1816 Award Map
Article taken from "A Norfolk
Miscellany" by Major Anthony BUXTON, written in the Eastern Daily Press, 1952.
The Award Map, made in the reign of George III and
described as "An Act for enclosing and draining all lands in the Parish of Horsey", was published in the "Norwich
Mercury" and the "Norfolk Chronicle", which must have had plenty of space, for it is 44 pages long. The Parish of
Horsey comprises about 1760 acres, but the land drained in those days amounted to only 987 acres, and much of the
map is coloured a grey-green to represent undrained marsh.
the names of the owners appear in the map on every field, and I give them all since
each may be of interest to descendants living in the county. They are: Trustees of the Poor; Robert RISING (far the
largest owner); William RISING; North Walsham School; F.R. REYNOLDS; Francis RIDDELL; Mrs Dinah MANNING; Benjamin
HARRISON; Thomas JOHNSON; Richard JOHNSON; and the Rev. H. HUNTER, Vicar.
There was no vicarage at Horsey in those days, and
the Vicar only visited the parish from North Walsham periodically. The story goes that on one of these visits the
Vicar met the Clerk in the church before service, when the Clerk said to him:-
"Du ye moind, sir, a-speakin' from the floor of church and not a-goin' up into that
"No", said the Vicar, "but why?"
"Well, we ha' got a'ould guuse in there a-setten' on thutteen beautiful eggs, an'
that fare roight a pity to distairb her".
The Vicar must have had a long, troublesome journey to get to Horsey. The only roads
in and out of the parish were via the "Sea Common", now called The Warren. The present public road from
Somerton via Horsey to Waxham and Palling was not in existence, although there was, on the site of the present
public road, a private road running out of the village south as far as the Hundred Stream, but no
A comparison of the ancient and modern maps shows that "Horsey Meer" (old spelling)
has altered little. There is now rather more reed around and rather less open water than in 1816. Meadow Dyke,
which leads from Horsey Mere to Heigham Sounds, was called "Motley Dyke". The modern "Waxham Cut" was called "Sir
Thomas Brograve's Cut". There is still a Brograve Farm in Waxham Parish. Eastfield Mill and the wide dyke now
leading from it to the Cut were not in existence.
Horsey Staithe, the Award lays down, "is to be used
for ever hereafter as a public staithe by the owners and occupiers of estates in the said parish of Horsey for the
time being only for the purpose of depositing thereon the corn and manure and other things which shall be rowayed
or intended to be rowayed through the said piece of water, belonging to the said Robert RISING, called the Meer
within the said parish of Horsey into the river called the Thurne or North River".
The land drainage in the parish was done by two windmills, one on the site of the
present mill, the other only about 400 yards north of it, to pump water from the north-west of the parish. They did
not dare, apparently, in those days, to make a trunk, as was subsequently done, under the high-level Staithe Dyke
to take this north-west water to the main mill.
The map appears to show only one farm (the present
Street Farm) just east of the right-angled turn in the road in the village. There is a building, or rather group of
buildings, marked on the site of the present Hall, with a small square enclosure south of it, presumably it's
There was no Fords Farm House in those days, but an area in it's locality is named in
the 1816 map "The Fords", presumably over boggy land. The land lying south-east of the present Fords Farm House
belonged to "Sir William Paston's Free School at North Walsham", but the Vicar's glebe consisted only of a minute
field at the Warren end of Crinkle Hill Lane. The North Sea was "The German Ocean" in 1816, and to my surprise it's
high-water mark does not seem to have changed in 136 years as much as it's name.
The Award contains references to the right to take
soil to make banks along the "Sea Common", but I prefer to quote the following extract: "I do hereby also certify
and declare that the allotment lastly and herein-before made to the said Robert RISING is so made to him for and in
respect of his sole and exclusive right of planting breeding depasturing and killing conies or rabbits in over and
upon the said commons warrens and waste grounds."