- source: Family History Library Catalog
NOTE: Not to be confused with Houghton St. Giles or Houghton-on-the-Hill.
- the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia
Houghton is a small village and a civil parish in the English county of Norfolk. It covers an area of 7.64 km2 (2.95 sq mi) and had a population of 69 in 36 households at the 2001 UK census. For the purposes of local government, it falls within the district of King's Lynn and West Norfolk. It is the location of Houghton Hall, a large country house built by Robert Walpole (1676-1745), the first Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
The old village of Houghton was demolished in 1722 to make way for the construction of Houghton Hall and the associated parkland. In 1729, the village was rebuilt on the edge of the estate and called "New Houghton"; the 33 surviving houses are all now Grade II listed buildings. It is one of the locations claimed to be the inspiration for Oliver Goldsmith's poem The Deserted Village. In 1872, the parish had 53 houses and 227 inhabitants. Other names for the village were Houghton-in-the-Brake and Houghton-next-Harpley. The parish church is inside the park and dates from the 13th century, although it was heavily restored in the 18th century when the tower was added. Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford and Horace Walpole (1717-1797) are buried in the church, which is a Grade I listed building.
A Vision of Britain through Time provides the following description of Houghton from John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1870-72:
- "HOUGHTON (NEW), HOUGHTON-IN-THE-BRAKE, or HOUGHTON-NEXT-HARPLEY, a village and a parish in Docking [registration] district, Norfolk. The village stands 9½ miles W by S of Fakenham [railway] station; and has a post office, of the name of Houghton, under Rougham. The parish comprises 1,495 acres. Real property: £1,322. Population: 227. Houses: 53.
- The property, with Houghton Hall, belongs to the Marquis of Cholmondeley. Houghton Hall was built by Sir Robert Walpole, after designs by Ripley; presents a principal front of 166 feet with a cupola and lantern at each angle; has wings connected by a Tuscan colonnade, making a total frontage of 450 feet; contains a staircase by Kent, a hall of 40 feet by 40, a saloon of 40 feet by 30, a library of 22 feet by 21, and other spacious apartments; is enriched with noble and costly works of art; had a collection of pictures which was sold, in 1779, for £45,500, to the Empress Catherine of Russia; stands in rather a flat park, with many fine old beech and other trees, of Sir Robert's planting; was inhabited, for ten years, by Sir Robert Walpole; and was visited, in 1814 and 1818, by the Duke of Wellington.
- "The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Norwich. Value: £110. Patron: the Marquis of Cholmondeley. The church was repaired by Sir Robert Walpole; consists of nave, chancel, and aisles, with a small tower; and contains an effigies of a prior of Coxford, of the time of Edward I. The church vault contains the remains of fifteen generations of the Walpole family."