Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for DOWNHAM, or Downham-Market

DOWNHAM, or Downham-Market, a town, a parish, a sub-district, and a district in Norfolk. The town stands on the side of a hill, at the river Ouse, adjacent to the Lynn and Ely railway, 11 miles S by W of Lynn. It has recently undergone much improvement; contains a spacious ornamental market square; has a head post office, ‡ a banking office, a railway station, two chief inns, a recently-erected commodious court-house, a church, four dissenting chapels, a cemetery with two mortuary chapels, a mechanics' institute, two public schools, a spacious and handsome workhouse, and charities £149; had anciently a Benedictine priory, belonging to Ramsey abbey; and is a seat of petty sessions and county courts, and a polling-place. Markets are held on Saturdays: and fairs on 3 March, 8 May, and 13 Nov. A great trade in butter, for the London market, was long done; but has in good measure been removed to Swaffham. Pop., 2, 458. Houses, 567.—The parish comprises 2, 490 acres. Real property, £13, 651. Pop., 3, 133. Houses, 657. The property is much subdivided. The manor belonged to Ramsey abbey. The land is fenny, and much frequented by wild fowl, but includes much good dairy pasture. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Norwich. Value, £403. Patron, Rev. E. R. Franks.—The sub-district contains the parishes of Downham, Crimplesham, Bexwell, Ryston, Denver, Fordham, Roxham, Hillgay, and Southery, and parts of the parishes of Wimbotsham, Stow-Bardolph, and Upwell,-the last partly in Cambridgeshire. Acres, 28, 686. Pop., 8, 878. Houses, 1,883. The district comprehends also the sub-district of Fincham, containing the parishes of Fincham, Barton-Bendish, Marham, West Dereham, Wereham, Wretton, Stoke-Ferry, Boughton, and Stradsett; and the sub-district of Wiggenhall, containing the parishes of Wiggenhall-St. Mary-the-Virgin, Wiggenhall-St. Mary-Magdalene, Wiggenhall-St. Germans, Wiggenhall-St. Peter, Watlington, Tottenhill, Wormegay, Shouldham, Shouldham-Thorpe, South Runcton, Holme-next-Runcton, Wallington-cum-Thorpland, and parts of Wimbotsham and Stow-Bardolph. Acres, 83, 687. Poor-rates in 1862, 13, 344. Pop. in 1841, 19, 202; in 1861, 20, 264. Houses, 4, 336. Marriages in 1860, 137; births, 657, -of which 70 were illegitimate; deaths, 411, -of which 150 were at ages under 5 years, and 12 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 1, 464; births, 7, 207; deaths, 4, 229. The places of worship in 1851 were 34 of the Church of England, with 7, 458 sittings; 6 of Baptists, with 771 s.; 2 of Quakers, with 245 s.; 22 of Wesleyan Methodists, with 3, 109 s.; 22 of Primitive Methodists, with 2, 204 s.; and 4 of Wesleyan Reformers, with 440 s. The schools were 20 public day schools, with 1, 443 scholars; 47 private day schools, with 823 s.; 46 Sunday schools, with 2, 691 s.; and 1 evening school for adults, with 2 s.

(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a town, a parish, a sub-district, and a district"   (ADL Feature Type: "cities")
Administrative units: Downham Market CP/AP       Downham SubD       Downham PLU/RegD       Norfolk AncC
Place: Downham Market

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