The fine thatched building standing in Church Street (not far from the Crown Public House), is one of the oldest properties in Great Ellingham. The Grade II listed building was (in relatively recent times) known as “Ye Olde Thatche Shoppe“.
Thought to have been a medieval Manor Hall House (comprising a public hall with living accommodation), the timber framed lath and plaster and clay lump house has undergone many changes since its beginnings in the 15th century.
The former Manor Hall House in Church Street much later known as ‘Ye Olde Thatche Shoppe’. Postcard from the time of Arthur J Pollard (after 1926). Courtesy of Carol Ewin
c.1800 Owner & Occupier
A Particulars & Valuation of 1800, undertaken by the Commissioners for the Inclosures of Great Ellingham, lists the following land and property held by the Executors of the late Daniel Lister and occupied by Widow Lister:
- 126. Close against Attleborough Road comprising 2 acres 1 rood and 22 perches (2a 1r 22)
- 127. Pightle against Bulls Meadow (1a 0r 34p)
- 287. Piece behind House (0a 3r 1p)
- 288. House Outbuildings and Garden (0a 0r 28p)
- 289. House Baking Office Yard and Garden (0a 0r 24p)
- 290. Piece behind House Baking Office Yard & Garden (0a 1r 17p
- Allotment upon Town Green (4a 2r 30p)
Extract from 1802 Map of Great Ellingham. Original held at Norfolk Record Office. Russell James Colman Plans. Cat. Ref. C/Ca 1/84. With kind permission of NRO
The numbering used in the schedules to the Particulars & Valuation concur with the numbering used on an 1802 Map of Great Ellingham. This map was also prepared for the inclosures.
The above extract from the 1802 map clearly shows the two houses owned by the Lister family within the parcels of land numbered 288 and 289. The adjoining land numbered 287 and 290 is also identifiable. The ‘close against Attleborough Road’ (2a 1r 22p) is also just visible to the top of the map.
The Particulars & Valuation also reveal that the parcel of land numbered 286, is the ‘Church Yard’ which unsurprisingly, is occupied (or, perhaps, the better word would be ‘used’!) by the current incumbent, the Reverend Thomas Bond.
The property which I have referred to as ‘Ye Olde Thatche Shoppe‘ is within the inclosure of land numbered 289. For ease of reference, I will continue to refer to the house as ‘Ye Olde Thatche Shoppe‘, even though it was probably not until the twentieth century that the property was known as ‘Ye Olde Thatche Shoppe’.
The adjoining House (with Outbuildings) contained within the parcel of land numbered 288, has long since disappeared.
Inclosures Statement of Claims c.1799
The Statement of Claims c.1799 (again in relation to the Great Ellingham Inclosures) reveal a claim by Henry Norton as Executor of Daniel Lister:
One Messuage and 6½ acres of Land, occupied by the Widow Lister. Of which 2 tenements, 1 acre 1 rood are copyhold of Ellingham Hall, 3 acres of Ellingham Rectory, 2 acres of Bury Hall and 1 rood of Buckenham Castle Outsoken. The claim also included certain rights on the commons and waste lands in the village.
It is helpful that the Statement of Claims mentions that some of the land owned by Daniel Lister was copyhold. A look at the relevant Manorial Records may assist in trying to establish previous owners of the land who may also have owned the Houses.
Chain of Ownership c.1703-1799
Deeds and Manor Court Rolls
The compulsory registation of property transactions for Norfolk was gradually introduced from around 1989, save for Norwich and Great Yarmouth which were earlier. Prior to registration, deeds were very important. Not least, that they were the only way to prove ownership of a property, and would have to be produced in order to complete a sale or disposal.
Surviving old deeds can be a great source of local and family history. They can provide a detailed chain of ownership, and (with a bit of luck) this chain could extend back for several hundreds of years. Names of occupiers can also be mentioned in deeds. In addition, if a property was copyhold (as opposed to freehold) details of the transfers of copyhold land would be entered on the Manor Court Rolls.
Daniel Lister Admitted Copyhold Tenant in 1769
I am wondering whether reference to the Manor of Buckenham Castle in the 1799 Statement of Claims was erroneous and should have read Manor of Buckenham Close.
