Town Directories

directoryDirectories provide first hand data about local communities, their infrastructure and the individuals inhabiting those communities.

Published more frequently than the census, directories can also help you fill in any missing gaps.

They contain descriptions of places, local facilities, local facilities, institutions and associations, resident, trades and professions, and important people.

From the 17th century, directories met the growing demand for accurate information about trade and industry. Data was collected either by personal canvassing combined with existing listings or people were asked to supply details.

By the early nineteenth century methods of compilation had become more organised. In part, this reflected the growing links between directories and the Post Office. Many postal officials, such as Frederick Kelly, turned their hand to directory publishing as a means of both aiding their work and making some extra money. Information was collected by letter carriers, who circulated forms during their postal rounds, and also delivered the finished directory on commission..

In the 20th century over 250 were published each year, the peak year being 1936, with around 320 directories appearing. But a decline came after World War II as many publishers went out of business. With the advent of the telephone large-scale directory production and usage ended.

Kelly's Directory 1883

SNORING (GREAT) is a parish about 3½ miles north-by-east from Fakenham station, situated on the road from Fakenham to Wells, in the Northern division of the county, North Greenhoe hundred, Walsingham Union, and county court district, rural deanery of Walsingham and archeaconry and diocese of Norwich.

The Church of St. Mary the Virgin is an old Gothic building, consising of chancel, nave, south aisle and a fine square tower containing one bell: it has some stone stalls, and contains several monuments and a handsome mural tablet to the Rev. Christopher Stannard B.D. fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge, many years Rector of this parish.

The register dates from the year 1560.

The living is a rectory, with that of Thursford annexed, joint gross yearly value £840, with residence at each place, in the gift of the Masters and fellows of St. John's College, Cambridge, and held since 1851 by the Rev. George Henry Marsh B.D., formerly fellow of that college and son of the late Right Rev. Herbert Marsh, Bishop of Peterborough.

The rectory house is a fine specimen of ornamental brickwork, and was built by Sir Ralph Shelton, and has been considerably enlarged and beautified by the present rector, and its elaborate south front in part restored. The Primitive Methodists have a place of worship here.

The charities are Pearson's of £14 yearly for bread, and Alvis's of £6 5s. The Walsingham Union house is situated in this parish; erected in 1837 to hold 350 inmates, at present there are but 96. Messrs. Paine and Brettell, of Chertsey, who are lords of the manor, and the Rev. H. D. Lee-Warner, of Walsingham Abbey, are the principal landowners.

The soil is mixed; subsoil, clay. The land is cultivated on the usual four-course system. The area is 1,645 acres; rateable value, £3,854; the population in 1881 was 452, inclusive of the 96 inmates of the Walsingham Union House.

Parish Clerk: John Francis.

POST OFFICE.Mrs. Catherine Mallett, receiver. Letters are received through Fakenham at 9.15 a.m. Box closed at 3.40 p.m. The nearest money order & telegraph office is at Walsingham

Walsingham Union House, Rev. Alpheus Wilkes B.A. chaplain; Fredk. Bayes, medical officer; Isaac Priest, master; Mrs. Mary Priest, matron; Miss Lane, schoolmistress

Here is a Parochial mixed school, almost entirely supported by the rector; Harry Green, master

Bushell Samuel
March Rev. George Henry B.A.
Perowne Mrs.
Manor House
Adams Edward
Beane Henry
Bushell J. & Sons
engineers & machine makers
Cook David & Sons
Cook William
Docking Clement
Gamble Henry
Green Harry
assistant overseer
Lack Robert
Perowne Benjamin Cubitt
Savage Henry
shopkeeper and farmer
Southgate Esther (Mrs.)
Southgate John
horse breaker
Southgate Robert
Tuns, & coach bldr
Tuck Wm.
Unicorn, & horse breaker

William White's Directory of Norfolk 1883

SNORING (LITTLE) is a village and parish, 3 miles E.N.E. of Fakenham, in Walsingham union, Fakenham county court district, Norwich bankruptcy district, Gallow petty sessional division, Fakenham polling district of West Norfolk, Gallow hundred, Burnham rural deanery, and Norfolk archdeaconry. It had 276 inhabitants in 1881, living on 1524 acres, and has a rateable value of £2127. Lord Hastings is the lord of the manor and chief owner of the soil.

The church of St. Andrew is a very singular and interesting little fabric, comprising nave, chancel, south porch, and round tower. The latter contains one bell, and is detached about five feet from the church, on the south side of the west end. It has small windows with trefoil heads; and its eastern side is flat in the lower part, and has a large round-headed recessed arch with plain Norman imposts, which has evidently been the tower arch of a previous church.

The chancel is Transitional-Norman, and has two lancet windows at the east end, and a blocked-up Norman doorway on the north side. The nave has two small Norman windows near the west end, but the west window is Decorated, and the other windows are late and modernised. It has two Norman doorways; that on the south side is of a curious transitional-Norman character, having a stilted horse-shoe arch, under which is a pointed one, ornamented with zigzags, and under this again the round arch of the door with shafts in the jambs, having sculptured capitals. The south porch is Decorated. In the south wall long-and-short work is introduced to strengthen the flint work, and the lancet windows at the east end have similiar work in their jambs. The font is late Norman, enriched with sculptured foliage. The whole church was restored in 1881.

Lord Hastings is patron of the rectory, which is valued in the King's Book at £12, and consolidated with East Barsham. (See p.140.) Here are 59A. 3R. of glebe.

The School was erected in 1865 by the lord of the manor.

The Fuel Allotment, awarded in 1806, is 17 acres. The poor have also two cottages, and 8A. 3R. 5P. of land, let for £19, and derived from the bequests of J. Chappell and other donors. Here was a house of lepers, founded in 1638.

The Primitive Methodist Chapel was built in 1860.

WALL LETTER-BOX, cleared at 4 p.m., viâ Fakenham, which is the nearest Money Order Office.

Adams Edward Barratt
miller (Gt Snoring)
Bowder William
Colman John
victualler, The Green Man
Cooper Joseph
parish clerk
Hall James
Hall Mrs Maria
victualler, The Bell
Hill Charles
Jackson James
Martin Rev. Wm.
Rector, & of East Barsham
Nickalls Fredk.
wheelwright & blacksmith
Ostler William
Parker Thomas
Sheringham Edward
Tuddenham John
farmer & shopkeeper
Turner James

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Find your ancestors in Norfolk Parish Registers and Records for Norfolk Ancestors and Genealogy for Norfolk The Family Trees of Norfolk Church Records of Gt & Lt Snoring Norfolk Great Snoring Memorial Inscriptions


The Snoring Villages: a website for those researching their family trees, and for anybody curious about the history and whereabouts of these two small villages in Norfolk, UK.

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