North Walsham & District Community Archive

Gunton 1875 - 1975

"North East Norfolk Country Churchman Centenery Magazine 1875-1975"

GUNTON 1875-1975

A hundred years ago the Hall, partly destroyed by the fire of 1882, provided hospitality for royal shooting parties with Edward, Prince of Wales as a principal and frequent guest. The park in 1875 had six entrance lodges and was said to be one of the best game preserves in the country. The estate has belonged to the Harbord family since 1639 and Harbord Harbord, who was M.P. for Norwich, became Lord Suffield in 1786.

The Church o fSt. Andrew was built in 1769 and designed by Robert Adam and is considered to be one of the finest buildings in Norfolk. This view, however, was not shared by Walter Rye who, annoyed at the loss of the old Church, described it as "a mausoleum like edifice, which is unworthy of notice"!

The population in 1875 was 62 which is far in excess of the present figure. Lord Suffield was the biggest landowner in the area and lord of the great manor of Gimingham-Lancaster which covered most of the neighbouring villages. At the Hall the head gardener was W. Allen, Joseph Graham was the House steward. Thomas Hern was the bailiff and Flenry Vince the carpenter. The Rector, who was also Vicar of Hanworth, was James Hoste.

1875 was the year in which the Antingham and Southrepps United School Board was founded. The older children from the Parish went to Antingham and the infants went to Lady Suffield's school at Suffield.

Outside the church one can see a tree planted a hundred years ago by the Prince of Wales which still continues to flourish as the memories of all those great times fade.