North Walsham & District Community Archive

Roughton 1875 - 1975

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

ROUGHTON 1875-1975

The year 1875 when the Magazine began came at the beginning of a period of peaceful consolidation in Roughton, following upon a period of twenty years of great change and activity within the parish. The population had varied little in numbers but the physical and social changes in the village were much more considerable.

Until about 1868, 371 acres of the 1740 acres within the parish had been open heathland; but about that year most of the heath was enclosed, and this eventually allowed for further development and growth of population within the parish. By 1900 only about 19 acres of heath remained. An endowed Church School with a house for the schoolmaster had been provided by the will of the Rev. Robert Brown, made in 1694 - but it was evident that by the time of the Act of 1870 which introduced free and compulsory education for all, the school needed enlargement and improvement. It is not surprising therefor to find that in 1871 a new School was built on the old site, remaining a Church Endowed School, and that in 1875 the present School House was built - whilst in 1877 a Parish Room was built adjoining the School, though this Parish Room was pulled down in 1888, and replaced by an additional and larger room as a second class room for the School.

In 1855 the Bishop of Norwich became the patron of the living, and in 1866 the Ecclesiastical Commissioners restored the Rectorial tithes to the Vicar, and the last Vicar, Robert Sayers, B.A. (appointed in 1862), became the first Rector of the new foundation. Already in 1860 the Ecclesiastical Commissioners had re-roofed the Chancel, and in 1862 the scattered pieces of glebe land were exchanged for 2 united pieces of nearly 30 acres on each side of the Norwich Road. In 1864, when Robert Sayers was Vicar, the great restoration of the Church was undertaken at a cost of over £900, and the interior of the Church took on very much its present appearance -with the new Altar, Lectern, and Pews which were then installed. Three of the windows were filled with stained glass of the period. In 1882 improvements in the heating cost a further £90.

Meanwhile the Rector moved into the parish, and in February 1869 the building of the present Rectory, on the glebe land on the east of the Norwich Road, was begun, and continued, at a cost of about £1800, until its completion in October, 1869. Robert Sayers continued in office as Rector until 1881, and for the rest of Mr. Sayer's incumbency I can trace no special development, but only faithful, peaceful, pastoral care.