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from the colour and the yellow sand blown into its many crevices, seems
bright as metallic views. Then we came to Overstrand, and saw fresh signs
of havoc, for the sea has climbed up towards the few houses and devoured
the cliff in their front, till scarcely the road is left. Higher and higher
rose the path to a rounded summit covered with bracken. We were
trudging slowly across its flank, when a bright light shone in our eyes.
It was the revolver of Cromer Lighthouse, and which minute by minute
darted its rays across the dusk. Far, far below us lay the sounding sea,
as we took an easier pace along the brow, passing between a light and
an old round tower, near the edge of the cliff", and came to the head of a
rough slope, and saw Cromer lying beneath in a great hollow curve.
Alike strange and delightful was the sight of the prodigious numbers of
wild flowers, among which we were presently walking. The ground
seemed almost dazzhng with the bright variety of colours, rivalling the
charm of an Alpine pasture.

CROMER (ST. PETER AND ST. PAUL),

A parish (formerly a market town) in the Hundred of North Erpingham,
twenty-one miles (north) from Norwich, and 130 (north north-east) from
London. This place, originally of much greater extent, included the
town of Shipden, which, with its Church and a considerable number of



A DESCRIPTION OF NORFOLK. 21 1

houses^ formiug another parish^ was destroyed by an inundation of the
sea in tlie reign of Henry IV. Among the numerous ravages of the
ocean in this place, at the last, which took took pl^ce in 1837, a large por-
tion of the cliffs and houses, with part of the jetty, were washed away.
In 1838, on the eastern side, a green of about 150 yards in length,
running out from the cliff to the north, was laid down, which, aided by
a sea wall there erected, it is expected, will prevent the recurrence of a
similar catastrophe from that quarter; and the security of the cliffs
immediately below the town has been provided for by a breastwork of
stone and flint, with winding approaches to the beach and jetty. The
town is situated on a high cliff, on the north-eastern coast of the North
Sea, commanding a fine view of Cromer Bay, which, from its dangerous
navigation, is by seamen called the " DeviFs Throat.^' The town was
fonnerly inhabited only by a few fishermen, but, from the excellence of
its beach, the salubrity of its air, and the beauty of its scenery, it has
become a bathing place of" some celebrity. A fort, and two half-moon
batteries, were, during the last war, erected upon a commanding eminence
for its defence ; many of the houses are badly built, but those near the
sea are commodious and pleasantly situated, and there are several respect-
able lodging houses and inns f6r the accommodation of visitors. There
ai'e a circulating Library and a Subscription News Room, and a Eegatta
is occasionally held. Many attemj)ts have been made to construct a pier,
but the works have invariably been carried away by the sea. The jetty,
of wood, about 70 yards long, erected in 1822, forms an attractive
promenade, as well as the fine beach at low water, which, on account of
the firmness of the sand and its smooth surface, affords also an excellent
drive for several miles. Cromer is within the limits of the jurisdiction of
the port of Cley. Vessels of from 60 to 100 tons burden discharge their
cargoes of coal and timber on the beach, and there are eighteen large
vessels and twenty herring boats belonging to the place, besides about
forty boats employed in the taking of lobsters and crabs, which are
abundant and of superior flavour. The market, formerly held on Saturday,
has been discontinued ; but a fail', chiefly for toys, is held on Whit-
Monday. The Country Magistrates hold a meeting every alternate Monday.
The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the King^s books at
£9 4s. 9d. ; patron and appropriator. Bishop of Ely. The Church was
built in the reign of Henry IV., and was in ruins fi'om the time of
Cromwell till about the commencement of this century, when it was
newly roofed and repaired. It is a handsome structure, in the later
English style of architecture, with a lofty, square embattled tower. The
western entrance, the north porches, and the chancel, though much
dilapidated, are fine specimens. The other parts of the Church were



212 HISTORY OV EASTERN ENGLAND.

tlioroiiglily restored in 1 863^ and re-fitted witli open oak seats^ at a cost
of about £5000. .

There is a place of worship for Wesleyaus. A Free Grammar School was
endowed in 1505 by Sir Bartholomew Read, and further by the Goklsmith's
Company in 1821 ; but no application having been made for classical
instruction^ it was remodelled by the company on the national plan. A
Girls School is supported by Mrs. Birkbeck. Roger Bacon, a mariner of
Cromer, is said to have discovered Iceland in the reign of Henry IV.

