Encyclopedia > Great Yarmouth

  Article Content

Great Yarmouth

Great Yarmouth is a town on the Norfolk, England coast with a population of about 90,000 and has been a seaside resort since 1760. It is the gateway from the Norfolk Broads to the sea.

For hundreds of years it has been dependent on the herring fishery, and today it services the offshore oil rigs.

The town suffered during World War II, but much is left of the old city, including the original over 2000 metres long protective medieval wall, of which about two-thirds have survived. Of the 18 towers, 11 are left. On the South Quay, there is a 17th century Merchant's House, as well as Tudor, Georgian and Victorian buildings. Behind South Quay, there is a maze of alleys and lanes known as "The Rows". Originally there were 145 rows. Despite war damage, several have remained.

The Tolhouse, complete with dungeons[?], dates from the late 13th century and is said to be the oldest civic building in Britain.

The Market place is one of the largest in England, and has been operating since the 13th century.

The old part of Great Yarmouth is linked to the mainland by Haven Bridge.

Yarmouth has two seaside piers[?], Britannia Pier and Wellington Pier. The Maritime Museum for East Anglia is situated on Marine Parade.

There is the inevitable monument to Horatio Nelson. Erected in 1819, it is now surrounded by factories.

Charles Dickens used the town as a location in his book David Copperfield.

Anna Sewell (1820-1878), the author of "Black Beauty", was born in a 17th century house in Church Plain. The house is now a museum.

The church of St Nicholas, founded in ? by Herbert Losinga, the first bishop of Norwich, and consecrated in 1119, is one of the largest parish churches in England. It is cruciform, with a central tower, which perhaps preserves a part of the original structure, but by successive alterations the form of the church has been completely changed.

The Transitional clerestoried nave, with columns alternately octagonal and circular, was rebuilt in the reign of King John. A portion of the chancel is of the same date. About fifty years later the aisles were widened, so that the nave is now the narrowest part of the building. A grand west front with towers and pinnacles was constructed in 1330—1338, but the building was interrupted by a visitation of the plague. In the 16th century the ornamental brasses were cast into weights and the gravestones cut into grindstones. Within the church there were at one time eighteen chapels, maintained by gilds or private families, but these were demolished by the Reformers, who sold the valuable utensils of the building and applied the money to the widening of the channel of the harbour. During the Commonwealth the Independents appropriated the chancel, the Presbyterians the north aisle and the Churchmen were allowed the remainder of the building. The brick walls erected at this time to separate the different portions of the building remained till 1847. In 1864 the tower was restored, and the east end of the chancel rebuilt; in 1869—1870 the south aisle was rebuilt; and in 1884 the S. transept, the west end of the nave and the north aisle underwent restoration. The width of the nave is 26 ft., and the total length of the church is 236 ft.


A grammar-school was founded in 1551, when the great hall of the old hospital, founded in the reign of Edward I by Thomas Fastolfe, was appropriated to its use. It was closed from 1757 to 1860, was re-established by the charity trustees, and settled in new buildings in 1872.

Yarmouth (Gernemwa, Yernemuth), which lies near the site of the Roman camp of Gariannonum, is believed to have been the landing-place of Cerdic[?] in the 5th century. Not long afterwards, the convenience of its situation having attracted many fishermen from the Cinque Ports, a permanent settlement was made, and the town numbered seventy burgesses before the Norman Conquest. Henry I placed it under the rule of a reeve. The charter of King John (1208), which gave his burgesses of Yarmouth general liberties according to the customs of Oxford, a gild merchant and weekly hustings, was amplified by several later charters asserting the rights of the borough against Little Yarmouth and Gorleston.

In 1552 Elizabeth granted a charter of admiralty jurisdiction, afterwards confirmed and extended by James I. In 1668 Charles II incorporated Little Yarmouth in the borough by a charter which with one brief exception remained in force till 1703, when Anne replaced the two bailiffs by a mayor.

All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
  Featured Article
Kuru Kuru Kururin

... the United States. However, because the GBA has no region lockout, European games will work fine on a U.S. GBA unit, and apparently, even a player who knows no Japanese ...

This page was created in 22.2 ms