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The Village sign, Brisley, Norfolk
Brisley shown within Norfolk
|Area||4.90 km2 (1.89 sq mi)|
|- Density||56 /km2 (150 /sq mi)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||East of England|
|EU Parliament||East of England|
|UK Parliament||Mid Norfolk|
Brisley is a village in the English county of Norfolk located about halfway between Fakenham and East Dereham. It covers an area of 4.90 km2 (1.89 sq mi) and had a population of 276 in 117 households at the 2001 census The Village is located along the B1145 a route which runs between King's Lynn and Mundesley. English: habitational name from a place in Norfolk named in Old English with briosa ‘gadfly’ (Horsefly) + leah ‘woodland clearing’. Brisley although not recorded in the Domesday Book, had risen to become the 8th most affluent, out of 31 parishes in the Launditch hundred, by the time of the 1334 Lay Subsidy.
St Bartholomews Church
St Bartholomews Church was entirely rebuilt in the period 1370 – 1460. It seems probable that the money for this great rebuilding was derived from wool, which was Brisley’s main source of wealth at that time and the probable reason for it’s rapid rise in prosperity in the 14th century.
Inside the church, two wall paintings of St Christopher, dating back to medieval times can be found opposite both the North and South doorways. These were whitewashed over at the Reformation and so only traces survive. The fact that there are two indicates that this was an important church for travellers.
The crypt under the sanctuary may be entered through an old oak door in the chancel. It has been called a charnel house but at one time it was a place where civil prisoners could be forced to spend a night on the journey by foot to Norwich gaol.
Brisley Hall (private dwelling) is a building with medieval origins. The family Athow was Lord of Manor until 1678. (Their brasses are in the church).
The Bell Inn
The Bell Inn. The Rectory Courts were held here in the 18th century. John Athow was innkeeper in 1706.
The Almhouses built in the early 19th century. They were originally three cottages.
Primitive Methodist Chapel
Primitive Methodist Chapel was built in 1898 on part of a medieval strip called Longlands. It has now been restored and used as a private dwelling. It sits in a gorgoues location in Norfolk over looking fields all around.
Whilst the legendary 19th century English cricket batsman Fuller Pilch was probably raised in Brisley, it is the village of Horningtoft, about 2 km north west of Brisley which claims the honour of being his birthplace.
The village sign stands next to the church of St Bartholomew’s and depicts Richard Taverner who was born here and translated the Bible into English for which he was imprisoned in the Tower of London. He was released by Henry VIII and died in 1575.
Other points of interest
Memorial to the crew of Blenheim V5455 (located near the pond at Patch Corner) who died when their aircraft crashed in the Parish of Brisley on 9 June 1942. This was unveiled and dedicated during a service of remembrance which took place at St Bartholomew’s Church on 18 June 2000
Brisley Green an area of registered common land, given to the Parish by the late Canon Dodson in 1993. An area of 58.64 hectares, it is one of the largest privately owned lowland grazing commons.
Brisley cricket ground
Brisley cricket ground located on Brisley Green. This was reinstated after the World War II and matches are played here regularly throughout the summer months.
- Census population and household counts for unparished urban areas and all parishes. Office for National Statistics & Norfolk County Council (2001). Retrieved 20 June 2009.
- County A to Z Atlas, Street & Road maps Norfolk, page 230 ISBN 978-1-84348-614-5
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