CLEY-NEXT-THE-SEA is a coast town and parish on the river Glaven, 1 mile east from Blakeney, 10 miles east from Wells, 12 west from Cromer and 4 north-north-west from Holt station, in the Northern division of the county, Holt hundred and county court district, Erpingham union, rural deanery of Holt and archdeaconry and diocese of Norwich. The church of St. Margaret is a noble structure in the Decorated style, and consists of chancel, nave, aisles with massive pillars, north and south porches, the latter a splendid feature in the building, being surmounted by a parvise, and a square embattled tower, supposed to have been built in the reign of Henry VI. : the transepts and west porch are in ruins: it contains several old tombs and brasses, among which, in the north aisle is a brass, bearing date 1429, representing John Yslington in the habit of a priest, and in the south aisle is also a fine brass of John Symonds, his wife and eight children; in the churchyard is the altar-tomb of Captain John Grieve, who assisted Sir Cloudsley Shovel in burning the ships in the port of Tripoli, in Barbary, in 1676: here is also a curious and beautifully sculptured font of the thirteenth century, representing the seven sacraments of the Catholic church, and a fine carved oak pulpit, bearing date 1611: in the sacrarium under the present communion table is an ancient stone altar slab, bearing on it the five crosses: the date of this is uncertain: in the chancel are also to be seen half-a-dozen old oak seats, now formed into pews, having beneath them some curiously carved misereres. The register dates from the year 1538. The living is a rectory, yearly value £400, in the gift of the Rev. Everett Bishop B.A. of Christ's College, Cambridge, who resides at Wiveton, and held since 1878 by the Rev. Chanter Blackmore, of University College, Durham. The United Methodist Free Church and Primitive Methodists have places of worship here. Here was formerly a market on Saturday. The harbour is both narrow and shallow, and forms in its course to the sea a junction with the Blakeney channel: the custom house for this and the neighbouring ports is now removed to Lynn, but there is a sub-office at Blakeney. In 1406 James, son of Robert Bruce, King of Scotland, being on a voyage to France, was driven by stress of weather on this coast, and detained by the mariners of Cley, who sent him prisoner to London. The chief trade carried on in this place is in coal, timber, oilcake and malt. W.H. Cozens-Hardy esq. J.P. of Letheringsett, is lord of the manor and chief landowner, and is owner of Cley Hall, which is occupied by his eldest son, C.W.H. Cozens-Hardy esq. J.P. The soil is light; subsoil, chalk. The chief crops are on the four-course system. The area is 2,198 acres of land and 165 of water; rateable value, £3,569; and the population in 1881 was 719.
POST, MONEY ORDER & TELEGRAPH OFFICE, Savings Bank & Government Annuity & Insurance Office.- Edward Hudson, postmaster. Letters received from Dereham at 6.55 a.m. & are dispatched at 5.5 p.m. The box closes at 5 p.m.
Cley Reading Room Society, John George Lane, hon. sec.
Cley Volunteer Life Saving Apparatus Company (25 men), William King, commission boatman
INSURANCE AGENT.- Reliance Mutual, F. Stangroom
A School Board of 5 members was formed here in 1874, Edward Hudson, clerk &
Board School, built in 1860 at a cost of £700, for 160 children; average attendance 130; John George Lane, master; Miss Symes, mistress
© Transcribed by Paul Madgett, January 1999; links updated January 2011.
1891 Census Names Index
1841 Census Names index [Val Fidden & Honor Jones]
White's 1845 and 1883 [GENUKI-NFK]
Cley next the Sea Archeology [Norfolk Heritage Explorer]
Cley postmill and towermill [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]
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