Gressenhall (St. Mary)

GRESSENHALL (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Mitford and Launditch, hundred of Launditch, W. division of Norfolk, 2¾ miles (N. W.) from East Dereham; containing 957 inhabitants. This parish, with one-third of the ancient parish of Great Bittering, comprising 388 acres, which have merged into Gressen-hall, contains 2616 acres, whereof 1799 are arable, 650 pasture, 140 woodland, and 27 in roads, &c. Fairs for cattle and horses are held on the Tuesday before Whit-Sunday, and on December 6th. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £15. 13. 4.; net income, £687; patrons, the Provost and Fellows of King's College, Cambridge: the glebe comprises about 50 acres, with a house. The church is chiefly in the decorated and later English styles, and is a large cruciform pile, having a tower rising from the intersection, which was surmounted by a spire, taken down in 1698. There was also a collegiate chapel, founded by William de Stuteville in the reign of Henry III., and dedicated to St. Nicholas; the remains have been converted into an infirmary to the house of industry, which was erected here in 1776, and is now the union workhouse for Mitford and Launditch. The college possessed a common seal, representing St. Nicholas in his pontificals; the last incumbent, who was living in 1503, had a pension of £4. 16. granted by the crown.

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

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