I recently found this on the Norfolk Heritage Site relating to Postwick and the Parish.
Archaeological Report – February 2011
One of the Planning Permission requirements for the Wind Turbine was that we had an Archaeologist oversee the excavation work. This was prompted by the discovery of human remains along the route of a drainage trench dug in the 1990s. For those of you who are interested in the history of the area the reports makes quite interesting reading although the excavations didn’t turn up anything too exciting. A pot of gold would have been handy! Click on following link
Excerpts of “Postwick The Story of a Norfolk Village” by Anne Carter
For me it all started when the family came to live in Postwick Lodge in late 1957. The house was obviously old in part, with a Victorian north face, but there were no deeds. From talking to older inhabitants, I learnt that until 1945, for a period of nearly 200 years, the Rosebery family had been lords of the manor. The 5th Earl, Prime Minister in 1894, had brought in Land Registration, all earlier deeds for land so registered being destroyed.
How did the parish come into possession of this valuable land? No one is sure as yet, but many Broadland villages lay claim to distant marshes at this time, just when sea levels were beginning to rise slightly, which suggests some sort of large-scale organisation. All these parishes with out-lying marshland seem to have had close ties with the King, either having the monarch himself as lord of the manor, or (as in Postwick), having blood ties with his chief minister.
In 1272, from the Norwich Cathedral Priory Register, we actually find the names recorded of some bondmen and women. It seems extraordinary practice now, but then, if a house and land were given to charity, the people who worked on it were given away too! So when Christiana ‘relict’ of Peter de Monasteriis left her dower lands (that she held by right as widow of a freeman) to the Prior, she handed over William the new man, Robert the shepherd with Matilda his wife and Margery, Beatrice and agnes, the daughters of Hubert de Lyng, to work
for him. Their lifestyle would probably change little, but they would now, for better or worse, work for a new and largely unknown master. They had no way of escape other than by paying a fine, and they were unlikely to have the means to do this.
But to return to the village itself, it seems that the male heirs of Eudo’s family (of the de Rye Barony) had died out by 1172, when Hubert left two beautiful daughters to follow him. The younger one, Isabel, married Lord Roger de Cressi of Horsford, and together held the manor of Postwick, along with 16 1/2 others.
When King John came to the throne, de Cressi fought with the Barons against him. To punish him for this and for marrying without consent (for such was the Monarch’s power then), the King fined him 20 marks and 12 palfreys. A mark was 13s 4d (two-thirds of a pound) and a palfrey was a riding horse, it was a substantial punishment.
Lord Roger had a splendid coat of arms, Argent, a Lion Rampant Sable, sometimes double tailed, (or to you and me a black lion with two tails on a silver background). To carry this, he employed a standard bearer named Peter de Musters.
At this time, no one but the King was allowed to own land, everyone else ‘holding’ it from him by a complex structure of tenures (or tenancies).
But lords of manors could reward their supporters by granting land as a sub-tenancy, to put it into modern jargon. This is just what Lord Roger did, rewarding Peter de Musters with considerable acreage in Postwick. The standard bearer’s family ‘held’ this for nearly 150 years before the land was given to the Cathedral Priory in the mid 14th Century.
By 1267 the de Cressi family had died out. Isabel seems to have lived to a great age. She had founded Beeston Priory in north Norfolk in 1216, and it seems likely that she rebuilt both the Chancel and Nave of Postwick Church, which seem to date from this time, but this has not yet been fully proved. There were two sons Hugh and Stephen, but both died childless, so the manor escheated (or returned) to the Monarch.
The next lord was to be a Frenchman William de Valence. He was half – brother (through his mother) to King Henry III, and had married the sister and co-heir of the Earl of Pembroke. By the time William was given Postwick by the King in 1268 he had himself become the Earl of Pembroke – so he was a fast worker!
Although he almost certainly never set foot in the village, (did he even know where it was?) the Hundred Rolls show that in 1274 he had a steward here, and held both the leet and the assize of bread and ale (as explained below), as did the Bishop of Norwich in the other smaller manor in Postwick.
A leet was a court that dealt with minor crimes and enforcement of bye-laws. The Lord also held his Manor Court, where (amongst other things) he would fine a tenant on admission to his land-holding, on the marriage of his daughter and on his death when it was customary to take his best cow or horse as a “heriot”.
If you have historical information that could help out this page then please contact me via the contact link above or here. I can then update this page and let the Postwickians all about or the history of our great little village.
John Crome – Painted a famous painting of Postwick Grove