The Court Books for the Manor of Buckenham Close Outsoken reveal that Daniel Lister, a carpenter, of Great Ellingham was admitted as a copyhold tenant of the Manor at a Court held on the 13th November, 1769. This was following the ‘surrender’ of John Wilkins (also referred to in the Court Books as John Wilkness).
The copyhold land was described as ‘One rood of land copyhold inclosed in a certain pightle lying in Church Croft in Great Ellingham between the lands late of Simon Oakley now of [left blank] on the part of the North and one rood of copyhold land of the fee of Bury Hall in the same pightle formerly in the tenure of James Reyner late of Richard Lawes on the part of the South and abutt upon the lands late of the said James [Reyner] afterwards of William Brook (a certain way dividing) late of Robert Wright towards the West
The Court Books also tell us that John Wilkins (as John Wilkness) had inherited the same land on the death of his brother-in-law, John Blanchflower. John Blanchflower’s death was noted in the Court Books for Buckenham Close Manors on 24th October, 1737.
John Wilkins produced a copy of the probate of the last will and testament of John Blanchflower. The extract of the will appearing in the Court Books confirms that Blanchflower left all his messuages, lands, tenements and hereditaments (whether freehold or copyhold) in Great Ellingham, (including the one rood of land in the pightle in Church Croft), to his brother in law, John Wilkness.
John Blanchflower, Christopher Blanchflower & Richard Laws
The Court Books also tell us that John Blanchflower had inherited the copyhold land in 1736, following the death of his father, Christopher Blanchflower. A Christopher Blanchflower was buried in Great Ellingham on the 15th January, 1732.
Christopher Blanchflower had taken the land (probably by a bargain and sale) on the surrender of Richard Laws in 1703.
The name ‘John Blanchflower’ appears in a List of Freeholders in the County of Norfolk for 1734, as residing and owning a freehold property in Great Ellingham.
If we can assume that the the piece of copyhold land within the pightle in Church Croft, was always in the same ownership as the freehold messuage and other lands in Church Street (later owned by Daniel Lister and identified on the 1802 map), it is possible that ‘Ye Olde Thatche Shoppe‘ and the adjoining House were owned by Richard Laws prior to 1703.
An investigation of any old surviving deeds to the property would confirm (or disprove) my theory!
However, we do know that Daniel Lister owned ‘Ye Olde Thatche Shoppe‘ and the adjoining house and land until his death in 1799.
In 1749, Daniel Lister married Bridget Cooke in Norwich. The Marriage Licence Bond confirms that Daniel was single, a carpenter by trade, and of Ellingham Parva (Little Ellingham). His bride, Bridget Cooke, was also single and said to be aged ‘25 years and upwards‘. Bridget, the daughter of worstead weaver, Robert Cooke, was also of Ellingham Parva.
When did Daniel & Bridget arrive in Great Ellingham?
I am unclear as to precisely when Daniel and Bridget Lister arrived in Great Ellingham.
Their daughter Tabitha was baptised in the parish church in Little Ellingham on the 29th November, 1749.
Daughter Mary, was baptised in the parish church at St Michael at Thorn, Norwich in July, 1751. Mary later married William Cocking.
Diana, the daughter of ‘Daniel and Bridget Lister’ was baptised in the parish church of St Gregory in Norwich in May, 1757. Diana later married John Barnard in Little Ellingham (1777).
I have not found any baptisms of children for Daniel and Bridget Lister in the Great Ellingham Parish Registers.
Daniel and Bridget Lister were certainly in Great Ellingham by 1765. Daniel Lister, a carpenter, of Great Ellingham appears in a ‘Register of Duties Paid for Apprentices’ Indentures‘ for the year 1765.
Up-standing Member of the Community
Daniel was appointed a ‘Constable’ for the ‘Town’ of Great Ellingham for the years 1769 and 1770. Along with other ‘up-standing’ members of the village, Daniel attended the annual Town Meetings held for the purpose of approving the expenditure of the Overseers, Churchwardens, Surveyors and Constables of the Parish.
The Court Books for the Manor of Buckenham Close also mention that Daniel Lister was admitted tenant of the one rood of copyhold land at Church Croft, Great Ellingham in 1769.
Accordingly, it is likely that Daniel and Bridget were living in Great Ellingham from at least 1765, and it may have been around 1769 that Daniel Lister purchased the land and houses in Church Street, as listed in the above mentioned Particulars & Valuation of 1800.
