Smethdon Hundred: Stanhow, or The Stony Hill

An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 10. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1809.

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Francis Blomefield, 'Smethdon Hundred: Stanhow, or The Stony Hill', in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 10, (London, 1809) pp. 381-385. British History Online [accessed 23 May 2024].

Francis Blomefield. "Smethdon Hundred: Stanhow, or The Stony Hill", in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 10, (London, 1809) 381-385. British History Online, accessed May 23, 2024,

Blomefield, Francis. "Smethdon Hundred: Stanhow, or The Stony Hill", An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 10, (London, 1809). 381-385. British History Online. Web. 23 May 2024,

In this section


The principal lordship was held in the Confessor's time under Stigand Archbishop of Canterbury, by 12 freemen, on whose deposition the King granted it to his brother in law, Odo Bishop of Baieux, in France, and Earl of Kent; on whose rebellion against King William II. it was given by that King to William de Albinj, his pincerna, or butler, whose descendants, Earls of Sussex and Arundel, were lords.

At the grand survey, Odo was lord, and consisted in Stigand's time of four carucates, and of 3 at the survey; all Stanhow was one leuca long, 4 furlongs broad, and paid 14d. ½, to a 20s. gelt. (fn. 1)

On the death of Hugh Earl of Arundel, who died s.p. his great inheritance came to his 4 sisters and coheirs.

Sir Robert de Tateshale, who married Mabel the eldest, had this lordship and many others in her right, and the patronage of the church, belonging to it: Joan, relict of Sir Robert de Tateshale, junior, presented in 1315.

This Robert dying s. p. his estate was divided amongst his 3 sisters and coheirs; Emma, who married Sir Osbert de Caley; Joan, married Sir Robert de Driby, and Isabel, Sir John de Orreby.

In 1349, Sir Adam de Clifton, presented as heir to Caley's part; and in 1393, Sir Ralph Cromwell as heir to Driby's part, and Orreby's: in 1414, Constant. Clifton, Esq. presented by his feoffee, in right of the third part of the manor and advowson. Clifton's part came to the Knevets, and Cromwell's to Sir Humphrey Bouchier, as appears from the presentations, and so to the Clintons.

In the 12th of Henry VI. Sir John Clifton, Sir Robert Clifton, &c. were querents, Thomas Charles and Alice his wife, deforciants, of messuages, a toft, 140 acres of land, 120 of pasture, 20s. rent, the liberty of 3 foldcourses in this town, Berwick, and Bermere.

In 1681, this lordship seems to be held by one lord, John Bernard Esq. of the Exchequer, who presented then to the church, and in 1700.

After this it was possessed by Sir Robert Walpole, who presented in 1731, and in that family it remains, the Earl of Orford being lord.

Marshe's, or The King's Manor.

Aluric, a freeman, held under Stigand, the Archbishop, before the Conquest, one carucate of land; at the survey it was possessed by the King, when there were but two bovates, and one borderer belonged to it, was valued at 16s. per ann. and was a beruite to the King's manor of Fakenham. (fn. 2)

This was held of the King by grand serjeanty, the keeping, or finding a greyhound for the King's use, and two families had an interest therein, or each held a moiety.

Henry de Marisco, or Marsh, in the 6th of Richard I. gave 100s. to have the King's favour, and his lands here, and in the said reign Robert de Mey had an interest: his lands, in the 3d of that King, are said to be parcel of the King's demeans, and worth 20s. per ann.

William Mey, in the 34th of Henry III. was found to hold lands in this town and in Causton, by grand serjeanty, by finding a bracheta (greyhound), and Margery le Mey possessed it in the 55th, and about the said time William Marche held lands in demean by the same service.

The heirs of William Mey, and William son of Bartholomew Marche of Stanho were lords, and in 1308, Robert Beding feld and Joan his wife, (daughter as I take it of Mey,) there was then a capital messuage belonging to it, 100 acres, and 10s. rent of assise; in 1313, the jury find that the said Joan (whose right it was) had enfeoffed William, son of Bartholomew de Stanhow, and Walier Marche, and the heirs of Walter, of this manor, and that the possessors of it were exempted from serving on juries, and assises, &c.

