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bustle and business on the beach are incessant, alternating with the quiet
and quaintness of the old town, and the elegance and splendour of the
new, while the charming walks on the edge of the cliff, and the in-
vigorating runs on the sands, produce — in combination with a genial
chmate and bracing sea-breeze — that vigorous health and corresponding
buoyancy which render existence a pleasure. The harbour is formed by
two piers entending for 1300 feet each into the sea, and encloses an area
of twenty acres. Its width is 800 feet, and the average depth of water
twenty feet, the spacious basin thus formed bemg sufficiently capacious to
accommodate 600 or 700 vessels. The north pier is devoted entirely to
business, and has on it a number of sheds principally intended for the
reception of cattle j and at the back of these is a tramway connected



326 HISTORY 0¥ EASTERN ENGLAND.

with the railway, extending straight into the sea due east for 700 feet,
bending to the south-east for 300 feet, and then bending to the south for
300 feet more, making a total length of 1300 feet. The south pier
extends from the shore straight out into the sea for 1300 feet, and is used
as a grand promenade, than which there is none superior of its kind in
England. The head of each of these piers is circular and sixty feet in
diameter, and in the centre of each is a lighthouse, the brilliant red lights
in which, as well as in the light ship, and the several lighthouses about
the harbour and its entrances, being at night a source of constant interest
and curiosity to all strangers, and tending- greatly to vary and heighten
the effect of the scene.

Beyond the south pier there is a sea wall with towers of flint and stone.
At the back of this is a broad esplanade a quarter of a mile in length,
commanding a beautiful view of the sea.

The entrance to the harbour is between the two piers towards the south-
east, and is 160 feet wide, with a depth of twenty-one feet at low water.
The piers themselves consist of a stupendous timber framework, creosoted
to keep out the worm, and are fourteen feet high above the water and
thirty feet in width, and are filled up with immense blocks of stone, so as
to present a soHd mass of masonry ; the top being covered with substan-
tial flooring of four-inch plank. The inner harbour is connected with
the outer by a lock fifty feet in width ; it consists of a large piece of water
two miles in length. Upwards of 3000 feet of wharfage, capable of ac-
commodating vessels of 300 tons, is now completed, and cranes and ware-
houses for the discharge and storage of goods erected. As a harbour of
refuge, Lowestoft stands in a good position.

THE TRADE OF THE PORT.

The vessels belonging to the port at the beginning of 1864 were 162
small sailing vessels of aggregately 3784 tons ; forty-five large saihng
vessels of aggregately 4379 tons; four small steam vessels of aggregately
seventy tons, and two large steam vessels of jointly 569 tons. The vessels
which entered in 1863 were sixty-seven British sailing vessels of aggre-
gately 7228 tons from foreign countries, ninety-two foreign sailing vessels
of aggregately 14,808 tons from foreign countries ; seven British steam
vessels of aggregately 3117 tons from foreign countries; 706 sailing
vessels of aggregately 62,714 tons coastwise, and fifty-two steam vessels
of aggregately 13,296 tons coastwise. The vessels which cleared in 1863
were twenty-four British sailing vessels of aggregately 1577 tons to foreign
countries ; one British steam vessel of 147 tons to foreign countries ;
thirty-seven foreign sailing vessels of aggregately 8165 tons to foreign
countries ; 146 sailing vessels of aggregately 8426 tons coastwise ; and



A DESCRIPTION OP SUFFOLK, 327

eight steam vessels of aggregately 1720 tons coastwise. The amount of
customs in 1862 was £3605 ; in 1867^ c€3080. Thei'e are ship builders,
boat builders, house builders, sail makers, rope makers, oil-cake makers,
and owners of oil and flour mills. Population in 1861, 10,663; number
of houses 2290, and since then the number is much increased.

THE FISHERIES.

