Place:Little Massingham, Norfolk, England

NameLittle Massingham
Alt namesMarsinchamsource: Domesday Book (1985) p 192
Marsingharcsource: Domesday Book (1985) p 192
Masinchamsource: Domesday Book (1985) p 192
Masingehamsource: Domesday Book (1985) p 192
Masinghehamsource: Domesday Book (1985) p 192
Masingichamsource: Domesday Book (1985) p 192
TypeParish (ancient), Civil parish
Coordinates52.784°N 0.66°E
Located inNorfolk, England
See alsoFreebridge Lynn Hundred, Norfolk, Englandhundred in which it was located
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog
the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

Little Massingham is a small village and civil parish in the English county of Norfolk. It is located on the northern boundary of Great Massingham. It covers an area of 9.27 km2 (3.58 sq mi) and had a population of 74 in 37 households at the 2001 UK census. For the purposes of local government, it falls within the district of King's Lynn and West Norfolk.

History of the parish

At the time of the Great Survey (i.e. the Domesday Book) in 1086, William the Conqueror bestowed upon Eudo, the son of Spiruwin, the Barony of Tateshale in Lincolnshire (now known as Tattershall). William also gave him the lands of Hillington, Grimston, Congham and Little Massingham that had belonged to Scula. Scula is thought to have been a general who served under Viking King Ragnald.

In 1302, these lands passed into the possession of Sir John de Thorpe, by right of his wife, Alice.

Later the estate of Little Massingham came into the family of the Le Stranges of Hunstanton, and in the 16th century, they passed to the Mordaunt family when Robert Mordaunt married Barbara le Strange.

In 1807 Sir Charles Mordaunt, the eighth baronet decided to sell the estate of Little Massingham and the advowson of the living to Joseph Wilson, Esq., of Highbury Hill, Middlesex.

Mr Wilson was a rich and prosperous merchant and although having purchased Little Massingham he never lived there, but chose to use Stowlangtoft Hall Suffolk as his country estate. However, he did install his son-in-law Charles D. Brereton as rector of Little Massingham.

Joseph Wilson's heir Henry Wilson of Stowlangtoft Hall succeeded him and in 1872 Henry's son Mr Fuller Maitland Wilson sold the estate of Little Massingham.

Since that time there were a few more large landowners of Little Massingham before some of the estate was broken up.

It was recorded that in the early 19th century thirty or forty acres of wheat were grown in Little Massingham. In 1825 the cultivation had increased to between three and four hundred acres.

In the late 1800's:

"Good Blue clay suitable for making both white and red bricks was found in the Parish, and near at hand there is a stratum of good sand, and a spring of water which has never been known to fail even in the dryest summers. A brick-yard has been made whence one million bricks are turned out per annum."

Some of the above text contains a combination of actual quotes and a précis of accounts written by the Rev. Ronald F. McLeod, author of Massingham Parva: Past and Present, published by Waterlow & Sons Ltd of London in 1882.

For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Little Massingham. Details of the parish church of St. Andrews including its wartime links with RAF Massingham.

Research Tips

  • GENUKI provides a list of references for Little Massingham. Some entries lead to free online transcriptions of registers and censuses.
  • GENUKI also advises that the following lists for Norfolk are to be found in FamilySearch: