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Norfolk - Hunstanton

Kelly's Directory for Cambridgeshire, Norfolk & Suffolk, 1883, pp.357-359.

[Complete entry. Transcription Copyright © E.C."Paddy" Apling]

HUNSTANTON with ST. EDMUND'S.

HUNSTANTON is a parish, village and healthful sea-bathing place, with railway station at St. Edmund's, the terminus of the Lynn and Hunstanton railway, about 1 mile from the old village, 114 miles from London, 16 north-by-east from Lynn and 10 west from Burnham Market, in the Western division of the county, Smithdon hundred, Docking union, Lynn county court district, Heacham rural deanery, Norfolk archdeaconry and Norwich diocese.The sands extend 3 miles, and the bathing is safe and agreeable. The church of St. Mary the Virgin is a noble structure of flint and freestone, in the Decorated style. and consists of cancel, nave, aisles, and handsome south porch, which has been restored, in the memory of the late Mr. le Strange, and has tower on the west end of the north aisle containing 1 bell; it contains an ancient Norman font, round which a pavement of rich mosaic has been laid by the present lord of the manor; a handsome pulpit has been erected; there are monuments to the le Strange family, and a brass to E. Greeve and his wife, temp. Richard III.; and a stained east window by F. Preedy, erected by the younger children of the late Mr. le Strange and their mother, to his memory; the south clerestory windows are also filled with stained glass: there is a daily evening prayer and weekly communion in the parish church; the north aisle, called the visitors' aisle, was erected in 1879, at a cost of nearly £800, defrayed by subscriptions, principally from visitors. The register dates from the year 1538: it is curious, however, that no entry occurs before the reign of Queen Mary: a terrier has been discovered of the time of Philip and Mary, with inventory of the church furniture. The living is a vicarage, yearly value £400 net, with residence and 19 acres of glebe land, in the gift of Hamon le Strange esq. and held since 1870 by the Rev. Adolphus Waller M.A. of Christ Church, Oxford. Gibson's rent-charge of £9 is appropriated equally between the poor and repairs to the church. In the village there is a good hotel, a few lodging-houses and bathing machines. Hunstanton cliff rises to the height of about 60 feet above the beach, and is commonly called St. Edmund's point, from a tradition that St. Edmund the Martyr landed here when he came from Germany to be crowned King of East Anglia: this cliff exhibits one of the most attractive geological sections on the coast, at the base is carrstone of dark brown tint below and yellow above, on this rests a band of bright red chalk, above which, forming the top of the cliff, is white chalk: near the highest point of the cliff is the lighthouse, a substantial building, completed in 1880 by Trinity House; rising upwards of 50 feet, the light exhibited is on the catoptrical principle, and can been seen on dark nights, with a clear atmosphere, at a distance of 18 or 20 miles, from the decks of vessels. The ruins of St. Edmund's chapel are situated in a field adjoining the lighthouse. The sea washes against the cliff with great force, but at low water persons may walks along the sands for a distance of nearly a mile, to a place called the Oyster Sea, where in the season are caught skate, haddocks, codfish, codlings, soles, turbot, plaice, oysters, lobsters, crabs and shrimps; and periwinkles are taken in abundance. The coast on each side of the cliff is secured against the incursions of the sea by sand heaps, called meales. Here is a coastguard station; and a lifeboat, presented by the Licensed Victuallers' Association in 1867, who also erected the boathouse. The Hall is situated in a beautifully wooded park, and is the seat of Hamon le Strange esq. D.L., J.P.; this fine mansion, in 1853, was much injured by fire the ancient baronial banquet hall and eighteen other rooms were destroyed. Hamon le Strange esq. is lord of the manor and principal landowner. The soil is rich loam, and very productive; the subsoil chalk. The chief crops are wheat, barley and turnips. The Downs, near Great Ringstead, is a delightful resort for gipsy and picnic parties. The area is 1,499 acres of land, and 795 of water; rateable value, £10,127; the population in 1871 was 816; and in 1881, 1,507. St. Edmund's is a district adjoining Hunstanton. A church named St. Edmund, in the Decorated style, has been erected here, near the cliff; it consists of chancel, nave, and north aisle; a western porch has been added; there are 500 sittings, free and unappropriated; there are four services on Sundays and Communion is celebrated on Sundays, Thursdays and Saints' days; it is a chapel of ease to the parish church, and is served by the vicar of Hunstanton and his curate. Here is a Union chapel, open to all denominations, containing 300 free seats. This place has now become a well frequented watering-place; the climate is unusually dry and bracing, owing to the scanty rainfall, and the absence of fog, except at very rare intervals; in spring the east wind is less keen than in the midland counties: a pier was erected in 1870; it is supported by cast-iron columns, resting on screw piles, is 800 feet in length, and affords a commodious landing-place, and an agreeable promenade. Here are three good hotels, a few villa residences, and numerous lodging-houses. The Hunstanton Convalescent Home, for men, women and children, under the patronage of their R.H.H. the Prince and Princess of Wales, was opened in temporary buildings in June 1872; it is now a permanent building of carrstone with red brick facings and Bath stone sills, capable of holding 40 convalescents, and was opened on Eastern Monday, 1879, by their R.H.H. the Prince and Princess of Wales; it stands on an elevated site of about 2 acres, close to the Lynn road, with the front commanding a view of the sea, and was designed as a memorial of thanksgiving for the convalescence of the Prince of Wales in 1872; it contains 11 bed rooms uniformly furnished; there are also two large sitting rooms at either extremity of the building on the ground floor, that for men, called the Cambridge or Albert Edward ward, the other for women, called the Wisbech or Al;exandra room; the dining room, called Hunstanton, 30 feet by 20, is well furnished in oak and beech; there is also a visitors' hall flanked by rooms for the committee and matron; the total cost of the Memorial building was £7,000, including site, £1,000 of which was given by the Earl of Leicester, the rest by various donors; it is proposed at once to add a wing to hold 10 more patients: it is supported by voluntary contributions and the payment of small sums by the patients; convalescents are admissible from the Eastern and Midland counties generally and even from London. The two villages are supplies with gas and water by two private joint-stock companies with limited liability. There is a small Police Station, with residence for the sergeant in charge, and petty sessions for Smithdon and Brothercross petty sessional division are held at Beeton's rooms, St. Edmunds, the second Monday in each month at 11 a.m. and at Docking every fourth Monday at 11 a.m. For list of magistrates and places in the division see Docking.

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© Transcribed by E.C. ("Paddy") Apling, October 2006; links updated February 2011.

1891 Census Names Index
White's 1845 [GENUKI-NFK]
Church of St. Andrew; Church of Our Lady & St Edmund and Union Church [Simon Knott]
Hunstanton archeology [Norfolk Heritage Explorer]
Hunstanton On-Line
More on Hunstanton [GENUKI-NFK}
More Parish Information [Geoff Lowe & Andrew Rivett]
Return to villages index
Paddy's home page