Great Snoring, Norfolk

Updated on 29 July, 2012

Gt snoring Rectory 1937

These sections give the Economy, Property, Population and Leisure statistics for Great Snoring.

They were once contained in separate pages on the Your Archives website, but since that is closed, I thought it best to offer the information here to preserve it from being removed.

The photograph is of the front of the Manor House (The Old Rectory) of Great Snoring circa 1937


Up to and throughout the 19th Century almost the whole village worked on the land or provided basic services to the village.

Exceptions were the Perowne family who started a brickmakers in a neighbouring village before 1850 and Bushell brothers and their sons who made agricultural machines from at least the 1860s until the 1930s. On 12th April 1860 they successfully applied for a patent for their "improved agricultural machine".

The records is listed as: No 917 Jonas Bushell William Bushell Samuel Bushell Joseph Bushell and Daniel Bushell all of Great Snoring near Fakenham in the County of Norfolk for an invention for "An improved agricultural machine". Letters Patent sealed .

In 1877, George Cook, is also recorded as a machine maker in Harrods directory.


  • Bakers: Jno Plane
  • Blacksmith: Robert Girdlestone
  • Brickmaker/Bricklayer: Christopher Jackson,
  • Carpenter: George Cooke
  • Farmers: Charles Bradfield, Mary Bray, Robert Archer, T Chamberlain, Robert Elgar, Jno Francis, Jas Hall, Benjamin Perowne, Charles Southgate, Samson Southgate
  • Engineers/Machine Makers: Jonas Bushell
  • Horsebreaker: William Southgate
  • Inn Keepers: Thomas Lack, William Wright
  • Miller: Charles Southgate, William Southgate
  • Shoemaker: Robert Lack, Thomas Lack
  • Shopkeeper: Henry Savage
  • Tailor: William Hill, Isaih Stannard
  • Weelwright: David Cook


  • Bakers: Mary Ann Docking
  • Blacksmith: Isaac Tuck
  • Brickmaker/Bricklayer: Christopher Jackson, Benjamin Perowne
  • Farmers:Charles Bradfield, Thomas Chamberlain, Henry Hall, James Hall, Henry Savage, Sampson Soutgate, William Southgate
  • Engineers/Machine Makers: Jonas Bushell, George Cook
  • Horsebreaker: John Southgate, William Southgate
  • Inn Keepers: Robert Lack, Robert Southgate
  • Miller: William Southgate
  • Shopkeeper: Henry Savage, William Southgate
  • Tailor: William Hill
  • Weelwright: David Cook


  • Baker: Clement Docking
  • Blacksmith: John Ramm
  • Brickmaker: Benjamin Perowne
  • Coachbuilder: Eliza Southgate
  • Engineers/Machine Makers: Joseph & William Bushell
  • Farmers: Henry Gamble, Robert Hall, Edward Massingham, Walter Southgate
  • Horse Breakers: William Tuck
  • Inn Keepers: Eliza Southgate, William Tuck
  • Millers: Mathilda Adams, Clement Docking, George Southgate
  • Postmaster: Frederick Cook
  • Shoemaker: Edward Plane
  • Shopkeeper: James Howlett
  • Weelwright: William Cook


  • Beer Retailer:
  • Blacksmith: John Ramm
  • Carpenter: Henry Green, Robert Kendle
  • Coachbuilder: Sampson Southgate
  • Engineers / Machine Makers: William Bushell
  • Farmers: Benjamin Perowne, Walter Rasberry, Walter Southgate, Mary Ann Tuck
  • Horse Trainer: William Youngman
  • Inn Keepers: Frank Lee
  • Shoemaker: Edward Plane
  • Shopkeeper: George Cross, Robert Palmer,
  • Weelwright: Frederick Cook
  • Well Sinker: William Massingham


1597 - 1834 Poor Law

Before the 1530s monastries and religious houses, e.g. Walsingham Abbey, took primary responsibility for looking after the poor and destitute.

After the dissolution of the monastries by Thomas Cromwell each parish became responsible for their poor. The 1597 Act For the Relief of the Poor, passed in the reign of Elizabeth I, formalised this responsibility. In 1662 the Poor Relief Act, also known as the Settlement and Removal Act, established the parish to which a destitute person "belonged" and returned them to this parish under a Removal Order or Settlement Certificate.

The Norfolk Record Office contains records of the following removals and settlements for Great Snoring; the records show that the majority of removals were to and from neighbouring villages but Sarah Fidderman, (see below), was returned to Great Snoring from Sussex.

