Launditch Hundred: Horningtoft

An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 9. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1808.

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'Launditch Hundred: Horningtoft', in An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 9, (London, 1808) pp. 520-523. British History Online [accessed 21 April 2024]

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We meet in many counties with towns taking their names from Horn, as Hornby, Horncastle, Horn-Church, Hornsey, (all seated by some river or stream,) from their bending and winding: thus the Tyber is called by Virgil Corniger; the ancient Britons gave the name of Corn to some rivers, hence the Cornavij.

Godric held this lordship under the Conqueror, or farmed it of him at the time of the survey. Aluric, a freeman, possessed it in King Edward's time, when there belonged to it 3 carucates of land, 7 villains, 3 borderers, 2 servi, and 4 acres of meadow; there were also 2 carucates in demean, and one carucate of the tenants, paunage for 300 hogs, and half a fishery, &c. 160 sheep and 20 goats, and 9 socmen and 2 borderers held a carucate of land, and half an acre of meadow, &c. Stigand had the soc of these 9 men in the time of King Edward, when they held 2 carucates, and Ralph Earl of Norfolk seized on it, and on his forfeiture, by rebellion, it came to the Crown, and Godric held it of the King.

All Horningtoft (including Kypton) was 8 furlongs long, and 5 broad, and paid 4d. gelt. (fn. 1)

Soon after the abovementioned survey, the Conqueror granted it to Alan Earl of Richmond, in England, and of Britany in France, who married Constance, one of the daughters of William the Conqueror.

Richard de Geel, with Andrew and Henry his brothers, convey by fine to Hamo Buhard or Burt, 40 acres of land in this town and Whissyngsete, and Alice their mother resigned her dower therein, in the 10th of Richard I.

By a fine levied in the 5th of King John, Hamo, son of Burt, released to John de Grey Bishop of Norwich, his right of commonage in the town of Elmham and Brisley, as the Bishop did his right in this town; and Hamo had power to inclose the common here, paying to that Bishop and his successours, 2s. per ann.

Sir Hamo de Burt released by his deed, sans date, to Robert le Hendy of Norton, (Pudding Norton,) and to Thomas and John, sons of Robert, all his right in certain lands: witnesses, Hamon de Pattesle, John Buzun, John de Monpinzum, William de Lechesham, &c. and one of the same name was lord in the 43d of Henry III. and had two sons, Ralph Burt, his eldest son, and Thomas; which Ralph granted by fine to Thomas his brother, in the 54th of that King, this manor and advowson, who covenanted to pay to Ralph for the same an annuity of 20s. for life.

Sir Thomas Burt and Peter de Buzun had, about this time, a dispute concerning the common between the townships of Horningtoft and Wyssingsete, which was referred to the arbitration of their neighbours; and in the 15th of Edward I. Sir Thomas claimed the assise, free warren, and view of frank pledge, with the view of the King's bailiff in this town and in Kypton.

About the same time Sir Robert de Tateshale held one knight's fee in this town, Wyssesete, and Kypton, valued at 40l. per ann. and paid 10s. per ann. ward to Richmond Castle. (fn. 2)

In the 18th of Edward I. Sir Thomas de Burt granted this lordship by fine to Nicholas de Castello (fn. 3) and Cecilia his wife, with the advowson of the church; and the said Nicholas was found in the 26th of the said King, to hold half a fee here of Sir Robert de Tateshale; and Nicholas aforesaid and Cecilia his wife, by a fine levied in the 31st of the same reign, conveyed it to Greg de Castello, their son, on his granting to them an annuity for life, of 40l. sterling; and he appears to be lord in the 9th of Edward II.

Of this family probably was Bartholomew de Castello, lord of the manor of Throgton, alias Castell's in Thorp Morieux in Suffolk, in the 17th of Edward I. who, by Alienora his wife, had John his son and heir, living in the 25th of Edward III. and paid 50s. for half a fee held there of the Earl of Oxford, who held of the Earl of Clare.

In the year 1349, on the 8th of May, a rector was instituted on the presentation of Sir Nicholas de Castello, Knt.; and on the 24th of June, another, on the presentation of Hugh de Castello, lord of this village; and in 1361 the lady of Sir Adam de Clifton presented, as guardian to the heir of Hugh de Castello; but in 1370, Nicholas de Castello was lord, and presented; and Nicholas was lord in the 3d of Henry IV. and held half a fee here and in Wesenham.

