Ixworth (St. Mary)

IXWORTH (St. Mary), a parish, and formerly a market-town, in the union of Thingoe, hundred of Blackbourne, W. division of Suffolk, 7 miles (N. E.) from Bury St. Edmund's, and 79 (N. E. by N.) from London; containing 1064 inhabitants. This town, anciently called Gisworth, at the time of the Norman survey belonged to the family of Le Blund; and about the year 1100 a priory of Augustine canons, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, was founded here by Gilbert le Blund, the revenue of which, at the Dissolution, was £204. 9. 5¼. The place derived its principal importance, if not its origin, from this convent, on whose site was erected the manor-house, in which some beautiful arches and other parts of the priory crypt may be still seen in excellent preservation. The town is pleasantly situated on the road from Bury to Norwich and Yarmouth, and is a considerable thoroughfare. The market was held on Friday: a small fair still takes place on May 13th. The magistrates hold petty-sessions monthly; and courts leet and baron are held occasionally for the manor. The parish comprises by computation 2200 acres. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £101; patron and impropriator, R. Norton Cartwright, Esq. The church is a handsome structure, chiefly in the decorated English style, with a lofty embattled tower; the nave is lighted by handsome clerestory windows, and within the rails of the altar is a tomb under an arch, with sculptured brasses and an inscription to the memory of Richard and Elizabeth Codyngton, the former of whom was the first temporal lord of the abbey, which was granted to him at the Dissolution. A national school is supported by subscription; and Sunday schools for boys and girls are endowed with the moiety of a benefaction of £1000 three per cent. consols., by William Varey, Esq., who appropriated the other moiety of the benefaction to the relief of the poor.

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

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