In the 4th of Edward III. William March died lord of Stanhow, and Walter, was his son and heir, and Walter, son and heir of Walter, paid in the 34th of that King, 21s. 1d. relief.

Sir William Marche died in the 21st of Richard II. and Thomas was his son and heir, aged 20.

Thomas and John March, sons of Sir William, were found in the 2d of Henry IV. to have held the manor of King's Hall, alias Marche; and Joan was their sister and heir, married to Thomas Chepstede, and on the death of the said Joan, Ao. 32, of Henry VI. Laurence Daniel was her cousin and heir, and it came the next year to his son, Thomas Daniel, who was a gentleman of great trust and dignity, in that reign, governor, or constable of Rising castle, &c. and a knight in the 14th of Edward IV. whose son Henry inherited it.

In the 5th of Edward VI. a moiety of this lordship was conveyed by fine with a liberty of foldage, from John Brace, to William More and Margaret his wife, who in the 2d and 3d of Philip and Mary, conveyed it to Thomas Baxter, and Thomas Baxter left it to Thomas his eldest son, by Anne his wife, in the 35th of Elizabeth, who being under age, farmed it of the Queen in her 44th year at 15l. per ann.

In a window of the chancel were their arms, gules, a dragon, or wyvern, or, on a chief of the second, three lozenges, azure.

In the 44th of Elizabeth, William Thurleby, Gent. and William Warner, Gent. had a prœcipe to deliver Marches manor to Henry Curson, Gent.

John Wilson, Esq. is lord, by his wife, daughter, and heir of - - - - Arsdale, Esq. of Stanhow, who bore azure, a chevron, ermin, between three.

Calthorp's Manor.

William Earl Warren had the grant of a small fee out of which Ulketel, a freeman, was ejected, who held it under commendation, containing one carucate of land, and 3 borderers, valued at 20s. (fn. 3)

The family of De Creke, of North Creek, had an interest in it under the aforesaid Earl.

Robert de Creke, by his deed sans date, granted to Strange, wife of Bartholomew de Kalethorp, the wards of all his lands and tenements here, and in Burnham, till Roger, son and heir of the said Bartholomew, should be of age; to which Philip de Burnham, &c. were witnesses.

Sir Bartholomew, (son of Sir Roger,) who married Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Sir John Gestingthorp of Essex, died lord in 1372; by his daughter and heir Catherine, it came to Sir John Harsike of Southacre, after to the Dorwards of Essex, by the marriage of the daughters and coheirs of Sir Roger Harsike, in the time of Henry VI.

Afterwards this came to the Townsends in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, who were lords in the reigns of King James, and Charles I.

Sir Ralph le Strange, who lived in the reign of Henry II. had a lordship in this town, and by his daughter and coheir, Maud, came by marriage to Sir Fulco de Oiry, lord of Gedney in Lincolnshire; and by Alice, another of his daughters and coheirs, to William de Bellomont; whose daughter and coheir, Ela, brought it to Sir Hervey de Stanhow, who was lord in 1260, and a judge, held of the heirs of the Albinys, and in a window of the chancel were the arms of Sir Hervey, or, three bars, azure, over all a bend, gules, and those of the Lord Tateshall.

Sir Walter Calthorp, who married Ela, daughter and heir of Sir Hervey, were both living in the 14th of Edward I. and held this lordship, which continued many years in this family.

Sir Philip Calthorp dying seized of it in 1550, whose son Philip having no issue, his sister Elizabeth brought it by marriage to Sir Henry Parker, and from that family it came to the Townsends, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. Roger Townsend, Esq. was lord in 1583 Sir Roger Townsend died lord in 1636, of East Hall, and of Shernborn manors, in Stanhow, as found by an inquisition, and of Cursons, alias Thursby's manor held of the King, in free soccage, as of the hundred of Smethden; Henry Curson, Gent. had a grant of it from William Thursby, in the 44th of Elizabeth.

John Wilson, Esq. of this town, was high sheriff of Norfolk in 1732.

