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 1916

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 tablet to the Rev. Christopher Stannard B.D. rector from 1831: the church was restored in 1898 at a cost of about £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 £315 with 48 acres of glebe and residence at each place, in the gift of St. John’s College, Cambridge, and held since 1903 by the Rev. Alfred Leedes Hunt M.A. of that college, rural dean of Walsingham.

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 1853, and its elaborate south front in part restored. John Pearson, Bishop of Chester, 1673-86, and author of the well-known "Exposition of the Creed", was born here 28 Feb. 1612-13, his father, Robert Pearson, being then rector. There is a Primitive Methodist chapel.

The charities comprise Pearson’s and West’s, the rental of about 7 acres of land, now (1916) producing £10 15s. which is distributed in money, and Alvis’s of £5 4s. 8d. per annum. Messrs. Paine and Brettell, of Chertsey, Surrey, who are lords of the manor, Henry Lee Warner esq. of Walsingham Abbey, the Rev. James Lee Warner M.A. J.P. and the trustees of the Walsingham School Farm are the principal landowners.

The soil is mixed; subsoil, clay. The land is cultivated on the usual four-course system. The area is 1,638 acres; rateable value, £2,127; the population in 1911 was 484, inclusive of the 10 officers and 107 inmates of the Walsingham Poor Law Institution in the civil and 712 in the eclesiastical parish.

Parish Clerk, William Francis.

Post Office.—Henry Green, sub-postmaster. Letters are received through Fakenham at 7.45 a.m. & 5.15 p.m. to callers. Box closed at 8.10 a.m. & 5.15 p.m.; no sunday delivery. Walsingham, 2 miles distant, is the nearest money order & telegraph office

Public Elementary School (mixed), erected in 1859, for 115 children; average attendance, 74; Harry Green, master


The parishes in the District are the same as in the Union, with the exception of Wells. The area is 79,996 acres; the population in. 1911 was 17,248.

Council meets at the Poor Law Institution, Great Snoring, every board day at 12 noon.
Chairman, James Philip Case Binham, Wighton.


  • Clerk, Robert Symonds Butcher, Swan st. Fakenham
  • Treasurer, Col. C. D. Seymour, Barclay & Company’s Bank Limited, Fakenham
  • Medical Officer of Health, William Henry Fisher M.A., M.B., B.C.Camb. Wells road, Fakenham
  • Highway Surveyor, R. Cannan, The Heath, Fakenham
  • Sanitary Inspector, William O. Humphery, Fakenham


Board day, alternate wednesdays, 10 a.m. at the Poor Law Institution, Great Snoring.

The Union comprises the following places:—Alethorpe, Bale or Bathley, Barney, Barsham (East), Barsham (North), Barsham (West), Binham, Blakeney, Briningham, Brinton, Cockthorpe, Dunton-cum-Doughton, Egmere, Fakenham (or Fakenham Lancaster), Field Dalling, Fulmodestone-cum-Croxton, Gunthorpe, Helhoughton, Hampton, Hindringham, Holkham. Houghton St. Giles, Kettlestone, Langham, Melton Constable, Morston, Pensthorpe, Pudding Norton, Quarles, Raynham (East) or Raynham St. Mary, Raynham (South) or Raynham St. Martin, Raynham (West) or Raynham St. Margaret, Ryburgh (Great), Ryburgh (Little), Saxlingham, Sculthorpe, Sharrington, Shereford, Snoring (Great), Snoring (Little), Stibbard, Stiffkey, Swanton Novers, Tatterford, Tattersett, Testerton, Thursford, Toftrees, Walsingham (Great), Walsingham (Little), Warham All Saints, Warham St. Mary, Wells-next-the-Sea, Wighton & Wiveton. The population of the union in 1911 was 19,815 [transcriber's note: this figure is shown as 19,813 in the 1912 edition]; area, 82,666 acres; rateable value, Lady Day, 1916, £110,864

  • Chairman, James P. Case, Binham, Wighton
  • Clerk to the Guardians & Assessment Committee, Robt., Symonds Butcher, Swan street, Fakenham
  • Treasurer, Col. C. D. Seymour. Barclay & Company’s Bank Limited, Fakenham
  • Relieving & Vaccination Officers, Fakenham district, M. G. Horobin;
  • Wells district, Charles Copeland, Wells-next-the-Sea
  • Vaccination Officer, Walsingham sub-district, Harry Cowburn, High Street, Little Walsingham

