Stokesby is part of the Flegg Hundred, which was an insular district in ancient times and in common with eleven of its neighbouring villages has the Danish termination ‘by’ to its name. ‘Stok’ was a word for outlying pasture near water where there was good grazing and the cattle were kept during part of the year. Stokesby and its neighbour Herringby is listed in the Doomsday Book and at that time had a population of around 500 making them the largest village in Flegg and much higher than the present days total of approximately 300.
The Parish Church of St Andrew
St Andrew's Church in Stokesby dates from the 13th Century, but various Norman mouldings point to an even earlier building on this site. This is borne out by the entry in the Dooms Day book which was commissioned by William 1st in 1085 and shows the village 'Stoches/Stokesbi/bey had a Church, 2 Salthouses and 180 sheep.
Stokesby has some fine brasses, which include members of the Clere family who inherited the Manor in the fifteenth-century dissolution. Sadly by the seventeenth century, the estates had passed to the Windham family and were eventually sold to George England, Mayor, and MP for Great Yarmouth.
The heart of the village was Sandbury Green, which extended past the present Green almost to the Thrigby Road junction. Here village tradesmen were also doing well including the carpenter, wheelwright and blacksmith shops.
The Ferry House and Inn.
The Ferry House and Inn (now called The Ferry) with the lucrative 'Ferry' business and Staithe could afford their own large barn. There was money enough in the village to sustain a pork butcher and general shop. There was also a dressmaker, shoemakers, bricklayers, and a brazier.
Flour was produced at the new windmill built-in 1827. A grand new Rectory was built in 1840 and a new school in 1876.
There was also a thriving Methodist congregation as well as a Wesleyan Chapel.
There is a memorial plaque in the Church listing the 65 Stokesby men who fought in the Great War, a staggering percentage of the adult male population at that time. Eleven made the ultimate sacrifice and are commemorated on the War Memorial in the churchyard together with the three young men who gave their lives in the Second World War.
Stokesby with Herringby
A beautifully written book telling the history of a small village in the heart of the Norfolk Countryside.
The book is available from Stokesby Village Hall, the Village Shop and Filby Post Office