Daniel Lister may have been a friend or relative of James Barnard (Junior) of Bury Hall, Great Ellingham, or Jacob Carter, a farmer, of Great Ellingham.
In 1780, Jacob Carter had apparently spoken in public ‘false and malicious words‘ about James Barnard. Carter then retracted, and agreed with James Barnard to place a notice of retraction and apology in a local newspaper.
The notice dated 22nd May, 1780 signed by Jacob Carter was witnessed by Daniel Lister. It was published in the Norfolk Chronicle on June 3rd, 1780.
Death in 1799
Daniel Lister was buried in the churchyard of St James’s Parish Church, Great Ellingham on July 29th, 1799, just a ‘stone’s throw’ from where he lived. I believe Daniel was around the age 75 years of age.
Although Daniel Lister did not leave his properties and land to his wife Bridget, he likely made provision in his will for Bridget to continue to live in and use his properties during her widowhood (or until her death). This was a usual provision for a widow in a will during this time period.
I have mentioned that in 1800, widow Bridget Lister was said to be the occupier of the ‘The Olde Thatche Shoppe’ and the adjacent House which were also owned by her husband. Bridget may well have lived in one and sub-let the other.
Death of Bridget Lister in 1802
Three years after Daniel Lister’s death, his widow Bridget Lister died. On April 7th, 1802, Bridget was also buried in the churchyard at St James. I believe she was 78.
New Owners and Occupiers
Following the death of Bridget Lister, the ownership of the properties and land in Church Street (including ‘the Olde Thatche Shoppe‘) once owned by Daniel Lister passed to his grandson, Daniel William Cocking, the son of Daniel’s daughter Mary and her husband, William Cocking.
The story of ‘The Olde Thatche Shoppe’ and the adjoining house and land, continues in the ‘Medieval Manor Hall House in Church Street – Part II‘.
1802 Russell James Colman Plans. Great Ellingham. Catalogue Ref. C/Ca 1/84.
1799-1842 F W Horner, Records of the Surveyors to Commissioners for Inclosure in Parishes in Norfolk and Suffolk. Great Ellingham (Act 1799). Norfolk Record Office. Catalogue Ref: NRO, BR 90/2
1800 Inclosure Commissioner’s Particulars and Valuation, Great Ellingham. Norfolk Record Office. Catalogue Ref: NRO, MC 2213/119
1753-1847 Manor of Buckenham Castle, Lathes, Close and Priory. Court Book. Norfolk Record Office. Catalogue Ref: MC 1833/8 -MC 1833/16. 1595-1847 also available at https://www.familysearch.org/
1799 Statement of Claims. Great Ellingham Inclosure. Norfolk Record Office. Catalogue Ref: MC 2213/118
Great Ellingham Parish Registers. Norfolk Record Office. PD609. Also available at www.familysearch.org
Norfolk Heritage Explorer Website. http://www.heritage.norfolk.gov.uk/record-details?MNF44024 Accessed 12.02.2021
Hawes, Timothy. 2001. Index of Freeholders of the County of Norfolk 1734 who voted in the Election for Members of Parliament. Norfolk Historical Aids 24. Held at Norfolk Family History Society, Kirby Hall, 70 St Giles Street, Norwich NR2 1LS. Shelf T1-14.
4 Aug 1749. Marriage Licence Bond: Daniel Lister and Bridget Cooke. Norfolk Record Office. Ref: NRO ANW 24/23/87. Also available at www.familysearch.org
UK, Register of Duties Paid for Apprentices’ Indentures, 1710-1811. The National Archives of the UK (TNA); Kew, Surrey, England; Collection: Board of Stamps: Apprenticeship Books: Series IR 1; Class: IR 1; Piece: 55. Also available at Ancestry.co.uk
Little Ellingham Parish Registers. Norfolk Record Office.PD 568.Transcription of Little Ellingham Marriages. Norfolk Family History Society. www.norfolkfhs.org.uk
Norwich St Gregory Parish Registers. Norfolk Record Office. PD 59.Also available at www.ancestry.co.uk
Norwich St Michael at Thorn Parish Registers. Norfolk Record Office. PD 74. Also available at www.ancestry.co.uk
Great Ellingham Town Book. 1741-1775. Norfolk Record Office. PD609/37
Norfolk Chronicle June 3rd 1780