Launditch Hundred: Wendling

Pages 87-91

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

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So called, as lying by meadows on a winding water, or rivulet, was the manor of the abbot of Bury, in the time of the Confessor, and at the survey was held of the abbot by Richard, or Ricaiard; it consisted of a carucate of land, 2 villains, 6 borderers, 6 acres of meadow, and one carucate in demean, and one carucate and an half amongst the tenants, paunage for 100 swine; and one socman had 12 acres; there was also one borderer and a carucate in King Edward's time, at the survey but half a carucate, one mill, &c. valued then at 20s. but at the survey at 30s. was 9 furlongs long and six broad, and paid 11d. ob. gelt. (fn. 1)

In the sixth year of Richard I. a fine was levied on the day after St. Alphege's, before Hubert Walter Archbishop of Cantebury, Richard Nigel Bishop of London, Gilbert Glanvile Bishop of Rochester, Herbert, son of Hervey, William de Warren, Richard de Wiat, and Thomas de Husseburn, the King's justices, between William de Huntingfeld and Isabel his wife, and the abbot of Bury, whereby Will. and Isabella quitclaimed all their right in this town, and advowson of the church, to the abbot, on which the abbot conveyed to him and his wife, and their heirs, the whole township of Wendling, to be held of the said abbot and his successours, by the service and payment of 60s rent per ann. and they were to hold the men and tenants of the town, by the same services and customs which they performed to the abbot's predecessors, before William, son of Roger de Gressinghale, held the same. (fn. 2)

This Isabel was daughter and sole heir of William de Gressinghale, lord of Gressinghale, of whom see there.

In 1218, William de Saham, clerk, son of Robert de Saham, held lands in this town, and was a benefactor to Wendling abbey, as I shall shew.

In the Register Niger of Bury abbey is an entry of a deed of grant of John de Norwold, abbot, about the year 1298, of 50s. per ann. rent, to William, son of Ralph de Saham, clerk, which the convent received of Sir Jordan Foliot, lord of this town, and of the honour of Gressenhale; witnesses, Sir Jordan de Saukevill, then steward of the liberty of Bury abbey, Sir Osbert de Caylly, Sir Robert de Cateston, Sir Warin de Hereford, Sir Ralph de Alneto, Sir Laurence de Offington, knights, Robert Norwold, William de Badeham, and Richard de Saham; and in the 3d of Edward I. Sir Adam Foliot, lord, had the assize, &c.

Hereford's Manor.

This was held of the honour of Gressenhale, and extended into this town; Thomas de Hereford possessed it in 1277, and Sir Warin de Hereford in 1300. It afterwards came to the Ferrours, and John Ferrour died seized of it in 1483, as may be seen in Hereford manor in Gressenhale.

By an inquisition taken at Norwich, October 27, in the 13th of Charles I. Hamon Ferrour, Gent. was found to die possessed of a capital messuage, divers closes and lands in this town and Gressenhale, held of the manor of Gressenhale in soccage, and paying 20s. per ann. he died August 9, 1637, and by Elizabeth his wife, daughter of — Sheringham, left six daughters and coheirs; Mary, aged 20, Martha, Elizabeth, Honoria, Anna, and Judith.

Castleacre Priory Manor.

This was made up of benefactions granted to the convent. William de Stutevile, lord of Gressenhale, granted in the 29th of Henry III. to the prior and convent, all his right in all the lands and tenements which the prior, &c. and their men held in villanage, in the towns and fields of Wendling, and Hinghesham, and all purprestures made by the prior and his men, to Easter-day in the said year; and the prior remitted to William all the land which his men held in villanage of the prior, in the said towns, and all purprestures there made, to the said time; (fn. 3) and also gave to William 40s. of silver; witnesses, Sir Thomas Burt, Sir Peter Fleming, knights, Ralph Burt, Jeffrey Crowe, Hugh de Wyrested, Reginald de Geyton, William de Acra, &c.

Richard de Cambeys, by deed, sans date, gave for the soul of Gilbert Earl of Gloucester, and his own soul, Dychewode.

John, son of Robert, gave, by his deed, sans date, Anschetel, and his land.

William and Jeffrey Smith, gave lands. William, son of Lefenn, gave meadow grounds, and William, son and heir of Jeffrey Gognecolt, a tenement, sans date. William, son of Walter de Gressinghale, gave 6 acres of land in Kirtling, with the rent of 8d. per ann.; witnesses, Sir Eudo Harsick, and Alexander his son.

