BLAKENEY, a parish and small sea-port, about a mile W. of Cley, and 4¼ miles N.W. by N. of Holt, comprises 297 houses, 1,108 inhabitants, and 988 acres of land, chiefly the property of Lord Calthorpe, the lord of the manor. It was anciently called Snitterly, and much frequented by German merchants. In the time of Henry III. it had the grant of a market, which has long been obsolete ; but it still enjoys a considerable traffic in corn, coal, malt, and oysters. The town is about a mile from the beach, and has a good harbour or creek, which winds to the sea by a circuitous route of four miles, and was much improved under an Act passed in 1817, so that vessels of 150 tons can get up to the wharfs, where the spring tides rise about ten feet, (for Custom house see Wells). In the 24th of Edward I., a friary of Carmelites was founded, in which was educated that eccentric character, John de Baconsthorpe. This subtle doctor, in a controversy respecting the celibacy of the clergy, maintained that the pope possessed an inherent right to dispense with Divine laws. Some portions of the boundary wall of this monastery still remain, a little south of the CHURCH, which is dedicated to St. Nicholas, and has a lofty tower serving as a sea-mark. A high turret at the north-east corner of the chancel is said to have been formerly used as a lighthouse. A handsome gothic window in the west front has recently been restored been restored by subscriptions. The living is a rectory, valued in the King's book at £26 13s. 4d., and is consolidated with Glandford, Cockthorpe, and Langham Parva ; Lord Calthorpe is patron, and the Rev. Joseph Cotterill, M.A., incumbent. The joint benefices in 1831 were valued at £506. Here is a good residence for the rector, who has 16a. of glebe, and a yearly rental of £170 in lieu of tithes. The Baptists, Wesleyans, and Primitive Methodists, have each a Chapel here, and a National School was built in 1825. The poor's land, 3a., in Morston, let for £4, was given by Wm. Styleman, in 1694, in satisfaction of a rent-charge of 20s., left by an unknown donor. Robt. Bassett, in 1693, left 12s. per annum for a distribution of coals. The interest of £24, left by Chpr. Ringer, is distributed in cloth or blankets. An old building, called the Guildhall, with a spacious vault, has belonged to the poor from an early period, and is let for £5 10s. a year.
Post Office at Wm. Baker's ; letters arrive at 9 a.m., and are despatched at 3.45 p.m.
1891 Census Names Index
Blakeney Archeology [Norfolk Heritage Explorer]
Blakeney tower mill [Jonathan Neville]
Catholic Church of Our Lady & St. Peter [Simon Knott]
Ships of the North (The churches of Blakeney, Cley, Salthouse & Wiveton) [Simon Knott]
More on Blakeney [GENUKI-NFK]
More Parish information [Geoff Lowe & Andrew Rivett]
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