Cromer is a pleasant watering-place in the summer months, greeting
numerous visitors with prospects in which the only level is the North Sea,
and hence conti'asting favourably with other parts of the Norfolk coast.
Foulness, the great bluff, croAvned by the lighthouse more than 200 feet
in height, is regarded by natives from the flat country as almost a moun-
tain. Looking from its summit, we see on the landward side nothing
but hill and vale, slopes of fern and gorse, crests of wood, hollows of
copse, and rolling fields — a landscape suggestive of agreeable walks or
drives. On the other side we look forth upon the broad blue waters, the
scene of the sun's rising, and also of his setting, to the surprise of
beholders, who forget how rapidly the coast beyond Cromer recedes to
the west. This is the favourite resort of those who love to hear the voice
of the sea, and to feel his quickening breath.

HUNDREDS AND PARISHES IN SOUTH NORFOLK.

This district is the Arcadia of Norfolk, extending for twenty miles
from Norwich to Diss, a wide expanse of fertile undulating land, pre-
senting highly cultivated farms, interspersed with rich pastures, rural
villages, quiet towns, ancient churches mantled with ivy, and mansions of
the gentry. In this southern part of the county we see no wild wastes,
no bogs nor swampy flats, but hills and dales, woods and groves, pastures
and farms and fields, long lines of trees : whichever way we look, park-
like scenery and ancient halls often suggestive of fnmous names and old
homesteads that date from feudal times.

There are delightful drives southward from Norwich, particularly along
the roads to Ipswich and Newmarket, but nearly all the roads over which
so. many stage coaches were driven with four in hand seem now deserted
and solitary. There are picturesque spots, presenting woods and hills
and dales within easy reach of the city, that only require to be better
known to become popular places of resort. Prettier scenes and pleasanter
landscapes may be seen about Cringleford, Keswick, and Intwood than
anywhere else in East Anglia. If we extend our range further, there arc
many green lanes and rural retreats in the sylvan districts of Henstead
and Humbleyard.



A DESCRIPTION or NORFOLK.



niE IIUNDKEJJ OF HENSTEAD



Is skirted on the north by the river Yare and on the west by the river
Taas; on the north by Blofiekl, on the east by Loddon^ on the sonth by
Depwadoj on the west by Norwich, It is about nine miles in length, two
from three to six miles in Avidth. It includes the parishes of Arming-hall;
J^ixley, Bramerton_, Caister, Framingham, Holverstone, Kirby BedoUj
Poringland, Eockland St. Mary, Saxlinghanij Shottesham, Stoke Holy
Cross, Surlingham, Trowse Newton, Whitlingham, and Yelverton ; with
altogether 9199 acres and a total population of 5729 in 1861.

AEMINGHALL,

x\. parish three miles (south-east) from Norwich, comprises 109 acres of land,
belongs to the Dean and Chapter of Norwich, the Lords of the Manor,
appropriators of the tithes, and patrons of the perpetual curacy, which was
certified at £80, and augmented from 1780 to 1810 with £1600 of royal
bounty. The tithes have been commuted for £229 a year. The Church
(Virgin Mary) is a small dilapidated structure, comprising nave, chancel,
and square tower with one bell. The walls, the north and south doorways,
and several windows, are early English, but the east window is a perpen-
dicular insertion. The Manor-house, a large ancient building, is now a
farm-house.

WHITLINGHAM,

A small parish, three miles (east-by-south) from Norwich, comprises 555
acres of land, all on the south side of the river Yare. It is all included
in the Crown Point Estate, which belonged to the late Sir R. J. H.
Harvey, who was impropriator of the tithes, and patron of the sinecure
curacy. He built a spacious mansion on the estate. Here was formerly
a well-known tavern called " Whitlingham White House," to which many
parties resorted in the summer season to enjoy the romantic scenery ; but
it was pulled down, and its site annexed to the estate. The Church (St.
Andrew) was dilapidated about 1630, and now forms a picturesque ruin
near the verge of a hill overlooking the river Yare.

KIEBV LEDOX,

A village on an acclivity overlooking the vale of the Y^are, four miles
(south-east) from Norwich, comprises 1363 acres of land. The late Sir
Robert John Harvey Harvey was Lord of the Manor and owner of a
greater part of the soil. The hall, which was the seat of Sir Hanson
Berney, Bart., was taken down in 1811. The parish was formerly divided
between two Churches, but that dedicated to St. Mary has been in ruins
for several centuries. St. Andrew's Church is a small, low, thatched edifice



214 HlSTOr.Y OP EASTERN ENGLAND.

with nave_, chancel^ south porch^ and tower. The Kviug is a discharged
rectory^ now worth £250 per annum^ awarded in 1842 in lieu of tithes.
The school is attended by about thirty children.

