History of the Gunton Name

By the time of the Doomsday survey of 1086, Norfolk was one of the most thickly populated and wealthiest regions of England, and remained so throughout the medieval period. This prosperity rested on successful agriculture and worsted production and is reflected in its magnificent buildings of that era.

In the time of William the Conqueror, 1066-1087, the Guntons were a strong family among the gentry of Norfolk. However, it was not until 1122 that Mathew de Gunton was recorded as Lord of the Manor in the reign of Henry I. His lands lay about midway between Norwich, the capital of the county, and Cromer on the coast of the North Sea. Gunton Hall, standing some four or five miles northeast of Aylsham was near the family holdings in Gunton, Marsham, Hennesby, Dalling, Worstede, and Castre.

Mathew de Gunton's sons were Roger and Thomas, who each had a moiety (share), styled Overall and Nether Hall. This division of the Gunton estate seems to have continued for a long period.

Bartholomew de Gunton held one moiety or lordship in the reign of Richard I, so noted in 1189.

In the eighth year of Henry III, 1224, another Mathew de Gunton held possession and was married to Isabell daughter and heir of Sir Robert de Castre. His son Sir Roger de Gunton' is recorded through his gift of land and buildings to the church. The first grandson was also Sir Mathew de Gunton who held the property in 1235. His daughter Isabel married William de Stalham, to whom Sir Mathew granted a portion of his estates in Dalling and Worstede.

The second grandson, brother of Sir Mathew, was John de Gunton and he held a moiety of the Gunton Manor in the reign of Edward I, 1277. This John died without issue leaving his five sisters as co-heirs.

There are no other Gunton records until the reign of Edward II in 1323 when Sir Roger de Gunton is noted as possessor of a moiety of the Gunton Manor, Rector of the Church of St. Andrews and that he died that year.

Somewhat later in 1343 another John de Gunton was in possession of the property, while in 1347 Sir Thomas de Gunton is recorded as Lord of the Manor of Langham.

The next Gunton is Milicentia, daughter and heir of Sir Walter de Gunton, who about 1350 married Sir Walter de Walcot by whom she had a son, the second Sir Walter. He married Joan, daughter of Sir William Clapton and had a family of four daughters.

Gunton Hall - nr Lowestoft

The land near Lowestoft was once owned by Matthew De Gunton but in 1237 Richard passed the land to Nicholas De Loudham.

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