1900 Kelly’s Suffolk Directory
BRANDON, (or Brandon Ferry) is a market town and parish on the Little Ouse, with a station on the Ely and Thetford section of the Great Eastern railway, and is 88¼ miles from London, 6 west from Thetford, 9 north-east from Mildenhall and 5 west from Lakenheath station, which is in this parish, in the North Western division of the county (that part formerly in Norfolk having been transferred to Suffolk in 1895), Lackford hundred and petty sessional division, Thetford union and county court district, rural deanery of Mildenhall, archdeaconry of Sudbury and diocese of Ely. The town is lighted with gas from works erected by a local company about 1860. The Little Ouse, which divides the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk, is here crossed by a bridge of four arches. This place gives the title of duke to the Hamilton family, dukes of Hamilton. The church of St. Peter, situated a quarter of a mile west of the town, is an ancient structure originally comprising a nave only, built about 1050; it assumed its present dimensions about 1420, and now consists of chancel, nave, south aisle, north porch, and a western tower with small spire containing 6 bells: the east end is ornamented with two cupolas: a new roof was placed over the chancel by the late rector in 1842: in 1873 a roof of higher pitch was erected and the church thoroughly restored and seated with open benches at a cost of £2,100: the east and west windows are stained, the latter being a memorial to the late George Wood esq. and there is another, erected in 1884 by the late John Hipkin Hunt: during the restoration some portions of a tesselated pavement were found; there are some carved benches, and the lower portions of a rood screen of 1560 also exist: there are 350 sitting. The register dates from the year 1653. The living is a rectory, with that of Wangford annexed, joint net yearly value £440, with residence, in the gift of Mrs. Crocker (widow of the late Rev. Wm. F. Crocker M.A. rector 1865-99), and held since 1899 by the Rev. Joseph Light Wyatt M.A. of Cambridge University. The Baptist chapel is in High Street and the Wesleyan chapel in London road and there is a small Primitive Methodist in Town Street. The Workmen’s Hall at the top of High street, was erected in 1874, at a cost of £700. Adjoining the church are three almshouses, devised by Mrs. Ann Curtis in 1675, and rebuilt at the expense of the parish in 1840; in the High street are five others, appropriated to poor widows of this parish, and rebuilt in 1877 in memory of Mrs. A. Angerstein, of Weeting Hall, by her daughter the late Mrs. C. A. Norman, widow of the Rev. Charles M. R. Norman, rector of Northwold from 1833. The local charities produce about £160 yearly. Thursday is the market day. The corn market is held at the Great Eastern Railway Hotel, adjoining the railway station, and a horticultural show is held here annually. The principal hotels are the “Great Eastern,” the “White Hart,” and the “Ram.” A sub-branch of Messrs. Barclay & Co.’s Lim. formerly Messrs. Gurney and Co.’s Bank, is open every Thursday. The County Police station is in London road and here petty sessions are held monthly. A large number of the population are employed in the dressing of hare and rabbit skins, the fur of which is extensively used by felt and hat makers, and the skins or pelts in the manufacture of size and glue. A considerable trade is carried on in malt and timber. Attached to the Conservative Club is a Concert hall, seating about 250 persons. The chalk formation here furnishes an abundant supply of flints of superior quality, for building and ornamental purposes; previous to the introduction of percussion caps, the trade in gun-flints was the chief support of the working classes in this place, the flint obtained from the beds of Brandon being found to be more certain in its fire and more durable than any other; masses of flint are still obtained from Lingheath common, about a mile south-east of Brandon, the chalk there lying within 6 feet of the surface. Here are whiting mills; and an extensive steam saw mill, worked by Messrs. G. Wood and Sons, which gives employment to many hands. North Court Lodge, 1¾ miles south-west of the park, is the seat of Lt.-Col. Basil Edward Spragge D.S.O., J.P. Brandon Park, the seat of Baron Victor de Barreto J.P. is a handsome modern mansion, in a well-wooded park of 3,000 acres, 1 mile west from the town. Brandon Hall, half a mile west, and the property of C. F. Morbey esq. of Soham, is an ancient mansion, now the residence of Robert Francis Burton esq. J.P. Brandon house, the residence of Lieut.-Col. Boyd Cullen Poley Hamilton J.P., R.M. is a mansion of brick on the north side of the river. Baron Victor de Barreto, who is lord of the manor, and T. Sherratt Hall esq. of Weeting Hall, are the principal landowners, but there are several smaller owners. The area is 6,747 acres of land and 36 of water; rateable value, £9,365; the population in 1891 was 2,334.