1891 Census Names Index
Thomas DAWSON Mariner - Will, 1539
White's 1854
Wells Archeology [Norfolk Heritage Explorer]
Wells harbour web-site
Local web-site
Wells Archeology [Norfolk Heritage Explorer]
Black's Lane postmill [Jonathan Neville]
Catholic church of Our Lady of the Sea [Simon Knott]
Wells & Walsingham Light Railway
More on Wells [GENUKI-NFK]
Parish information [Geoff Lowe & Andrew Rivett]
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Norfolk - Wells-next-the-Sea

Kelly's Directory for Cambridgeshire, Norfolk & Suffolk, 1883, pp.549-552.

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

WELLS-NEXT-THE-SEA a coast town, parish and station on the Great Eastern railway, and polling-place for the North division of the county, 10 miles north from Fakenham, 32 north-west from Norwich and 118 from London, in North Greenhoe hundred, Walsingham union, and county court district, rural deanery of Walsingham and archeaconry and diocese of Norwich. The town is not incorporated, but is governed by the commissioners appointed in 1844 by an Act of the 7th and 7th of Victoria. Gas works were erected in pursuance of the above, the old streets and roads improved, and a stone quay erected 250 yards in length; the improvements have cost 23,000. The tide rises on the bar 20 feet, in the habour about 12 feet, and vessels of 150 tons can enter. The trade is chiefly in malt, barley, linseed cake, corn, coals, timber, salt and manure. There are fisheries for oysters and mussels. This was formerly a port, but since January 1881 has ceased to be so, and now forms part of the port of Lynn. The harbour commissioners are making survey for the purpose of improving the harbour, having capital to the amount of 1,000 at their disposal. The church of St. Nicholas, which was almost entirely destroyed by fire caused by lightning in a storm on August 3rd and 4th, 1879, was a noble building, consisting of deep chancel, nave and aisles, with north, south and west galleries, and a square embattled tower: the style was fifteenth century Perpendicular: there is a window in the chancel, of date 1810, to the memory of the late rector's father, which is very slightly damaged by the fire: a decorated screen of carved oak divided the nave from the chancel: in the latter was an organ, several ancient tablets, and one brass, date 1588: in the vestry was an old oak chest, bearing date 1635, which was preserved: the tracery and open frame roofs over the nave and chancel were very elaborately worked, and surmounted by figures of angels richly carved. In 1875 a new churchyard near the parish church was laid out, and entrance gates at the west side erected: the ground occupies an area of about an acre and a half, The church has been restored and was re-opened for service in April, 1883: the original style of the building was followed exactly, and where possible the exact stones were replaced: the tower remained, but had been gutted by the fire and the clock and bells destroyed: the cost of the restoration up to this time has been 6,000, but about 4,000 are rquired to complete the restoration. Mr. Herbert Green, architect, of Norwich, placed his services gratuitously at the disposition of the committee, and has so far completed the restoration in the true spirit of the original building. The register dates from the year 1548. The living is a rectory, yearly value 550, with residence and 176 acres of glebe land, in the gift of and held since 1880 by the Rev. John Rushworth Pilling M.A. of Hertford College, Oxford. Here are Congregational, Wesleyan and Primitive Methodist chapels, and a meeting house for the Society of Friends. The Custom House is on the Quay. Large rooms have been erected on the Crown bowling green and in the Globe Hotel yard, for concerts, public meetings and amusements. Here are malt houses, rope walks, machine works and corn mills. The London and Provincial Bank Limited and Gurneys, Birkbeck and Co.'s banks have branches here, A fair is held every Shrove Tuesday, on the Butt lands. A life boat (supported by volunbtary contributions) was presented to the town of Wells by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, called the "Eliza Adams," after the donor's wife: this boat, during the gale of October 20th, 1880, was capsized after the crew had rescued one ship's crew and were returning to save a second, when ten of the men were drowned: the crew refusing to man this boat after this casualty. it was transferred to the National Lifeboat Institution, who presnted them with a new one, which was launched on July 10, 1882 by Miss Charlotte Nichols, after whom it was named: after the calamity funds were raised to the amount of 3.000, which were invested in annuities for the lives of the widows. The charities, amounting to about 300 yearly, are now distributed in accordance with a scheme of the Charity Commissioners, dated July, 1876, and are as follows:—Rev. Mungo Moray's charity, producing 18 yearly from an estate at Bale: Christopher Ringer's charity a farm house, with buildings and three cottages and 88 acres of land in Bassingham and Barningham, sold to J. T. Mott, esq. of the latter place for 6,000, which was invested in Consols, and the income thereby considerably increased; Ann Tidd's charity of 5 annually, arising out of land in Wells, now in the possession of the Earl of Leicester K.G.; William Branch Elliott's charity, 338 New 3 Per Cent. Annuities, and the fuel allotment, a piece of land in Wells, allotted under the "Enclosure Act" in 1813. and now let to the Earl of Leicester for 30 a year. One third of the nett yearly income of these charities is applied to educational purposes, and the remainder distributed in gifts of clothes, food, fuel and medicines to poor persons not in receipt of regular parochial relief. The permanent body of charity trustees under the Act consists of the Rector and Churchwardens, and the Chairman of the School Board for the time being, ex officio, and eight others; George S. Andrews is clerk to the trustees. The Earl of Leicester is lord of the manor and principal landowner. The soil is very light; subsoil, chalky. The area of the parish is 2,704 acres of land and 1,820 of water; rateable value, 8,817 12s. 6d.; the population in 1881 was 2,647.

