Great Snoring

The village of Great Snoring, between Fakenham and Wells in Norfolk, is, despite it's name, a fascinating place.  I spent a lot of time researching the village and even dragged other members of the family there for a visit.  The only problem being that my family never actually lived in Great Snoring or indeed anywhere near it!  Just one tiny error in a census record had sent me on a complete wild goose chase!

Whilst researching my supposed family history in Norfolk, I started a one place study that I posted  on Your Archives.  As I don't actually have any ancestors from the village, I'm not adding to it but have included it here in case of interest to other genealogists of the area.

Great Snoring Manor
© Copyright Richard Croft
Licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
Great Snoring Manor
Manor records go back to the 1300s when the land was owned by the Bourgiloun family.  The Shelton family built the current manor house in the 16th Century.   By 1611 the family were in debt and the estate was bought by Thomas Richardson who was later speaker of the House of Commons.  The house has frequently changed hands since with no family living in it for more than 30-40 years.

© Copyright Chris Thompson
Licensed for reuse: Creative Commons Licence

1200 -          : St Mary the Virgin, Church of England
1874 - 1973 : Primitive Methodist Chapel in the Fakenham & Wells Circuit
1897 - 1892 : Weslyan Chapel

1811 - 1859 : National School 
Founded by Church of England as alternative to non-conformist British Schools
1859 -          : Great Snoring School

Key family names within the village include: Adams, Balls, Bradfield, Bray, Brown, Bullock, Bushell, Chamberlain, Claxton, Cook, Cooper, Curle, Cross, Docking, Dye, Elgar, Fidderman, Francis, Gamble, Girdlestone, Green, Grange, Hall, Hill, Howlett, Jackson, Kendle, Lack, Lee, Mallett, Massingham, Palmer, Parker, Perowne, Plane, Prior, Ramm, Rasberry, Savage, Simmons, Southgate, Stannard, Thompson, Thurston, Tuck, Williamson, Wix, Worship, Youngman

© Copyright Evelyn Simak licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Licence.
1836 - 1957 Three Tuns
1836 - 1969 Unicorn


Great Snoring appears to have had a shop of some sort from before the 1790s as Thomas Raven, who died in 1799, was recorded in his will as a shop keeper. Walsingham, which was just 2 miles away, provided by 1839 a range of shops and services including a number of tailors, grocers, drapers, cabinet makers, painters and glaziers and shoe makers plus a watch maker, a glove maker, a plumber, and a hairdresser and perfumer. (Pigots 1839). 

In 1854, Henry Savage is recorded as keeping a shop in Great Snoring and William Hill and Isiah Stanford as tailors. By 1888, dressmakers and shops have also been opened by Miss Sarah Brown and Miss Maria Savage and by Mrs Celia Bushell in addition to a shop run by James Howlett. By 1890, Miss Brown and Miss Savage's shop had disappeared, but Frederick Cook had opened an additional shop and Mrs Matilda Adams had a grocers service.

© Copyright Chris Thompson
Licensed for reuse: Creative Commons Licence
Until the mid 19th Century almost the whole village worked on the land or provided basic services to the village. Exceptions were the Perowne family who started a brickmakers in a neighbouring village before 1850 and Bushell brothers and their sons who made agricultural machines from at least the 1860s until the 1930s. In 1860 they successfully applied for a patent for their "improved agricultural machine"Specific jobs in which people were employed 1850 and 1910:
Baker, Beer Retailer, Blacksmith, Brick-maker, Bricklayer, Carpenter, Coach-builder, Dress maker Engineer, Farmer, Grocer, Horse-breaker, Machine Maker, Inn Keeper, Miller, Postmaster, Shoemaker, Shopkeeper, Tailor, Wheelwright,  Well Sinker

1838-1934 : The Walsingham Union Workhouse, Thursford Road 
The land for the workhouse appears to have been purchased from the Chad family of Thursford Hall in the next village. In the mid 19th Century ~20% of the population village lived in the Workhouse. Records of the Walsingham Poor Law Union are available at the Norfolk Record Office.  The Workhouse was enlarged in 1849 to hold 350 inmates. Poor law unions were abolished in 1930 and the Workhouse was closed in 1934. The building was later used as a smallpox hospital but demolished in the 1990s.
Copyright Saint Seraphim's Trust 2012
1839 -         : Hero Coach Service to London
Departed from Black Lion, Walsingham to London Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning at 6.30am. Started in Wells and went via Fakenham, Newmarket and Cambridge. The return coach on Monday, Wednesday and Friday called at the Black Lion, Walsingham at 9pm.
1857 - 1964 : Walsingham Station
2 miles from Great Snoring the station offered trains to Fakenham and Wells that in turn provided connections to  Norwich, King's Lyn, Peterborough, local lines in south Lincolnshire and the main East Coast line between London and Edinburgh 

