As it is now, contains three whole parishes, and three manors, all
joined in one, viz. Great Wreningham, or All Saints, Little Wreningham,
or St. Mary, and Nelonde.
As it was afterwards called, lies in Domesday Book by the name of
Wasincham and Walsincham, and was formerly in two parts;
Ketel the Dane had the biggest part in the Confessor's time; (fn. 1) and
at the Conqueror's survey, Warine held it of Ralf Peverell, and
the church had 60 acres of glebe; and Roger Bigod's manor had
six freemen who held 130 acres. (fn. 2) Both these united early in the
Bigods, who infeoffed the whole in the Thorps of Ashwellthorp, with
which it hath passed to this day, and therefore I shall refer you to my
account of the manor of Ashwellthorp.
The church was dedicated to St. Mary, and in Norwich Domesday, Sir Robert de Thorp, son of Sir John, was the patron; it then
belonged to the rectory of Ashwell-Thorp, and the rector had no house
in this town, but one at Thorp only; but it having all the signs and
properties of a mother church, it was separated from Thorp, and became
a parochial chapel, and independent rectory, valued at 20 shillings,
and paid 12d. procurations, 8d. synodals, 7d. Peter-pence, and 2d. ob.
Rectors of Wreningham Parva.
1312, Nicholas de Shropham. Sir John de Thorp, Knt. and Lady
Alice his wife.
1334, Alexander atte Mere of Little-Massingham chaplain. Beatrix, relict of Sir Robert de Thorp, Knt. and John his son and heir.
1349, Henry Fithell of Schotesham. Sir Roger Straunge, Knt.
1477, Tho. Trych. Robert de Thirning, rector of Combes,
Thomas de Bumpstede, citizen of Norwich, and Adam de Redgrave, rector of Bathele or Bale.
1402, Richard de Flory of Islington. Sir Thomas Erpingham,
1406, 7 April, it was perpetually united to the church of St. Peter
at Nelonde, and
Nic. atte Wode, priest, was instituted to the parish church of St.
Peter at Nelonde, with the chapel of St. Mary of Wrenningham-Parva,
annexed, at the presentation of Sir Thomas Erpingham, Knt.
Will. Rees, Esq. John and Walter Daniel, citizens of Norwich,
and John Aslack of Crostweyt, trustees to the Thorp family. And
not long after, the chapel becoming ruinous, was pulled down.
Called Newland, Nayland, and Nailyng, and in Domesday Eiland,
or the land at the eye or island. Roger Bigod was lord of it at the
Conquest, (fn. 3) Earl Eustace had another part of it, (fn. 4) and Earl Hugh a
third, as a berewic to his manor of Fundenhall. (fn. 5) They all united in
the Bygods, who infeoffed the Britons, and John le Briton infeoffed
the manor and advowson in John son of Henry de Thorp, who recovered the advowson against John le Briton, on an action brought in
1256; and from that time to this, it passed with the Ashwellthorp estate,
and is now a member of Great Wreningham manor, to which town
this village was annexed in 1414.
Rectors of Nelonde St. Peter.
1285, William de Witton.
1317, John de Hakeford. Sir John de Thorp, Knt. and Lady
Alice his wife.
1322, John Fish of Therston. Ditto.
1325, Will. de Hakeford. Lady Alice, relict of Sir John.
1328, Robert, son of Sir John de Thorp, Knt. patron.
1330, John Perys of Faringby, on Hakeford's resignation. Sir
John de Clavering, Knt. this turn. He changed for Westhall in
Robert Martin of Erpingham. Sir Roger le Straunge, Knt.
1349, Henry Fithel of Schotesham, united to Wreningham St. Mary.
1358, William son of Andrew de Stivekele Magna. Sir Edmund
de Thorp, Knt.
1378, John son of Robert Clerk of Holm. Robert de Thirning,
rector of Combes, &c. trustees.
1391, Thomas Saunfyth. Sir Edmund de Thorp, Knt.
1399, Rob. Brown of Forncet. Ditto.
1402, Richard Flory of Ilsington, united to Wreningham-Parva.
1406, 7 April, Nic. Attewode of Sislond, to this and WreninghamParva, now perpetually united.
1411, Rob. Edwards of Redenhall. Edmund Thorp.