  • 1735 Bridget Parker, single woman to Great Snoring from Fakenham
  • 1739 Susanna Prior from Great Snoring to Foulsham
  • 1740 Thomas Thurston, his wife Margaret and child John, from Fakenham to Great Snoring
  • 1754 Thomas Wix and his wife Amy from Wood Norton to Great Snoring
  • 1765 Mary Williamson, singlewoman, from Barney to Great Snoring
  • 1780 Edmund Cooper and his wife Lydia, from Great Snoring to Fakenham
  • 1784 Thomas Curle and his wife Mary from Garvestone to Great Snoring
  • 1785 Elizabeth Wick, singlewoman and bastard child, Rose (aged 5), from Fakenham to Great Snoring
  • 1795 Sarah Brown, pregnant singlewoman, Great Snoring to Melton Constable
  • 1796 Elizabeth Simmons, wife of Francis, a private soldier and child, Mary (18 months) from Fakenham to GS
  • 1796 Gabriel Thompson and his wife Susanna from Great Snoring to Field Dalling.
  • 1808 Sarah Fidderman, vagrant, wife of John, a sailer, and son John from Horsham, West Sussex, to Great Snoring
  • 1815 Elizabeth Dye, singlewoman, from Great Snoring to Fakenham
  • 1821 Philip Balls, singleman, from Great Snoring to Fakenham
  • 1821 Sarah Jackson pregnant singlewoman, from Great Snoring to Barsham
  • 1822 Henry Applegate, singleman, from Great Snoring to Fakenham
  • 1824 Benjamin Bullock, labourer, Anne his wife and child, Hannah (1) from Little Snoring to Great Snoring
  • 1829 Mary Cook, singlewoman from Great Snoring to Foulsham
  • 1829 John Plane from Great Snoring to Wighton
  • 1833 John Claxton and Elizabeth Austic his wife and child, Phoebe
  • 1833 Una Worship, widow of Thomas Brinton from Great Snoring to Thursford
  • 1833 Spirah Grange, Eleanor his wife and child, Charles (13 weeks) from Little Walsingham to Great Snoring

1834 Poor Law Amendment Act

The Poor Law Amendment Act required small parishes to combine into Poor Law Unions and establish workhouses for the Union. The Act intended that support would only be given to the poor within the workhouse.

Walsingham Union Workhouse

The Walsingham Union Workhouse on the Thursford Road opened in 1838 by the Walsingham Poor Law Union in 1834 following the Poor Law Amendment Act of the same year. The land for the workhouse appears to have been purchased from the Chad family of Thursford Hall in the next village. In the mid 19th Century ~20% of the population village lived in the Workhouse. Records of the Walsingham Poor Law Union are available at the Norfolk Record Office.

The Workhouse was enlarged in 1849 to hold 350 inmates. Poor law unions were abolished in 1930 and the Workhouse was closed in 1934. The building was later used as a smallpox hospital but demolished in the 1990s.

The masters of the Union Workhouse were:

  • 1845 Robert Platten
  • 1854 Jason Ratcliffe
  • 1863 Mr Gray


By the 1860s families from the village, as from elsewhere in Norfolk following agricultural recession, had started to leave for work in either London or the North. Between 1861 and 1901 over 100,000 people born in Norfolk (over 15% of the population) left the county. Over 50% went to London, 20% to Yorkshire and near 10% to each of Lancashire and Durham.

The majority of those leaving Great Snoring (over 20 families) moved to Yorkshire where they were concentrated in 2 villages. Those moving to London were distributed across the city. The majority of those migrating to Yorkshire moved to Rawmarsh, a mining and steel making village near Rotherham, with the remaining 25% concentrated in the iron stone mining villages of Wilton, Guisbrough and Marske on the north Yorkshire moors just south of Middlesbrough.

Migration by 1861 and 1871 can be seen on these Google maps

Rawmarsh, Rotherham

  • 1861 Cook, Coulsey
  • 1871 Bray, Hall, Jackson, Parker, Shorton, Southgate, Sunonson (Simpson?), Thompson, Williamson
  • 1881 Dewing
  • 1901 Chatt, Hull, Kendal, Ram, Page, Tuck

Wilton / Marske by the Sea North Yorkshire

  • 1861 Dye, Moore, Thompson
  • 1881 Applegarth

By 1881, at least 3 families had returned from Rotherham to Great Snoring including Charles Southgate with his Yorkshire born wife Mary-Ann, George Page with his Country Durham born wife Elizabeth and Charles Simmons and his wife Maria. (See 1881/1891 census).

Property and buildings


  • 1610 Robert West Doctor of Divinity
  • 1620 Richard Flemynge Mariner
  • 1655 Thomas Wortly Yeoman
  • 1762 Rev Robert Leeke Clerk of Great Snoring parish
  • 1794 Dionisius Coe
  • 1797 Elizabeth Temple Spinster
  • 1798 John Smith Cordwainer (Maker of leather goods including shoes)
  • 1799 Thomas Raven Shopkeeper
  • 1810 Matthew Fowle Letter of administration
  • 1821 Richard Jackson Shopkeeper
  • 1826 Mary Morris Widow
  • 1831 James Fawcett Clerk/Rector of parish of Great Snoring & Thursford
  • 1845 Esther Elizabeth Jackson Widow
  • 1851 Edward Ward Jobber (a wholesaler?)

