Alethorpe, Norfolk Genealogy

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Norfolk Parishes

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

Alethorpe, Norfolk
Type Extra-parochial
Civil Jurisdictions
Hundred Gallow
County Norfolk
Poor Law Union Walsingham
Registration District Walsingham
Records begin
Parish registers: For records see surrounding parishes
Bishop's Transcripts: For records see surrounding parishes
Ecclesiastical Jurisdictions
Rural Deanery Not Applicable
Diocese Not Applicable
Legal Jurisdictions
Probate Court Search the courts of the surrounding parishes
Location of Archive
Norfolk Record Office

Parish History

Alethorpe is an extra parochial place in the county of Norfolk.

The medieval church of Alethorpe was called All Saints. The church has not survived. The building was in disrepair and used as a barn by 1602, its demise linked to the depopulation of the village in the 16th century. Nothing can be seen today, though three human skeletons were unearthed in 1962 in what is presumed to be the old churchyard. A tree stands on the site of the church itself. Of Alethorpe, only a few low earthworks remain, possible track ways and a house platform can be seen. Another building, a leper hospital mentioned in documents has also disappeared, though its existence in the first place was not certain.

The village of Alethorpe is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1085 where its population, land ownership and productive resources were detailed In the survey Alethorpe is recorded by the name of Alatorp. The land is said to be in possession of the King with Stibbard having land from the King.

Alethorpe was also recorded in the Nomina Villarum. These documents were a series of surveys carried out in late 13th and early 14th century which contained a list of all cities, boroughs and townships in England and the Lords of them. The documents were compiled for King Edward II. 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 was ten heads of families in 1496.

ALETHORPE, an extra-parochial liberty, locally in the parish of Fakenham, union of Walsingham, hundred of Gallow, W. division of Norfolk, 2 miles (N. E. by E.) from Fakenham. [1]


Civil Registration

Birth, marriages and deaths were kept by the government, from July 1837 to the present day. The civil registration article tells more about these records. There are several Internet sites with name lists or indexes. A popular site is FreeBMD.

Church records

To find the names of the neighbouring parishes, use England Jurisdictions 1851. In this site, search for the name of the parish, click on the location "pin", click Options and click List contiguous parishes.

There are no surviving deposited records for the mediaeval parish.

Census records

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.

Poor Law Unions

Walsingham Union was incorporated under the terms of the 1834 Act, and the union workhouse was built at Great Snoring, but not completed until 1838. The Walsingham Union Workhouse at Great Snoring was opened in 1838. It was situated close to the boundary between the parishes of Great Snoring and Thursford and was sometimes known as Thursford Workhouse. Poor Law Unions were abolished in 1930 and the responsibilities of Walsingham Union Board of Guardians were taken over by Norfolk County Council Guardians' Committee No. 7. From 1930 the former Workhouse became known as Walsingham Public Assistance Institution. On 26 and 27 June 1934 the remaining thirty inmates (including two infants but no children) were transferred to West Beckham and Gressenhall Institutions and Walsingham Institution officially closed on 30 June 1934. The building was subsequently adapted for use as a smallpox hospital. By 1976 the building was derelict and was demolished in the early 1990s.
Acquisition Received by the Norfolk Record Office on 26 February 1982 (C/GP 19/192-198) and on unknown dates.

Copies C/GP19/1-6, 131, 133-135, 137, 141, 143-146, 148, 150-151, 173-181 are on microfilm.
RelatedMaterial For records of Guardians Committee No. 7 (including the administration of Red House Children's Home in Little Snoring and the boarding-out of children), see C/GC 7. See Public Assistance Sub-Committee minutes, 11 July 1934 and 12 September 1934, C/C 10/455. The records of the County Architect's Department include plans of the alterations for use as a smallpox hospital dated February 1937, see C/AR 1/29-31. The one inch to one mile Ordnance Survey Map of 1954 designates the building 'smallpox hospital'.

Norfolk Poor Law Unions

Probate records

Records of wills, administrations, inventories, indexes, etc. were filed by the court with jurisdiction over this parish. Go to Norfolk Probate Records to find the name of the court having primary jurisdiction. Scroll down in the article to the section Court Jurisdictions by Parish.

Maps and Gazetteers

Maps are a visual look at the locations in England. Gazetteers contain brief summaries about a place.


  • The Domesday Book, England's Heritage, Then and Now, (Editor: Thomas Hinde), Norfolk, page 186, Alethorpe, ISBN 1858334403
  •  Blake W, 'Norfolk Manorial Lords in 1316', Norfolk Archaeology, volume 30, 1952: 277 & 8.



  1. Lewis, Samuel A.,A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848), pp. 31-34. Date accessed: 28 Aug. 2013. BritishHistory online