Fakenham in 1839
Fakenham distinguished from other places of the same name as Fakenham Lancaster, is in Gallow hundred, 109 miles from London. The parish has an area of 2,360 acres, with a population, in 1831, of 2,077, one-sixth agricultural ; the hamlet of Alethorpe, belonging to this parish, has an area of 280 acres, with a population of eight persons : making in all 2,640 acres and 2,085 inhabitants. The town is situated near the river Wensom, on a pleasant declivity. The streets are paved.
The church is handsome and commodious, consisting of a nave with two aisles, a chancel, a south porch, and a lofty western tower ; this tower has a fine entrance doorway with a large window over it, and a canopied niche on each side.
There is an ancient market-cross. There is a corn-market on Thursday, one of the largest in the county, which is attended by corn-merchants from Wells. There are two yearly fairs held on Hampton Green, a mile from the town. The quarter-sessions for the county were formerly held here by adjournment alternately with Walsingham, but Holt has been substituted for Fakenham, and the former sessions-house has been converted into a school-room.
The living is a rectory, of the clear yearly value of £862, with a glebe-house. There were, in 1833, two schools, partly supported by endowment, with 55 children ; a school supported by subscription, with 42 girls ; nine other day or boarding schools, with 299 children ; and four Sunday-schools, with 362 children.