Statute Merchant & Staple

Statute Merchant allowed a creditor to seize the goods and hold the lands of a defaulting debtor until satisfaction of his debt:

1363 Walter Bret of Great Snoring owed 60 shillings to William de Horning


  • 1385 Joan Felton
  • 1430s Briston
  • 1538 Coo, Harry
  • 1610-1630 Milles Clark
  • 1670s Pyle
  • 1680s Chapman
  • 1730s Favours
  • 1730s Wright
  • 1740s Matlis
  • 1790s Fleming

Other Buildings

Great Snoring Windmill

Built in 1808, the windmill finally fell over in 1930. Multiple families appear to have been involved in working the mill as in Kelly's directory of 1892 Mathilda Adams, Clement Docking and George Southgate are all listed separately as millers. (See windmill pages)


Public Houses

1836 - 1957 Three Tuns

  • 1836 Robert Barwick
  • 1845 Violet Claxton
  • 1851 James Hull
  • 1854 William Wright
  • 1861 Robert Southgate (Post Office Directory)
  • 1891 Eliza Southgate
  • 1896 William Youngman
  • 1905 Arthur Pennell
  • 1908 John Allenden
  • 1909 Frank Willimott
  • 1912 Frank Lee (Kellys 1912)
  • 1914 George Limbrick
  • 1916 Henry Turner / Robert Lambert
  • 1941 Elizabeth Lambert
  • 1954 Herbert Minors
  • 1955 Harold Semmence

1836 - 1969 Unicorn

  • 1836 Elizabeth Noble
  • 1841 Thomas Lack (Census)
  • 1869 Robert Lack (Post Office Directory)
  • 1877 John Tuck (Harrods Directory)
  • 1883 William Tuck (Whites)
  • 1896 William Massingham


Great Snoring appears to have had a shop of some sort from before the 1790s as Thomas Raven, who died in 1799, was recorded in his will as a shop keeper.

Walsingham, which was just 2 miles away, provided by 1839 a range of shops and services including a number of tailors, grocers, drapers, cabinet makers, painters and glaziers and shoe makers plus a watch maker, a glove maker, a plumber, and a hairdresser and perfumer. (Pigots 1839).

In 1854, Henry Savage is recorded as keeping a shop in the village and William Hill and Isiah Stanford as tailors.

By 1888, dressmakers and shops have also been opened by Miss Sarah Brown and Miss Maria Savage and by Mrs Celia Bushell in addition to a shop run by James Howlett. By 1890, Miss Brown and Miss Savage's shop had disappeared, but Frederick Cook had opened an additional shop and Mrs Matilda Adams had a grocers service.

The story behind the "Tuck Shop"

When Matilda Tuck (born 1829 the elder sister of my Great-Grandmother Sarah Ann Tuck) was 11 years old she was sent out to work in a shop in the village where they lived, Little Snoring. In the 1841 census, Matilda is found working as a "servant" in the household of Edward Barrett Adams, (aged 30).

Bearing this in mind, we then see Matilda marrying William Southgate from Great Snoring. William just happens to be the brother of Charles Southgate the Miller, whose grandson was my Grandfather!! (Complicated, eh?)

Matilda and William married in 1848 and produced ten children from 1850 to 1869. One of these children was Elizabeth Southgate - the very same lady we see on the wedding photo of her son Harry Stanley Green. (See the school page for more detail.) Because Elizabeth had married Harry Green the elder, the Schoolmaster.

William inherited the mill from his father Charles, and in the 1863 town directory is said to be miller, grocer, and draper, so they were also running the local shop (in The Street.)

William then died in 1872 (perhaps worn out!).

Surprise, surprise!

In the 1875 Directory, the Shopkeeper in Gt Snoring was now Edward Barrett Adams - none other than the gentleman for whom Matilda worked back in 1841. Edward wasn't a local; he came from King's Lynn, but he already had a connection to Great Snoring - how? HE HAD ALREADY MARRIED THE AUNT OF MATILDA TUCK! Yes, he'd married another Matilda earlier, Matilda TUDDENHAM, (sister of Phoebe Tuddenham who had married John TUCK and produced little Matilda Tuck.)

In any case, on 13 May 1876, Edward Adams married again, this time to his neice, former teenage shopworker Matilda Tuck, and between them they ran the shop until Edward died in 1885. They had one child, Mary Ann Adams.

Unfortunately for this story, Mary Ann's age in the 1891 Gt Snoring Census is given as 17, which makes her birth year about 1874 (officially listed as October 1873) before Edward married Matilda. (Oops.) As it happens, this child Mary Ann wasn't baptised until 1883.

Another family coincidence

My Great Grandmother kept a notebook of the births of family members. She records Matilda's birth on June 20th at half past six at night. My own birthday is that very day!

spotSEE: Personal stories of Great Snoring and its people, including many mentioned on this website (book)

Image Gallery

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

I no longer live in Norfolk. I cannot visit graves, make local enquiries or provide contacts for you. Please be aware that I have no information other than that on this website..

Address: Derbyshire, England
Telephone: Unavailable
E-mail: tricia (at)