William, son of Hubert Hunter, of Gressinghale, gave 6 acres in Kirtling and the rent of 8d. per ann. which William, son of Walter, his cousin, was to pay him.

In the 3d of Edward I. the prior had free warren here and in Heringshaw, assise of bread and beer, view of frank pledge, &c.

In 1428, their temporalities here were valued at 5l. 17s. per ann. and on the dissolution it was granted by Thomas, prior of Castleacre, to King Henry VIII. by fine, in his 29th year.

In the 35th of that King it was granted to Robert Hogan, Esq. and Thomas his son and heir held it in the 2d of Edward VI. and had then license to alien two closes here, called Some's, and Little Gunton's, to Bridget Hogan, and Wendling close to Thomas Caton.

The tenths were 1l. 19s. Deducted 6s.

Wendling Abbey

Was founded about the 52d year of King Henry III. by Sir William de Wendling, called in some records Clerk, son of William, and in others, son of John de Wendling: he seems to be the same William de Wendling who was one of the King's judges or justices, (as appears from a pleading or an assise at Thetford, in the 55th year of the said King, on Wednesday after the feast of St. Matthew, Gilbert de Preston, William de Wendling, and Henry de Ryveshale, associates to the said Gilbert,) for canons of the Premonstratensian order, or that of St. Norbert, and dedicated to St. Mary the Virgin.

One William de Wendling, clerk, was master of the hospital of St. Cross, near Winchester, in the 23d of Edward I. and one William de Wendling farmed the manor of Brandon Ferry in Suffolk, of Hugh Bishop of Ely, in the 43d of Henry III.

Sir William de Wendling, son of William de Wendling, gave them the church of St. Clement of Conisford in Norwich, with several houses near to it, and a key or stathe, which Simon, abbot of Langley in Norfolk, at the request of Sir Jeffrey de Lodnes, and for 3s. annual rent, confirmed to the said Sir William, who in 1267, settled it, with 10 acres of land in Wendling, (on which the abbey was built,) with 3s. rent in Baldeswell, on this abbey, (founded, as Blomfield says, (fn. 4) on his manor of Wendling,) by fine levied between himself and Nicholas, abbot there, Gilbert de Fraunsham, capital lord of the fee, being present in the court and consenting.

It does not appear that Sir William had any lordship here. Gilbert de Fransham's manor of Fransham Magna extended into this town, and gave his consent as lord of part of the land belonging to his fee.

The principal lord here was Robert de Stotevile, son of William de Stotevile, lord of the honour of Gressenhale, who granted to God, and the church of St. Mary of Wendling, in 1273, the whole site of the new work of the abbey church there, saving to himself and to his heirs, the patronage of it.

Sir William de Wendling also in 1267, settled on Nicholas, abbot of Wendling, and his successours, 5 messuages, 87 acres of land, a mill, and 10s. rent, &c. in Scarning; he also granted to them the church of Langham, which was appropriated to them, and that of Wendling, as I take it.

He was rector of Bodham in Holt hundred; and in the 41st of Henry III. William de Wendling, clerk, was the King's escheator.

William de Saham, in 1281, settled divers lands and tenements in Wendling, on the abbot and canons, on condition that they paid 5 marks per ann. to his chantry chaplain, officiating in his chapel of St. Andrew of Saham Tony.

This William was a justice itinerant in 1276, and in 1282 justice of the King's Bench.

In the 53d of Henry III. they had a patent for the patronage of a moiety of Burnham Ulp, Burnham All-Saints, and St. Margaret's, and the advowson of Yaxham.

The abbot and convent had also a lordship in Feltwell, Norfolk, and the lordship of Gunton's in Skerning.

In 1330, the Lady Margaret Foliot, patroness of it, was buried before the high altar in the presbytery of the conventual church, on the north side.

The donations of the founder, with those of Reyner de Gimmingham, Robert de Stutevil, and Jordan Foliot, knights, were in the 6th of Edward III. confirmed.


Nicholas occurs abbot in 1267, and the first, as I take it.

Robert occurs abbot in 1286, and 1314.

John, abbot, resigned 1329.

William de Saxlingham, admitted abbot, by the Bishop of Norwich, in 1329.

John de Norwich, abbot, died 1339.

Thomas de Titleshale, admitted in 1339, and occurs in 1352.

John occurs abbot in 1377, and 1398.

Ralph occurs abbot, and kept his first court at Feltwell, on Tuesday after the feast of St. Margaret, in the 10th of Henry V.

