THOMPSON (or TOMPSON) is a parish 3 miles south from Watton and half-a-mile west from Stow-Bedon railway station and 10 west from Attleborough, in the Western division of the county, hundred and union of Wayland, Attleborough county court district, rural deanery of Breckles, and archdeaconry and diocese of Norwich. "The ancient family of Tompson of Tynemouth Castle (says Blomefield) is descended from the Tompsons surnamed of this town." In the time of Edward I, a small chantry was established here by the then lord of Tompson; Sir Thomas de Shardelow, fifty years after, gave the society a chantry house, called Tompson's College, an estate, and the advowson of the living. The College Farm still marks the site of the ancient residence of the chantry priests, and some oak stalls in the church show where they used to sit. The church of St. Martin, standing close to the road, is built of rubble: its date is apparently about 1300: it is in the Early English style and consists of chancel, nave, porch, transept and tower containing 3 bells: the windows of the chancel have beautiful tracery, now half blocked up: the south chapel appears to have been built about 1450, for the purpose of the chantry, and as a place of interment for the founder, Sir Thomas de Shardelow, and his family: the nave is fitted with oak benches, the carved poppy-heads of which have been painted white, according to village custom: here is a modern painting, "Jacob told of Joseph's Death": there are three sedilia and a piscina in the chapel: in the churchyard are the ruins of a north chapel or vestry. The register dates from the year 1538. The living is a vicarage, yearly value £49, in the gift of the trustees of H. D. Hemsworth esq. and held since 1860 by the Rev. William Smyth Thorpe B.A. of Wadham College, Oxford, who resides at Shropham. The great and small tithes belonged to the College till the Dissolution, when they passed into private hands, and have since so continued. £31, rent of town lands, is divided between the church and the poor. The land chiefly belongs to Lord Walsingham, who is lord of the manor. The soil is light, with a clay or black gravel subsoil. The chief crops are wheat, barley and oats. There is a good deal of heath land uncultivated, and a mere called Tompson Water. The area is 2,890 acres; rateable value £2,994; and the population in 1881 was 360.
Letters through Thetford, viâ Watton, which is the nearest money order & telegraph office. WALL BOX; letters collected at 6 p.m.; sundays at 10 a.m.
National school, erected in 1874 by Lord Walsingham & maintained by his lordship; Miss Sarah Violet Tyler, mistress
Transcription © Copyright E.C.Apling, December 1998, with minor corrections April 2005; links updated February 2010.
1891 Census Names Index
White's 1845, 1864 and 1883 [GENUKI-NFK]
Thompson postmill [Jonathan Neville]
Thompson village web-site
Thompson church (and audio tour) [Wayland and Watton info]
Thompson archeology [Norfolk Heritage Explorer]
Wikipedia on Thompson
More on Thompson [GENUKI-NFK]
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