1414, the perpetual united rectory of Nelonde and Wreningham-Parva, was annexed and perpetually united to the perpetual
united rectory of the medieties of Great Wreningham, and so continue as one consolidated rectory at this time.
When Norwich Domesday was made, Sir Robert son of Sir John de
Thorp, was patron; the rector had a house and 19 acres of glebe, it
was first valued at 4, after at 5 marks, but was not taxed; it paid 4s.
procurations, 2s. synodals, 12d. Peter-pence, and 2d. carvage Belhouse-hall stood in this parish, and there were 74 acres and an half of
land in demean adjoining to it; two parts of the tithes of which, belonged to Eye priory, for which that house was taxed at 10s. The
temporals of the Prior of St. Faith were taxed at 2s. 1d. The church
was demolished at the Reformation; it lies between Wreningham and
Ashwellthorp, and is called the Old Churchyard.
Reginald son of Hugh de Nelonde, and in 1259, Bartholomew
son of Will. de Nelonde, had a free-tenement here, with divers services
and rents belonging to it; but it long since was purchased by the
Thorps, and added to Belhouse manor.
In 1283, it was found that the lete of Nelonde belonged to the
Prior of Windham and Robert de Tateshale; (fn. 6) and in 1284, upon a suit
commenced about it, the Prior proved that it belonged to his monastery, of the gift of William le Buteler, in the time of King Henry I.
and that that King confirmed it to his monastery, with the assise of
bread and ale, &c. of all their tenants here, and in Brakene.
Had two manors in it, which included that, and the greatest part of
Nelonde; the manors of Nerford's and Belhouse-hall; the site
of the former was in Nelonde parish, where the ancient family of Belhouse resided, and the site of the latter was in this parish.
The Manor of Belhouse-Hall
Belonged to Levolt, a thane of the Confessor's (fn. 7) and at the Conquest
was given to Hermer, of whom Vagan held it; it had a church and
10 acres of glebe; the lete or superiour jurisdiction belonged to the
King and the Earl of Norfolk; it was worth at the first survey 60s.
and at the last 80s. per annum. Great Wreningham (including Nelonde) was one league long, and half a league broad, and paid 10d. to
the geld or tax. And Little Wreningham was six furlongs long, and
five broad, and paid 6d. ob. q. to the geld. (fn. 8) This manor was in the
Norfolk family, and was by one of them, given to the Creykes, and
Sir Jeffery de Creyke gave it with the moiety of the advowson, to Sir
Tho. de Belhouse, Knt. (fn. 9) who came and settled in the manor-house
of his own building, and was succeeded by Sir Richard his son and
heir, who was lord in 1280, and held it at half a fee of the heirs of
Creke, who held it of the Earl-Marshall. This Sir Richard sold the
mediety of the advowson, to Robert son of Sir John de Thorp, who
gave it to Carrow abbey. In 1383, Sir Robert, son of John de Tharp,
by the name of Sir Robert Fitz-John of Ashwellthorp, obtained a charter
of freewarren, in all his lands here. In 1384, the manor was infeoffed in
Peter de Brompton or Brampton, and by him in Robert de Salleford,
who released it to Sir Robert aforesaid, in trust for Sir Richard de
Belhus, who died in 1300, and Sarah his wife had it for life; and
Thomas his son and heir had the manors of West Bilney, Bodney, Tuddenham, Faldegate, &c. Sir Richard de Belhus, his son, was lord after
him, but dying without issue male, the manor came to the share of
John Bosun or Bozun of Wissingsete in Norfolk, Esq. whose father
William, married Maud second daughter and coheir of this Sir Richard
Belhuse, Knt. and in 1415, Edmund Oldhall and John Drew, parson of
Harpley, feoffees of Bozun, conveyed this manor to Sir Edmund de
Thorp, Knt. and his heirs, and so it became part of the estate of that
family, and hath continued with it ever since. The fines are arbitrable, and the manor hath free-warren by the charter of Edward I.
