Melton-Constable (St. Peter)
MELTON-CONSTABLE (St. Peter), a parish, in the hundred of Holt, W. division of Norfolk, 5½ miles (S. W. by S.) from Holt; containing 75 inhabitants. This place is of great antiquity, and at the time of the Domesday survey was granted to the bishops of Thetford, of whom it was held by Roger de Lyons, whose descendants assumed the name of Constable, from the office which they held under the see. The parish comprises 1741a. 2r. 7p., whereof 822 acres are arable, 560 meadow and pasture, and about 370 woodland; the soil is generally a sandy loam. Melton Hall, the seat of Lord Hastings, erected by Sir Jacob Astley, is a spacious and handsome mansion of brick, with facings of stone, and contains many stately apartments, splendidly decorated; the grounds are tastefully laid out, and the park, measuring four miles in circumference, and well stocked with deer, is richly wooded. The river Thurne, which is navigable from Aylsham to Yarmouth, has its source within the limits of the parish. The living is a rectory, with that of Little Burgh consolidated (the one valued in the king's books at £6, and the other at £4), and in the gift of Lord Hastings; the tithes have been commuted for £235, and the glebe comprises 33 acres. The church is an ancient structure, in the early and later English styles, with a low tower between the nave and chancel. The church of Little Burgh is in ruins.