White’s Bungay 1855
Bungay, a well-built market town in two parishes, and Duke of Norfolk's Liberty, is pleasantly situated on an etc: skirted on the east and west by the navigable river Wavenev, which divides it from Norfolk, and is here crossed by two good bridges by a circuitous reach in the form of a horse shoe, nearly encompasses a fertile common called Outney, on the north side of the town. It is distant 40 miles N.N.E. of Ipswich, 40 miles N.E. by St. Edmund's, 14 miles S.S.E. of Norwich, 20 miles S.W. Yarmouth, 6 miles W of Beccles, 16 miles W. of Lowestoft 9 miles N. of Halesworth, and 100 miles N.E. by N. of London. There is to be a STATION on the north side of the town on the Waveney Va11ey Railway, which is now forming, and will extend from the Eastern Union Railway at Tivetshall to Harleston, Bungay and Beccles, where it will join the line to Halesworth, etc. The Waveney is navigable to Bungay for barges from Yarmouth, and connectsit with the Norwich and Lowestoft Navigation. It enjoys considerable traffic in con, malt, flour, coals etc. It was formerly noted for the manufacture of knitted worsted stockings and " Suffolk hempen cloth," but these trades are now obsolete. In Ditchingham, a suburb on the Norfolk side of the river, is a large silk mill, erected in 1832, and employed in the manufacture of crape and fancy fabrics, by Messrs. Grout and Co., of Norwich and Yarmouth, who employ here 520, and at the other two places about 1700 hands. In thetown is a paper mill, and the extensive printing office and sterotype foundry of Messrs. Childs and Son, established in 1795, by Mr. Charles Brightly, who was joined in business by Mr.J.R.Childs in 1805, and for many years they were among the largest printers and publishers of periodical works in the kingdom. The present proprietors are now chiefly printers for London and other publishers, and their stock of stereotype plates is said to weigh 300 tons. The market, held every Thursday, is a considerable corn market; and here are two large annual fairs for cattle, horses, etc.on the 74th of May and the 25th of September. On Sept. 26th, here is also a hiring for servants. The Theatre has been converted into a Corn Hall. The Market place is lined with good shops, inns, etc. and has an octangular Butter Cross, built in 1690, and covered with a leaded dome, surmounted by a fine figure of justice. Here was another market cross, called the Corn Cross, but it was taken down in 1810. The Market place occupies a gentle rising ground, nearly in the centre of the town, and the streets which diverge from it to the principal roads, are spacious and well-paved, and are lighted with gas from works which were erected by Mr. Malam in 1837, and now belong to Mr. Samuel Brown, of Birmingham. Petty Sessions are held by the County Magistrates every Thursday, at the King’s Head. Mr. Henry Bellman is clerk to the magistrates. Here is a Police Station, with an inspector (J. Gobbett) and two men. Bungay is in Beccles County Court District. The inhabitants are amply supplied with excellent water from numerous springs, some of which are said to possess medicinal properties; and the houses have generally a modern appearance, nearly all of them having been built since March 1st, 1688, when a fire broke out in an uninhabited dwelling, and spread with such rapidity that the whole town, with the exception of one small street and a few detached houses, was reduced to ashes in the space of a few hours. The property destroyed by this conflagration was valued at about £30,000, and comprised 190 dwelling-houses, one of the churches, the free-school, three almshouses, two ancient market various other buildings. A "Brief" to beg money for the sufferers at the churches and from door to door, was granted by William and Mary. The original Brief, engrossed on parchment, is now in the possession of J. B. Scott, Esq.

