Buckenham, New (St. Martin)

BUCKENHAM, NEW (St. Martin), a town and parish, in the union of Guiltcross, hundred of Shropham, W. division of Norfolk, 5 miles (S. E. by S.) from Attleburgh, and 96 (N. E. by N.) from London; containing 716 inhabitants. This place owes its origin to William D'Albini, Earl of Chichester, who, disliking the situation of a castle which had been built at Old Buckenham about the time of the Conquest, demolished that structure, and erected another here, in the reign of Henry II. The new castle was pleasantly situated on an eminence to the east of the former, and consisted of a keep, two round towers, a grand entrance tower, and a barbican, inclosed with embattled walls surrounded by a fosse. Its owner, who had view of frankpledge, and the power of life and death, obtained from Henry many privileges for his new burgh, among which were those of holding a mercate court, the assize of bread and ale, and a market; and the lord of the manor still claims the right of officiating as butler at the coronation of the kings of England. The town is pleasantly situated; the houses are neatly built, and there is an ample supply of water. The market (on Saturday) has fallen into disuse; the fairs for horses, cattle, &c., are on the last Saturday in May, and Nov. 22nd and 23rd, and a statute-fair for hiring servants is held a fortnight before Old Michaelmasday. A high bailiff is chosen annually at the "Portman" court, and a court baron and court leet are held by the proprietor of the manor. The parish comprises about 330 acres, 80 of which are uninclosed common, and the rest chiefly arable. The living is a perpetual curacy, and has a net income of £115: it is in the patronage of the Inhabitants, who pay a yearly modus of 3½d. in the pound on the rental in lieu of tithes. The church is an ancient and handsome structure, containing portions of several orders of architecture, and has a square tower with six bells: the north aisle was rebuilt in 1749, by the aid of several distinguished families; the chancel is separated from the north aisle by a richly carved screen, and contains some interesting monuments. There are places of worship for Methodists.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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