Diss is a lively old market town, which has grown up around its great Mere that comes to the edge of the main street and covers an area of nearly six acres. The clerestoried church, with its embattled tower and nave and its many 15th century windows, makes a pretty picture. Its porches date from the 15th century and the tower and nave arcades much earlier, around 1300 AD.
Four members of the Manning family were rectors here from 1778 to 1916 and Edward Bosworth was rector for 49 years before them.
Diss has been home to some famous men: a Poet Laureate, a Victorian physician and a Tudor composer. The Poet Laureate was John Skelton whose work was appreciated by Henry VII, thus making him tutor to his son. The physician was William Baspam, who was highly regarded at Westminster Hospital during the 19th century. The composer, who was baptised in Diss in 1574 AD, was John Wilbye. Little is known of Wilbye himself but he is well known for works such as madrigals, of which he was one of the chief composers.
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