The two parishes of Bungay Holy Trinity and St.Mary, comprise 2090 acres of land, and their population amounted to 2349 souls in 1801. 2828 in 1811; 3220, in 182l; 3734, in 1831; and to 4109, in 1841; but they had decreased to 3841 in 1851. Of these contents, 758 acres and 1980 souls are in St. Mary’s parish and 1332 acres and 1861 souls in Holy Trinity parish. In 1851, the number of houses in the two parishes was 907, of which 53 were empty and two building when the census was taken. The boundaries of the two parishes were formerly very intricate, but about 12 years ago they were clearly defined by commissioners under the tithe commutation act, as those between Mettingham and Bungay were in 1814 under an enclosure act. OUTNEY COMMON, a fine pasture of about 402 acres, is extra parochial, and is skirted on the south of the town, and on its other sides by the river Waveney. It is under the management common-reeves, appointed by the owners of the "beast-goings," or common-rights, of which it is restrictd to about 150, each having pasturage for two head of cattle, and formerly attached to the different properties of the two parishes: but, being freehold, part of them have been sold to non-residents, who, as well as the resident owners, can either let them or occupy themselves. Six of these “goings”, let for about £14 a year, are held by feoffees, as part of the Town Lands, to which trust there also belong ”two goings” STOW FEN, another extra-parochial common, on the south side of the town, comprising 88 acres, under he management of fen reeves. The banks of the Waveney, which sweeps in the form of a horse shoe round Outney common, afford delightful promenades; and on the Norfolk side of the river is a remarkable cold bath, enclosed by a dilapidated building, erected in 1729, and supplied by a spring issuing from the foot of a lofty and abrupt acclivity. On the north side of the town are traces of a Roman Dyke, extending east and west to the bends of the river, and affording in former times, the means of completing insulating Outney common. About 98 acres of land, near the Roman road, called Stone street, about 4 miles S. of Bungay is a detached member of Holy Trinity parish. The Duke of Norfolk is lord of the manors of Bungay Burgh, Bungay Priory, and Bungay Soke, but part of Holy Trinity parish is in the manor of Ilketshall Bardolph, of which Sir. William Wyndham Dalling,Bart. is lord.The soil belongs to various free and copyholders, and the latter are subject to arbitary fines. Bungay ws anciently described as Bungay Burgh and Boyscott, meaning the town and hamlet, without any reference to the two parishes, and it is still so treated by the Crown in the collection of the land tax.

Stow park is pleasantly situated on an eminence, nearly a mile S. of Bungay, and is the seat of Alfred Hughes, esq. The house stands near the site of an ancient chapel of the 12th or 13th century, some remains of which have lately dug up. East of the town, on the Beccles road, is Duke’s Bridge which crosses a small rivulet near Duke’s Bridge House, the residence of Mrs.Barlee, who has an estate here. St. Mary’s House, formerly called The Grove, is a handsome new mansion, and is the seat of Wm. Hartcup, Esq. and distant one mile S. of the town. Among the principal owners of the soil are Sir E.C.Kerrison, Lady Beresford, Capt. Margitson, Mrs Denny, W. Hartcup, J.B.Scott, A.Hughes, P.Walker and B. Moyes, Esqrs; Mr.R.Burtsal and the Rev.C.Fisher. The Uplands occupy a bold elevation, one and a half miles S. of the town. Courts Leet and Baron, for the
Duke of Norfolk’s three manors, are held generally twice a year, before J. Muskett, Esq., the steward, who resides at Bury St. Edmund's.

