An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 8. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1808.
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Many towns begin with El; as Elford, Ellesmere, Eling, Elston, Elwick, from their site near the water, or a wet soil: Elwe is the name of a river in Wales. This lordship was part of Archbishop Stigand's manor of Stockton, and on the conquest was seized on, by the King. At the survey we find William de Noiers to be the King's steward of both, and this was valued, and accounted for in Stockton; at the same it is said, that there were five socmen also in Ellingham who had half a carucate and 15 acres of land, which William de Noiers had the care of for the King, belonging formerly to Stigand, and a church endowed with 24 acres. (fn. 1)
King Stephen granted it with Stockton, to Hugh Bigot Earl of Norfolk; and it was held of the Earls of Norfolk, by the Bigods, a younger family, descended from the Earls: by the heiress of the Bigots, it came to William Garneys, so to the Delapoles, and the Crown, and was held by Simon Smith, in the reign of King Charles I. of that King, by a feefarm rent, as in Stockton.
The abbot of Bury's manors of Loddon and Thwait extended into this town, and by a fine levied in the 8th of Richard I. Ernold de Charneles, acknowledged that he held of Sampson, abbot of Bury, one fee here, in Norton, &c. by the payment of 20s. scutage, and to Norwich castle guard, before the King's justices at Westminster, Hubert Arch bishop of Canterbury, William Bishop of Hereford, Richard, archdeacon of Ely, Mr. Thomas de Huseburn, Richard de Heriet, Simon de Pateshull, &c.
After this the abbot was found to have one fee here, in Stockton, &c. held by Roger de Thweyt. In the reign of Henry VIII. Thomas Bishop and Joan his wife conveyed to Richard Spooner, 3 messuages, 3 gardens, 2 pigeon houses, 160 acres of land, 200 of meadow, 60 of pasture, 3 of wood, 4 of furze, &c. 3 of moor in Elyngham, Stockton, Kirkby, &c.
John Castell, brother and heir of Roger Castell, had livery of the manor of Ellingham-Nevill's about the 20th of Elizabeth, which was purchased of him by Willing Copping.—Richard Hamond of Ellingham was lord in 1602, and John Hamond, Gent. died possessed of it in 1632: in 1688, it was sold to Miles Baspole of Aylsham, by John Hamond; and Miles conveyed it to Sir William Hicks of Rockholt in Essex.
The Church is dedicated to St. Mary, and is a rectory. In the reign of King Edward I. Roger Bigot Earl of Norfolk, as capital lord, was patron; the rector had then a manse and 40 acres of glebe; it was valued at 20 marks, and paid Peter-pence, 22d. Carvage 12d. ob. q. the present valor is 12l.