Hilgay (All Saints)

HILGAY (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Downham, hundred of Clackclose, W. division of Norfolk, 4 miles (S. by E.) from Downham; containing 1515 inhabitants. The parish comprises 7860a. 2r. 27p., of which about 4780 acres are arable, 2511 pasture and meadow, and 83 woodland. Wood-hall is an ancient mansion in the Elizabethan style, situated on high ground, and commanding fine views of the Isle of Ely. The river Ouse and the road from Lynn to London intersect the parish; and the navigable river Wissey, over which, in 1841, an iron bridge of one arch was erected, passes by the village on the north. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £10, and in the gift of the Rev. W. J. Parkes: the tithes have been commuted for £1600, and the glebe comprises 85 acres, with a house. The church is a spacious structure, chiefly in the later English style, with a brick tower built in 1794; in the southern portion of the church is a handsome monument to Sir J. H. Hawear and his two wives. There are places of worship for Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists. A church estate of 52 acres, with two houses, lets for £160. 10.; and 14l½ acres, left in 1656 and 1690 to the poor, by Sir John and Sir Cecil Wray, produce £255: the proceeds, also, of 13 acres, amounting to £20, are applied to instruction. Near the bank of the Ouse, in the parish, was a small priory of Black monks, a cell to Ramsey Abbey.

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

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