Edmund Elmham, abbot, kept his first court there on Thursday after the feast of St. Paul, in the 7th of Henry VI. and occurs in the 5th of Edward IV.

John Scherning, abbot, kept his first court on Thursday before the feast of St. Gregory, in the 14th of Edward IV. was instituted rector of Fransham Magna in 1448, and occurs in 1503, when he died.

John occurs abbot in 1509.

Thomas Walsoken, abbot, kept his first court on Wednesday before the feast of St. Thomas the Martyr, in the 19th of Henry VII.

At this time there were 6 canons here.

Richard Rolston, canon of Welbeck, kept his first court on Thursday before the feast of St. Ambrose, in the 20th of Henry VII. and occurs ao. 19 Henry VII.

John Yorke, abbot, kept his first court on Monday after the feast of St. Dominica in Abbis, in the 24th of Henry VII.

Thomas occurs abbot in 1533.

At the Dissolution it was valued at 55l. 18s. 4d. per ann. and was seated in a marsh or low ground, with a small rivulet to the south; the entrance into the abbey court was on the west, which court was on the north side of the conventual church, and the churchyard, both of these taking in about 2 acres of ground.

The church, as well as it can now be traced, (most of the very foundation stones being dug up and carried away to mend the roads) was, together with the presbytery, or chancel, about 72 paces long, and with the north and south isles, about 18 broad; part of the wall of the west end of the church is still standing, covered with ivy, and the wall of the churchyard was close to the river, running south of it. Not long before its suppression, here were an abbot and 6 canons.

A late author says that it was granted by Queen Eliz. in her 16th year, to Edward Dyer, Esq. (fn. 5)

Sir Henry Spelman observes that it was not dissolved by the statute or act of Henry VIII. but before the general dissolution, by a bull of Pope Clement VII. dated May 14, 1528, and granted to Cardinal Wolsey for the erection of his two colleges, of Christ-church in Oxford, and that of Ipswich, and was farmed of Christ college, by Thomas Hogan, Esq. of East Bradenham.

On the 11th of December, King Henry, in his 38th year, granted it to the dean and chapter of Christ-church in Oxford, on his own foundation.

The King had granted it again, in his 37th year, May 5th, to Sir Richard Southwell, who reconveyed it, on an exchange for other lands, in the 38th of the said King, and remains at this time in the dean, &c. aforesaid.

This is to be understood of the manor and lands in Wendling, and not of the appropriation.

The Church of Wendling was appropriated to the abbey, valued at 5 marks, paid Peter-pence, 2d. ob. and dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul. The late Earl of Leceister was impropriator.

It is covered with lead and has a square steeple, with 3 bells; on one, in old characters,
Johannes de Buddine tecit me. Abe Maria gratia plena D'ns tecum.

Here are several gravestones,

In memory of Mr. Farrour Markant, who died June 6, 1675.

Of Thomas Markant, gent. who died, aged 52, 1649.

Of John Hammont, gent. who died November 13, 1678, aged 20.

Of Hillary Forby, who died November 26, 1658, aged 59.

Of Hil. Forby, jun. who died December 24, 1673, aged 13.

Of Mrs. Mary Forby, who died July 21, 1677, aged 22.

I have seen a writing expressing that this impropriate rectory was granted by Queen Elizabeth, in her 4th year, with that of Langham, to Arthur Futter, Gent. and that concealed lands belonging to it were granted in her 12th year, February 9, to Nicholas Mynns.

William Futter was impropriator in the 35th of Elizabeth, and soon after Sir Edward Coke purchased it, 1630.


  • 1. Terra Abb'is de S'co. Edmundo — Wendlinga' tenet idem R. (viz. Ricaiard.) de abb'e qd. ten. S. E. p. i car. t're. ii vill. vii bor. vi ac. p'ti. i car. in d'nio. et i car. et dim. hom. silv. c por. et i soc. xii ac sep. i bor. tc. i car. mo. dim. sep. i mol. xix por. tc. val. xx s. l. mo. xxx ht. ix qr. in long, et vi in lat. et ii d. et ob. de g.
  • 2. Regist. Bury, Pincebek, fol. 186.
  • 3. Reg. Castleacr. fol. 33, 96.
  • 4. Blomfd. Hist. Norf. vol. iv. 77.
  • 5. Mag. Brit. Ant. &c. vol. iii. p. 416. Spelman's Hist, of Sacril. p. 264.