Of all the seas in the world, the North Sea, which rolls along the
eastern coast of England, is the richest in the stores of fish which it
contains. Cod, turbot, soles, whiting, mackerel, herring, and many other
varieties, abound in it. Some are taken all the yenv round in great quan-
tities ; others, like the mackerel and herring, afford a periodical harvest.
And not only is fish so abundant in the North Sea, but the quality is
equal to the quantity, the fish being superior in flavour and nutritious
qualities to that of any other sea in the world. It seems to be a vast
store-house of fish. English, Scotch, Dutch, Danes, and Norwegians, all
fish it hard, yet there is no diminution of the supply. Two-thirds of the
population of Norway Hve by catching herrings and cod out of it, and in
England the business of fishing in this sea is assuming immense propor-
tions. Thousands of vessels of great size, and with every appliance that
ingenuity can suggest, continue to issue forth from all the ports of the
eastern coast, and also from the Channel ports ; yet there is no falling off"
in the supply. A Royal Commission investigated the subject for a long-
time, and the results of its enquiries proved that the North Sea is inex-
haustible — ^that any mile of this sea is more productive than the same ex-
tent of land. The fisheries pursued on this eastern coast now constitute
the most important branch of local maritime industry. The amount of
capital invested in boats, nets, &c., is very large. The mackerel fishery
in the summer is extensive, but it is exceeded in importance by the her-
ring fishery, to which there is scarcely any limit. Yarmouth and Lowes-
toft are the principal stations of this great herring fishery, and during the
autumn the local event is the number of lasts landed. A last is 1 3,200
fish, and sometimes the deliveries at the two ports are at the rate of 200
lasts daily, or 2,500,000 herrings available for food.

The following is a return of the quantities of fish landed at the fish
market in Lowestoft in 1869. Herrings in lasts 7226, of 13,200 per last.
Mackerel in hundreds 7885, of 120 to the hundred. Cod in scores 241, or
4820 cod. Soles in packages, 36,461 . Fish ofial in packages, 26,095. In a
good season like that of 1869, each boat should realise fi'om £450 to £500.

The wholesale fish market is on the south pier, and is well arranged
for the landing and packing of fish in '^ swills," " peds," and baskets,
which are soon put in the railway trucks and sent to all parts of England.



828 HIS*rORY OF eastern ENGLAND.

LOTHINGLAND.

Lowestoft is the chief town iu the Hundred of Lothinglaud, which is an
island having Lake Lothiug on the south, the river Tare on the north, and
the Waveney on the west. Lake Lothing is a fine expanse of water ex-
tending from Mutford to Somerleyton, where it receives the waters of the
Waveney. Near Mutford the lake is called Oultou Broad, a beautiful
piece of water lying between the Mutford and Carlton railway stations.
During the summer months numbers of anglers resort to this Broad and
find good sport, as it is full of fish. Regattas are held every year on each
division of the lake, affording much enjoyment and frolic to visitors and
the inhabitants.

The walks and drives iu the neighbourhood are diversified and pleasing ;
and whether the romantic vicinities of the lake or the woodland glades
and sylvan scenery found towards Somerleyton be chosen, the rambler
will find his attention equally attracted by the numerous objects for con-
templation profusely scattered around. The lover of nature will meet
spots where imagination may indulge in her

Airy mood
To every murmur of the wood ;
The bee in yonder flowery nook,
The chidings of the headlong brook ;
The green leaf shivering in the gale,
The warbling hill, the lowing vale.

The extreme beauty and luxuriance of English rural scenery has ever
been a favourite theme of our descriptive writers and poets, and has been
especially celebrated by the Suffolk poets, Crabbe and Bloomfield. It is,
moreover, one of those national features of which an Englishman may well
be proud, because of the efforts of his countrymen in aid of the bounty
of nature, for much of the beauty of our rural scenery is owing to the
high state of cultivation to which the land has been brought and the con-
sequent fertility that is the prominent feature of all English landscapes,
although irrespective of that trait, perhaps no other country can present
such an extent and diversity of views, undulating plains, swelling heights,
grassy nooks, and sparkling rivulets.

And for this rustic order of landscape, presenting '^ Nature's silent
fingering,'' Suffolk is misurpassed, more especially in this corner of the
county named Lothingland. Li a district where the walks or drives arc
so numerous and all so beautiful, it would be almost capricious to point
out any as being entitled to pre-eminence. Nevertheless, we shall
endeavour to describe a few spots, with some slight minutige regarding
some objects of interest. A walk of about a mile fi-om the town brings
us into a lane leading to Mutford Bridge, where an artificial embankment



A DESCRIPTION OV SUFFOLK. 329

divides Lake Lotliiiig into two portions^ the inner one being named Oiilton
Broad, full of fresh water, the flood-gates separating it from the salt on
the side next the sea.

Should the pedestrian still wish to continue his walk, a delightful one will
take him to Oulton, along a line of peculiar verdure and loveliness. The
hedges here exhale delicious fragrance, composed as they are of sweet
briar, eglantine, and hawthorn, the wild rose, though scentless, adding
much to the beauty of their appearance. Beneath the banks " many a
garden flower grows wild,'' the hyacinth, the violet, and the mignonette,
lending their perfumes to regale the senses of the wanderer. Nearly all
the lanes of this vicinity abound with beautiful strips of heath, overhung
with the yellow-flowered gorse.

