Place:Kenninghall, Norfolk, England

Alt namesChenighehalasource: Domesday Book (1985) p 191
Chenikehalasource: Domesday Book (1985) p 191
Cheninchalasource: Domesday Book (1985) p 191
Cheninghalasource: Domesday Book (1985) p 191
Cheninkenhalasource: Domesday Book (1985) p 191
Kenehalasource: Domesday Book (1985) p 191
Kenichalasource: Domesday Book (1985) p 191
Keninchalasource: Domesday Book (1985) p 191
Keninghalasource: Domesday Book (1985) p 191
Keninghehalasource: Domesday Book (1985) p 191
Kenmohalasource: Domesday Book (1985) p 191
TypeParish (ancient), Civil parish
Coordinates52.434°N 0.985°E
Located inNorfolk, England
See alsoGuiltcross Hundred, Norfolk, Englandhundred in which it was located
Guiltcross Rural, Norfolk, Englandrural district 1894-1902
Wayland Rural, Norfolk, Englandrural district 1902-1974
Breckland District, Norfolk, Englanddistrict municipality covering the area since 1974
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog
the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

Kenninghall is a village and civil parish in the south of Norfolk, England, with an area of 5.73 sq mi (14.8 km2) and a population of 950 at the 2011 UK census. It now falls within the local government District of Breckland.

Kenninghall was home to the kings of East Anglia. After the Norman invasion of 1066 William the Conqueror granted the estate to William of Albany and his heirs as a residence for the Chief Butler of England.


In the reign of Henry VIII, the estate was granted to Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk (1443 – 1524), who destroyed the original structure and erected a magnificent new building with two fronts. The house and estate passed to Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk (1473-1554). The estate was confiscated by the Crown when he was arrested on suspicion of treason in 1546. The house served as a residence for both of Henry VIII's daughters: Princess Mary and Princess Elizabeth at different times during the reign of their half-brother, Edward VI. When Mary became Queen in 1553, she granted the estate to the 3rd Duke's grandson, Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk (1536-1572).

The 4th Duke held the estate until 1572, when he was attainted for high treason. Howard had been brought up a Protestant, but entered Roman Catholic plots (including the Northern Rebellion of 1569 and the Ridolfi Plot of 1571) to depose Elizabeth I and replace her with Mary, Queen of Scots, whom he planned to marry. The estate was seized by the Crown, and Queen Elizabeth often resided here. When she died in 1603, the house was demolished and the materials sold off.

A Vision of Britain through Time provides the following description of Kenninghall from John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1871-72:

"KENNINGHALL, a village, a parish, and a [registration] subdistrict, in Guiltcross [registration] district, Norfolk. The village stands 4 miles ESE of East Harling [railway] station, and 6 S by W of Attleborough; was the seat of Boadicea and the East Anglian kings; took thence the name of Cheninkhala or Cyninghalla, signifying "king's house, " and modernized into Kenninghall: retains vestiges of the royal castle in mounds, which are now called Kenning hall Place; and has a post office under Thetford, a hotel, a weekly cattle market on Monday, and sheep and cattle fairs on 18 July and 30 Sept.
"The parish comprises 3,600 acres. Real property: £7,810. Population in 1851: 1,648; in 1861: 1,405. Houses: 280. The property is much subdivided. The chief landowners are the Duke of Norfolk and the Earl of Albemarle. The manor was held by the De Albinis; passed to the Monaltos, the Mowbrays. and the Howards; and belongs now to the Duke of Norfolk. A palace, on the site of the royal castle, and in the form of the letter H, went to the Crown on the attainder of Thomas, Duke of Norfolk; was, for some time, the residence of Queen Mary; was used by Queen Elizabeth, as a summer seat; and was taken down about 1650.
"The Guiltcross workhouse stands 1½ mile S of the village; and, at the census of 1861, had 194 inmates. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Norwich. Value: £250. Patron: the Bishop of Norwich. The church is large and good; has a tower of flint and stone; and bears, on the buttresses of its S side, the crest of the Norfolk family. There are chapels for Baptists and Wesleyans, and charities £67."

Research Tips

  • GENUKI provides a list of references for Kenninghall. Some entries lead to free online transcriptions of registers and censuses.
  • GENUKI also supplies a map illustrating the individual parishes of Guiltcross Hundred. Parishes labelled with letters should be identifiable from the Ordnance Survey Map of 1900.
  • GENUKI also advises that the following lists for Norfolk are to be found in FamilySearch:
  • has the following lists as of 2018 (UK or worldwide Ancestry membership or library access required). With the exception of the index to wills these files are browsible images of the original documents. The files are separated by type and broken down into time periods (i.e., "Baptism, Marriages, and Burials, 1535-1812" is more than one file). The general explanatory notes are worth reading for those unfamiliar with English parish records.
  • Index to wills proved in the Consistory Court of Norwich : and now preserved in the District Probate Registry at Norwich
  • Norfolk, England, Bishop's Transcripts, 1579-1935
  • Norfolk, England, Church of England Baptism, Marriages, and Burials, 1535-1812
  • Norfolk, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1915
  • Norfolk, England, Church of England Deaths and Burials, 1813-1990
  • Norfolk, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1940
  • FindMyPast is another pay site with large collection of parish records. As of October 2018 they had 20 types of Norfolk records available to browse including Land Tax Records and Electoral Registers.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Kenninghall. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.