Gallow and Brothercross Hundreds: Burnham Norton

An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 7. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1807.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.


Francis Blomefield, 'Gallow and Brothercross Hundreds: Burnham Norton', An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 7, (London, 1807), pp. 16-19. British History Online [accessed 23 June 2024].

Francis Blomefield. "Gallow and Brothercross Hundreds: Burnham Norton", in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 7, (London, 1807) 16-19. British History Online, accessed June 23, 2024,

Blomefield, Francis. "Gallow and Brothercross Hundreds: Burnham Norton", An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 7, (London, 1807). 16-19. British History Online. Web. 23 June 2024,

In this section


So called from its site, being north of the other Burnhams.

Polsted-Hall Manor

(Of which see at large in Burnham Westgate) extended into this town, and took its name from the Polsteds, lords of it; Sir Hugh de Polstede married Hawisia, daughter and coheir of Hugh de Candois, lord of Burnham, by Anselina his wife, daughter and coheir of William de Grandcourt; Juliana, the other daughter and coheir of Hugh, having married, first, William Jernegan, and afterwards Sir William de Gymingham.

In the 20th of Henry III. Sir Hugh de Polsted paid ten marks fine for his son Hugh's transgression, Gilbert Bosevil and Alan Basset being his pledges; and in the 14th of Edward 1. the sheriff of Norfolk had a precept to make a just division of the Polsted estate, between Ralph de Hemenhale, and Emme his wife and John de Gymingham, in Burnham Norton.

John Muriel, parson of Wortham, &c. conveyed to Sir Robert, son of Sir Ralph de Hemenhale, and to Joan his wife, this manor, with the advowsons of the churches of St. Mary, St. Margaret and All-Saints in Burnham, settled on them and their heirs, in the 4th of Richard II.

In the 3d of Henry IV. Sir Reginald Braybrook held it, in right of the Lady Joan, his wife, of the honour of Dover, by one knight's fee, as did Sir John Oldcastle, in the 9th of that King, with the advowsons of St. Mary, St. Margaret, and All-Saints, in Burnham, and on his attainder was granted to Sir John Rothenhale, then to Sir Lewes Robsart, after to John Fenys.

On February 14, in the 35th of Henry VIII. Edward Warner had a reversionary grant of Polsted-hall, with the advowson of the church thereto belonging, in the tenure of Thomas Fynes, and his wife, for life; and on October 14, in the first of Queen Mary, confirmed to him and his heirs male.

Polsted-hall manor, with six appertenances, and other lands, &c. in Burnham Westgate, Norton, Sutton, Depedale, &c. bought by Sir Stephen Soame, Knt. &c. of Charles Cornwallis, &c. December 6, in the 14th of King James I.

The manor of Reynham, or Lexham's and after in the Southwells, as in Burnham Westgate, extended here.

The tenths of this town were 8l. 4s.—Deducted 34s.

The canons of Walsingham had a lodship in this township, in the 34th of Henry III. when that convent was impleaded on account of raising a ditch here, which was found not to be to the injury, or detri ment of the free tenement, of the parson of the church of Burnham Norton.

Lete fee to the lordship of the hundred, 4s. 2d. ob.

To the church of Burnham Norton belonged two medieties or rectories: in the reign of Edward I. the heirs of Polsted were patrons of one; the rector of this had then a manse, and forty acres of land, called Robert's mediety; the other was in the patronage of Wendling abbey, and was the mediety of William; each was valued at twenty marks, and they paid Peter-pence 20d. ob. In 1249, Robert occurs rector, and about the said time, William de Gimmingham.—The present valor of this, with that of St. Albert, and Burnham All-Saints, is 17l. 10s.

The Church is dedicated to St. Margaret, and stands on an hill, about a mile dis ant from the town, has a nave, a north and south isle (the church is decayed) covered with lead, and, in a round tower, there is one bell, on which, Virginis Egregie vocor Campana Marie.

On the pulpit are painted the four Doctors (as they were called) of the church, viz. St. Augustine, St. Ambrose, St. Gregory, and St. Jerome, also the portraitures of John Goldale, and Katherine his wife, and under them, Orate p. - - - - Johannis Goldale et Katerine Uxoris sue - - - - fecerunt fieri.

On the screen Orate p. aiab; Willi. Groom, et Johanne Consortis sue qui istam fabricam fecerunt depingi in honore - - - - - - Anno Dmi. Millo. cccc. lviii. quor. aiab; propit. - - - -. Underneath are the portraitures of eight saints, and over the heads of St. Ethelbert, and the Virgin Mary,—

Rex Ethelberte, mereamur cælica p. Te, Nos cum prole piá benedicat Virgo Maria.

In the south isle is a gravestone in memory of Lydia Thurlow, wife of John Thurlow, Gent. who died May 31, 1676. One in memory of John Thurlow, Gent. born December 24, 1619, died March 22, 1684; also for Mr. William Thurlow, uncle to the said John, who died in 1630, and Bridget Thurlow, aunt to John, who died 1655, lineally descended of the Thurlows of Burnham Ulp.—In the north isle a gravestone for Mary wife of Richard Flight, who died October 4, 1680.

