WEST TOFTS is a parish and village, 5 miles north-east from Brandon station, in the Western division of the county, Grimshoe hundred, Thetford union and county court district, rural deanery of Cranwich, archdeaconry of Norfolk and diocese of Norwich. The church of St. Mary is of flint, with stone dressings, in the Early Decorated style, and has chancel, nave, north aisle, and square tower containing 8 bells and a clock, and surmounted by a spire covered with lead: the north aisle and porch have been entirely rebuilt and the interior of the church restored and elaborately decorated: it has two beautiful carved screens, one in the chancel richly gilt: the roof of the church is painted in compartments and that of the chancel gilt: the chancel is paved with encaustic tiles: carved figures form the altarpiece: the whole of the windows are stained, the east window being particularly beautiful: the tombs of Sir Richard and Lady Sutton are in a chapel on the south side of the chancel, and the tomb of Emma Helena, wife of Sir John Sutton bart. is in a chapel in the north aisle: there are brasses to Lady Arthur Edwin Hill and Mrs. Clowes, sisters of Sir John, and monuments to the Partridges, formerly of Buckenham House. The register dates from the year 1733. The living is a rectory, yearly value £200, with 4 acres of glebe, in the gift of and held since 1849 by the Rev. Augustus Sutton, M.A. of University College, Oxford, prebendary of Lincoln cathedral and J.P. Norfolk. Mrs. Lyne-Stephens, who is lady of the manor, and W. Amhurst Tyssen Amherst esq. M.P., J.P. are the chief landowners. The soil is mixed, clay and sand; subsoil, gravel and chalk. The chief crops are rye, barley, and turnips. The area is 3,044 acres; rateable value £1,630 2s. 6d.; in 1881 the population was 190.
Letters through Mundford R.S.O. which is the nearest money order office.
National school, accommodating 72; average attendance 50; Miss P.Elizabeth Mott, mistress
Note: The village, and most of the parish, has, since 1942, been incorporated in the Stanford Military Training Area, from which the public is normally excluded, although much of the land is farmed. The church is preserved.
© Transcription Copyright © E.C. ("Paddy") Apling, January 1999; links updated November 2010.
1891 Census Names Index
White's 1845; 1854; and 1883
White's 1864 [GENUKI-NFK]
Lynfod (& West Tofts) Archeology [Norfolk Heritage Explorer]
More on West Tofts [GENUKI-NFK]
More Parish Information [Andrew Rivett & Geoff Lowe]
Book reviews ("A Norfolk Woman")
and see The story of the evacuation
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