1854 -             Daily delivery and collection of post
1892 -             Telegraphs and money from Walsingham

1811 A local act was passed in parliament to enclose land in Great Snoring.
1813 Allotment to trustees of poor of Hindringham under Great Snoring Inclosure Award 
1858 Order of Exchange of Lands between Rev Warner and Trustees of Poor of Hindringham

© Copyright Chris Thompson
Licensed for reuse: Creative Commons Licence
Agricultural recession and enclosures in Norfolk resulted in significant migration from the land to London and the North.   Between 1861 and 1901 over 100,000 people born in Norfolk (over 15% of the population) left the county.  Over 50% went to London, 20% to Yorkshire and near 10% to each of Lancashire and Durham.

Over 20 families left Great Snoring over this period the majority moving between 1861 and 1871 to 2 villages in Yorkshire:  Rawmarsh, a mining and steel making village near Rotherham and the iron stone mining area of Guisbrough on the north Yorkshire moors just south of Middlesbrough. Families who left the village for Yorkshire include:

1850s Cook, Coulsey, Dye, Moore, Thompson
1860s Bray, Hall, Jackson, Parker, Shorton, Southgate, Sunonson, Thompson, Williamson
1870s Applegarth, Dewing
1890s Chatt, Hull, Kendal, Ram, Page, Tuck

Many of the Great Snoring families lived in the same street or very close to each other in Yorkshire and maintained strong links initially with their home village.  By 1881, at least 3 families had returned from the north to Great Snoring including Charles Southgate with his Yorkshire born wife Mary-Ann, George Page with his Country Durham born wife Elizabeth and Charles Simmons and his wife Maria. 

The following maps are available showing where people in the village migrated to: 1850s migration from Great Snoring and 1870s migration from Great Snoring.

Deanary : Walsingham
Diocese :  Norwich
Hundred : North Greenhoe
Ward: Walsingham
1832 - 1868 : West Norfolk
1868 - 2007 : North Norfolk
2007 -          : Broadland

Links to national archives are included on the main page.  Local archives holding resources on Great Snoring are listed below:
Norfolk Record Office
Includes records on the Workhouse, Removal and Settlement orders and the Primitive Methodist Church.
An Essay Towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk
The chapter on Great Snoring covers the Burgolion and Shelton families, provides a list of rectors and details of monuments in the church

The Snorings
A site dedicated to Great and Little Snoring by Tricia Booth whose family did actually come from Great Snoring unlike my own!


© Copyright Chris Thompson
Licensed for reuse: Creative Commons Licence
1200s - 1350s Bourgiloun / Burgolyons (Whites 1845) 
The Bourgiloun family owned the manor from at least the 1300s. The Norfolk Record Office contains papers relating to the family from 1327.  Ann Bourgiloun married Ralph Shelton and the manor passed to the Shelton family. The Topographical History of the County of Norfolk provides more details
1350s - 1611 Sheltons (Whites 1845) 
The Sheltons built the manor house, which still stands in the village today. By the 1600s the Sheltons were in significant debt. By the mid-C16th the Kytson family also have some ownership of the manor. 
1611-1695 Richardsons (Whites 1845)
Manor bought by Thomas Richardson, later Speaker of the House of Commons.
1695-1715 Wards of Hindringham
1715-???? Nuns of Thorpland
18?? - 18?? John Dugmore, Swaffham (Whites 1854)
The records of the Dugmore family are in the Norfolk Record Office.
18?? - 18?? Chad, Thursford Hall 1892 - Joseph Stonehewer Scott-Chad
18?? - 19?? Lee-Warner, Walsingham Abbey
The Lee-Warner family was descended from John Warner, Bishop of Rochester 1637-1666. The archives of the Lee-Warner family including documents relating to Great Snoring are held at the Norfolk Record Office.
1872 - 19?? Paine and Brettell
Solictors in Chertsey, Surrey.

