CLEY-NEXT-THE-SEA is a small town and port, about a mile from the beach, 4½ miles N.N.W. of Holt, 9 miles E. of Wells, and 25 miles N.N.W. of Norwich. The parish contains 230 houses, 995 inhabitants, and 2,198 acres of land, part of which is salt marsh. W. H. C. Hardy, Esq., is lord of the manor, and owner of a great part of the land. Cley had formerly a small market on Saturday, and has still a pleasure fair on the last Friday and Saturday in July. The harbour is very narrow and shallow, but in its course to the sea it forms a junction with the Blakeney channel. The Custom House, for this and the neighbouring ports, has recently been removed from this place to Wells, and the building is now occupied by the principal officer of the coast guard. The CHURCH, dedicated to St. Margaret, is a handsome Gothic edifice with a square tower, supposed to have been built about the reign of Henry VI., but the transepts and west porch are in ruins. In the church is a brass, dated 1429, representing John Yslington, in a priest's habit. Here is also a fine brass with representations of John Symonds, his wife, and eight children ; and in the churchyard is the altar-tomb of Capt. John Grieve, who assisted Sir Cloudesley Shovel in burning the ships in the ports of Tripoli, in Barbary, in 1676. The living is a rectory, valued in the King's book at £22 13s. 4d., and has 17a. of glebe. The Rev. H. A. Bishop, M.A., is the patron and incumbent. The tithes are commuted for £405. The Wesleyan and Primitive Methodists have each a chapel here. In 1406, James, son of Robert Bruce, King of Scotland, and heir apparent to the crown, being on a voyage to France, was driven by stress of weather on the coast, and detained by the mariners of Cley, who sent him prisoner to London. An allotment of 52a. was awarded at the enclosure in 1812.
Post Office at Mr. J. C. Elsy's : letters arrive at 9.45 a.m., and are despatched at 3.55 p.m.
Transcription Copyright © the late A.J. Carter, April, 2001; links updated November 2010.
1891 Census Names Index
Will of John FOX, 1766
White's 1845 and 1883 [GENUKI-NFK]
Cley next the Sea Archeology [Norfolk Heritage Explorer]
Village web-site [Kalba Meadows]
St Margaret, Cley [Simon Knott]
Cley tower windmill [Jonathan Neville]
Ships of the North (The churches of Blakeney, Cley, Salthouse & Wiveton) [Simon Knott]
More on Cley [GENUKI-NFK]
More Parish Information [Geoff Lowe & Andrew Rivett]
Return to villages index
Paddy's home page