Clackclose Hundred and Half: West Riston

Pages 393-397

An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 7. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1807.

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The church of Riston is dedicated to St. Michael, and stands in a field by itself about a quarter of a mile from Riston-Hall; it is built of ragg, or carr stone, and is a single pile about 33 feet in length, and 22 in breadth. At the west end of the nave, stands part of a little four-square tower, with the quoins of free stone; the upper part of the tower lies open and is broke down to the roof of the church. The chancel is divided from the body by a screen, and is in length about 30 feet, and in breadth about 27; this chancel has a roof like the nave, camerated, plaistered and covered with tile. On the pavement lies a marble stone, with the arms of Pratt, argent, on a chevron between three pellets, two in chief, charged each with a martlet, and one in base, with a trefoil argent, three mascles, or, impaling, gules, three crescents, or, (fn. 1) Monins, and thus inscribed:

Here lieth the body of Sir Roger Pratt, lord of this manor of Riston, who married Ann, one of the daughters and coheiresses of Sir Edmund Monins of Waldershire in Kent, Kt. and Bart. he dyed the 20th of Febr. A. D. 1684.

Untill the resurrection of the just. My bones untouch'd will rest, I trust.

Against the north wall is an altar monument of stone and alabaster on which lies the statue of a lady, at her full length in a cumbent posture, supporting her head with her right hand, which rests on a cushion all carved out of alabaster: the body of the monument is ornamented with flowers, fruit, &c. and thereon this epitaph:

Here lys the body of the Lady Pratt, whose first husband was Sir Roger Pratt of this place, her second husband was Sigismund Trafford of Dunton-Hall in Tydd St. Maries, in the county of Lincoln, Esq. who caused this monument to be erected to her memory: she died the 12th day of September, 1706, in the 63d year of her age.

And against the wall is a shield of marble, argent, a griffin, segreant, gules. Trafford, impaling Monins; the whole is enclosed with iron rails.

Jeffrey, rector of Riston, is mentioned in a deed, sans date, of Roger de Barshale, wherein he gives to the abbey of West Derham, a tenement, on the request, &c. of the said Jeffrey.

In Norwich Domesday book, wrote about the beginning of the reign of King Edward I. Robert de Benhale was patron, and the rector had a house with 30 acres of glebe land, valued at 12 marks, soon after it was appropriateed to the priory of Norwich; Anthony Bishop of Norwich, October 24, 1342, appropriated it for the repairs of the church of Norwich, reserving a pension of 6s. 8d. per ann. (fn. 2) and the prior paying 6 marks per ann. for a curate to serve it. Peter-pence 15d.

1307, Matthew de Santone, presented by Sir Hervey de Stanton.

1337, Thomas Wychard of Halvergat, by the prior and convent of Norwich.

1342, Bartholomew de Wroxham . . . by the prior and convent of Norwich.

In the year 1428, the spiritualities of the prior, &c. of Norwich, for this church, were valued at 12 marks, and are said to belong to the cellarer of the church of Norwich.

On the dissolution of the priory and convent of Norwich, it was granted in the 1st of Edward VI. to the dean and chapter of that church, who are the present impropriators, and lease out the tithes of this, and Roxham, an hamlet adjoining, belonging to the lord of this manor.

In 1603, Mr. Robert Gunson was curate of Riston cum Roxham, and in his answers to the King, observes that there were then 53 communicants.

West Riston Manor.

Hermerus de Ferrariis held the chief part of this town. One carucate possessed by Ketel, a freeman in Edward the Confessor's time. To this manor there belonged 7 villains, one border, two servi, with one carucate in domain, half a one amongst the tenants, 8 acres of meadow, half a fishery, &c. valued at 20s. Seven socmen also held 21 acres of land, 3 of meadow, with a carucate valued at 5s. The whole is 4 furlongs long, and 3 broad, and pays 4d. to a 20s. gelt. (fn. 3)

The said Hermerus had also seized on 3 free men who held 90 acres, who were before under protection only, valued at 5s.