POST, MONEY ORDER & TELEGRAPH OFFICE. Savings Bank & Government Annuity & Insurance Office, Staithe street.—Francis B. Southgate, postmaster. Letters are delivered at 7 a.m.; second delivery at 3 p.m.; Box closes at 8.30 a.m. & 5.15 p.m.; sunday delivery, 7 a.m.; box closes at 5.15 p.m.

WALL LETTER BOXES.—Church street, cleared at 6.30 a.m. & 5.10 p.m.; Glebe, 8 a.m. & 5 p.m.

INSURANCE AGENTS:—
       County Fire, Charles D. Judd, Stirling house
       Guardian Life & Fire, F. B. Southgate, Staithe street
       Hand-in-Hand Fire & Life, J. H, Brunning, Staithe st
       Sun Fire,W. Leggatt, High street

               IMPROVEMENT COMMISSIONERS.
               Port & Urban Sanitary Authority.
Clerk, Edward Bunting Loynes, Butt lands
Treasurer, Robert N. Hamond, Fakenham
Medical Officer of Health, Frederick Long, Burnt street
Surveyor, James Ringer, Butt lands
Inspector of Nuisances, William Leggatt, High street
Collector, Francis B. Southgate, Staithe street

PUBLIC ESTABLISHMENTS:—
    Assembly & Concert Rooms, Butt lands, Robert Spicer, proprietor
    Coast Guard Wells district, Lieut. Edwd; J. Bellott R.N. divisional officer; James Blades, chief boatman in charge
    Stamp Office, William George Hamilton, officer
    Assessor & Collector of Taxes, Wm. Edmd. Miller, Church st

PUBLIC OFFICERS:—
    Assistant Overseer, William Leggatt, High street
    Clerk to Charity Trustees, Geo. S. Andrews, Church st
    Clerk to Harbour Commissioners, W. P. Glazebrook
    Clerk to the Permanent Life Boat Relief Committee, G. S. Andrews, Church street
    Harbour Master, William Temple
    Lloyd's Agent, Francis B. Southgate
    Inland Revue Officer, Thomas Anderton, High street
    Inspector of Nuisances, Walsingham Union, William Leggatt, High street
    Medical Officer, Wells District, Walsingham Union, Alfred William Fox Whitlock, Church sreet
    Medical Officer of Health for Wells & Coast Guard, Wells station, Frederick Long, Burnt street
    Pilots, Richard Smith & John Allen
    Registrar of Births & Deaths for Wells Sub-district of the Walsingham Union, Robert H. Foot M.D. Butt lands; Deputy, William Leggatt, High street
    Registrar of Marriages, William Leggatt, High street
    Stamp Distributor, F. B. Southgate, Staithe street
    Sub-Commissioners of Pilots, Francis Southgate & Francis B. Southgate
    Town Crier, Thomas Staines, Church marsh

PLACES OF WORSHIP, with times of service
    St. Nicholas Church, Rev. John Rushworth Pilling M.A. rector, 11 a.m. & 6 p.m.; wed. 7 p.m.
    Congregational, Butt lands, Rev. William Albert Meaton, minister, 10.45 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; thurs. 7 p.m.
    Friends Meeting House, Burnt street, ministers various & times of service various
    Primitive Methodists, Theatre road, ministers various, 19,30 a,m, & 6 p.m.; thurs. 7 p.m.
    Wesleyan, New road, ministers various, 10.30 a.m. & 6 p.m.; wed, 7 p.m.

SCHOOLS:—
    A School Board was formed here in 1873, consisting of 5 members. The Board meet at Butt lands 2nd tuesday in each month at 4 p.m. Edward B, Loynes is clerk to the Board. Attendance Officer John Tillson, High street
    Board School, which is near Railway station, will hold about 350 childen, & consists of boys', girls', & infants' schools; Samuel Lewton, master; Miss Agnes Hubbard, mistress; Miss Herman Taylor, infants' mistress

Railway Station, George Cecil Paynter, station master

Cariage [sic] Agent for G. E, Railway, Robert Spicer, Butt lands

CARRIER TO NORWICH.—Thomas Williams, from his house, Luggar yard, wednesday morning, returning friday night

Transcription Copyright © E.C."Paddy" Apling, October 2010.

1891 Census Names Index
Thomas DAWSON Mariner - Will, 1539
White's 1854
Wells Archeology [Norfolk Heritage Explorer]
Wells harbour web-site
Local web-site
Wells Archeology [Norfolk Heritage Explorer]
Black's Lane postmill [Jonathan Neville]
Catholic church of Our Lady of the Sea [Simon Knott]
Wells & Walsingham Light Railway
More on Wells [GENUKI-NFK]
Parish information [Geoff Lowe & Andrew Rivett]
Return to villages index
Paddy's home page