This short piece was provided by Ken Stowell from the records kept by the late "Pip" Orange.
The family of Moundeford, which plays an important part in the history of Feltwell, was a junior branch of the Moundefordes of Hockwold. This family was associated with the village of Feltwell from about 1430, through six generations, until the death of the second Sir Edmund in 1643; just over two centuries.
Sir Edmund was MP for Thetford in 1628 and for Norfolk in 1640. He died without issue and the Feltwell branch of the Moundeford family ceased to exist. They were a fine old family and Feltwell is indebted to Sir Edmund for the parochial charity known as the Moundeford Charity.
He gave and settled by deed on the 10th September 1642, two several parts of marsh and fen ground in Feltwell: in South Fen one containing 600 acres, called Ten-feet Ground, the other containing 240 acres, called the Wannage, in Trust, the profits to be applied one third in the yearly distribution "of frize or some other clothing" among the poorer sort of people that have or shall be born in Feltwell; and two thirds in support of a free school in the said town "for the teaching of the children of the inhabitants grammar and other learning freely". But when the clear rents were more than £60 per annum he desired the surplus to be applied in some convenient ground in Feltwell with a convenient house upon it, or else to build one, for an almshouse for the placing and dwelling of poor, aged and impotent people inhabiting Feltwell. Then the surplus above £60 per annum shall be yearly bestowed amongst the poor people of the said almshouses. Part of the land he left was taken by the Commissioners for the drainage of the Bedford Level, and the estate in 1854 consisted of 633 acres 1 rod 18 perch of fenland and two houses. The school was erected by the Trustees in 1839 and the almshouses in 1819. The income from the land continues to benefit the children of the school as well as the inhabitants of the almshouses.
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