Thorpe, Norfolk Genealogy

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Guide to Thorpe, Norfolk ancestry, family history, and genealogy: parish registers, transcripts, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.

Thorpe, Norfolk
Type Ancient Parish
Civil Jurisdictions
Hundred Blofield; Norwich
County Norfolk
Poor Law Union Blofield
Registration District Blofield; Norwich
Records begin
Parish registers: 1642
Bishop's Transcripts: 1708
Ecclesiastical Jurisdictions
Rural Deanery Blofield
Diocese Norwich
Province Canterbury
Legal Jurisdictions
Probate Court Court of the Archdeaconry of Norwich
Location of Archive
Norfolk Record Office

Parish History[edit | edit source]

THORPE, BISHOP'S (St. Andrew), a parish, partly in the county of the city of Norwich, but chiefly in the hundred and union of Blofield, E. division of Norfolk, 2 miles (E.) from Norwich. [1] It should not be confused with Norwich St Andrews which is inside the city of Norwich on St Andrews Street, just north of Norwich Castle and south of Blackfrairs Halls.

Thorpe St Andrew or Thorpe next Norwich is an Ancient parish in the Diocese of Norwich. The title Thorpe Episcopi is also applied to the parish.  The parish, which originally included Thorpe Hamlet, was once a part of Mousehold an area of forest and heathland, which during the Middle Ages, extended from Norwich to Wroxham. The principal roads in Thorpe St Andrew, such as Plumstead Road East and Telegraph Lane (now in Thorpe Hamlet) were once tracks through the forest and heathland.
At the time of the Doomsday Survey (1085 - 6) the principal landowner in Thorpe was the King who had seized the land from Stigand the Archbishop of Canterbury. In 1095 Bishop Herbert de Losinga moved his bishopric from Thetford to Norwich creating the Diocese of Norwich. The cathedral, was founded in 1096. In 1101 King Henry I gave the Manor of Thorpe to the Bishop of Norwich and his successors (hence the title Episcopi). The earliest recorded priest in Thorpe was the Rev’d Thomas de Middleton in 1200. He was Vicar but all his successors have been Rectors. A summer palace for the Bishop was built in the parish beside the River Yare during the 1300s, and the present day Old Thorpe Hall is built on its foundations.
In 1404 Thorpe Hamlet, the land from Harvey Lane westwards to the River Wensum in Norwich, came under the city’s jurisdiction: but it remained in the ecclesiastical Parish of Thorpe St Andrew
Episcopi. As Lord of the Manor the Bishop of Norwich was the patron of the living of Thorpe St Andrew and the last priest to be presented by the Bishop was the Rev’d Bartholomew Holt in 1531.
In 1537 King Henry VIII deprived the bishop of his Thorpe manorial rights. A free school was founded in 1587 in the parish.

In 1814 St Andrews Hospital was founded. It was known formerly as The County Asylum and was situated at the eastern end of the parish. The Hospital closed in 1998 and the original listed building and the chapel have been converted into private dwellings.

The present church, constructed between 1864-6, is a listed building. It replaced the earlier one which was demolished in the 1880s. The faculty for the new building stipulated that the medieval church must be left "to form a picturesque ruin". The ruin is also listed.
The earlier church was only 25 yards long and seven yards wide with a thatched roof and a tower A parapet was added to the tower in the mid 15th century. It was known as the Thorpe Wonder because it was the same height as the ridge of the nave roof. The tower formed the entrance to the church (as does the tower to the present Church) and contained one bell, dated 1708, and possibly a second one. On the exterior of the south facing wall there is a sundial dated 1694, with the initials of the then churchwardens, J E and E K (John Ellis and Edward King).

The growth of Thorpe in the nineteenth century led to the establishment of Thorpe St Matthew, (next Norwich), Norfolk.

