My Family

The Story of William Wingfield /Winkfield

1753 - 1805 (My 3 x great grandfather)

The birth of William Winkfield is not certain, but his age when he died, suggests a birth date of 1735 and there was a William WINGFIELD, baptised at Pentney in that year.  He was the son of William and Mary Wingfield. I have not been able to trace any earlier records in the parish for this surname or for WINKFIELD

The next references for William are all at Castle Acre, where he lived as a grown man. He was a Horse Collar Maker and must also have had an interest in a Tannery there.  His house is still standing and is now a Restaurant and Grocery Shop.

This sketch of the property, now known as the Castle Gate Restaurant, hangs in the dining room there.

William was married twice.  His first wife was Mary Grief, and his second wife, Elizabeth Hammond.  He had a large family, his eldest son being David Winkfield.

William died in 1805, leaving a Will, which tells us a little about the family.  As David was already provided for, by property left to him in another will, William left most of his property to his younger son, Abel Winkfield. 

To his wife, William made the following bequest:-
"I do hereby give unto my wife, Elizabeth Winkfield, for and during the term of her natural life, full power and authority to live, reside in, use and occupy the Parlour and Parlour Chamber of my now dwelling house in Castle Acre aforesaid, and to have free access to and from the same without paying or being accountable for the same.  Also I give and bequeath to my said Wife all the furniture that she shall choose from my household furniture, to place and keep in the said two rooms at the time of my decease."

William made provision for all his children, including Elizabeth, who had married James Winkfield, "of West Bradenham".  It is not known, whether there was any relationship between Elizabeth and James, though this is likely as the surname is not common. Elizabeth had a son, James, who took the family back to Pentney.

The tower of St James' Church,
Castle Acre, seen through a doorway in the ruins of Castle Acre Priory.

William Winkfield and his family are buried here.

Rita Sheridan,