In the churchyard an altar tomb of free stone, in memory of

Ann Huntley, wife of Robert Huntley, who died July, 28 1667, and for Robert Huntley, who died Nov. 23, 1686, aged 62.

In the upper windows, round the church, are the arms of Calthorp and Bacon, quarterly, also in the church those of Hemenhale, De La Pole, Lord Scales impaling Morley.


Simon occurs rector of a mediety in 1278.

1303, William de Swanton, by the abbot, &c. of Wendling.

1305, Edmund Pundrick. Ditto.

1321, Thomas de Kemsek, by Philip de Wells, Knt.

1325, James de Shireford, by the abbot, &c.

1327, William Atte Bek, by Sir Ralph de Hemenhale, Knt.

1348, Robert le Clerk, by Sir Ralph, &c.

1349, Nicholas de Fresyngfeld, by ditto.

John Cordwainer.

1354, John Atte Grene, by the abbot, &c.

1356, Edmund Walpole, by Sir Ralph, &c.

1371, Stephen Hervy, by Sir William Hemenhale.

1390, Henry Grane, by the abbot, &c.

1393, Richard Walding, by Sir Reginald Braybrook, Knt.

1397, John Baron, by the abbot, &c.

1398, Thomas de Norwich, by ditto.

Phil. Polton.

1410, Walter Howard, to the north part of the church of St. Margaret, by Sir John Oldcastle Lord Cobham.

1411, Thomas Creek, by ditto.

1417, John de Westyng, by the abbot, &c.

On August 5th, 1420. John Bishop of Norwich united and consolidated the medieties of Burnham Margaret Norton, and that of Burnham Ulp, with the consent of the abbey of Wendling, who had the patronage of them; and in 1422, November 17th, John Bishop of Norwich, at the petition of Thomas Creik, rector of the mediety of St. Margaret, which Lewes Robessart, Lord Bourcher, was patron of, united and consolidated to that mediety, the medieties aforesaid, of Burnham Margaret Norton, and Burnham Ulp, which were void some time, on account of the meanness of them.

1463, William Bokkyng, by the abbot, &c. to the mediety of St. Margaret, that of Ulp, and to the church of St. Albert of Burnham, united.

Richard Aufyn,

1475, William Person, by William Wade, Esq. lord, and in right of Polsted-hall.

1483, Richard Barthram, by the abbot, &c.

1500, John Dussing. Ditto.

1506, Hugh Waller.

1558, William Cantrell by Richard Underwood, archdeacon of Norwich, hac vice

1571, Robert Gittings, by the King.

1580, Nicholas Steer, by Thomas Hogan, Esq. 1580.

Nicholas Steere, by the assignees of Richard Southwell, Esq.

Anthony Wilkinson.

1633, Robert Tompson, by the King.

1639, Ralph Robarts. Ditto.

1660, William Franklin. Ditto.

1677, Samuel Richardson. Ditto.

1690, William Gough, by the King and Queen.

1708, Joseph Osborn, by the Queen, on the death of Gough, to Burnham, St. Albert, with a moiety of St. Margaret, and All-Saints. Henry Spurling.

1724, Thomas Grome, to Burnham St. Mary, and the mediety of St. Margaret, and All-Saints, by Thomas Harris, Esq. on Spurling's death.

1729, Thomas Smithson, to the medieties aforesaid.

1755, Edmund Nelson, on Smithson's death, by Horace Walpole, Esq.

In this church were the guilds of St. Margaret and St. Nicholas.

In this town was a priory of Carmelites or White friars, dedicated to the blessed Virgin Mary, and founded by Sir William Calthorp, and Sir Ralph Hemenhale, in 1241, Ao. 26 Henry III.; (fn. 2) but it is more probable in the beginning of the reign of King Edward I. in the 26th of that King, they had a patent granted them.

In the 27th of Edward III. the prior had a patent for three acres to enlarge their manse, or house. Robert Bale, the famous historian, was prior of this house; and dying in the reign of Henry VII. was here buried.

At the Dissolution, it was valued but 2l. 5s. 4d. per annum as Dugdale, and 1l. 10s. 8d. ob. as Speed. King Henry VIII. in his 33d year, gave to William Lord Cobham, and Edward Warner, the site of this house, &c. to be held of the King in capite, with certain messuages about it.

In the 37th of Henry VIII. license was granted to Joan, widow of Sir — — to alien the site of this priory to William Blenerhasset; and in the fourth of Elizabeth, license granted to John Blenerhasset, to alien all the site and priorate to William Bromfield and Thomas Pepys. In the 19th of that Queen, November 28, two acres of concealed lands in Burnham Norton, in the tenure of Francis Cobb, belonging to the Carmelite friars there, were granted to Edward Grymston.


  • 1. Rot. Pip. Sussex.
  • 2. Britan. Ant. et Nova, v. 3. p. 406.