In ancient times, the Waveney was a much broader stream than it is now and Bungay was called Le-Bon-Eye, or the good island, being then nearly encompassed with water, as it still is on three sides. It was granted, with 116 other manors, by William the Conqueror,to Roger Bigod, who was afterwards created Earl of Norfolk, and is supposed to have built BUNGAY CASTLE, which, from its commanding situation, on a bold eminence overlooking the river Waveney, and the great strengthof its fortifications, was boasted of by Hugh, the next Earl, as being impregnable; but in 1140, it was stormed and taken by King Stephen, though the refractory Earl had said, “ Were I in my Castle of Bungay, upon the waters of Waveney, I would not set a button by the King of Cockney." It was however, soon afterwards restored to the Earl, who was obliged to surrender it to Henry II., in 1155, but had it restored to him again in 1163. This Earl, espoused the cause of the rebellious sons of Henry II, in 1173; and his castles at Ipswich, Framlingham, and Walton, being taken by the king's forces, he purchased the royalpardon by humble submission, and a fine of one thousand marks. His Castle at Bungay, (as well as his other strong-holds,) was demolished by order of the king, and on its site was erected a mansion which, in the 22nd of Edward I., Roger Bigod, Earl of Norfolk and Earl Marshal of England obtained permission to embattle. In 1348, Joan, daughter of Alicede Montacute, and granddaughter of Thomas de Brotherton, Earl of Norfok was born here. The form of the Castle appears to have been octangular. The ruins of two round portal towers and portions of the west and south-west angles are still standing, as also are three sides of the great tower or keep, the walls of which are from 7 to 11 feet thick, and from 15 to 17feet high. In the midst of the ruins, on what is called the terrace is a mineral spring, now disused, and near it is a vault or dungeon of considerable depth, descended by a sort of stone chimney. Detached portions of the walls and their foundations are spread in all directions in the castle grounds, a ridge of which, about forty yards long, forms the southern boundary of a bowling green, which commands delightful prospects. The mounds of earth, raised for the defence of the castle, still retain much of their original character, though considerably reduced in height. One of them, facing the south, was partly removed in 1840, with the intention of forming a cattle market. The Castle Gardens, etc., form a beautiful place of recreation, attached to the King's Head inn. At Earsham, on the Norfolk side of the river, nearly opposite the castle, some tumuli and traces of a Danish camp were removed about thirty years ago. Near St. Mary's Church, are the ruins of a Priory of Benedictine Nuns, some portion of which, facing Olland street, were taken down in 1843, and the space which they occupied added to the churchyard, together with the site of the old parsonage house and garden. This nunnery was founded in 1160, by Roger de Glanville, and his wife, the Countess Gundreda, in honour of God, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the Holy Cross. At the dissolution it had a prioress and eleven nuns, and was valued at £62. 2s. 1d. Its site and possessions were granted by Henry VIII., to Thomas Duke of Norfolk. A silver seal is extant of "Marie de Huntingfeld," who was prioress here, in the year 1200. Upon another seal of the nunnery, dated 1360, the town is called BVNGEYA. The records of the castle and nunnery are supposed to have been destroyed by the great fire already noticed. The Almshouse,in Olland street, which escaped the flames of this conflagration, is supposed to have been an Infirmary, attached to the nunnery. At the bottom of its windows are some curious carvings, of the time of Elizabeth. In the town is the figure of a crusader, carved in wood, supposed to have been removed from this house, and to represent Ranulph Glanville, who accompanied Richard I. to the holy wars, and was present at the siege of Acre. About thirty years ago, an earthen pot containing several hundred Roman brass-coins, was ploughed up on the Norfolk side of the Waveney, opposite Outney common. Some of these are now in the possession of Mr.G.B.Baker, who has also a tournament spur, of the time of Edward III, other antiquities, among which is half of a chimney-piece, removed from the last named house, and curiously inlaid with wood of various shades, representing a court-yard with embattled buildings, and bearing the arms of Bedingfeld, and the date 1572. A silver penny, of Offa, King of Mercia was found here, some years ago. In 1826, Mr.T.Utting, on removing some of the walls of the castle, which had fallen into his garden, found a rude leaden seal, inscribed "S.G.ROB. BLOKOO;" and in the following year, Mrs. Barlee found in her garden, at Duke's Bridge House, a coin of Gordianus Pius, who was killed in A.D. 224; and not far from the same spot was found, in 1840, the skeleton of a man embedded in clay. In monastic times, there were in the town two crosses, one on the site of the Pound, and the other on the site of the Independent chapel. The land called Ollands, is described in a deed of the time of Edward III., s the " Campo de Ilketshale." Less than a century ago, Bungay was the residence of several families who kept their carriages, and was sgay a place that its balls were considered next in gentility to those of Bury, and it was designated "Little London."

