An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 2. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1805.
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Lies in the north-east angle of this hundred, and may derive its name from the rivulet that runs on the north side of it, formerly (it is not unlikely) called the Stour, though at present its name is not known: Stour or Stert is a name frequently to be met with, most of the counties in England having rivers, brooks, &c. thus denominated. (fn. 1)
At the survey it was the lordship of Ralph Bainard, a powerful baron, who came into England with the Conqueror, and Luvellus (probably ancestor of the family of Lovell in Norfolk) held of him 6 carucates of land, which Torp held in the time of the Confessor, and 10 acres of meadow, valued at 60s. also 2 carucates, &c. of land which 16 freemen held valued at 20s. The whole was a league long, and half a one broad, and paid 20d. Gelt. (fn. 2)
The lordship held by Ralf Lord Bainard was afterwards forfeited by his descendant, William Lord Bainard, on account of his rebellion in the reign of Henry I. and it was given by that King to Robert, grandson of Gilbert Earl of Clare, whose posterity assumed the name of Fitz-Walter Lord Bainard; and in the reign of King Henry III. William Clere was found to hold here half a knight's fee of Robert Fitz-Walter, (fn. 3) and William Clere held the same in 3d of Edward I. and the assize of bread and beer. Edmund Clere was found to die seized of the same fee, 2d Edward III. (fn. 4) held of the honour of Castle Bainard in London, by the rent of 40d. per annum castle-guard money, and John was his son and heir; and in the 22d of that King, it was conveyed by fine, from John Clere, to Sir John Herling, and was held in 3d Henry IV. by Sir Simon Felbrigge, Knt. of the Earl of Rutland, in the right of his wife, widow of the Lord Fitz-Walter; (fn. 5) but by the last will of Robert Dey, Gent. of Sturston, dated 14th April, 1516, and proved the 9th of Sept. following, (fn. 6) it appears that he died possessed of the manor of Sturston, and left only two daughters and coheirs, Jane and Elizabeth, between whom (as I take it) it was divided, for in 4th Edward VI. Henry Pereget and Elizabeth his wife, coheir, most likely of Robert Dey, conveyed by fine a moiety of this manor, with lands in Stanford, and Tottington, to Rob. Shaklok; (fn. 7) and at that time it was held of Henry Ratcliff Earl of Sussex, Viscount Fitz-Walter.
And in the same year, the other moiety was by fine conveyed from Martin Freremnar to Thomas Tindale, and soon after to the aforesaid Rob. Shaklok; after this it came to the family of Jermyn of Rushbrook in Suffolk, and Edmund Jermyn, Esq. son and heir of Sir Thomas Jermyn, 15th Elizabeth, died sans issue, seized of it, and held it of Thomas Earl of Sussex, and Sir Ambrose was his brother and heir, who died lord in the 19th of the aforesaid Queen; and in 41st Elizabeth, Edmund Jermyn, Esq. 4th son of Sir Ambrose enjoyed it, and left it then to his son and heir, William, who died sans issue, 12th Dec. 3d James I. and so it came to his brother, John Jermyn, Esq. Soon after this, it was sold to Henry Bedingfield, Esq. 5th son of Sir Henry Bedingfield of Oxburgh, who died lord, and was buried here about 1629, in which family it continued till it was sold by John Bedingfield of Beeston, Esq. about the year 1730, to Mr. Bullock, cousin, and one of the heirs of Sir Tho. Colby, Bart. who on a division of the aforesaid Sir Thomas's estate, is said to have had about 30,000l. for his share or part.
Besides the manor above-mentioned, Roger Bygot at the survey held 60 acres of land, which Ralph, son of Hugh, held of him, and which belonged to a freeman in the time of the Confessor, valued then at 30d. now at 8d.; (fn. 8) but this part was also (as far as I can find) soon after annexed to the lordship aforesaid, as was that part which belonged to Ralph de Tony. (fn. 9)
The manor-house only now remains, the rest of the village being demolished.
The tenths of this town were 1l. 19s. 3d.
The Church is dedicated to the Holy-Cross, and stands a little south of the house; it is a small pile, built of flint, &c. about 26 feet in length, and 14 in breadth, covered with tiles; at the east end was formerly a chancel, as appears from the foundation-stones, and at the west end is a low square tower of flint, in a ruinous condition, and open from the top to the bottom.
On the pavement lies a grave-stone thus inscribed,
Here lyeth interr'd the Body of ANN, the Wife of JOHN BEDINGFIELD, Gent. formerly a Citizen of LONDON, now a Grocer in LYNN-REGIS, who departed this Life Dec. 14, 1677, aged 38 Years; of her Children, three Sons and two Daughters, ANN and MARTHA, were the Fore-runners of their Mother's Destiny to this Tomb.
Against the north wall is a plain stone monument with this inscription,
HENRICUS BEDINGFIELD quintus filius Domini HENRICI BEDINGFIELD Militis Aurati, defuncti, et MARIA Uxor HENRICI, filia Christiani Catholici, hic dormiunt in Domino, spe firma expectantes Carnis Resurrectionem et Vitam æternam per Jesum Christum Dominum Nostrum. An° Dom. 1629.
This church was well endowed, which occasioned its early appropriation to the priory of Dunmow in Essex, founded by the Lords Baynard, for in the beginning of the reign of Edward I. it was in that house, and the Prior and Convent had a mansion-house or rectory, endowed with a carucate of land; procurations then were 5s. synodals 2s. and in 1428, the Prior was taxed for his spiritualities here at 6 marks, and for his temporalities at 16s. 6d.
At the Dissolution it was granted to the Earl of Sussex, and held of him (as the lordship was) by the Jermyns, and so came to the Bedingfields, and from them to Mr. Bullock, the present  impropriator.
The curate who officiates is allowed 6l. per annum only.