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Gressenhall workhouse history mapped

PUBLISHED: 08:27 13 March 2009 | UPDATED: 15:05 07 July 2010

A glimpse into the tragic lives led by people who lived at Gressenhall Workhouse has been put together by a family historian in the village.

John Moult has compiled a CD listing all the inscriptions on memorials in St Mary's Church at Gressenhall.

A glimpse into the tragic lives led by people who lived at Gressenhall Workhouse has been put together by a family historian in the village.

John Moult has compiled a CD listing all the inscriptions on memorials in St Mary's Church at Gressenhall.

He has included inscriptions on all the grave stones in the churchyard and a list of burials at the chapel at Gressenhall Workhouse.

This includes a list of inmates buried between 1876 and 1950 and a record of burials at the workhouse 1850 to 1869.

The death toll was high in the mid-1800s with 27 deaths each year in 1863 and 1864.

Those who died were aged from just four months old to one man, John Woods, who died on April 19, 1863, aged 95.

Some of the memorials inside St Mary's, which lies just outside the village, give a picture of the other end of the social scale in the village.

John David Hay Hill Esqe, Her Majesty's consul at Brest died on his passage from the Isle of Reunion to Europe on May 28, 1868, we learn.

He was the eldest son of John David Hay Hill Esqr of Gressenhall Hall, who died in 1805. The fourth son of the same man, Hamilton Hay Hill, who died in 1882, was a member of Her Majesty's exchequer and audit office.

Military honours include Arthur Edward Martyr Ward, captain and adjutant in the Norfolk Regiment, killed in action the village of Anafarta in Gallipoli on August 12, 1915, and a Colonel Richard Edward Oakes, both of whom have memorials inside the church.

The long serving Rev Dennis Hill, rector of the parish for 60 years in the 1880s, has memorials for his two wives, Lydia Newman, who died in 1819, and Elizabeth, who died in 1863.

Much more is available on the CD, includes photographs, plans and a history of the church.

It currently being finished off by Mr Moult and will be available for sale for £7 at Gressenhall's grand fete on Saturday, May 30. Proceeds will go to the church.


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