Morningthorpe Manor Appeal: A Huge Thank You

The generosity of our supporters has helped the Norfolk Record Office secure hundreds of important historical documents at the recent Morningthorpe Manor Sale. A total of £30,000 was given by donors, charities and societies. Many of the donations were from Norfolk but money also came from the rest of the country, from Scotland and from as far afield as New Zealand.

Of course, once we have completed the processing and cataloguing of these documents, they will be freely available for anyone to use, but, to showcase them, the Norfolk Record Office will also stage an exhibition in the autumn.


After the documents purchased in the Morningthorpe Manor Sale have been processed, they will be available to consult in the Searchroom.

A wide range of documents from all over the county were purchased and each will be detailed on the NRO’s online catalogue. In the meantime a few of the highlights from the sale are listed below:

  • A seventeenth century Patent Book from the Dean and Chapter of Norwich Cathedral;
  • The diaries of Horatio Walpole, Later 4th Earl of Orford and MP for West Norfolk in the 1830s;
  • Seventeenth century manorial records from Wells-next-the-Sea;
  • Political squibs and broadsheets from Great Yarmouth;
  • Possibly the earliest log of a leisure trip on the Broads from the 1860s;
  • An early twentieth century saddler’s ledger form the East Dereham area detailing his customers;
  • Journals and diaries showing the workings of the Westacre estate in the nineteenth century;
  • Deeds and leases relating to the Great Hospital in Norwich;
  • Deeds and papers of the Boston family, pawnbrokers in Norwich;
  • Watton manor rental from the eighteenth century;
  • An estate map from 1735 of lands in the manors of Whinberg, Westfield and Carbrooke
  • Nineteenth century playbills for the Bijou Theatre in Wells
  • A draft enclosure award for Watton and Carbrooke from 1803
  • Hockwold deeds along with an indenture and rental from 1644
  • Crownthorpe enclosure award of 1778

The appeal and the sale have been a great opportunity for the Norfolk Record Office to work in partnership with the Norfolk Archives and Heritage Development Foundation (NORAH). As a new charity, this has been a great first step in fulfilling its aims of purchasing, preserving, making accessible and promoting records just like these.


The documents purchased in the Morningthorpe Manor Sale will now be preserved in our strongrooms.

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