It appears from the fees and tenures here, as they stand in Domesday Book, that Edwin, the Dane, to whom King Canute is said to give Snetesham, and a large uncultivated plain on the east of it, (supposed to have been what is now called Stanhow,) is a direct romance and fable, that no such person had any interest in it, and that it was a township well cultivated in the time of the Confessor, and held by Saxon lords, deprived at the Conquest.

The temporalities of Buckenham priory were, in 1428, 6s. 8d. Walsingham 5s. Castleacre 3s. 6d.

Lands belonging to Thetford priory were granted October 21, ao. 38 Henry VIII. to Andrew Mansfield.

The tenths were 9l. 10s. deducted 2l.

In this parish was an old chapel frequented by pilgrims in their way to Walsingham, dedicated to St. Peter.

The Church is dedicated to All-Saints; in Edward the First's time, a manor and 5 acres belonged to the rectory, valued at 15 marks; paid Peter-pence, 12d. The present valor is 16l. pays tenths, &c. In 1603, the rector certified that there were 132 communicants.

Isabel Countess of Arundel was patroness in the 3d of Edward I.


John de Albini occurs rector in the 6th of Henry III.

In 1315, Robert de Winfarthing instituted rector, presented by Joan, relict of Robert de Tateshale, junior.

1333, Hugh de Foxley. Ditto.

1349, John de Methelwold, by Adam de Clifton, Kt.

1367, Nicholas de Creyk, by the King, guardian of the heir of Sir Adam.

1393, John Cotes, by Sir Ralph Cromwell, Knt.

1403, William Springman, by the Lady Maud Cromwell.

1414, Maur. Tournay, by John Drew, feoffee of Constant. Clifton, Esq. in right of his 3d turn, or part of the advowson.

1415, Thomas Pytecok, by the Lady Maud Cromwell.

1424, Robert Bassage, by Ralph Lord Cromwell.

1436, Richard Langyerd, by Sir John Clifton, Knt.

1438, Robert Courtier, by Sir Humphrey Bouchier Lord Cromwell.

1475, John Aiskerth, by John Knevet. Esq. and William his son.

1481, William Radcluff, by Robert Radclyff, Esq.

1520, Robert Taylor, by Sir Thomas Wyndham, and Sir Robert Drury, in right of a 2d turn.

1543, John Adamson, by Sir Thomas L'Estrange, assignee of Robert Knevet, Esq.

1554, Laurence Ashworth, by Edward Fynes Lord Clynton.

1572, Robert Leadall. Ditto

1612, Edward Hampton, by Sir Philip Knevet, Bart.

1634, Thomas White, by Theophilus Earl of Lincoln.

1638, George Beck. Ditto.

Thomas Potter occurs reclor, 1651.

1660, Thomas Bishop, by the assigns of Theoph. Earl of Lincoln.

1681, Thomas Sedgwick, by John Bainard, Esq.

1700, Nathaniel Hill. Ditto.

1704, Robert Hill, by Nathaniel Hill, clerk; he wrote a discourse on the 4th commandment, in 1728.

1731, George Jacomb, by Sir Robert Walpole.

1760, Briggs Cary, collated by the Archbishop of Canterbury, a lapse.

In the middle isle lies a gravestone for John Tracy, but no inscription.

At the west end of the church on a brass plate,

Orate p. aia Tho. Couper, 1518.

On a gravestone in the chancel,

Tho. Sedgwick, A. M. hujus eccle. Rr. obt. 1699.


  • 1. Terre Ep. Baiocensis, H. de Doching.—In Stanho xii lib. ho'es sub Stigando, T.R.E. ic. iiii car. et iiii p'. et mo. iii totu' Stanho, ht. i leug'. in long. et iiii quar. in lat. et reddit xiiiid. et i. obolu'. de xx sol. de gelto.
  • 2. Terra Regis—H. de Dochinge— Stanho, tenuit Aluricus lib. ho'. sub Stigando T.R.E. i car. tre. tc. p'. i car. tre. et mo. ii bov. et i bor. et val. xvi sol. et jacet in Phacham.
  • 3. H. de Doching—Terr. W. de Warren.—Stanho, i lib. ho'. Ulketel com' dat. tant. i car. tre. et iii bord. semp. i car. et val. xx sol.