Heaths of all hues and every tinge

Carpet tliosc hidden bowers,
A thousand times more beautiful

Than smnmer's gaudy flowers.

On reaching Oulton, a large structure called the High House at once
attracts the rambler's attention, from its pleasant situation and dilapidated
condition. It stands at the corner of the road, and has long been a theme
of wonder to the lovers of the marvellous, for this is a " haunted house."
Many versions of the story are told, but all agree that a murder has to do
with it. One is that periodically a figure mounted on a coal-black horse,
with fiery eyes and expanded nostrils, followed by a pack of yelping dogs
with foaming mouths, dashes through the front door and vanishes into the
adjoining room. This is the squire who murdered his wife. Another is
that a female figure '' walks " every night at twelve, habited in white,
cariying a cup in her hand. This is the wife who poisoned the squire,
and is condemned to walk and have the instrument of her guilt con-
stantly before her. There are a great many other versions, but the truth
seems to be that the property, having been for some time in Chancery, has
fallen out of repair and that no tenant will take it in consequence, neither
party being willing to risk their money by putting it in habitable condi-
tion. In truth, all around is a strange neighbourhood, abounding in
quaint story and ancient legend, affording fit themes for a " poetic child."
The park-like fields and grassy meres each have their charms. Some of
the meres surrounded by gloomy woods are still the reputed haunts of
goblins who nightly wander here and hold unhallowed feasts.

OULTON,

A parish in the Hundred of Lothingland, three miles (west) from
Lowestoft, is bounded on the west by the river Waveney, Avhich receives
the surplus water of Lake Lothing. The parish compiises 1900 acres.



330 HISTOEY OF EASTERN ENGLAND.

including a lake o£ 100 acres. The living is a rectory ; the tithes were
commuted for a rent-charge of £450, and the glebe comprises fifty acres,
valued at £38 4s. per annum. The Church originally seems to have
been built in the form of the Latin cross, but both transepts have been
taken down. The steeple stands between the nave and chancel, and the
whole building is in the Norman style. There are some curious ancient
brasses in the chancel, one of the date of 1479 to John Fastolf and his
wife, the male figure clad in armour.

The executors of General Oliver are Lords of the Manor of Oulton,
which was successively held by the Bacon, Fastolf, Hobart, Allen, Graves,
and Bucknell families ; but the owner of Somerleyton Hall has paramount
jurisdiction. A great part of the land belongs to John Penrice, Esq.,
Mr. E. T. Woods, Eev. R. A. Arnold, Mrs. Eeeve, J. Chapman, Esq.,
W. R. Seago, Esq., and Mr. George Borrow, who lives near the Broad,
the well-known author of "The Bible in Spain,'' "Lavengro,'' &c.
Oulton Hall, now a farm-house, a fine old mansion, is occupied by George
Crabbe, Esq., a relative of the Suffolk poet. Normanston Court is the
property of E. Leathes, Esq. ; it is beautifully placed, and commands a
fine view of the lake and the surrounding country.

CAELTON COLVILLE,

A parish in the Hundred of Lothingland, situated near the branch line
from Lowestoft to Beccles, two miles from Lowestoft. The station joins
the high road, and is about 400 yards from Lake Lothing and Oulton
Broad. The parish is extensive, including a straggling village and the
hamlet of Mutford Bridge. The village is about a mile and a-half fi'om
the railway station. The Church of St. Peter is an old building, with
a square embattled tower, containing five bells ; it has a nave and chancel,
and a porch on the south side. The living is a rectory, held by the Rev.
W. H. Andrews, and in the patronage of the family. The tithes were
commuted at £395 yearly, with residence and eighteen acres of glebe land.
Here is Colville House, an institution for imbecile children of the upper
and middle classes ; it stands in a beautiful park and healthy locality.

BLUNDESTON (ST. MAEY),

A parish in the Hundred of Lothingland, three and a-half miles (north-
west) from Lowestoft, situated near the river Waveney, which forms its
boundary on the south-west. The living is a discharged rectory, with
that of Flixton united. The tithes were commuted for a rent-charge of
£610, and there are nearly thirteen acres of glebe, valued at £18 per
annum. The Rev. G. Clarke in 1726 gave land for the instruction of poor
children; yearly value, £11. The greater part of the land here belongs



A DESCRIPTION OF SOTFOLK. 331

to J. Johnson, Esq., Mr. T. Owles, and Mv. Thomas Wood, who has an
ironfoundry in the parish.

