Harleston in 1839
Harleston is in Earsham hundred, 99 miles from London. The area of the parish of Redenhall with Harleston is 1,610 acres, with a population, in 1831, of 1,784, less than one-fourth agricultural. Part of the town lies in the parish of Mendham, which is chiefly in Suffolk ; the Norfolk portion of this parish has an area of 720 acres, with a population, in 1831, of 341, one-fourth agricultural ; giving a total for Harleston of 2,330 acres, with a population of 2,125.
The town consists of a main street along the Yarmouth road, and a convenient market-place on the south side of the main street. The middle row, between the street and the market-place, is in the hamlet of Harleston, which is part of Redenhall parish. In this part is a chapel-of-ease, a plain building. There are three dissenting places of worship in the town. The river Waveney flows at a short distance to the south ; there are three bridges over it in the neighbourhood.
The manufacture of bombazines is carried on to a small extent : there is a well attended corn-market on Wednesday, and two considerable fairs, at which great numbers of Scotch cattle are sold. The parish church of Redenhall is situated on an elevation a mile from the town on the road to Yarmouth. It consists of a nave with two aisles, a chancel, and a fine western tower of perpendicular character. The tower was built A.D. 1460-1520, but the body of the church in the beginning of the fourteenth century.
The living is a rectory, with the chapelry of Harleston annexed, of the clear yearly value of £803. There were in 1833, in the parish of Redenhall and the Norfolk portion of Mendham parish, two infant or dame schools, with 33 to 38 children ; a national day and Sunday school, partly endowed, with 90 children in the week and 134 on Sundays ; two day-schools, with 40 children ; and one Sunday-school with 145 children.