Ludham (St. Catherine)
LUDHAM (St. Catherine), a parish, in the Tunstead and Happing incorporation, hundred of Happing, E. division of Norfolk, 13 miles (N. E. by E.) from Norwich; containing 924 inhabitants. This place, after the dissolution of the abbey of St. Bennet at the Holme, to which the manor belonged, was given by Henry VIII. to the bishops of Norwich, who made the grange their residence. An accidental fire broke out on the 10th of August, 1611, and destroyed the greater part of the house, with many valuable books and manuscripts relating to the see; but the palace was restored and considerably enlarged by Bishop Harsnet, who built a chapel of brick, which, after the desertion of the place as an episcopal residence, was converted into a granary, and the main edifice into a farmhouse, now called Ludham Hall. The parish is bounded by the rivers Bure and Thurne, and comprises 2977 acres, of which 1913 are arable, 959 pasture, and 40 woodland. The village had formerly a market and a fair, granted to Bishop Redman in the reign of Elizabeth; the market is discontinued, but the fair is held on the Thursday and Friday after Trinity, chiefly for pleasure. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £5. 6. 8.; patron and appropriator, the Bishop. The great tithes have been commuted for £640, and the vicarial for £300; the vicar's glebe is 31 acres. The church is a handsome structure in the later English style, with a square embattled tower; the chancel is divided from the nave by a richly-carved screen, and the font is elaborately sculptured. There are places of worship for Baptists and Wesleyans. The poor have three allotments, awarded at the inclosure of the parish in the year 1802, and comprising altogether 125 acres. One of these, consisting of about 80 acres, is a wet marsh, abounding in reeds, but let for as much as £70 a year; another, containing 11½ acres, produces about £12, and the remainder of the land is let to a few poor people who pasture cattle upon it at the charge of £1 a year per head: turf and rushes, also, are cut on this allotment. The rents are distributed in coal; together with £12 per annum, arising from 8½ acres awarded at the inclosure in lieu of some land left by Phillippo Haddon and other donors; and 50s. a year, the interest of £50, derived from the sale of the "town-house" in 1790. A national school was built in 1841.