Weston Longville is a small village which lies
approximately 8 miles north-west of
Norwich. It is situated close
to the River Wensum.
Parson Woodforde (1740-1803) was the rector at All
Saints' Church here from
1776 to his death. His diary is a wonderful record of
rural life in the 18th century - detailing his
mundane daily activities and above all his copious meals. He
frequently dined with Mr and Mrs Custance and here is his entry for January 28th, 1780:
"...The company present were Sir Edmund Bacon and
Lady, Mr and Mrs Custance and Mr Press Custance.....We
had for dinner a Calf's Head, boiled Fowl and Tongue, A
Saddle of Mutton rosted on the Side Table, and a fine
swan rosted with Currant Jelly for the First Course. The
Second Course a couple of Wild Fowl called Dun Fowls,
Larks, Blamange, Tarts etc etc and a good Dessert of
Fruit after, amongst which was a Damson Cheese. I never
eat a bit of Swan before, and I think it good eating
with seet sauce.... "
Parson Woodforde remained a bachelor for the whole of
his life - but he was attended at Weston Longville by
his niece Nancy and by a variety of servants. He was a
very orthodox man - dispensing his church duties in a
reliable but uninspired fashion. Part of his role as
rector was to help the poor and his diaries record the
many occasions when he gave food or money to beggars
calling at his door. Woodforde had no pretensions of
being a great writer - and had little interest in
The diaries were edited and appeared in 1924 as
The Diary of a Country Parson - proving very popular
with the post war reading public.
Woodforde is buried in
the chancel of the village church and there is a
memorial plaque to him on the wall. The pub opposite the
church is named after him.
Gravestone on Chancel
Memorial Plaque on wall of church.
All Saint's Church
More photographs of Parson Woodforde locations
The Parson Woodforde