An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 9. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1808.
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This town is not named in the book of Domesday, being a hamlet to the town of Babingley. Peter Valoins's manor there held by Butler, and that of Eudo, son of Spiruwin, by Tateshall: also that of Robert Fitz Corbon of Sandringham, extending into this town; so that all the lands here are accounted for, to which I refer the reader.
There is a town in Suffolk, seated like this, near the mouth of the river Orwell, and of the same name; also Wolwich in Kent, and an island in Zeland, called Wolferdyke, and Wolfenbuttel, in Germany, seated by marshy grounds. Vol, in the British tongue, or Wol, signifies caput, the head, so that Vol, Re, or Er, (water) and Ton, bespeaks a town at the head of the water.
The prior of Shouldham had also an interest in this town: Christiana, daughter of Robert Lord Fitz Walter, (by Gunnora, daughter and heir of Robert de Valoins) who married William de Mandeville Earl of Essex, gave a little lordship to that priory.
In the 4th of Edward I. a fine was levied between Benedict, prior of Shouldham, and Barth. Cutlinger, and Sybill his wife, of certain lands, called Ellys-hill and Burgh, granted to the prior; and in the 15th of Richard II. Thomas, vicar of the church of Fincham, aliened to the prior 28 acres of moor, called Nort Wro, in this township, and in the next year 38 acres of marsh were aliened to him.
On the dissolution of the priory, this was granted, May 7, Ao. 36 of Henry VIII. to William Cobbe, Esq. to be held by the 20th part of a fee; from the Cobbes, it came with Sandringham, to the Hostes and so to Henry Cornish Henley, Esq.
The Church is dedicated to St. Peter, and is a rectory, formerly valued at 6 marks and 10s. per ann. and paid Peter-pence 8d. the present valor is 12l. per ann. and stands charged with first fruits, &c.
On November 22, 1486, the Bishop granted license to the inhabitants, to collect the alms of good people, in the city and diocese of Norwich, for the rebuilding their parish church, lately burnt by a sudden fire.