The site of Alethorpe
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|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||East of England|
Alethorpe is a deserted medieval village site in the English county of Norfolk. The site is within the parish of Little Snoring in North Norfolk. It lies south-east of Little Snoring, around 2 miles (3.2 km) north-east of the town Fakenham and 23 miles (37 km) north-west of Norwich to the north of the A148 road. The village, which is one of around 200 lost settlements in Norfolk, was abandoned in the 16th century, probably as the consequence of the land being enclosed by the landlord of that time. It is occasionally referred to as Althorp in historical literature.
The village of Alethorpe is mentioned in the Domesday Book. In the survey Alethorpe is recorded by the name of Alatorp and was a small settlement with a taxable value of 0.6 geld. The land was held by King William. A late Saxon disc brooch was discovered on the site in 1985.
Alethorpe was also recorded in the Nomina Villarum surveys. In the surveys Alethorpe is recorded as being a village of thirty houses in 1272, twelve taxpayers 1329, eleven in 1332, and twelve in 1377. It was recorded that there were ten heads of families in 1496.
The village was abandoned in the 16th century, probably due to land enclosure. The parish church, which was dedicated to All Saints, which was in use in 1552, was being used as a barn by 1602 and was in poor repair by that date. Three skeletons were unearthed in 1962 in what is assumed to be the churchyard.
By the middle of the 19th century Alethorpe was classified as an extra-parochial area in the Gallow Hundred, although by 1869 it had become a separate parish, although united with Fakenham for religious purposes. It was later incorporated into the parish of Little Snoring. The parish covered around 240 acres (97 ha) and was farmland. In 1869 the parish consisted of just one farm with a population of four. By 1891 it had a population of nine and in 1911 this had fallen again to five.
Alethorpe Hall, which is a modern building, stands on the site of the deserted village. A tree stands on the site of the church. A few low and generally indistinct earthworks remain along with possible track ways and a house platform, whilst a flint built barn at the hall dates from 1677. A small row of cottages, named Alethorpe Cottages, lie along the A148 road to the south-east of the deserted village site.
- OS Explorer Map 24 - Norfolk Coast Central. ISBN 0-319-21726-4.
- The Domesday Book, England's Heritage, Then and Now, (Editor: Thomas Hinde), Norfolk, page 186, Alethorpe, ISBN 1-85833-440-3
- Alethorpe, Open Domesday. Retrieved 2016-11-06.
- Alethorpe deserted medieval village, Norfolk Heritage Explorer. Retrieved 2016-11-06.
- Blake W, 'Norfolk Manorial Lords in 1316', Norfolk Archaeology, volume 30, 1952: 277 & 8.
- Batcock N (1991) The Ruined and Disused Churches of Norfolk, East Anglian Archaeology vol. 51, p.182. (Available online).
- Parish summary: Little Snoring, Norfolk Heritage Explorer. Retrieved 2016-11-06.
- Site of All Saints' Church, Alethorpe, Norfolk Heritage Explorer. Retrieved 2016-11-06.
- History, Gazetteer & Directory of Norfolk, 1854, Francis White, p.690. (Available online. Retrieved 2016-11-08.
- Kelly E R (ed) (1869) The Post Office Directory of Cambridge, Norfolk and Suffolk (Part Two), p.204. (Available online. Retrieved 2016-11-08).
- Kelly's Directory of Norfolk, 1896, p.25 (Available online. Retrieved 2016-11-08).
- Kelly's Directory of Norfolk, 1912, p.28. (Available online. Retrieved 2016-11-08).