In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Hilgay like this:
HILGAY, a village and a parish in Downham district, Norfolk. The village stands on the river Wissey, 2 miles from the Ouse, 3 NE of Hilgay Fen r. station, and 4 SSE of Market-Downham; and has a post office under Downham. The parish comprises 7, 860 acres; of which 5, 908 are in the Fens. Real property, £13, 492. Pop., 1, 624. Houses, 365. The property is much subdivided. The Hall, about ½ a mile from the village, belonged to the abbots of Ramsey; went at the dissolution to James Howe; belongs now to the Jones family; and was rebuilt, in the Tudor style, in 1840. ...
Modney priory, a cell to Ramsey abbey, stood at what is now a farm house 2 miles SW. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Norwich. Value, £1, 600.* Patron, the Rev. W. J. Parkes. The parish church is mainly decorated English, partly later English, with a modern tower; and has been restored. A chapel of ease is in a hamlet on the Tennule bank W of the Ouse; and an iron church is in an isolated tract 7 miles distant; but that tract, together with portions of Littleport and Feltwell parishes, was made a separate charge in 1866. There are Methodist chapels, national schools, church lands about £150, and charities £290. P. Fletcher, the poet, was rector.
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 Hilgay 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 Hilgay and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Hilgay in Kings Lynn and West Norfolk | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 10th December 2013
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