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MARKET TOWNS OF NORFOLK (from SDUK Penny Cyclopedia)

Harleston in 1839

Harleston is in Earsham hundred, 99 miles from London. The area of the parish of Redenhall with Harleston is 1,610 acres, with a population, in 1831, of 1,784, less than one-fourth agricultural. Part of the town lies in the parish of Mendham, which is chiefly in Suffolk ; the Norfolk portion of this parish has an area of 720 acres, with a population, in 1831, of 341, one-fourth agricultural ; giving a total for Harleston of 2,330 acres, with a population of 2,125.

The town consists of a main street along the Yarmouth road, and a convenient market-place on the south side of the main street. The ‘middle row,’ between the street and the market-place, is in the hamlet of Harleston, which is part of Redenhall parish. In this part is a chapel-of-ease, a plain building. There are three dissenting places of worship in the town. The river Waveney flows at a short distance to the south ; there are three bridges over it in the neighbourhood.

The manufacture of bombazines is carried on to a small extent : there is a well attended corn-market on Wednesday, and two considerable fairs, at which great numbers of Scotch cattle are sold. The parish church of Redenhall is situated on an elevation a mile from the town on the road to Yarmouth. It consists of a nave with two aisles, a chancel, and a fine western tower of perpendicular character. The tower was built A.D. 1460-1520, but the body of the church in the beginning of the fourteenth century.

The living is a rectory, with the chapelry of Harleston annexed, of the clear yearly value of £803. There were in 1833, in the parish of Redenhall and the Norfolk portion of Mendham parish, two infant or dame schools, with 33 to 38 children ; a national day and Sunday school, partly endowed, with 90 children in the week and 134 on Sundays ; two day-schools, with 40 children ; and one Sunday-school with 145 children.