Bawburgh Village

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is for Unthank. 

Many of us will know the well-known Norwich road name, and even the Unthank Arms public house, but some of us will know that there is more of a connection to Bawburgh with the family name of Unthank. Brought up in Norwich, the name runs off the tongue, but visitors always think it rather strange. There is however a village in Northumberland called Unthank, and this is where the family hails from.

Bawburgh’s connection with the family goes back two hundred years, although it was not until 1870 that the family, as lessees, could buy Church Farmhouse, previously owned by the Church. It is not thought to have housed the Vicar at that time — this, the role of Church Cottage, then a larger property — although certainly it did house Chantry Priests prior to the Reformation. By this time (1870), Mr. Clement William Unthank and his wife, Mary-Anne had inherited Church Farmhouse, Bawburgh, and Intwood Hall, from her father Mr. Joseph Salusbury Muskett, who had acquired the lease of Church Farmhouse in 1799.

As the Unthank name came into the equation, this would not be the last time, the properties would be inherited by the female line. Clement and Mary-Anne’s son, Clement William Joseph inherited the estate in 1884. He became a Lieutenant Colonel, married Judith Sarah Savill-Onley and had 2 sons and 6 daughters, including another Clement William Joseph!! He commanded the 4th Voluntary Battalion Norfolk Regiment 1888-1896 and by this time the Unthank Estate stretched to 3,000 acres in Norfolk with farms amounting to 525 acres. The last Miss Margaret Beatrice Unthank, who was the Great Great Great Grand-daughter of the original Joseph Salusbury Muskett, inherited Intwood from her father John Salusbury Unthank in 1960. In a letter dated 1993, Miss Unthank told Bawburgh News that John Muskett had been “a man of property”, rebuilding Intwood Hall (in the family since 1797) and Caistor Hall for his children, whilst working as Land Agent at Easton Lodge. Margaret Unthank died in 1995 whilst her cousin, Mrs. Jan Darling lived at Intwood Hall.

The Unthank family never did live in Church Farmhouse during the 200 years of its ownership, but there have been many recorded tenants, starting with Thomas Robertson in 1875, through to Ted Reynolds, who left the property in 1979 and in between many farming tenants who played a major part in village affairs (especially James Sparrow during the first two decades of the 20th Century). It was conveyed to the Intwood Estate in 1982, and Church Farmhouse sold, bringing to a close their long association with the village, although much surrounding farming land remained in their hands.

The village, however, will be historically linked with the Unthank family, due to their generous gesture, when, as the re-named Intwood Estates, they gifted the land for Bawburgh’s new Village Hall, which enabled the village to use the proceeds from the sale of its existing land to build our now fine Village Hall. Without this boost, the project would not have been possible, and it is thanks in part to the arrival 202 years before its opening, of the entrepreneurial Joseph Muskett.

(With grateful thanks to the Darling family and Carol Twinch for their help in compiling the above.)

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