Diss in 1839
Diss is in the hundred of Diss, 86 miles from London. The parish is divided by the Waveney from the adjacent parish of Palgrave in Suffolk ; it contains an area of 3,450 acres, and had, in 1831, a population of 2,934, one-fourth agricultural. The town is irregularly laid out, and is on a very uneven site, but the streets are clean, and there are a number of good houses. At the extremity of the town is a large mere or pool, covering above seven acres, and abounding with eels.
The church is an ancient building, erected by the Fitzwalters, lords of the place ; it consists of a nave with two aisles and a chancel, and a square tower at the west end. There are several dissenting places of worship in the town.
There is a weekly market at Diss on Friday, and a yearly fair for cattle and toys. A few individuals are employed in the manufacture of hempen cloth, a quantity of which is sold at the weekly market. The living is a rectory, of the clear yearly value of £715, with a glebe-house.
There were in the parish, in 1833, an infant school with 80 children ; a school of industry, with 65 girls ; fourteen day or boarding schools, with 242 children, and four Sunday-schools, with 545 children.