The two PARISH CHURCHES of Holy Trinity and St. Mary, and another church dedicated to St. Thomas, and appropriated to the nunnery, are supposed to have been formerly enclosed in one extensive churchyard. The latter was in use after 1500, but no traces of it now remain. Here was also a chapel, dedicated to St. Mary Magdalen, which stood on the site of a house on the Flixton road, and was probably attached to the Hospital of St. John, which stood near it, and is mentioned in several old deeds and in the Duke of Norfolk's court books, though nothing is known of its originas or dissolution. Human bones have often been found near the site of the chapel, and also in Trinity street, between the two parish churches, where there was formerly only a footpath. HOLY TRINITY CHURCH is a small ancient edifice with a fine round tower, on the top of which are battlements, and several shields, bearing the arms of Thos. de Brotherton, Earl of Norfolk, and son of Edward I., and the Montacute, Bigod, Beachamp and other families. It contains a brass plate in memory of Margaret Dallinger, who was prioress here; and some of the antique carved ends of its former benches still remain. In 1852, all the old pews were removed and replaced by open benches, except Mrs. Barlee's pew, which still remains.Among its monuments is a handsome one in memory of the Rev. Thomas Wilson,a late learned pious vicar, who died in 1774. This church was appropriated to Barlings Abbey, in Lincolnshire, and after the dissolution to the See of Ely. The vicarage, valued in K.B. at £8. 5d., and in 1835, £256, has a good residence and a few acres of glebe. The Bishop of Norwich is patron, and the Rev. Thos Collyer, of Gislingham Rectory, is the incumbent, and holds on lease the rectorial tithes, which are in the appropriation of the Bishop of Ely. The Bishop's tithes have been commuted for £242. lls. 6d.; the other great tithes for £29. 12s. 10d., and the Vicar’s tithes for £75. 2s. 8d. per annum. The Rev. H. T. Deacle is the curate, and resides at the vicarage. Mr. Jph. Cattermole is the parish clerk A large NEW CEMETERY is about to be provided by the Burial Board of Holy Trinity parish. It will have two small chapels, and occupy about two acres of land, half which will be consecrated. ST. MARY'S CHURCHis a large and handsome structure, with a lofty tower containing eight bells, a clock and chimes. It is of flint and free-stone, and was reduced to a ruinous shell, some interesting portions of which still remain ,at the east end; the original fabric being much larger than the present one. The old steeple was struck by lightning in 1577, and two men were killed in the belfry. The roof is supported by light and elegant pillars, and the interior was repewed about fifteen years ago, when 245 additional sittings were provided, and 125 of them appropriated for the free use of the poor. In 1850, the windows in the South aisle were lengthened six feet at the bottom. The benefice is a perpetual curacy, valued in 1835 at £115, and having a commodious parsonage house, in the precincts of the nunnery. The Duke of Norfolk is patron and impropriator, and the Rev. Wm.Hy. Glover is the incumbent. Mr. John Brown is the organist, and Mr.Wm. Adams, clerk. The tithes of the two parishes were commuted in 1843. In the town are three neat CHAPELS of white brick, one belonging to the Independents, erected in 1776, and enlarged in 1811; one to the Wesleyans, erected in 1836, and the other to the Roman Catholics, built about thirty years ago, and having a house erected twenty years ago, for the use of the priest. The Baptists have a small chapel here, opened in 1851. Religious and Charitable Institutions, for the relief and instruction of the poor, are as numerous and liberally supported in Bungay as in most other places of the same magnitude: and the town enjoys the benefit of an endowed Grammar School, a number of Almshouses, and various trust estates for the poor, and the general benefit of the parishioners.