© Copyright Chris Thompson
Licensed for reuse: Creative Commons Licence
The ministers of St Mary's Church between 1200 and 1903 :
1200 William de Calthorp
1292 Michael le Brett
1307 William de Barsham
1353 John Kentford
1353 Thomas Rou (presented 16.6.1353) (Calendar of Patent Rolls, Edward III vol 9, p.468 16.6.1353 presentation of Thomas Rous (in the King's gift))
1369 John de Freton, Archdeacon of Norfolk 
1375 John Granew
1379 John de Honyng (Calendar of Patent Rolls, Richard II vol 1, p.325 16.2.1379 records the enlargement of the Rectory, and notes that John Honyngge was Parson of Great Snoring) 
1413 John Tolle
1420 Simon Barrett
1432 Stephen Multon
1432 Thomas Frynge (15.11.1432: Thomas Frenge presented in exchange of benefices with Stephen Multon) (Calendar of Patent Rolls, Henry VI vol 2, p.247 15.11.1432: Thomas Frenge presented in exchange of benefices with Stephen Multon )
1444 Richard Appulby (14.5.1444: Robert Appulby presented in exchange of benefices with Thomas Frynge) (Calendar of Patent Rolls, Henry VI vol 4, p.259 14.5.1444: Robert Appulby presented in exchange of benefices with Thomas Frynge)
1444 Thomas Brigg 25.6.1444: Thomas Brigg presented in exchange of benefices with Robert Appulby) (Calendar of Patent Rolls, Henry VI vol 4, p.266 25.6.1444: Thomas Brigg presented in exchange of benefices with Robert Appulby )
1459 John Fowler
1467 Thomas Smith
1484 Symon Driver (A doctor??)
1517 Richard Shelton
1539 William Rawling
1546 John Willoughby
1554 Hugh Swyfte
1554 Robert Pyerson
1572 Richard Gawton
1577 Richard or Robert West (his will is in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 1605-1619)
1610-1613 Robert Pearson, later Archdeacon of Suffolk (Dic of Nat Bio)
1639 Edward Debbs
1655 David Anderson
1662 Thomas Chapman
1690 Nathaniel Rothwell
1710 Thomas Langford
1734 Robert Leake
1762 Andrew Alvis 
1801-1831 James Fawcett, Prof. Divinity, Cambridge University (Dictionary of National Biography)
1831-1851 Christopher Stannard
1851-1896 George Henry Marsh
1891-1897 Edward Haversham Whall, Curate in Charge
1897-1903 Canon R.P. Roseveare
1903- Charles Lawrence Capel Cure
1903- Alfred Leedes Hunt

1845 - 1851 Benjamin Bray
1851 - 1892 Christopher Mallett 
Christopher was born in Blakeney, Norfolk in 1829 and was the son of a tailor. In 1851, Christopher lodged with Benjamin Bray's family in Great Snoring and in 1853 Christopher married Benjamin's sister Catherine Leeder Bray who later served as School Mistress. Christopher is buried in the village churchyard with a splendid gravestone. The Mallet's cottage on the High Street served as the Post Office. (See census records)
1892 -              Henry Green
Henry was born in March, Cambridgeshire.

Bakers: Jno Plane
Blacksmith: Robert Girdlestone
Brickmaker/Bricklayer: Christopher Jackson,
Carpenter: George Cooke
Farmers: Charles Bradfield, Mary Bray, Robert Archer, T Chamberlain, Robert Elgar, Jno Francis, Jas Hall, Benjamin Perowne, Charles Southgate, Samson Southgate
Engineers/Machine Makers: Jonas Bushell
Horsebreaker: William Southgate
Inn Keepers: Thomas Lack, William Wright
Miller: Charles Southgate, William Southgate
Shoemaker: Robert Lack, Thomas Lack
Shopkeeper: Henry Savage
Tailor: William Hill, Isaih Stannard
Weelwright: David Cook

Bakers: Mary Ann Docking
Blacksmith: Isaac Tuck
Brickmaker/Bricklayer: Christopher Jackson, Benjamin Perowne
Farmers:Charles Bradfield, Thomas Chamberlain, Henry Hall, James Hall, Henry Savage, Sampson Soutgate, William Southgate
Engineers/Machine Makers: Jonas Bushell, George Cook
Horsebreaker: John Southgate, William Southgate
Inn Keepers: Robert Lack, Robert Southgate
Miller: William Southgate
Shopkeeper: Henry Savage, William Southgate
Tailor: William Hill
Weelwright: David Cook

Baker: Clement Docking
Blacksmith: John Ramm
Brickmaker: Benjamin Perowne
Coachbuilder: Eliza Southgate
Engineers/Machine Makers: Joseph & William Bushell
Farmers: Henry Gamble, Robert Hall, Edward Massingham, Walter Southgate
Horse Breakers: William Tuck
Inn Keepers: Eliza Southgate, William Tuck
Millers: Mathilda Adams, Clement Docking, George Southgate
Postmaster: Frederick Cook
Shoemaker: Edward Plane
Shopkeeper: James Howlett
Weelwright: William Cook

