Docking, Norfolk is a
beautiful village on the highest point in Smithdon
Hundred (and possibly all of Norfolk). It was known as
"Dry Docking" as far back as the time of James
I, due to the lack of drinking water there. Its largest
manors were Southmere and Docking.
Church of St. Mary the Virgin
||Docking church is
the centerpiece of the village. The chancel was
built shortly before the Black Death of 1349, and
the 80 foot tower in about 1415. The oldest of
its five bells dates to 1622, made by John
Draper. The clock was added in 1902 for the
coronation of Edward VII.
the north aisle buttresses are three shields,
representing the Uphall and Haydon families. Rev.
Heydon was Rector of Southmere in the 16th
The most famous
member of the Church was Henry Walpole, baptised
in the ancient font at Docking Church in 1558. He
witnessed the execution of the Jesuit priest
Edmund Campion in 1581 and went into exile in
France, becoming a Jesuit himself. He returned to
England and was captured, and tortured in the
Tower of London for 16 years before being hung,
drawn, and quartered in 1595. He was canonized in
description of Docking is from the book, "The King's
England - Norfolk" by Arthur Mee, 1940.
"Docking. It holds its head high, this quiet
upland town in the middle of a star of five
roads; as soon as we enter it we touch the
highest part of Norfolk, a distinction which in
days gone by was not without some inconvenience.
Because of this altitude, Docking water was so
scarce that it had to be brought in by pailfuls,
and the place was known round about as Dry
Docking. Now it advertises the changed order of
things by a concrete water tower with buzzing
engines, rising by a pond near the old church and
hall among the trees. Near the church the wooden
stocks stand under the shelter built to keep this
relic of Merrie England from decay. The hall,
which John Hare built in 1612, was enlarged last
church is chiefly 15th century, but most of the
chancel, with its fine windows, is nearly twice
as old as the hall. Older still is part of a
Norman pillar in a niche in the nave. The
treasure of this big barn-like church is the
richly carved but battered 15th-century font,
with seated figures of the Apostles, and standing
figures with symbols or with babies.
memorials to the Hares is the oak eagle lectern,
with Evangelistic symbols at the foot, to Hannah
Hare of 1882, and a brass to Hugh James Hare,
rector for 55 years."
Docking Church font. The heads of the
carved saints were decapitated during the
Stained Glass window in Docking Church, showing
St. Gregory and St. Cecilia.
Hare family coat of arms in stained glass in the
west side entrance of Docking Hall, with the Hare
motto "Noll Altum Sapere Sed Time"...
"Do Not Be Proud But Fear".
and Norfolk Resources
Join the Docking, England
Glances - Docking and West Norfolk Genealogy Research
Drurys of Docking
Docking Union Workhouse Page
Dry Docking Farm,
St. Mary's County, Maryland
Medieval English Towns
Rootsweb Norfolk Surnames
Norfolk, England Genforum
Norfolk Records Office,
Norfolk Cottage Guide
Maps of England Online
Books - Great
The following books on Docking,
England are currently available. They can be obtained for
a nominal fee by contacting "Backward Glances", a
Norfolk genealogy research firm that will purchase the
books and mail them to you: "Dry Docking" by
Gerald Hagan (including Hare, Henley, Walpole, and Drury
pedigree charts); "Docking, a Walk in Time", by
Hermeina Elms and Eileen Wells; and "Docking, a
Village in Norfolk", by Tony Arter. All three are
full of photographs and history of the area and its
families. "Backward Glances"
also provides assistance with Docking genealogy research.