Walton and Felixstow
The manors of Walton, Trimley, Fakenham, with the rectories of Walton and
Felixstow, with divers other lordships in this county, were given by Thomas
Howard, Duke of Norfolk, and Henry his son, Earl of Arundel and Surry, in the
36th of King Henry VIII., to that Monarch, in exchange for his castle, castle
manor, and chase of Rising, in Norfolk, and its appurtenances.
This property appears to have passed as that of Bealings and Seckford Hall, by
purchase from Seckford Cage, Esq., the heir general of the Seckford's, to Samuel
Atkinson, Esq., of Croydon, in Surry. Then to the Barker's, as Grimston Hall, in
Trimley St. Martin; and from Sir John Fitch Barker, Bart., to George Nassau,
Esq., the Earl of Rochford, and now Duke of Hamilton.
Roger Bigod, first Earl of Norfolk, founded a priory here, and dedicated it to
St. Felix. About the year 1105, he gave it as a cell to the monks of St. Andrew,
in Rochester, and the monks here were called "Monks of Rochester. "This gift was
confirmed by King William Rufus. It is supposed to have been removed soon after
the destruction of the castle, and placed near the church of Walton, where some
ruins are still remaining. Its valuation in "Taxatio Ecclesiastica," in nine
parishes, was £.6 16s. l½d.
Walton is a very ancient place, formerly of great note, even be-fore the
conquest. The tower of the church is nearly demolished, and the wall of a side
aisle remains about a foot above the ground; that part of the church which is
used, is however, in good repair.
Sir John Hayward, Knt., D.C.L., was a native of this parish.
He was author of the Life of Henry IV , of England; the Lives of the three
Norman Kings, William I., William II., and Henry I.; the Life of King Edward
VI., and several other works in great estimation at the time they were
published. He married Jane, daughter of Andrew Paschale, of Springfield, Essex,
Esq. He died Jan. 27, 1627, and was buried in the church of Great St.
In 1641, John Novell, D.D., Fellow of Pembroke Hall, Cam-bridge, was vicar of
this parish, and rector of Northwold, in Norfolk, and had been of Topcroft, in
the same county.
These parishes afford a rich treat to the lovers of geology, from the
numerous specimens of saurian remains, and fossil shells, found in the
craig deposits in the cliffs, and along the shore. A list of the latter was
published in 1830, by the late Mr. Samuel Woodward, of Norwich; who enumerates
different varieties of the balanias, pholas, mactra, tellina, lucina,
astarte, venus, cardium, pecten, patella, natica, murex, buccinum, cypraea,
and terebratula; and since the book was published two splendid specimens
of the rare shell, cassis bicatenata, have been found, which are in the
possession of Mr. W. S. Fitch, of Ipswich.
In 1803, the skeleton of an enormous animal was discovered by the falling down
of a piece of the cliff on Walton shore, near Harwich, supposed to belong to the
mammoth species; remains of which have been found in North America, Tartary, &c.
Some of the bones were nearly as large as a man's body, and six or seven feet
long: the cavities which contained the marrow, were large enough to admit the
introduction of a man's arm: the bones, on being handled, broke to pieces. One
of the molar teeth weighed seven pounds, was of a square form, and the grinding
surface studded with several zig-zag rows of laminae, which seems to denote that
it belonged to a carnivorous animal. There were more teeth, which were
unfortunately broken, one of which weighed 12lbs.2
Mem. Landguard Fort. April 18, 1807, a detachment of the 1st battalion of
the 79th, or Cameronian Highlanders, consisting in all of 97 persons, took their
passage from hence to Harwich, in a small sloop, and when about half a mile from
the shore, they were overtaken by a violent squall of wind, which overset the
vessel, and shortly after she went down; a boat from a gun brig, and one from
the fort, saved fifteen, the rest perished. The regret which was felt at the
recital of this dreadful catastrophe, was heightened by the reflection, that
these unhappy sufferers had eminently distinguished themselves at Egypt, and
were justly esteemed for uniform good conduct.
CHARITIES. There has been a payment of .1 Is. a year, received by the
overseers of the poor of this parish, described in their books as the rent of
town-land, or "Barber's-land, "from the proprietors of certain land in this
parish, lately belonging to Mr. William Fulcher. The payment was made from the
commencement of the oldest account book, in 1727, down to 1817; since which
period the proprietor has refused payment, on the ground that it cannot be shown
where the land is, or why the payment should be made by him; and as there are no
writings to be found respecting the said land, or the origin of the payment, it
must be lost to the parish.
1. A portrait of him, engraved by W. Hole, was published in
one of his works, "The Sanctuary of a Troubled Soul,'' 1616.
2. Of this animal Buffon says, '' The skeleton of the
Mammoth bespeaks an animal five or six times the cubic volume of the Elephant.
"Mullen has given a description of the Mammoth. "This animal, "he says, "is near
five yards high, and about 30 feet in length. His color is grey, his head is
very long, and his front very broad; on each side, precisely under the eyes,
there are two horns, which he can move and cross at pleasure; and in walking, he
has the power of extending and contracting his body, to a great degree."
Topographical and Genealogical, The County of Suffolk, 1844, Augustine Page