Medical Officers & Public Vaccinators

  • Blakeney district, Alfred Reginald Kay M.R.C.S.Eng., L.R.C.P.Lond.
  • Blakeney; Fakenham district, Edward Watson Palin M.A., M.B., B.C.Oxon. The Oaks, Fakenham;
  • Melton Constable district, Henry Finch Skrimshire, Holt;
  • Raynham district, Howard Francis Warner M.B., B.S. Lond., M.R.C.S.Eng., L.R.C.P.Lond. Market place, Fakenham;
  • Walsingham district, Frederic Herbert Sturdee F.R.C.S.Edin., L.R.C.P.Lond. Knight street, Little Walsingham;
  • Wells district, Gordon Calthrop M.B., B.C.Camb. Burnt street, Wells

Walsingham Poor Law Institution, a structure of brick, was erected in 1837 & will hold 200 inmates; Rev. Edward Haversham Whall M.A. chaplain; Frederic Herbert Sturdee F.R.C.S.Edin., M.R.C.S.Eng., L.R.C.P.Lond. medical officer; F. Benthame, master; Mrs. Benthame, matron


  • Superintendent Registrar, John A. Stoughton, Bridge street, Fakenham;
  • deputy, Richard S. Utting, Market Place, Fakenham

Registrar of Births & Deaths

  • Fakenham sub-district, Albt. George Utting, Post Office street. Fakenham;
  • deputy, H. Priest, Oak street, Fakenham;
  • Walsingham sub-district, Harry Cowburn, High st. Little Walsingham;
  • deputy, E. W. Battle, High street, Little Walsingham;
  • Wells sub-district, Headley Chas. Copeland, Wells-next-the-Sea

Registrars of Marriages

  • R. J. Sidney, Hill terrace, Fakenham;
  • deputy, George Bales, Sculthorpe road, Fakenham; William Flaxman, Church plain, Wells;
  • deputy, Edward John Richford, Wells-next-the-Sea


Cuppage Mrs. The Cottage
Hunt Rev. Alfred Leedes M.A. (rector & rural dean), The Rectory

Base Edward A.
Benstead Herbert Leslie
Bushell Wm.
thrashing machine maker
Dalton Herbert William
Docking Charles
Green Harry
assistant overseer & schoolmaster
Green Henry
post office, & carpenter
Grymer James, (Guymer?)
beer retailer
Howlett Alfred
Howlett Sampson
van, & wagon builder
Kendle Robert
Limbrick George Sydney
Tuns P.H.
Massingham William
well sinker
Perowne Benjamin Cubitt
(exors. of), farmers
Plane Edward
boot & shoe maker
Southgate Walter
Tuck Mary Ann (Mrs.)
Youngman William
horse trainer

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 tbe County, Gallow hundred and petty sessional division Walsingham union and county court district, rural deanery of Burnham, Lynn 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 at 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 1916 by the Rev. Charles Edward Osbourne Griffith M. A. of Magdalan Colledge, Oxford, who resides at East Barsham. Here is a Primitive Methodist chapel.

The Norfolk Agricultural Station was instituted in 1908 for the purpose of experimental agricultural work, which is carried on in connection with the Cambridge University School of Agriculture, under the superintendence of Professor T. B. Wood; the farm of about 130 acres is let rent free by Lord Hastings; the president is I. Sancroft Holmes esq.; Lord Hastings, chairman of the executive committee, and J. B. Forrester esq. hon. secretary. The poor have the rent of 8a. 3r. 5p. of land, now (1916) let in half-acre allotments, producing about £1 5s. per acre, and also 17 acres, let for about £5 per year. Lord Hastings, who is lord of the manor, Charles Scott-Chad esq. J. P. the chief landowner.

The soil is various; subsoil, clay. The land is cultivated on the usual four-course system. The area is 1,528 acres; rateable value, £1,431; the population in 1911 was 208.

Parish Clerk, James Harvey.

Post Office.—Walter Bugdale, sub-postmaster. Letters received through Fakenham, arrive at 7.25 a.m. & 5.35 p.m.; dispatched at 7.20 a.m. & 5.30 p.m.; no sunday delivery. Fakenham, 3 miles distant, is the nearest money order & telegraph office

Public Elementary School (mixed), built in 1865, for 83 children; average attendance, 67; Arthur William Baldwin, master

Baldwin Arthur William
schoolmaster & assistant overseer
Buckingham George
gamekeeper to Capt. A. E. Butter C.M.G
Bugdale James
Miss Bessie J. Smith, foster mother
Children's Home (Walsingham Union), Red House
Daplyn Arthur A.
blacksmith & assistant overseer for Alethorpe, Barney, Kettlestone, Pensthorpe & Stibbard; & at Thursford
Docking William
miller (wind)
Gidney Charles
Gidney Chalres, jun
beer seller
Harvey John & Dennis
Long Thomas
Bell Public House
Alfred C. Dawson
Norfolk Agricultural Station (, resident manager)
Parker Arthur
shoe maker
Rook Jonathan
farmer & pig dealer
Sherringham Edwd.
farmer, Church fm
Tuddenham Albert
Whithead Harold 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.

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