Caistor near Yarmouth (St. Edmund)

CAISTOR near Yarmouth (St. Edmund), a parish, in the East and West Flegg incorporation, hundred of East Flegg, E. division of Norfolk, 19½ miles (E.) from Norwich; containing 909 inhabitants. The name is a corrupted Saxonism of Castrum; it being clear, from the visible remains of fortifications, and the discovery of numerous coins, that the Romans had a camp here, opposite to, and connected with, Garianonum. The manor was anciently in the possession of the family of Fastolf; and Sir John Fastolf, a celebrated warrior and an estimable man, whose character some consider Shakspeare to have pervertedly drawn in his Sir John Falstaff, was born here. He was the founder of the castle, the cost of which was defrayed with money obtained for the ransom of the Duke d'Alencon, whom he had taken prisoner at the battle of Agincourt; it was supposed to be one of the oldest brick mansions in the kingdom, and was a castellated edifice in the form of a parallelogram, of which nothing now remains, except a circular tower about 90 feet high, with portions of the north and west walls. Eastward of the castle stood a college, forming three sides of a spacious square, with two circular towers; it was established in the reign of Edward I. by one of the Fastolfs, and afterwards patronized by the founder of the castle, and his successors, till its dissolution: the remains have been converted into stables and a barn. Caistor was formerly in two parishes, Trinity and St. Edmund's, which were consolidated September 22nd, 1608; the church belonging to the former has been suffered to fall into ruins. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £10; net income, £875; patron and incumbent, the Rev. G. W. Steward, who lately erected a handsome glebe-house. The church is chiefly in the decorated style, and consists of a nave, chancel, and south aisle, with a square embattled tower. The Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists have places of worship. The sum of £105, the rental of land devised by Elizabeth Blennerhaysett, Sir William Paston, and others, is annually applied in relief for the poor. A line of sand-hills called the Meals or Marum Hills, commences here, and extends, with occasional interruptions, to Hapsbury Point, and thence to Cromer bay.

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

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