The jury, on the death of John de Beaufort Duke of Bedford, lord of the honour of Richmond, in the 14th of Henry VI. present that Nicholas de Castello held 2 knights fees of the said honour; and Humphrey Castell, Esq. appears to be lord in 1461, and then dated his will, July 24, at Raveningham, wherein he mentions Margaret his wife, and gives this lordship, with those of Raveningham and Bedingham, to Leonard his son.

The will of John Castell of Raveningham, Esq. is dated April 10, 1551, and proved Febuary 24, in the said year; Roger, his eldest son, was lord after him, and on his death, about the 20th of Elizabeth, was succeeded by his brother, John Castell, Esq.

In 1616 this lordship paid an annual rent of 5s. to the lord of Swaffham, as Richmond fee.

Mary Castle held it in 1659, and was charged to the militia rate, at 100l. per ann.

Augustin Castell of Raveningham, Esq. sold it to Sir Richard Berney, of Reedham, Bart. in which family it remains, Sir Hanson Berney, Bart. being the present lord.

The tenths were 2l. 14s. 0d. Deducted 4s.

King Henry VIII. in his 38th year, grants to Richard Taverner lands here, in the tenure of Nicholas Mynne and John Dean, November 3.

The Church is a rectory, dedicated to St. Edmund the King and Martyr; the ancient valor was 13 marks, and paid Peter-pence 7d. ob.

The prior of Castleacre had a pension or portion of tithe of one mark per ann. The present valor is 6l. 17s. 7d. and is discharged of tenths, &c.

The church and chancel are covered with lead, and has a square tower with four bells.

On a gravestone with a brass plate in the church,

Orate p. a'i'a. Eliz. Oldman nup. ux'is Henrici Oldman, q'i. obijt, iii die Febr. Ao. Dni. m. v. xxxii. et p. quib; tenetr.

On the font are the arms of Castell, argent, three castles, triple towered, gules, also a fess between two chevrons.


1302, Richard de Hedersete rector, presented by Nicholas de Castello and Cecilia his wife.

1315, Nicholas de Castello, by Gregory de Castello.

1321, John de Fresing feld, by Sir Gregory de Castello.

13--, John de Berklaw.

1336, John de Meldeburn, by Nicholas de Castello.

1349, John de Bokenham, by Sir Nicholas de Castello.

1349, Bartholomew de Bongey, by Hugh de Castello.

1350, John Glanvile, by Philippa, Queen of England, who is said to have recovered the presentation in the King's court, against Hugh, son of Nicholas de Castello.

1361, Martin de Apelton, by the lady of Sir Adam de Clifton, on account of the heir of Hugh de Castello, who was a minor.

1370, Robert Drolle, by Nicholas de Castello.

1370, Thomas de Westacre, by the King, by virtue of an extent of this lordship.

Richard Lucas occurs rector, 1446.

John Athow died rector in 1531.

1597, John Beacon, presented by Edward Coke, Esq.

1601, Thomas Robbin, presented by Mrs. Garnishe, Gent.

1606, Thomas Sandy, compounded April 3, for first fruits.

1635, John Nashe, compounded May 6.

1636, Robert Smith, compounded November 18.

1643, George Mordaunt, compounded April 19.

James Martin, presented by Sir Thomas Berney, died in 1727.

1727, William Hern, by Sir Thomas Berney, Bart.


  • 1. T're Regis qua' Godric. servat— Horninghetoft tenuit Aluric. lib. ho. T.R.E. iii car. t're. tnc. vii villi. p. et mo. v semp. iii bord. et ii ser. et iiii ac. p'ti. tnc. ii car. in d'nio. p. et mo. icar. et dim. et dim. posset restaurari tnc. i car. hom. p. et mo. dim. et dim. posset restaur. silva ccc por. et dim. pisc. sep. i animal. et xx por. et clx ov. et xx cap. et ix soc. et ii bor. i car. t're. et dim. ac. p'ti. silva xl. por. tne. ii car. p. et mo. i et alia posset restaurari, de his novem soc habuit Stigand soca' T.R.E. et Rad. ea invasit, et id ht. God.—Totu' Horinghetoft ht. viii quar. in longo, et v in lato, et iiiid. de gelto.
  • 2. Regist. Honor. Richm. p. 46.
  • 3. Of this family see in Raveningham, Clavering hundred.