In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Houghton like this:
HOUGHTON (NEW), HOUGHTON-IN-THE-BRAKE, or HOUGHTON-NEXT-HARPLEY, a village and a parish in Docking district, Norfolk. The village stands 9½ miles W by S of Fakenham r. station; and has a post office, of the name of Houghton, under Rougham. The parish comprises 1,495 acres. Real property, £1,322. Pop., 227. Houses, 53. The property, with Houghton Hall, belongs to the Marquis of Cholmondeley. Houghton Hall was built by Sir Robert Walpole, after designs by Ripley; presents a principal front of 166 feet with a cupola and lantern at each angle; has wings connected by a Tuscan colonnade, making a total frontage of 450 feet; contains a staircase by Kent, a hall of 40 feet by 40, a saloon of 40 feet by 30, a library of 22 feet by 21, and other spacious apartments; is enriched with noble and costly works of art; had a collection of pictures which was sold, in 1779, for £45,500, to the Empress Catherine of Russia; stands in rather a flat park, with many fine old beech and other trees, of Sir Robert's planting; was inhabited, for ten years, by Sir Robert Walpole; and was visited, in 1814 and 1818, by the Duke of Wellington. ...
The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Norwich. Value, £110. Patron, the Marquis of Cholmondeley. The church was repaired by Sir Robert Walpole; consists of nave, chancel, and aisles, with a small tower; and contains an effigies of a prior of Coxford, of the time of Edward I. The church vault contains the remains of fifteen generations of the Walpole family.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Houghton has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Kings Lynn and West Norfolk. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Houghton and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Houghton in Kings Lynn and West Norfolk | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 27th November 2014
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