Place:Forncett-St. Mary, Norfolk, England

NameForncett-St. Mary
TypeParish (ancient), Civil parish
Coordinates52.5009°N 1.1883°E
Located inNorfolk, England     ( - 1935)
See alsoDepwade Hundred, Norfolk, Englandhundred in which it was located
Depwade Rural, Norfolk, Englandrural district in which it was located 1894-1935
Forncett, Norfolk, Englandcivil parish into which it was absorbed in 1935
South Norfolk District, Norfolk, Englanddistrict municipality covering the area since 1974
source: Family History Library Catalog

A Vision of Britain through Time provides the following description of Forncett-St. Mary from John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1870-72:

"FORNCETT-ST. MARY, a village and a parish in Depwade [registration] district, Norfolk. The village stands near Forncett [railway] station, 2½ miles WNW of Long Stratton; was the head of the honour of Norfolk, and the seat of the Bigods' "knighten" court; and has a post office, of the name of Forncett, under Long Stratton, and a fair on the first Thursday of Sept., o. s. The parish comprises 728 acres. Real property: £1,838. Population: 299. Houses: 71. The property is much subdivided. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Norwich. Value: £525. Patron: the Earl of Effingham. The church is tolerable; and there is a Primitive Methodist chapel. An endowed school has £70."

In a transcription of William White's History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Norfolk 1845, GENUKI explains that Forncett-St. Mary was "the seat of the Bigods' "knighten" court" because it was the head manor of the Liberty of the Duke of Norfolk (the Bigods were the original Earls of Norfolk), which comprises 127 parishes in this county, and formerly had a court here every three weeks.

In 1935 the parish of Forncett-St. Mary was abolished and the area and its inhabitants, together with those of Forncett-St. Peter, were absorbed into the civil parish of Forncett.

Research Tips

  • GENUKI provides a list of references for Forncett-St. Mary. 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: