WRETHAM (EAST and WEST), about 6 miles N.N.E. of Thetford, are two adjoining parishes and villages, in Thetford union, Shropham hundred, Guiltcross and Shropham petty sessional division, Thetford county court district, Norwich bankruptcy court district, Thetford polling district of South Norfolk, Rockland rural deanery, and Norfolk archdeaconry. East Wretham had 173 inhabitants in 1881, and West Wretham 140. Its rateable value is £1701. Fowlmere, a hamlet of West Wretham, 3½ miles from the railway station, adjoins Croxton. Wretham Hall, an elegant mansion about a mile NW of the church, is seated in a well-wooded park of about 300 acres, abounding in game. It is the seat of William Morris, Esq., who is lord of the manor and sole landowner. East Wretham CHURCH (St. Ethelbert) is a small edifice, with a tower and a good Norman doorway; but that at West Wretham (St. Lawrence) has long been in ruins. The church at East Wretham was entirely rebuilt in 1865 by the 'children of Wyrley and Katharine Sarah, his wife,' according to an inscription on the tower. The chancel was at the same time rebuilt by the rector. The fine old Norman doorway, with zigzag mouldings, has been carefully preserved. There is a handsome cross of polished granite in the churchyard, erected in memory of deceased members of the Birch family. The character of the new work is middle Pointed. The sittings in the chancel are of oak, with carved frontages and poppy-heads. There is a good organ, and there are some wall paintings in the chancel. Mr. Morris is patron of the consolidated rectories, which are valued in K.B., one at £11 12s 3½d., and the other at £12 11s. 3d. The Rev. James Park Whalley, B.A., is the incumbent, and has 11 acres of glebe, a yearly tithe rent-charge of £539, and a good residence, built about thirty years ago. The School was erected by the late lord of the manor and his sister about the year 1856, and is attended by 60 children.
POST and TELEGRAPH OFFICE Mr. Robert Adam, receiver. Letters from Thetford arrive at 7.45 a.m., despatched at 6 p.m. Hockham is the nearest Money Order Office. Pillar-box cleared at 5.45 p.m. weekdays only.
Marked * are in West Wretham.
RAILWAY STATION Thomas Bedford, stationmaster
© Transcribed by E.C. ("Paddy") Apling, May 1999; links updated February 2010.
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1891 Census Names Index for East Wretham and West Wretham
Kelly's 1883 for East Wretham and West Wretham
White's 1845; and 1854 for Wretham (East and West)
Kelly's 1896 or East Wretham and West Wretham [GENUKI-NFK]
East Wretham postmill, towermill and watermill [Jonathan Neville]
Wretham archeology [Norfolk Heritage Explorer]
East Wretham Nature Reserve [Norfolk Wildlife Trust]
More on East Wretham and West Wretham [GENUKI-NFK]
More Parish Information [Geoff Lowe & Andrew Rivett]