Castle Acre is a village and parish, 117½ mlles north-east from London, 4 south-east from Swaffham station, and 30 west from Norwich, in the hundred, union and rural deanery of Freebridge Lynn, western division of the county, archdeaconry and diocese of Norwich, situated on the river Nar, navigable to Narborough only, 6 miles distant; the stream abounds in trout. The church, named St. James, is a building of the fourteenth century, in the Perpendicular style of architecture; it has nave, aisles, chancel, transept, tower with 5 bells, clock, and porch, there is a remarkable font cover, and a curious shrine. The register dates from about 1598, but is very imperfect.
The living is a vicarage, annual value £168, with three acres of glebe, in the gift of the Earl of Leicester; the Rev. John Hague Bloom, B.A., of Caius College, Cambridge, is the incumbent. There are chapels for Baptists, Wesleyans, and Primitive Methodists. There is a National school for 150 children, supported by voluntary contributions; and there is a Sunday school, held at the schoolroom, for 179 children. Fairs are held yearly on the 1st of May and the 5th of August, for toys &c. There are extensive remains of British, Roman, and Norman work, the ruins of a castle, a priory, early British earthworks, a castrum, and a fine Anglo-Saxon cemetery, rich in magnificent urns. The population in 1861 was 1,405, and the acreage is 3,249. The soil is light sandy loam; the subsoil is chalk. The Earl of Leicester is lord of the manor, lay impropriator, and chief landowner. The chief crops are wheat, barley, and turnips. There are charities of £2 10s. annual value.

Post Office: — John Harvey, receiver. Letters through Brandon, arrive at 5.45 a.m.; dispatched at 7.35 p.m. Swaffham is the nearest money order office

National School (for the three parishes of Castle Acre, South Acre & Newton), Thomas Phillips, master

Carriers : —
Betts, passes through from Lynn to Dereham & Norwich, tuesday & friday, returning monday & thursday
William Reynolds, to Swaffam, daily

Bloom Rev. John Hague, B.A. [vicar]. Vicarage

Love Joshua, esq

Young Misses


Abbott Stephen, farmer, Wicken farm

Betts John, grocer & draper

Bitten William, baker & miller

Bowers John, wheelwright

Bush Francis, plumber

Cann Charles, news agent & shopkeepr

Cann Robert, basket maker

Codling William, basket maker

Comer Isaac, grocer & draper

Comer William, chemist & druggist

Cresswell Edward, beer retailer

Eglen William, shoe maker

Elvin Benjamin, iron founder

Goate George, shoe maker

Gooderson William, Rising Sun

Goatling Edward, butcher

Harrison William, Foresters’ Arms

Harvey John, grocer & draper

High Edward, blacksmith

Hook Samuel, Ship

Howard Thomas, shoe maker

Hudson John, farmer

Hudson Thomas Moore, farmer

Isbills Thomas, Ostrich, & farmer

Kettle James, shopkeeper

Kidall Samuel, saddler & harness maker

Kidall Sarah Ann (Miss), dress maker

Love Joshua, surgeon

Manning William, joiner

Moy Richard, baker

Nicholds Thomas, butcher

Nicholds William, Red Lion

Pollard Henry, baker & shopkeeper

Preston Thomas, cooper

Raven Henry, baker

Roper Richard, baker

Rose Thomas, saddler &c

Sculpher Robert, shoe maker

Shilling William, shoe maker

Spooner William, chimney sweeper

Taylor George, blacksmith

Taylor George, miller

Taylor Henry, grocer & stationer

Taylor Richard, tanner & fellmonger

Taylor Susan (Mrs.), baker

Taylor Thomas, baker

Tipple George, chimney sweeper

Wales John, butcher

Wales Maria (Mrs.), Dun Cow

Whiskerd Henry, farmer

Whiskerd Henry, pork butcher

Whiskerd John, thatcher & shopkeeper

Whiskerd Robert, carpenter

Whiskerd Samuel, bricklayer

Winkfield Thomas, bricklayer

Wright Michael, pig dealer

Source: Post Office Directory of Norfolk & Suffolk; Kelly & Co.; London; 1865.

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