Aylsham, a market and union town and a parish in Norfolk. The town stands on the river Bure, amid one of the most pleasant tracts in the county, 12 miles N by W of Norwich. It has a station on the G.E.R., and another on the E. & M.R., a post and telegraph office under Norwich, a banking office, a police station, and a town hall; is a seat of petty sessions and county courts; and conducts some commerce by barges on the Bure. A manufacture of linen, known as Aylsham web, was carried on in the times of Edward II. and Edward III., and a manufacture of woollen fabrics sprang up at a later period, but both have disappeared. The chief employments now are in the corn-trade, the timber-trade, and country business. Fairs are held yearly on 23 March and the last Tuesday of Sept. The parish church is Decorated English, said to have been built by John of Gaunt; consists of nave, chancel, and transept, with a square tower and spire; and contains the remains of an ancient rood-screen, a carved font, and numerous brasses. The churchyard contains the grave of Humphrey Repton. the landscape gardener,who died in 1818. There are also Baptist, Primitive Methodist, Reformed Wesleyan, and Wesleyan chapels. The interesting seat of Blickling Hall is in the vicinity, within the contiguous parish of Blickling.
The parish comprises 4330 acres; population, 2533. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Norwich; net value, £218 with residence. Patrons, the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury.
The Cemetery, of two acres, formed in 1855 at a cost of £600, was enlarged in 1900 by the addition of 1½ acres.
The parish register dates from the year 1653.
Details of the places of worship in Aylsham, and their records, can be found on the following pages:
- St. Michael (Church of England)
- Baptist Chapel, White Hart Street (Baptist)
- Gospel Hall, Cawston Road (Baptist)
- Primitive Methodist Chapel, Cawston Road (Primitive Methodist)
- Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, White Hart Street (Wesleyan Methodist)
- Catholic church, White Hart Street (Roman Catholic)
The Visitations of Norfolk 1563, 1589, and 1613 is available on the Heraldry page.