BRAMEliTON^

A small village four and a-half miles (south-east by east) from Norwich,
comprises 728 acres, belonging to several proprietors. The hall was the
seat of the Corys from 1400 to the middle of the last century. Hill House
is a pretty building in the Tudor stylo, situated on an eminence above the
river Yare and commanding an extensive viev/ of the valley. The Church
(St. Peter) was rebuilt in 1462 and is now in the decorated style. It
comprises nave, chancel, north transept, south porch, and square tower
with one bell. The discharged rectory, now worth £258 yearly, is in the
patronage of Robert Fcllowes, Esq. There are about twenty-two acres
of glebe.

SURLINGHAM (ST. MAKY),

A parish five and a-half miles (east-south-east by east) from Norwich. The
parish is bounded on the north and east by the river Yare, over which there
is a ferry at Coldham Hall, a place much frequented by anglers. The
parish comprises about 1750 acres, of which 100 acres are covered by a fine
sheet of water, called " Surlingham Broad." The living is a vicarage
with the perpetual curacy of St. Saviour's annexed ; net income £40 ;
patron, the Bishop of Norwich. The tithes have been commuted for a
rent-charge of £410, and the glebe comprises thirty-four acres. The
Church is an ancient structure in the early English style, with a circular
tower, and was thoroughly repaired in 1810. There are some remains of
the ancient Church of St. Saviour forming a picturesque ruin.

CAISTER (sT. Edmund's),

A parish three and a-half miles (south) from Norwich, comprises 1045
acres in the valley of the Taas, which Hows into the Yare. The river
Taas formerly filled the whole valley, but is now a small stream. The
Romans advancing from the coast up the river landed here and built a
station, supposed to be the Venta Iceuorum by Camden and Horsley,
whose arguments are not very conclusive. Sir Henry Spelman, Sir
Francis Palgrave, Colonel Leake, and the late Hudson Gurney, Esq, be-
lieved the site of Norwich, before it was a city, to have been the Vcnia
Icenorum, but that name may have been applied to all the district, includ-
ing the sites of Norwich and Caister, when a broad arm of the sea flowed
up the valley. The walls of the ancient camp, which was deserted by the
Romans, A.D. 446, were in the form of a parallelogram, inclosing an area



A DESCRIPTION OF NORFOLK. 215

of about thirty-two acres, within which foundations of the buildings may
be traced. The remains consist of a single fosse and vallum, and were
surrounded by a strong wall as an additional rampart, built upon the
vallum, the enclosed space being capable of containing 6000 men. On the
north, east, and south sides there are large mounds raised from the fosse,
and the west side has one formed on the margin of the river Taas, as are
also the remains of the water gate. Within the area of the camp at the
south-east angle stands the Church, the materials for building which were
evidently taken from the ruins of the rampart. Mr. K. Fitch, in his
essay on the Camp at Caister, gives the following description of it : —
" The Camp is situated in the village of Caister St. Edmund, three miles
from Norwich. It was on the left bank of the small river Taas or Taos,
the waters of which, whatever may once have been their extent, are now
conj&ned to the breadth of a very narrow stream — so confined, indeed, as
to be little more than a rivulet. On the ancient importance of the river
Taes antiquaries are divided. Geologists assume that the waters covered
the surface of the low meadows, which stretch between the gently rising
grounds in which the camp is situated and the opposite ridge which ex-
tends along the right side of this stream, and, flowing on towards the city,
spread into an estuary of considerable size. This might have been the
case at a remote period ; indeed the nature of the geological deposits
affirms the fact ; but it is, perhaps, doubtful whether this was the condi-
tion of the stream at the time of the Roman occupation, and for this
reason, that Roman or Romano-British remains have been exhumed upon
adjacent sites, which must have formed the bed of the estuary to which
allusion is made, if its waters were wide-spreading as affirmed. The
question, however, is one of considerable difficulty, and is only to be
settled by reference to a multitude of facts, which can have no place in
this brief paper.^' The form of the camp is a parallelogram, whose sides
nearly answer to the four points of the compass. The corners are
rounded ; and the side upon the west, which faces the stream of the Taes,
extends beyond the line of the parallel and is of a depressed angular form.
On the north side of the apex of this angle, stands one of two towers of
Roman masonry, of which some further notice will be taken. The camp
contains thirty-four superficial acres. Along its eastern side runs the road
from Norwich to Shottesham. In the south-east corner within the camp
stands the parish Church. The whole outline is plainly distinguishable
from the walls, a considerable portion of which is now covered with huge
mounds of earth, not to aid in their preservation, but for the convenience
of cultivation. Roman masonry may be seen at several points. On the
north side a considerable portion of the wall is denuded of its earthy
covering, and a close examination of its structure may be made. The