A collection of photos and additional history is available through the Norfolk Transcription Archives

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Thorpe, Norfolk Genealogy parish registers of christenings, marriages and burials are available online for the following years:

FREG = FreeREG - free[2]
FS PRs = England, Norfolk, Parish Registers, 1538-1900 (FamilySearch) - free[3]
IGI = International Genealogical Index (FamilySearch) - free[4]
JOIN = The Joiner Marriage Index - (£)[5]
TIN = Tinstaafl Transcripts - free[6]
Thorpe, Norfolk Genealogy Online Records


Indexes Images Indexes Images Indexes Images
FREG 1642-1906
FS PRs Undefined 1642-1906 Undefined 1642-1900 Undefined 1642-1900
IGI 1642-1812 1673-1812

TIN 1813-1880

Norfolk Record Office reference PD 228 see

Parish registers for St. Andrew's Church, Thorpe-next-Norwich, 1642-1906

Content Film
Baptisms, 1642-1643, 1670-1705; Marriages, 1670-1703; Burials, 1670-1705. Baptisms and burials, 1706-1763; Marriages, 1706-1753. Baptisms and burials, 1763-1812. Baptisms, marriages, burials, 1813-1831. Baptisms, 1832-1859. Baptisms, 1860-1884. Baptisms, 1884-1906. Marriages, 1754-1812; Banns, 1754-1818. FHL BRITISH Film
1565275 Items 8 - 15
Marriages, 1832-1837. Marriages, 1837-1847. Marriages, 1847-1869. Marriages, 1869-1901. Burials, 1832-1874. Burials, 1874-1901. Banns, 1818-1841. Banns, 1841-1851. Banns, 1843-1844. Banns, 1851-1890. FHL BRITISH Film
1565275 Items 16 - 25

Thorpe next Norwich St Matthew parish registers of christenings, marriages and burials are available online for the following years:

Thorpe next Norwich St Matthew Online Records


Indexes Images Indexes Images Indexes Images
FS PRs Undefined 1851-1901 Undefined 1852-1901

Monumental Inscriptions[edit | edit source]

England Norfolk Monumental Inscriptions - FamilySearch Historical Records

Non-Conformist Churches[edit | edit source]


Independent Methodist

In 1859 an Independent Chapel was established in Chapel Lane, Thorpe St Andrew.  When the Independent Chapel closed it was purchased by the Rector (in 1883) who later sold it to the parishioners (in 1897). The building was enlarged in 1910 and was used as a church and parish hall for many years. It was sold in 1966.

Census[edit | edit source]

Census records from 1841 to 1911 are available online. For access, see England Census Records and Indexes Online. Census records from 1841 to 1891 are also available on film through a Family History Center or at the Family History Library.


Directories[edit | edit source]

1845 Whites' Directory of Norfolk: Thorpe-Next-Norwich or Thorpe St. Andrew: Courtesy of

Land Records[edit | edit source]

1597 Subsidy Taxes courtesy of the Norfolk Transcription Website.

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Poor Law Unions[edit | edit source]

Registration Districts[edit | edit source]

  • Blofield 1837-1938
  • Norwich Outer 1939-1974
  • Norwich

Probate Jurisdiction[edit | edit source]

Norfolk Probate Jurisdictions Parishes T through Z

Maps[edit | edit source]

England Jurisdictions 1851

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Lewis, Samuel A.,A Topographical Dictionary of England(1848), pp.343-346. Date accessed:16 July 2013.
  2. 'Norfolk Coverage', FreeREG, accessed 27 February 2014.
  3. 'England, Norfolk, Parish Registers (County Record Office), 1538-1900', FamilySearch, accessed 17 March 2014.
  4. Hugh Wallis, 'IGI Batch Numbers for Norfolk, England,' IGI Batch Numbers, accessed 20 March 2014.
  5. 'Norfolk Coverage,' The Joiner Marriage Index, accessed 11 February 2014.
  6. 'Norfolk Baptism Project 1813 to 1880,' Tinstaafl Transcripts, accessed 10 April 2014.