Beer Retailer:
Blacksmith: John Ramm
Carpenter: Henry Green, Robert Kendle
Coachbuilder: Sampson Southgate
Engineers / Machine Makers: William Bushell
Farmers: Benjamin Perowne, Walter Rasberry, Walter Southgate, Mary Ann Tuck
Horse Trainer: William Youngman
Inn Keepers: Frank Lee
Shoemaker: Edward Plane
Shopkeeper: George Cross, Robert Palmer,
Weelwright: Frederick Cook
Well Sinker: William Massingham

Those returned to and removed from Great Snoring between 1735 and 1833 under the Settlement and Removal Act:
1735 Bridget Parker, single woman to Great Snoring from Fakenham
1739 Susanna Prior from Great Snoring to Foulsham 
1740 Thomas Thurston, his wife Margaret and child John, from Fakenham to Great Snoring
1754 Thomas Wix and his wife Amy from Wood Norton to Great Snoring
1765 Mary Williamson, singlewoman, from Barney to Great Snoring 
1780 Edmund Cooper and his wife Lydia, from Great Snoring to Fakenham 
1784 Thomas Curle and his wife Mary from Garvestone to Great Snoring
1785 Elizabeth Wick, singlewoman & bastard child, Rose from Fakenham to Great Snoring 
1795 Sarah Brown, pregnant singlewoman, Great Snoring to Melton Constable 
1796 Elizabeth Simmons, wife of Francis, a private soldier and child, Mary (18 months) from Fakenham to Great Snoring 
1796 Gabriel Thompson and his wife Susanna from Great Snoring to Field Dalling.
1808 Sarah Fidderman, vagrant, wife of John, a sailer, and son John from Horsham, West Sussex, to Great Snoring 
1815 Elizabeth Dye, singlewoman, from Great Snoring to Fakenham 
1821 Philip Balls, singleman, from Great Snoring to Fakenham 
1821 Sarah Jackson pregnant singlewoman, from Great Snoring to Barsham 
1822 Henry Applegate, singleman, from Great Snoring to Fakenham 
1824 Benjamin Bullock, labourer, Anne his wife and child, Hannah (1) from Little Snoring to Great Snoring 
1829 Mary Cook, singlewoman from Great Snoring to Foulsham
1829 John Plane from Great Snoring to Wighton 
1833 John Claxton and Elizabeth Austic his wife and child, Phoebe
1833 Una Worship, widow of Thomas Brinton from Great Snoring to Thursford 
1833 Spirah Grange, Eleanor his wife and child, Charles (13 weeks) from Little Walsingham to Great Snoring

Masters of the Union Workhouse included:

1845 Robert Platten
1854 Jason Ratcliffe
1863 Mr Gray

1610 Robert West Doctor of Divinity 
1620 Richard Flemynge Mariner
1655 Thomas Wortly Yeoman 
1762 Rev Robert Leeke Clerk of Great Snoring parish 
1797 Elizabeth Temple Spinster
1798 John Smith Cordwainer (Maker of leather goods including shoes) 
1799 Thomas Raven Shopkeeper 
1810 Matthew Fowle Letter of administration 
1821 Richard Jackson Shopkeeper 
1826 Mary Morris Widow
1831 James Fawcett Clerk/Rector of parish of Great Snoring & Thursford
1845 Esther Elizabeth Jackson Widow 
1851 Edward Ward Jobber (a wholesaler?)

Three Tuns
1836 Robert Barwick
1845 Violet Claxton
1851 James Hull
1854 William Wright
1861 Robert Southgate (Post Office Directory)
1891 Eliza Southgate
1896 William Youngman
1905 Arthur Pennell
1908 John Allenden
1909 Frank Willimott
1912 Frank Lee (Kellys 1912)
1914 George Limbrick
1916 Henry Turner / Robert Lambert
1941 Elizabeth Lambert
1954 Herbert Minors
1955 Harold Semmence

1836 Elizabeth Noble
1841 Thomas Lack (Census)
1869 Robert Lack (Post Office Directory)
1877 John Tuck (Harrods Directory)
1883 William Tuck (Whites)
1896 William Massingham

*****************GREAT SNORING & NORFOLK LINKY**********************************
If you have a blog or any posts covering Great Snoring or Norfolk please do add your links to the linky below:


  1. That night I just could not breathe without the snoring noise. It was pretty embarrassing as I was travelling with colleagues and they were disturbed by the sounds.somnoguard

  2. In this deceive one needs to lay down with a tennis ball or some other chunk of a comparative size appended to the back of your nightgown.Sara S.