SOMERLEYTON (ST. MARY),

A parish in the Hundred of Lothingland, five miles (nortli-west) from
Lowestoft, near the river Waveney. The parish comprises 1410a. 1r. 32 p.
The living is a rectory, valued in the King's books at £12 ; the tithes were
commuted for a rent-charge of £350. There is a glebe house, and the
glebe comprises 45 acres, valued at £68 12s. yearly.- This parish is one
of the most picturesque in the county, and forms part of a great estate
extending into adjacent parishes. The records of the Manor of Somer-
leyton extend back to the time of the Norman Conquest, when it was
called Somerledetun. In Domesday Book (1086) the rights, privileges,
and indemnities of the lord, freemen, and tenants are particularly de-
scribed. It was at this period held as a royal manor, under the steward-
ship of the renowned Roger Bigod. In the reign of Henry II. we find it
held by Baron Fitz Osbert as lord thereof, from whom it descended to his
sister Isabella, wife of Sir Walter Jernegan, and relict of Sir Henry de
Walpole, ancestor to the Earl of Orford. Some generations later the
estate was sold to John Wentworth, Esq., father of Sir John Went worth,
who resided here in the time of Cromwell. It then passed into the hands
of the Garneys family, one of whom in 1672 conveyed it to Sir Thomas
AUin^ Bart., and after the death of his descendant, the Rev. G. Anguish,
the estate came to his nephew, Lord Sydney Godolphin Osborne. In
1844 the estate was purchased by Sir S. M. Peto, and was afterwards
sold by him to the late Sir Francis Crossley, of Halifax.

The old hall is said to have been originally built in the reign of
Edward II. by Sir John Jernegan, whose ancestors and descendants were
lords of Somerleyton for three centuries. From the Jernegans of Somer-
leyton are descended the now ennobled family of Jerningham of Cossey,
the head of which is the Right Hon. Lord Stafibrd. The present magni-
ficent mansion was designed and constructed upon the foundations and
walls of the old hall ; the two towers, conservatory, and the whole of the
exterior are new, the walls of red brick, the dressings and finishings being
of Caen stone. Mr. John Thomas, of London, was the architect, his de-
sign for the edifice being in the Italian style.

pritton (st. Edmund),

A parish in the Hundred of Lotliingland, six miles (south-west by south)
from Great Yarmouth. The parish comprises 1478 acres. The living is
a discharged rectory ; the tithes were commuted for a rent-charge oi
&%QQ, and the glebe comprises fourteen acres, valued at £20 per annum.



382 HISTORY OP EASTEEN ENGLAND.

The Cliurcli is an ancient small structure in tlie Norman style, with a
circular tower ; the roof is of stone, neatly groined. Frittou Rectory is
almost surrounded by magnificent trees and shrubs, and commands a
view of an extensive lake, which is three miles in length, well stocked
with fish. Great numbers of wild ducks and widgeons are decoyed here
and killed in mnter. To the south of the lake there is a large rookery
and heronry.

In this neighbourhood are the remains of St. Olave's Priory, whence the
name of the suspension bridge over the river ; and also of the railway
station. About 600 yards to the north-west of the station are the ruins
of an old monastery, with farm house and outbuildings, founded by Roger
Fitz Herbert in the reign of Henry III. The building was almost
entirely removed in 1784, all that is left being a low arched vault.

When yonder broken arch was whole,
It was there Avas dealt the weekly dole.
So fleets the world's uncertain span ;
Nor zeal for God nor love to man
Gives mortal monuments a date
Beyond the powers of time or fate.

BURGH CASTLE (ST. PETER),

A parish in the Hundred of Lothingland, four miles (west-south-west) from
Great Yarmouth. It comprises 1478 acres ; the river Waveney flows on
the western side, and opposite the village joins the Yare, forming Breydon
water, which flows on the northern side. The living is a discharged rec-
tory in the patronage of the Crown ; net income, £400. The Church was
an ancient structure, but it has been rebuilt in the later EngHsh style,
with the exception of the tower, which is circular, like many other towers
near this part of the eastern coast.

