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Shouldham Priory Manor 1066-1862
Elizabeth Fiddick ©
Shouldham Priory was situated South of King's Lynn in the village of Shouldham. Nothing now remains of this Priory but it was established in the reign of Richard 1 by the Earl of Essex, William de Mandeville. William had supported the barons against King John. He died with no issue and he was buried in the Priory but his tomb has disappeared and a farmhouse now stands where the Priory stood. It was a Priory of the Gilbertine Order. St. Gilbert founded a Monastery in 1135 when he formed labourers into a monastic order and also founded a nunnery for destitute girls.
As with Binham Priory Christiana de Mandeville, Countess of Essex, gave lands and property from Dersingham to this order and so Shouldham Priory Manor was established here. At the dissolution of the monasteries it was granted to John Dethick who subsequently transferred it to John Pell of Oldhall Manor and his heirs. This John Pell died in 1554 and an inquisition was taken at Lynn and described the property of Shouldham and Brookhall thus; 6 messuages, 320 acres of land, 120 of meadow, 40 of pasture, 50 of furze and heath in Dersingham, Shernbourne and Ingoldisthorpe. (A messuage was a dwelling house with outbuildings and land belonging to it) Most of the Pell property was eventually willed to Robert Walpole, the father of Sir Robert Walpole.
The Pell Family were wealthy wool merchants who were a force in this village for two hundred years. In 1553 John Pell built a fine Manor House close to where our new surgery now stands and the old moated house in the pastures was abandoned. They also built Dersingham Hall and the Great Barn by the church. In 1690 when Valentine Pell died without issue he left his estates to his cousin Robert Walpole of Houghton Hall. By the 18th century the Pell family here died out.
Later most of the Houghton Hall property here in the village became part of the Sandringham Estate.