This lordship descended from Hermerus to the Lords Bardolfs, as may be seen in Wirmegey, and was held under them by the family of Stradeset; (fn. 4) Sir Roger de Stradeset, was lord, when an aid was granted to King Henry III. on the marriage of his sister to the Emperor; several parts of this manor were held under the Stradesets, by several persons. In the 14th of Edward I. John, son of Henry de Deen, and Maud his wife, conveyed to Robert de Benhale a messuage, with lands valued at 60s. per ann. and the moiety of the church of Fordham, with the advowson of this church. After this Hervey de Stanton or Santon, (probably the founder of St. Michael's house in Cambridge,) conveyed the same to John de L'Isle of Tofts, and Mary his wife, in the 8th of Edward II. (the advowson of this church) Fordham church being excepted by Hervey for his life.

In the 10th of Edward III. license was granted to John de L'Isle to give the advowson of this church and the moiety of the advowson of Fordham, to the prior and convent of Norwich, to find a chaplain in the said church, to pray daily for the souls of the said John, and Mary his wife, Robert de Ufford, and Thomas Roscelyne, &c. Dated 3d April, at the Tower of London, and on Thursday in Easter-week, in the next year of the said King, Sir Robert de Benhale, Knight, quitted all his right and claim therein to the prior, &c. Witnesses, Sir Peter Attetye, Sir Edward de Cretyng, John de la Rokele, John de Berneye, William de Felmyngham, &c.

In the 33d of Edward III. Henry de Wetyng, capellane, and Stephen Talbot of Fincham, gave to the abbey of West Derham, a messuage and lands, here, held of John Hawkyn, by the payment of a shilling every 24 weeks, and the said John held it by the knight's service of the Lords Bardolf, having married Elizabeth, daughter and heir to the Stradesets.

After this, Adam Martyns, and John Mares had an interest herein; William Dalling, in the 21st of Henry VI. gave it to William Yelverton, serjeant at law, Sir John Clifton, Knight, Henry Grey, Esq. Osbert Mundeford, &c. in trust, to be settled on William Gylour and Margaret his wife, daughter of Dalling, intail, with lands in Fordham, Roxham, &c. Walter Gylour was lord in the reign of Henry VII. and by a daughter of Gylour it came to the Prats; William Prat was lord, and by his will, dated December 4, 1557, desires to be buried in the church of St. Edmund of Downham Market.

The Pratts derive from Robert Prat, whose son Edmund was lord of the manor of Cartes in Hockwold, and died in the 34th of Henry VIII.; this Edmund married the heiress of Walter Gylour, and John was his son and heir.

William Prat, son of John, by his will dated as above in 1557, gives this lordship, with lands, tenements, &c. in Roxham, Hilgey, Fordham, Denver, Downham, Derham and Bexwell, to Gregory Pratt of Hockwold, and his heirs male; (fn. 5) this Gregory was nephew to William, (who died s. p.) and son of his brother Edward Pratt, by Catherine, daughter of . . . Tassell; Gregory and Richard Prat, executors, and Edmund Beaupre, Esq. supervisor.

Gregory was lord in 1573, and married Ann, daughter and coheir of William Cocket, Esq. of Besthorp in Norfolk, by whom he had two sons, Gregory and Francis.

This Gregory married Theodosia, daughter of . . . . Tyrell, and relict of Edmund West, of Marchworth in Bucks; and she was buried there in Janunry, 1629. Sir Roger Pratt, their son, died lord in 1684, s. p.

So that we must return to Edward Pratt, 2d son of Edward, (brother to Gregory,) by Catherine Tassell; this Edward was of Hockwold, and married Dorothy, daughter of William Cobb, Esq. of Sandringham, and father of Edward Pratt of Honningham in Suffolk, who by Ursula his wife, daughter of Rossington of Framingham in Suffolk, was father of Edward Pratt. Gent. of Yoxford in Suffolk, by Emma, his wife, daughter of . . . . Tiffin of Crimplesham, widow of —Bexwell; he had Edward Pratt of Woodbridge in Suffolk, who married Mary, daughter of Anthony Applethwait of Ipswich, and was heir, as I take it, to Sir Roger Prat. By Mary he had a son and heir, Roger Pratt, Esq. now lord of Riston, who by Henrietta, daughter of Sir Robert Davers, Bart. of Rushbrook in Suffolk, has two sons, Edward and Jermyn; Edward, the eldest, is married to —, daughter of Sir Jacob Astley, Bart.