The Roman camp still standing here is one of the finest of the Roman
remains in our island, and was in 1846 sold by auction and bought by the
late Sir J. Boileau, Bart., of Ketteringham, in order to be preserved.
This camp, consisting of three sides of a quadrangle, stands on the edge
of a table land overlooking the marshy level through which the river
Waveney flows, and which was in the time of the Romans covered with
the waters of the Gariensis Ostium ; hence the name of Gariano-
num, which may have been applied to the whole area of Lothingland.
The history of this camp is very obscure, there being no mention of it
in the ancient Itineraries, but antiquaries seem now to be agreed that it
is the station mentioned in the Notitia ImiJerii under the name of
Garianonum, as occupied by 'prepositovs of the Stablesian horse, under
the command of the Count of the Saxon shore. It is probable that this
camp was built at an early period of the Roman dominion in this island.



A DESCRIPTION OF SUFFOLK. 333

for one of the chief garrisons to secure this part of the coast against the
piratical incursions of the Northern tribes. The walls of the camp are
more extensive than those of Richborough, though not so lofty. Like
that station also, its form is a parallelogram, having walls on three sides,
the fourth side lying open to the shore and defended only by a steep chff.
The eastern wall is parallel to the clifif, and in the middle of which is the
Decuman gate ; it is about 650 feet in length, and the lateral walls are
about half that length. They are fourteen feet high and nine feet thick,
enclosing an area of four acres and two roods. The walls are faced with
cut flints between horizontal layers of bricks of a fine red color. On the
east side the wall is supported by four round towers, or rather round
masses of masonry, for they are solid excepting a hole in the centre of
the upper surface two feet deep and as many wide. There is a similar
tower in the middle of the north wall, and there was one to the south
wall, but the latter was undermined by the continual floods of rain nearly
a century ago. These towers are quite detached from the wall to about
one-half of their elevation, but the diameter of the upper part being-
enlarged, they are made to join the wall of the fortress, which is rounded
off at its junction with the corner towers. Therefore, it has been supposed
that the towers were subsequent additions to the original structure.

Within the area of the camp, great numbers of Roman coins have been
found, chiefly of the Lower Empire, and almost entirely of copper. At
the south-west corner of the area near the cliff" are the remains of a
circular mound of earth, the date and purpose of which appear to be
equally doubtful. But when in the last century some labourers were
employed in clearing part of it away, they discovered, besides conside-
rable quantities of ashes and broken pottery, a stratum of pure wheat,
black, as if it had been burnt. A vast number of urns having been
found in the field to the east of the camp, it has been supposed that it
was a burial-ground.

When the British Archaeological Society visited this camp some years
since we were present, and heard the papers read and the discussions
respecting it, and we accompanied many of the visitors round the walls.
Thrice we walked round their whole extent, surveying the ruins within
and without. Then passing through the Praetorian gate, which still exists
on the eastern side, we sat for awhile under the shadow of the ivy contem-
plating the scene. Wliere could we find a more interesting spectacle than
this reHc of imperial Rome ? Here we sat amid the ruins of a mighty
empire, symbolised by DaniePs vision of the terrible beast that desolated
the whole earth, and trampled the nations under his feet. What a world
of thought rushed on the mind, as we surveyed the mouldering walls, that
seemed as if they would stand for centuries to come.



334 HISTOEY OF EASTEEN ENGLAND.

THE EIVEE WAVENEY.

The uortli side of Lothingland, and indeed of all the county, is watered
by the river Waveney, which rises far west at Lopham, and flows east-
ward, dividing Norfolk fi'om Suffolk. The river derives its name from
the Anglo-Saxon Wa-fiend-ee, or the waving water, a name that is very
descriptive of the stream, for it winds continuously between the two
counties, now through broad meadows, where the banks are firm, now
passing rushy flats and draining mills, low knolls, slopes, and heath, and
patches of fir. The river is a narrow stream for the greater part of its
course.

The first town that we find near the banks of this river is that of Diss,
which is beautifully situated on rising ground. Scole, lower down the
stream, is an ancient village, and for its size having many elegant gardens.
At Hoxne, more eastward, the Waveney is joined by the small river Dove
which passes the town of Eye, and in its progress to join the Waveney
flows with much beauty through Hoxne Park. A few miles below Hoxne
the Waveney passes near the town of Harleston and then near Redenhall,
remarkable for its fine church tower. Homersfield Church is next passed^
being very picturesquely situated on a bold knoll of land, encompassed on
the west and north by the meanders of the river. Flixtou Hall succeeds,
with its deep glades and sportive deer in the park ; and the stream flows
on to the town of Bungay. At this place it makes a great bend, sweep-
ing northward and returning southward, so as almost to meet the spot
from which it diverged on reaching the town. Quitting Bungay the wav-



Online LibraryA. D BayneRoyal illustrated history of eastern England, civil, military, political, and ecclesiastical .. (Volume 1) → online text (page 38 of 70)