Belonged to the Bigots, (fn. 10) and was by them infeoffed with the moiety
of the advowson in the Crekes, who separated the manor into two
parts, that which the mediety attended, was held at half a fee of the
Earl Warren, by Sir Richard de Nerford, who sealed with three
fusils in fess erm. (fn. 11) he left it to Christian his widow, and she to Sir
Robert de Nerford their son, and Alice his wife, founders of the
religious house called St. Mary de Prè or de Pratis, (fn. 12) from its situation
in the meadows between Burnham-Thorp, and North-Creyk, to which
house they gave the mediety of the advowson; and the Bishop appropriated it without any vicarage reserved; so that during the appropriation, the rector of the other mediety served it as their chaplain;
this was about 1206. She was succeeded by her son William, who
sealed with a lion rampant er. and Alice his wife, daughter of John le
Moigne, or Moneye, with a de-lis or, and they sold it to Sir John de
Thorp, with their part of
The Manor of Moigne's, or Money's,
In this town, which was conveyed by Sir Jeffry de Creyke, and confirmed by Sir Robert de Creke, to Sir Alexander (fn. 13) son of Sir Peter
le Moigne, who held it at half a fee of the honour of Wormegey, or
Wrongeye; the Lady Ela, widow of Sir Peter, and mother of Sir
Alexander, had her dower in it; in 1261, Richard le Moigne, and
after that William, son of Sir Alexander, owned it; this William had
three daughters and heiresses by Alice his wife, who after remarried
to Sir Robert le Forester, who held her dower here in 1284. Emma
married to Gregory de Oldhagh. Sarah to Alexander de Lenn, sometimes called Alexander Lambert of Lynn; and Alice to William de
Nerford of Wreningham; who all joined and conveyed it to Sir John
de Thorp of Ashwellthorp, Knt. and his heirs; and ever since it
hath passed as the Ashwellthorp estate did. It paid to the honour of
Wormgeye 10s. 10d. per annum for waytefee, castleward, and respite
of suit of courts, held for the honour.
The church is dedicated to all the Saints; the Abbot of Creyk
had one mediety appropriated to his house, to which belonged a house
and 16 acres of glebe, and a small manor; (fn. 14) it had no vicarage endowed, the rector serving the whole cure, had a pension of 40s. per
annum out of it, which was not taxed; the Prioress of Carrow was
patroness of the other mediety, (fn. 15) and that rector had a house and 16
acres. The whole rectory was valued together at six marks, paid 18d.
synodals, 6s. 8d. procurations, 10d. Peter-pence, and 2d. carvage.
The portion of the Abbot of St. John at Colchester, was 20s. the portion of Carrow prioress 10s. and the portion of the Abbot of Creke,
two marks and an half; and in 1612, a pension of 11s. 8d. was paid
to the dissolved abbey of Creke, and a pension of 5s. to Carrow abbey;
and the Prior of Wimondham had a messuage and 10 acres of land. (fn. 16)
This parish paid 3l. 10s. to every tenth. It stands by the name of
Wreningham rectory in the King's Books, is valued at 10l. and pays
first fruits, and 1l. yearly tenths; and being undischarged, it is not
capable of augmention.
Rectors of Carrow (fn. 17) Mediety,
Presented by the prioresses of
1306, Robert de Cokethorp.
1330, Richard Sekkesteyn of Herdwyk.
1331, Richard de Quytewash.
1335, Robert King of Cnapeton, who in 1340, changed for Paston
vicarage with Sir Clement, son of Sir Robert le Clerk of Cnapeton, or
Cnapton; and in 1347, he exchanged for East Walton with
Peter de Horsted.
1349, John Akewra, who changed for Framlingham-Pigot in 1382,
John de Stevenache, who resigned in
1359, to John Baxter of West Lexham.
1371, Thomas Cowles.
1385, John Bale, lapse. He resigned in
1385, to William Giffard.
1393, Walter Aldous of Wingfield, res.
1401, Nic. Walter.
1402, Thomas Catesby.
1405, John Felys; he was the last presented by the Prioress.
Rectors of the consolidated rectory
Of the medieties of Wreningham All-Saints, Little Wreningham St. Mary, and of
Nelonde St. Peter.
In 1414, the mediety given by Sir Robert de Nerford to the Abbot
of the monastery or regular church of St. Mary de Pratis or de Prè,
sometimes called the Hospital of St. Mary of Lyngescroft, in the
meadows between Burnham-Thorp and Creke, was this year, sold by
Robert, abbot of that house, (fn. 18) to Sir Edmund Thorp, Knt. and his
heirs, and disappropriated, who at the same time bought the advowson of Carrow mediety, of that house; and then he got them joined
to Wreningham-Parva and Nelonde, which were of his own patronage,
and so they became one rectory, as they now remain.