The Town Lands and Premises comprise several tenements, and upwards of 160 acres of land, in Bungay, Hempnall, Earsham, and other adjacent parishes, let at rents amounting to about £360 per anuum, and vested with feoffees and the town-reeve, partly in trust for the common benefit of the town, and partly for the support of particular charities mentioned below. The oldest trust deed relating to these lands, which a now extant,is dated 1639; and the last conveyance in trust was by deeds of Dec 1st and 2nd, 1809. The rents are collected by the clerk to the feoffees, and the accounts relating to the trust are settled annually in December, at a meeting of the feoffees and town-reeve. Pearce Walker, Esq., is town-reeve for 1854; and among the other feoffees are J. B. Scott,and R. and W. Mann and B. Burtsal, Esqrs.,and several non-residents. Among their principal disbursements in 1853 were £42 to the organist of St. Mary’s; £50 towards refitting Trinity Church;£26. 17s. for repairs at the Grammar School. £16 fo repairs at Almshouses; £40 towards draining and paving the town; £62 for lighting the streets, and £10 to the National and British schools.

GRAMMAR SCHOOL.-In the 34th of Elizabeth, THOS. Popeson, A .M., schoolmaster, at Bungay, granted to the master, fellows, and scholars of Emanuel College, Cambridge, a yearly rent charge of £6 towards the augmentation of the ten scholarships in that college, founded by Sir Walter Mildmay, for boys from Bungay school. At the same time, the feoffees of town lands gave an annuity of £6 for the same purpose. By another indenture in the same year, reciting that the said Thomas Popeson and the feoffees of the town lands had made, and meant further to make, provision for the perpetuity of a free grammar school in Bungay,-the said Thomas Popeson conveyed to the feoffees his messuages, lands, and premises, for the use and support of the free grammar school, except one of the houses which was then and was to be continued an almshouse for four impotent widows of St. Mary's parish; and except the yearly rent-charge of £6. given out of the same premises for augmenting the ten scholarships, a above named. Of the property settled by Popeson, some part appears to have been sold for the redemption of the land tax on the town lands; and the remainder, except the almshouse, is let far about £14 a year, which is added to the general account of the town feoffees. In 1728, Henry Williams, for the better support of a schoolmaster at Bungay, for instructing youth in the rudiments of good learning, granted to J. Bedingfeid, C. Garneys other trustees, the perpetual advowson of the vicarage of Ilketshall St. Andrew, upon trust that they and their heirs, etc., would present the same to the schoolmaster of Bungay. In 1728, Robert Scales devised his estate at or near Ilketshall St. Lawrence, to trustees, upon trust that, if the schoolmaster of Bungay should be a minister of the Church of England, and should read, or cause to be read, divine service at the church of St. Mary, every Wednesday and Friday, and also teach so many poor boys as the trustees should appoint, the clear rents and profits of the estate should be paid to him yearly. This estate was conveyed to 33 new trustees,1809,and consists of a farm of 33A., let for £15 a year, which is paid to the deputy master, (the Rev. Fredk. Barkway,) who performs the duties of the school for the Rev. John Gilbert, M.A., who was appointed master of the school by the Master and Fellows of Emanuel College, and was presented in consequence to the vicarage of Ilketshall St. Andrew, pursuant to the bequest of Henry Williams. The deputy master occupies the school premises, which are large and old, and are repaired by the town feoffees, who also pay the parochial charges thereon. The school is free for ten boys of Bungay, for instruction in the classics, but they are each charged two guineas a year for instruction in English, writing, and arithmetic. If the Master and Fellows of Emanuel College neglect to appoint a master for four months after a vacancy, the nomination for that time is in the feoffees of the town lands, who have the power to remove the master for misbehaviour or neglect. The free scholars are admitted on application to the town-reeve. Inconsequence of the smallness of their endowment, the ten scholarships noticed above have been reduced to four.

The NATIONAL SCHOOLS, adjoining the common, form a handsome building, erected in 1834 at the cost of £367, and are attended by about 110 boys,6O girls, and 80 infants. Here is a large school connected with the British and Foreign School Society, erected in 1835, for 150 boys and 80 girls, but attended only by about 60 of either sex. A BOOK CLUB has existed here since 1770, and meets at the King's Head. There is a News Room at Mrs. Doughton’s in Earsham street; and a Public Library Reading Rooms, in Bridge street, recently established by a large number of benefitted and honorary subscribers. Mr. G. Richardson is the secretary, and Mr.H.. Brown, librarian. At the Three Tuns Inn are neat and comodious Assembly Rooms. Concerts, lectures, etc., are held at the Corn Hall, which was formerly a theatre. RACES are held yearly in September, when there are usually concerts, with other entertainments and fire works at the Castle Gardens, attached to the King's Head Inn.

