Creake, North (St. Mary)

CREAKE, NORTH (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Docking, hundred of Brothercross, W. division of Norfolk, 3 miles (S. E. by S.) from Burnham-Westgate; containing 648 inhabitants. It comprises 3601a. 1r. 17p., of which 3179 acres are arable, 126 pasture and meadow, and 69 woodland: the road from Fakenham to Burnham runs through the village. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £33. 6. 8., and in the gift of Earl Spencer and the Bishop of Norwich, alternately: the tithes have been commuted for £1025, and the glebe consists of 187 acres, with a glebe-house. The church, which is in the decorated and later English styles, consists of a nave, chancel, north aisle, and embattled tower: on the south side of the chancel are three stone stalls, with a piscina of elegant workmanship, and opposite is an altar-tomb, under a decorated canopy: the font is very ancient, and on the floor of the nave is a fine brass of a priest. There are places of worship for Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists; also a national school, endowed with £10 per annum by the late Mr. Herod. At Lingerscroft, between Creake and Burnham, Sir Robert de Narford in 1206 founded a church, and subsequently a chapel and hospital dedicated to St. Bartholomew, in which he placed a master, four chaplains, and thirteen poor lay brethren. The foundation soon afterwards acquired the distinction of a priory of Augustine canons, and, in the 15th of Henry III., was elevated into an abbey: that monarch also confirmed the grant of a fair previously made, changing the period to the eve and festival of St. Thomas the Martyr; and in the 14th of Edward I., the abbot claimed the right of holding four fairs annually at Creake. In consequence of the death of the abbot, and there being no convent to elect another, the abbey was dissolved; and its possessions were granted, in the 22nd of Henry VII., to the Countess of Richmond, by whom they were given to Christ's College, Cambridge. Remains of the choir and other parts of the abbey still exist, and exhibit some very fine arches.

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

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