Hundred of Forehoe: Corston

An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 2. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1805.

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Francis Blomefield, 'Hundred of Forehoe: Corston', in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 2, (London, 1805) pp. 471-473. British History Online [accessed 22 May 2024].

Francis Blomefield. "Hundred of Forehoe: Corston", in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 2, (London, 1805) 471-473. British History Online, accessed May 22, 2024,

Blomefield, Francis. "Hundred of Forehoe: Corston", An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 2, (London, 1805). 471-473. British History Online. Web. 22 May 2024,


Commonly called Coson, is a small village in this hundred, of which I find no mention in Domesday, by the name of Corston, but take it to be that town in Domesday called Appethorp, which belonged to Alfere, a freeman, in the Confessor's time, and was given by the Conqueror to Robert the Archer, it being the only estate he had in this county; it was then worth 32s. and was 4 furlongs long, and 2 broad, and paid 5d. gelt. (fn. 1)

It seems it afterwards came to the Albanys, for the Register of Windham, fo. 107, says, that William de Albany, the founder, confirmed the gift of this advowson made by John, son of William Rothawe, to that monastery, by which it seems that the town was infeoffed in either the Rothaws or some other family that they had it of, by the Albanys; and after this, Pandulf Bishop of Norwich instituted John de Suthwode to the rectory, on the Prior's presentation, which was dated at Thetford, 1221. How it happened I know not, but it was soon after released by the Prior, and joined to the manor again; and so continued till 1267, when Robert le Burser of London, lord here, levied a fine, and settled it on Roger de Skerning Bishop of Norwich, and Alan de Freston Archdeacon of Norfolk, in which the Bishop acknowledged that it belonged to his church of Norwich, as for ever consolidated and appropriated to the archdeaconry, so that they can never be separated or aliened, and for this settlement they gave Robert 40s. and an acknowledgment that they had no claim in his manor; this Robert was concerned in the manor of Little Wenham in Suffolk, jointly with Emma his wife, who seems to be one of the coheirs of Roger de Holbrook; it afterwards was divided into many parts, for in 1315, the Nomina Villarum tells us that Sir John de Claveringe, Walter de Bernham, Rich. Byrks, John Ode, Isabell Quitwelle, Will. de Stokesby, Rob. de Wrthstede, Will. de Carleton, the Prior of West-Acre, Peter de Runhall, the Master of Kerbrook hospital, Sir Constantine de Moxtimer, the Prior of Windham, and John le Marshal, were lords here, or had manors that extended into this town. In 1285, there were two manors, one called Corston, the other Bayfield, from John de Bayfield, lord thereof, who left it to Joan his wife, and at her death, to Agnes, Katerine, and Mabell, their daughters; Isabell, their daughter, married Hervy de Stanhowe, and had a messuage, 23 acres, and 10s. quitrent for her part; but notwithstanding this division, in 1396, the whole was united again, and John Blythe, an outlaw, was lord, and it afterwards was joined to the other manor, which after divers purchases, came to the Brownes, by which family they were again divided; in 1572, Thomas Browne, veoman, was lord of Corston, and Miles Browne, yeoman, was lord of Bayfield in Corston, which were afterwards purchased by the Woodhouses, and at present, Sir John Woodhouse, Bart. is lord of the whole town, and hath the sole paramountship, in right of the leet, which belongs to his hundred of Forehoe.

The Church is dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel, was valued at 2 two marks, but is not in the King's Books, it being an exempt belonging to the Archdeacon of Norfolk ever since its appropriation and annexation to the archdeaconry, in 1267; it pays no synodals, procurations, nor carvage, and acknowledges no visitor, but its rector the archdeacon. In Edward the Third's time, it became the archdeacon's country seat, there being a good house, toft, and six acres of land, in 1362, William de Blythe obtained a patent to enlarge his house here, and a license of mortmain to settle an acre of land on his church; in 1373, at his death, the Bishop collated Master Rob. de Prees, priest, to the archdeaconry of Norfolk, with the church of Corston annexed, so that I need mention no more of its rectors, but refer you to my list of the Archdeacons of Norfolk; the Rev. Dr. Salter, the present [1739] archdeacon, now enjoys it.

It appears that during the archdeacons residence here, which was till after 1600, they served the church themselves, but ever since they found a curate, who serves here once a fortnight. The whole town paid but 14s. to each tenth; the temporals of Windham priory were taxed at 16d. those of the Prior of Norwich at 12d. and those of the Prior of West-Acre at 11d. In 1627, Mr. Will. Crompton was curate, and now, the Rev. Mr. Will. Gordon of Barnham-Broom. The chief of the land in this parish, is owned by — Scot, Esq. of Aylesham.

The church and chancel are leaded, the south porch tiled; there is a square tower and one bell, but no memorial of any kind, save a large disrobed stone having lost an effigies and two shields; whether this was laid over some archdeacon buried here, (for the effigies seems to have been in a priest's hahit,) or over John Foster of this town, Gent. who was buried in 1556, I cannot say.


  • 1. Terre Roberti Arbalistarij. H. Feorhou. (Doms. fo. 286.) In Appethorp i. car. terre tenuit Alfere liber homo T. R. E. xxx. acr. terre pro manerio tunc ii. vill. mo iiii. et xv. soc. semper iii. car. silva xv. porc. et iiii. acr. prati. mo v. porc. xx. ov. xx. capr. tunc valuit xx. s. mo xxxii. et habet iiii quar. in long. et ii. in lat. et v.d. de Gelto.