In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Gillingham like this:
GILLINGHAM, a village and a parish in Loddon district, Norfolk. The village stands near the river Waveney, the East Suffolk railway, and the boundary with Suffolk, 1½ mile NNW of Beccles; and is small. The parish includes also a small suburb of Beccles on the left side of the Waveney. Post town, Beccles. Acres, 2, 008. Real property, £3, 768. Pop., 390. Houses, 90. The property is divided among a few. Gillingham Hall, near the village, was built by the father of Lord Bacon; became the seat of Mrs. ...
Schultz; and has a picturesque cupola-tower. Much of the land was formerly marsh, and is now excellent grazing ground. There were formerly two parishes, -G-All-Saints. and G-St. Mary; but they were united in 1748. The livings remain nominally distinct, but are actually united; and both are rectories in the diocese of Norwich. Value, £523.* Patron, Lord G. Beresford. All-Saints church was taken down at the union of the parishes, and only the ivy-clad ruin of its tower remains. St. Mary's church is cruciform; has an apsidal Norman chancel, and an embattled tower; contains a brass of 1553; and was restored in 1858. Charities, £51. Dean Moss, chaplain of Queen Anne, was a native.
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 Gillingham has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of South Norfolk. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Gillingham and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Gillingham in South Norfolk | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 20th December 2014
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