Thomas Wingfield, in 1593, left £170 to be laid out in lands to be vested in trust, that the rents and profits thereof might be applied mostly to the relief of the poor, and partly towards the support of two poor scholars in Cambridge, and for other uses. This £170, with £20 given by the inhabitants, was laid out in the purchase of 9A. of land in Bungay, let for a £24year; and 8A.2R.14P, at Iketshall St. John's, let for £11. The latter has for a long period been attached as part of the Town Lands. Out of the former, about £18 is distributed yearly among the poor of the two parishes of Bungay; and 10s is paid for a sermon 10s. for the entertainment of the trustees, and 20s. towards the support of a Sunday School; no part of the income having for a long period been applied to the support of students at the University. In 1712, HENRY WEBSTER left an acre of land at Ditchingham, and the sum of £20, to provide for the instruction of poor children in reading and writing. The £20 was laid out in the purchase,of an acre of land, at Earsham. At the enclosure of Ditchingham and Earsham, allotments were awarded in lieu both of the charity lands and of lands in each parish belonging to the churchwardens of St. Mary, in Bungay. These allotments are thrown together, and let for £25 a year, of which £6 is appropriated to Webster's charity, and is paid to the funds of the National Schools. From Henry Smith's Charity, for the benefit of the poor of several parishes, Bungay receives about £36 yearly, which is distributed in bread during winter, among poor persons not receiving parochial relief. ST. MARY'S Parish has church land producing about £20 a year, as noticed above, with Webster's charity. In 1730 Thos.Bransby left a yearly rent charge of £5 out of his estates at Shottisham, in Norfolk, to be distributed among the poor of Bungay St. Mary, on Christmas day. The Church Estate, which has been vested from time immemorial with the churchwardens of Holy Trinity parish, comprises 4A. of land in Mettingham Meadow, and an allotment of nearly one acre on Mettingham Green, let for £9 a year; and an annuity of 20s;, out of Nettlehome Meadow. The rents are applied in the reparation of the church. In 1577, Christiana Wharton left her five Almhouses, in Holy Trinity parish, in trust, to permit five well-disposed poor persons to dwell therein, rent free. They are occupied by five poor widows, placed in them by the churchwardens.In 1780, certain land, and a tenement and shop, then producing £3.12s. a year, were held for the benefit of the poor of Holy Trinity parish, and stated to have been given by persons named Duke and Richer, but they have for many years been unknown, and may perhaps be included in the property appropriated to the service of the church.

Here are two Clothing Societies, a Lying-in Charity, and a Dispensary. The latter was established in 1828, and is liberally supported by subscription. Messrs.C.Garneys, E.B. Adams, and C.W.Currie are the surgeons,and the Rev.F.Barkway and Mr.C.Childs, are the secretaries. The SAVINGS BANK, for Bungay and the neighbourhood, was instituted in 1818, and is open on the lst and 3rd Thursday of every month, from 11 to 1 o'clock. In Nov., 1854, its deposits amounted to £16,818, belonging to 679 persons and 19 Charitable and Friendly Societies. Mr.G.B.Baker is the secretary.

DREYER’S ALMHOUSESetc.-Thelate Mrs.Elizabeth Dreyer, who resided here in the house called Trinity Hall, erected five Almshouses in Trinity street, for the residence of five poor women, of the age of 60 years or upwards. In 1848, she endowed them with £2000 to be vested by trustees in three per cent. consols, and the dividends to be applied in repairing and insuring the houses, and in paying 5s. or more, per week to each almswoman. At her death, in 1849, she left 500 to each of the two parishes of Bungay, to be invested in the same stock, and the dividends to be applied in distributions of clothing and other necessaries among the poor.