Our social history refers to the lives of the individual people who have inhabited the village over the years. It is relatively easy to investigate the important buildings and the features of the landscape and not too difficult to investigate the more prominent people who have lived in the village, but it is often harder to find details of the local men and women who peopled the village in the past,
In Castle Rising, however we are fortunate in having a great deal of information which has been preserved in the Norfolk Record Office and elsewhere, which give us insights into the lives of those such people. A very early list of the residents of Castle Rising comes from 1170, when a list of payments was made by the resident men of Rising to Deulebeny, a Jew who was owed money by William D’Albini.
Another important source is the record of the Manorial Court, which originated in Norman times or even earlier and was the means of effectively managing the manor. All men in the parish over the age of 13 were eligible (and expected) to attend the annual meetings. The Castle Rising records have survived for most years since the 17th century, although some of the early ones are difficult to read. They record evidence of local land management practices and land tenure changes, but more importantly they record the names of the (male) villagers who attended the meetings thus providing information about the men who lived in the village between 1650s and the mid-
The parish also has good coverage of the Parish Records of Births, Marriages and Burials, from the late 16th century which augment the Manorial Court records, and are valuable for genealogical research as also are the Population Censuses from 1841 -
The main residence of the Howard owners of Castle Rising for more than two hundred years was Ashtead in Surrey and so another valuable source of information come from the extensive correspondence between them and the agents who managed their estate. These letters deal not only with the business of running the estate but of other events, issues and disputes in the parish, They often give interesting snippets about the characters of the local residents, particularly the tenant farmers and millers
Castle Rising was one of the earliest villages in the region to have a school for local children built in 1817 and closed in 1962.The school log book gives very useful insights not only of the teachers and scholars but of the whole life of the village at that time.