In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Castle Rising like this:
CASTLE-RISING, a decayed town, a parish, and a subdistrict in Freebridge-Lynn district, Norfolk. The town stands 2¼ miles NE of Wootton r. station, and 4¾ NE by N of Lynn; and has a post office under Lynn. A Roman station and a Saxon fort probably were here; and a great castle was erected on their site some time before 1176 by William de Albini, first Earl of Sussex. Remains of the castle still exist; and show it to have been a place of much importance. The interior is greatly dilapidated, but is least so in the room where the court leet was held. ...
The walls of the keep are 9 feet thick; the encompassing ditch is deep, and the rampart bold; a strong wall, with three towers, formerly surmounted the rampart; and the entire place was on a similar plan to Norwich castle, and nearly as large. Several kings made visits to it; and Isabel, the queen of Edward III., was confined in it from 1330, after the murder of her husband, till her death in 1358. The town is now a paltry village; but was formerly a seat of great markets, a centre of political influence, a borough by prescription, and probably a seaport; and it sent two members to parliament, till disfranchised by the act of 1832. Tradition assumes that the sea came up to it in the same manner that it now does to Lynn; and an old rhyme says,-
Rising was a seaport town,
When Lynn was but a marsh;
Now Lynn it is a seaport town,
And Rising fares the worse!
The parish comprises 2,096 acres. Real property, £2,298. Pop., 377. Houses, 79. The property all belongs to the Howard family. The living is a rectory, united with the rectory of Roydon, in the diocese of Norwich. Value, £419.* Patrons, the Heirs of the late Hon. Col. Howard. The church is partly Norman, partly early English; and was restored in 1844 and 1857. There are a national school and an alms-house-hospital, and the latter was founded, in the time of James II., by Henry Howard, Earl of Northampton, and has £100 a year.-The subdistrict contains seven parishes. Acres, 19,006. Pop., 2,420. Houses, 529.
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 Castle Rising 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 Castle Rising and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Castle Rising in Kings Lynn and West Norfolk | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 22nd May 2013
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