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 1900

GREAT SNORING is a parish and village on the river Stiffkey and on the road from Fakenham to Wells, and about 3 1/2 miles north-by-east from Fakenham station on the Midland and Great Northern joint railway, and 2 south from Walsingham station on the Dereham and Wells section of the Great Eastern railway, in the Northern division of the county, North Greenhoe hundred and petty sessional division, Walsingham union and county court district, rural deanery of Walsingham, archdeaconry of Lynn, and diocese of Norwich.

The church of St. Mary the Virgin is an ancient building of flint and stone in the Decorated style, consisting of chancel, nave, south aisle, south porch and a fine embattled western tower containing one bell: the interior retains some stone stalls, several monuments, and a mural tabet to the Rev. Christopher Stannard B.D. rector from 1831: the church was restored in 1898 at a cost of ahout £800, and now affords 200 sittings. The register dates from the year 1560.

The living is a rectory with that of Thursford annexed, joint net yearly value £448, with 16 acres of glebe, and residence at each place, in the gift of St. John’s College, Cambridge, and held since 1896 by the Rev. Richard Polgreen Roseveare M.A. of that college.

The rectory house, a fine specimen of ornamental brickwork, was built by Sir Ralph Shelton kt. and considerably enlarged and beautified by a former rector in 1833, and its elaborate south front in part restored. There is a Primitive Methodist chapel.

The charities comprise Pearson’s and West’s, the rental of about 7 acres of land, now (1900) producing £14 yearly for bread, and Alvis’s of £5 15s. per annum. Messrs. Paine and Brettell, of Chertsey, Surrey, who are lords of the manor, the Rev. James Lee-Warner M.A. rector of Beckley, Rye, Sussex, Henry Lee-Warner esq. of Walsingham Abbey, and Joseph Stonebewer Scott-Chad esq. of Thursford Hall, are the principal landowners.

The soil is mixed; subsoil, clay. The land is cultivated on the usual four-course system. The area is 1,643 acres; rateable value, £2,062; the population in 1891 was 543, inclusive of the 135 officers and inmates of the Walsingham Union House.

Deputy Parish Clerk, John Francis.
Post Office.—Frederick Cook, sub-postmaster. Letters are received through Fakenham at 8 a.m. Box closed at 5.20 p.m. Postal orders are issued here, but not paid. The nearest money order & telegraph office is at Walsingham, 2 miles distant

Walsingham Union House, a structure of brick, was erected in 1837 and will hold 300 inmates; Rev. Edward Haversham Whall M.A. chaplain; Charles Edward Gooderson Bateman L.R.C.P.Edin., L.R.C.S.Edin. medical officer; Isaac Priest, master; Mrs. Mary Priest, matron; the boys attend the school at Great Snoring & the girls that at Thursford

Church of England School (mixed), erected in 1859, for 100 children; average attendance, 82; Harry Green, Master.

Roseveare Rev. Richd. Polgreen M.A.
Cuppage Mrs.
Rose Cottage
Adams Matilda (Mrs.)
Allen John
Bushell Wm.
machine maker & farmer
Cook William
Cook Frederick
shopkeeper & wheelwright, Post office
Green Harry
assistant overseer & schoolmaster
Hall Robt. Chas.
farmer, Wine Park Farm
Kent Harriet (Mrs.)
Massingham William
well sinker
Nobbs Henry
Unicorn Public House
Perowne Benjamin Cubitt
Plane Edward
boot & shoe maker
Ramm John
Southgate Walter
Tuck William
Youngman William
Tuns Public House

LITTLE SNORING is a parish on the road from Fakenham to Wells, about 3 miles north-east from Fakenham stations on the Great Eastern and Midland and Great Northern joint railways, in the North Western division of the county, Gallow hundred and petty sessional division, Walsingham union and county court district, rural deanery of Burnham and archdeaconry and diocese of Norwich.

The church of St. Andrew is an edifice in the Transition Norman and later styles, consisting of chancel nave, south porch and a detached round tower the west end Containing one bell: the porch is of very curious Transition Norman character, with a stilted horseshoe arch, within which is a pointed arch ornamented with zigzag work, and under this again a round headed door-way, with nook shafts and sculptured capitals: the font is Late Norman, and adorned with carved foliage: there are 200 sittings. The register dates from the year 1559.

The living is a rectory, annexed to the vicarage of East Barsham, joint net yearly value £492, including 66 acres of glebe, in the gift of Lord Hastings, and held since 1882 by the Rev. William Martin B.A. of Trinity College, Cambridge, and rural dean of Walsingham, who is also vicar of West Barsham, and resides at East Barsham. Here is a Primitive Methodist chapel.

The poor have the rent of 8a. 3r. 5p. of land, now (1900) let in half-acre allotments at £2 per acre, and also 17 acres on which to cut for fuel. Lord Hastings, who is lord of the manor, Joseph Stonehewer Scott-Chad esq. of Thursford Hall, and Messrs. H. B. Beane & Son are the chief land-owners.

The soil is various; subsoil, clay. The land is cultivated on the usual four-course system. The area is 1,528 acres; rateable value, £1,417; the population in 1891 was 260.

Parish Clerk, James Harvey.

Post Office.—James Bugdale, sub-postmaster. Letters received through Fakenham; arrive at 7.40 a.m.; dispatched at 5.30 p.m. Postal orders are issued here, but not paid. Fakenham, 4 miles distant, is the nearest money order & telegraph office

A School Board of 7 members was formed 12 Nov. 1895, for the united district of Little Snoring, Kettlestone & Alethorpe, Joseph Bushell, Thursford, clerk to the board

Board School (mixed), built in 1865, for 100 children; average attendance, 70; Arthur William Baldwin. mstr

Skilton Rev. Edward Wigram B.A. (curate in charge), The Rectory

Basham Charles
Green Man Public House
Beane Henry B.
(exors. of), farmers, Manor house
Bugdale James
grocer, Post Office
Flowerdew George
Bell Public House
Gidney Charles
gamekeeper to E.B. Spark esq
Goodman Dennis, jun.
Hall James
farmer, Jex’s farm
King George H.
Parker Thomas
shoe maker
Reeder Stephen
baker & shopkeeper
Rook Jonathan
Sherringham Edward

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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.

Contact The Snorings

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