The History of St.Margaret's Church

Swannington Charities


IN 1641 Mr. John Carter left six acres copyhold for the poor inhabitants of Swannington. This land is situated on the Cawston road. The rent thereof, after paying Tithe Rent Charge and other charges, is divided annually amongst the poor. On the death of a Rector of Swannington, two years’ rent is retained as fees to the Lord of the Manor. The Trustees are the Rector and Churchwardens. The distribution is made on New Year’s Day.

('The Swanington Town Land Trust' is now called 'TheSwannington Charity for the relief of people in need'. The source of revenue for this charity has changed. The land which used to generate the income has been sold. The proceeds have been invested and money now available derives from income produced by the capital investment. The terms and conditions have been up dated.)


Mr. Stephen Shering, a citizen and skinner of London, by his will, bearing date 28th March, 1643, left to this parish a yearly rent charge of £5 issuing out of his two messuages in Bucklesbury, in the parish of St. Bennet Shirehog, London, one called the King’s Head, and the other the Boar’s Head; 50s. thereof to buy twelve penny loaves every Sunday, to be distributed to twelve poor people of the parish, at the discretion of the Minister and Churchwardens; and the other 50s. to be given to the poor of the said parish, viz., 25s. every Christmas Day, and the like sum every Easter Day, or within two days of these feasts, at the like discretion.


Extract from the Will of Mrs. E. R. R. D. Parker, dated 20th December, 1900 :- “I give and bequeath the sum of £300 to the Rector and Church Wardens of the Parish of Swannington in the County of Norfolk for the maintenance for the public use of the Well erected by me in memory of my dear husband, and direct that the same shall be paid out of my personal estate. And that any surplus of the annual income arising from the investment of such sum of £300 not required for the repair and maintenance of the said well may be expended by the said Rector and Church Wardens in defraying the expenses of the heating, lighting or repairing the Parish Church of Swannington aforesaid.”

Mrs. Hastings Parker was Lady of the manor and lived to the age of over a hundred years. On her hundredth birthday she visited Swannington, being driven over in her carriage from Dudwick House, Buxton, where she then lived, and was present at a tea given by her to the village folk in a meadow adjoining the rectory grounds.


Known as the Swannington Sick Fund, the Trustees of which are the Rector and Churchwardens. This Fund was endowed by Miss E. Higginson of Swannington Hall in the year 1914 in memory of her brother, Mr. E. E. Higginson, to form a permanent Nursing Fund, to aid in cases of special sickness. Miss Higginson with her mother, Mrs. Higginson, and the rest of the family, invested the sum of £100 in India 3½ per cent. Stock (£118 16s. 10d.), the interest of which is about £4 per annum, and will be available for that purpose. The Deed of Settlement, dated September 21st, 1914, is kept in the Parish Register Safe at the Rectory, the original document being deposited at Messrs. Barclays Bank, Norwich. The School and School House, situated about two hundred yards beyond the village and on the right of the road leading to Upgate, were built by the Rector, the Rev. F. Hildyard, in 1864, for the village children. Previous to that the children of the parish had received what little schooling was considered necessary for them in a cottage near the corner of the village green. After the death of Mr. Hildyard, Mrs. Hildyard made a free gift to the parish of Swannington of the School, School House, and Playground, appointing the Rector of Swannington, the Rector of Witchingham, and the Rector of Reepham, Trustees; the Rector of Swannington and the licensed Curate (if there should be one) and the Churchwardens of Swannington to be Managers, together with two other persons being and continuing members of the Church of England. “And it is further declared that the said school shall be deemed and taken to be for ever hereafter an Ecclesiastical Charity of the Church of England solely.” (Extract from the Deed of Gift and Conveyance, dated February 27th, 1894).