[Transcription © SA Whittle-Bruce 2003]
Kelly's 1908 Directory
Fordham is a parish and small village on the navigable River Wissey, with a station on the Downham and Stoke Ferry branch of the Great Eastern railway, 3 miles south from Downham, in the South Western division of the county, Clackclose hundred and petty sessional division, Downham union and county court district, rural deanery of Fincham (East division), archdeaconry of Lynn and diocese of Norwich. The church of St. Mary is a small building of stone in the Decorated style, consisting of chancel and nave and a belfry containing one bell; the chancel appears to have been built in the 13th century; there are 120 sittings. The register dates from the year 1576. The living is a vicarage, united with Roxham to that of Ryston in 1877, joint net yearly value £210, including 32 acres of glebe, with residence, in the gift of the Dean and chapter of Norwich, and held since 1906 by the Rev. Thomas Edward Charlton; the Rev. Edward Barber, of St Alban hall, Oxford, has been curate in charge since 1908.
Snore, or Snowre Hall, in this parish, is a manor house, built about 1651 by Sir Ralph Skipwith. King Charles I was probably received here, April 30th 1646, by Mr Skipwith, who was aiding his escape from Oxford before his surrender to the Scotch army at Newark, May 5th 1646. The house contains two secret chambers, or "Priest - holes" about six feet square. close to the large central chimney, one above the other and communicating by a trap door, the approach to the lowermost being by a narrow shaft from the east attic. Edward Roger Murray Pratt esq of Ryston Hall, who is lord of the manor, and Joseph Martin are the principal landowners. The soil is of a varied description, one part being a strong mixed soil and the other light land. The chief crops are grass, wheat, barley and beans. the area is 2,213 acres, half of which is fen; the population in 1901 was 192.
Parish clerk, John Palmer
Letters from Downham. The nearest money order & telegraph office is at Hilgay. about 1 mile distant.
Ryston & Fordham Public Elementary School, erected in 1856 for the united parishes of Fordham, Ryston & Roxham, for 45 children; average attendance, 27. Mrs C M Clarke, mistress.
Railway Station(called Ryston), Chas. Waters, collector
Barber Rev. Edward (curate in charge), Vicarage
Brundle Albt. Edwd. farmer, High ho
Mason Thos. farmer, Twelve Acre wood
Russell Thomas Weasenham, farmer, Church farm
Thompson Fountain John; good accommodation for fishing gentlemen; good fishing & boating (railway station, Ryston), Cross Keys
Turner James, farm bailiff to H and H Martin esqrs