216 HISTORY OF EASTEilK ENGLAND.

substance of the walls is faced with tlint, in many places squared
and prepared with a flat face. At the termination of each four
courses of flints appears the old bonding tile of the Eomans. There are
slight dislocations of this arrangement, but the material and its use is
described here as a whole. The wall is also exposed at points in the west
or river side ; though here, as we approach the south, both wall and bank
are in a very abraded condition. Here stands the tower, of which men-
tion has already been made. Its situation is rather in advance of the line
of wall ; but that it has been attached to the exterior wall is clear, because
the part next the camp is flattened for the purpose of connection. The
present height of this singular fragment is thirteen feet, though its
altitude was greater when perfect. The circumference above the ground
is twenty-two feet eight inches. At present it is surmounted by an
immense crown of ivy, which doubtless tends much to the preservation
of the structure. Flint and bonding tile compose the exterior, and its
interior is a core of solid rubble. By an examination of the tower in the
mouth of July, 1857, the base now hidden beneath the surface of the
earth was found to be effaced flints, and to project eighteen inches from
the body.

SHOTTESHAM (ST. MAKY)

A parish six miles (south) from Norwich, is bounded on the west by the small
river Taas, and presents very pleasing scenery. The parish comprises
1615 acres of land, exclusive of 400 acres in the park, wherein is the seat
of Robert Fellowes, Esq., Lord of the Manor and owner of the soil. The
park is well wooded, and extends down to the river Taas. The house is
a modern structure of brick, built on the site of the ancient hall, which
was long a seat of the D'Oyley family. St. Mary^s Church is a plain
structure, comprising nave, chancel, south porch, and square tower with
one bell. The ancient Churches of St. Martin's and St. Botolph have
been in ruins for several centuries.

J3KAC0N ASH,

Six miles (south-west) from Norwich, comprises 958 acres of fertile land,
mostly the property of the Rev. Thomas Berney, M.A., who resides at the
hall, a spacious brick mansion. He is Lord of the Manor, and patron
and incumbent of the rectory, which was valued in the King's books at
£10, and has now a yearly rent-charge of £243 8s. Od., awarded in 1812,
in lieu of tithes. The Berney family is of great antiquity, having
originally come from Berney in Norjnandy, and prior to the conquest
settled in Norfolk. The Church (St. Nicholas) is a neat structure, com-
prising nave, chancel, south aisle, north porch, and bell cot with one bell.



A DESCiaPTlOX OF NORFOLK. 217

HUMBLE YAKD HUNDRED

Is a fertile and well wooded district^ bounded on the uurtli by Norwich,
on the west by Forehoe, on the south by Depwade, and on the east by
Henstead. It contains nineteen parishes, namely, Bracon Ash, Carlton
(East), Colne}^, Cringleford, Dunston, Flordon, Hethel, Hethersett,
Intwood, Keswick, Ketteriugham, Markshall, Melton (Great), Melton
(Little), Mulbarton, Newton Flotman, Swainsthorpe, Swardestone, and
Wreningham ; altogether comprising 21,521 acres, with a population
of 5620.

EAST CARLTON

Comprises the united parishes of St. Mary and St. Peter, live miles (south)
fi-om Norwich. The area is 850 acres. The Coi-poratiou of Nor\%dch
purchased the principal manor, and held it on condition of carrying yearly
to the King's house, wherever he might be, twenty four herring-pies or
pasties, containing lOO herrings, which the town of Yarmouth was bound
to supply ; this curious custom was observed till the early part of last
century. The living is a discharged rectory ; in



Online LibraryA. D BayneRoyal illustrated history of eastern England, civil, military, political, and ecclesiastical .. (Volume 1) → online text (page 25 of 70)