It is to be observed, that Francis Pratt, second son of Gregory, by his wife, daughter of Cocket, married first, Temperance, daughter of — Mundeford of Feltwell, and died s. p. his second wife, Ursula, daughter of Anthony Gosnold of Ottley, in Suffolk, had by him Edward Pratt, Esq. who died s. p. in 1664, also Gregory, who died s. p.

I have seen a Prat, quartering, sable, three cups argent, Butler— and Cobb of Sandringham; also Pratt, impaling Cocket, and in Riston Hall.—Pratt and Gylours quarterly.


Ralph, son of Reginald, and Roger de Barsale, gave a messuage and lands, here, sans date, to Derham abbey. Thomas de Barsale held here a messuage, one carucate of land, 12 acres of meadow, of Nicholas de Stradsale about the reign of Edward I. by the service of the fourth part of a fee; and Nicholas, of the Lord Bardolf. In the 16th of Edward II. a fine was levied between Simon de Walpool, querent, William de Walpool, parson of Cheveley in Suffolk, and William de Norwold, chaplain, deforcients, of messuages, lands, &c. settled on Simon. From this family this lordship took its name. John Walsheff possessed it in the reign of Henry VII. In the reign of Queen Elizabeth, it was in the Prats, united to Riston manor.

At the survey, the abbot of Ely was found to have seized on three freemen who held 6 acres here, valued at 16d. per ann. under protection only; (fn. 6) the abbot of Ramsey had the soc.

This was held in the time of Edward I. by the family of Beckswell, and continued so, till united to Ryston manor.

John Eyre, Esq. had a grant of a messuage here, late belonging to West-Derham abbey, on September 12, anno 36 Henry VIII.

The temporalities of West-Derham abbey were assessed here, in 1428, at 3s. 6d. per ann. The spiritualities of the prioress of Carhow at 10s. and the priory of Norwich, in 1428, held the church of Riston, valued at 12 marks.

The lete was in Sir Jeffrey Hare; fee 6d.

Riston is a depopulated village.—Ris gives names to many towns; Risby in Suffolk, and Yorkshire; Risborough in Bucks; Rissington in Gloucestershire; and Risbridge hundred in Suffolk.


  • 1. The crest of Pratt is a wolf's head couped, per pale, argent and a sable, and a collar with three plates counterchanged.
  • 2. Lib. Instit. Norwic.
  • 3. Terr. Hermeri de Ferrariis—In Ristuna ten. Herm'. 1. car. tre. quam tenuit Ketel, 1. lib. ho. T. R. E. semp. et villi. et 1. bord. et 11. serv. et 1. car. in dom'no. tc. dim. car. hom. et mo. et viii. acr. p'ti. dim. piscar. semp. 1. runc. tc. v. vacc. mo. iiii. tc. v. porc. mo. xix. et cviii. oves, tc. val. xx. sol. pt. et mo. xx. In ead. vii. soc'. de xxi. acr. tre. et iii. acr. p'ti. semp. 1. car. et val. v. Tot. ht. iiii. qr. in long. et iii. in lato, et redd. iiii. de gelto, de xx. sol. Invas. Hermeri—In Ristune 3 lib. comen'd. tant. de lxxxx. acr. val. v. s.
  • 4. Reginald de Warren, lord of Wirmegay, in the reign of King Stephen, gave the tithes of his manor of Barsale in this town, to Carhow priory by Norwich. See in Wirmegey and Stow.
  • 5. Regist. Hastings, Norw. p. 60.
  • 6. Invas. Abbat de Ely—In Ristuna iii. lib. ho'es vi. acr. val. xvid. in his non hab. nisi com'dat. et Sc'us Bened. soca.