1418, Thomas Arteys of Refham, priest. Will. Westacre Archdeacon of Norwich, Sir Edmund Barry, Knt. John Lancaster,
Esq. John Drewe, parson of Harpley, James Walsingham, and
Charles Alleyn, trustees to Sir Edmund de Thorp, Knt. He
resigned in 1429, and Sir John Clifton, Knt. presented
Thomas Truyt, who was succeeded by
John Wardy, at whose death in 1504, Thomas Earl of Surrey,
guardian to the heir of Berners, gave it to
Richard Catton, who resigned in favour of
Richard Gibson, who voided it in 1524, and John Bourchier, Knt. Lord Berners, gave it to
James at Calvarde, or Calver, who in 1584, joined with Jane
Knevet, widow, his patroness, who was daughter and coheir of
John Bourchier, Knt. Lord Berners, and with the Bishop's consent
as ordinary, leased to John Stayner of Ashwellthorp for 99 years, at
the rent of 6s. 8d. a year, 26 acres and three roods, parcel of Wreningham glebes, lying in 20 several pieces in Wreningham and Ashwellthorp. In 1594, Sir Thomas Knevet, Knt. presented
Mr. John Harrison, who was chaplain to the Earl of Northumberland; in 1603, he returned that there were 88 communicants,
and that he held it united to Ashwellthorp, as did
Roger Gallard, who succeeded in 1627. In
1672, Richard Jacquis, A. M. held it with Ashwellthorp, of the gift
of Sir John Knevet, Knt. at whose cession in 1676, Sir Thomas
Knevet, Knt. gave them both to
William Bedingfield, A.M. at whose death in 1693, Thomas
Glemham, Esq. Kat. Harris (afterwards Lady Berners) Mary
and Jenny Knevet, who held the advowson in fee simple, presented
William Green, at whose cession in 1695, they gave it to
John Eachard; and at his death in
1735, Dec. 6, John Goddard, clerk, A. B. the present rector, was
instituted on the presentation of the honourable Katherine Lady
Berners, patroness in fee simple.
The church is 24 yards long, and six broad, is leaded, and hath
no isles; the steeple is square and hath four bells, the chancel is tiled.
In the windows are the arms of Appleyard, Thorp impaling Clifion,
and arg. four bendlets gul. Clere, and arg. a chevron between
three horse barnacles sab. Gul. fretty arg. on a chief of the 2d, three
roses of the 1st, barbed and seeded proper. Arg. a plain cross gul.
Thorp impaling erm. a cross ingrailed gul.
By the altar is a gravestone with Buxton's arms, for Rich. Buxton,
who died 20 Feb. 1684. And another with this,
Rogerus Gallard A.M. hujus Ecclesiæ Pastor fidelis Corpus
humile hic deposuit, ad similitudinem Gloriosi Corporis Christi
die novissimo transformandum et obijt octavo die Mensis Augusti
A. D. 1672. Æt. suæ 74.
Oportet operari donec Dies est, venit Nox quando nemo potest operari.
* The hundred of Humbleyard pays annually to the land
tax, at 4s. in the pound, as follows, viz.
|Markeshall or Mattishal||32||1||4|
|Total of the yearly payment||1704||9||4|
* The hundred of Humbleyard pays to the general rate
for the county of Norfolk, (fn. 19) for
quarterage, bridge-money, vagrant-money, &c. as follows:
To the 600l. levy.
The soil of the northern part of this hundred, is light and sandy,
that of the southern more rich and heavy, the whole is enclosed,
though the southern part hath more wood than the other, but there is
no great quantity in any part of it.
N. B. The county raises yearly, either a 300l. quarterly levy,
which is 1200l. each year; or a 450l. quarterly levy, which is 1800l.
a year; or a 600l. quarterly levy, which raises 2400l. a year. All
which is in the disposition of the justices of the peace, to be employed
as the act directs. I have inserted only the 600l. quarterly levy on
each parish, because the 300l. levy is always half as much, and the
450l. levy is three quarters of the 600l. levy.