

PLACES OF WORSHIP, with times of service.

SCHOOLS.

CONVEYANCE.

CARRIERS.

Note: It is not clear from the text whether the Carrier route went to Fakenham, Norfolk, or only to the village of Fakenham Magna, in Suffolk (approx 5½ miles south-east from Thetford on the way to Bury St. Edmunds).
I at first assumed that the carrier route is the long-distance one to Fakenham, Norfolk, though the earlier references in the text to Fakenham clearly refer to the local Fakenham Magna, but the entry for Fakenham Magna shows:

Transcription Copyright © E.C."Paddy" Apling, August 2000; minor corrections, May, 2001; links updated August 2014.

Return to villages index
Paddy's home page
1891 Census Names Index for Thetford St.Cuthbert
1891 Census Names Index for Thetford St.Mary
1891 Census Names Index for Thetford St.Peter
Thetford watermill [Jonathan Neville]
Bishop's watermill [Jonathan Neville]
Local web-site
More on Thetford [GENUKI-NFK]
More Parish Information on Thetford [Geoff Lowe & Andrew Rivett]
More Parish Information on Thetford St Mary [Geoff Lowe & Andrew Rivett]