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Holme or Cowholme, Norfolk

Historical Description

Holme or Cowhoime, a hamlet in Homing parish, Norfolk, 6½ miles N by W from Acle. A hermitage was founded here in 800, and burnt by the Danes. A mitred Benedictine abbey was built on the site of the hermitage in 1020 by Canute, and was by Act of Parliament given at the Reformation to the bishops of Norwich. The abbey was so strongly fortified as to resemble a castle; it resisted the attacks of the Norman Conqueror till betrayed by one of its monks; it was greatly enriched after the Conquest by several royal benefactors, and ever since its possession by the bishops of Norwich it has entitled them to sit in Parliament as lords of its barony, so that their seat there is held by a double tenure. Only small traces of it now exist, the most important being the gate-house, a building of brick and stone with angle turrets, which is a favourite subject with artists.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5

Church Records

Ancestry.co.uk, in association with Norfolk Record Office, have images of the Parish Registers for Norfolk online.


Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Norfolk newspapers online:


Visitations Heraldic

The Visitations of Norfolk 1563, 1589, and 1613 is available on the Heraldry page.