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Help and advice for Wells-next-the-Sea

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Wells-next-the-Sea

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"WELLS, or Wells-next-the-Sea, is an irregularly built sea-port town, 5 miles N. by W. of Walsingham, 10 miles N. of Fakenham, 29 miles N.E. of Lynn, 32 miles N.W. of Norwich, and 118 miles N.N.E. of London. Its parish has increased its population since the year 1801, from 2,316 to 3,504 souls, and contains 1,606 acres of land, lying in four manors, viz:- Wells-late-the-Duke's, Normans, and Walsingham Priory, of which the Earl of Leicester is lord; and Binham Priory, of which Sir R.J. Harvey is lessee lord, under the Bishop of Norwich. The common was enclosed in 1811. . . . Its commerce has been for many years in a declining state, but efforts are now making to revive it, by improving the harbour; and it is intended to form  a Railway from the town, to join the Norwich and Brandon line, near Thetford. . . The CHURCH (St. Nicholas,) is a neat fabric, . . . The south gallery was erected by the present incumbent, in 1833, at the cost of £320, with pews for 140 hearers," [William White, History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Norfolk (1845) - Transcription copyright © Pat Newby]

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Cemeteries

Not all memorials may be included, even when a site is marked as complete, for example when stones are not legible enough to be photographed.

Church of St Nicholas (Findagrave)
Transcriptions and photographs of memorials.
Church of St Nicholas (Gravestonephotos)
Transcriptions and photographs of memorials.
 
Congregational Church (Findagrave)
Transcriptions and photographs of memorials.
Congregational Church (Gravestonephotos)
Transcriptions and photographs of memorials.
 
Wells Town Cemetery, Market Lane (Findagrave)
Transcriptions and photographs of memorials.
Wells Town Cemetery, Market Lane (Gravestonephotos)
Transcriptions and photographs of memorials.
 
Polka Road Cemetery (Findagrave)
Transcriptions and photographs of memorials.

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Cemeteries

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Census

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Censuses

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Church Directories

  • In 1883 the parish was in the Deanery of Walsingham, in the archdeaconry of Norwich.
    It could have been in a different deanery or archdeaconry both before and after this date.
  • The parish church is dedicated to St Nicholas.
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Church History

Church of St Nicholas
Description and pictures.
Church of St Nicholas
Services, etc.
 
Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady, Star of the Sea
Description and pictures.
 
Methodist Church
Minister, services, picture, etc.
Follow the link to the home page, then search for the church.
Primitive Methodist Church
Description, picture and map.
 
Friends Meeting House
Description, history, services and picture.
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Church Records

Parish Register Transcripts
Baptisms 1813-1880
Marriages
These are not included in Boyd's Marriage Index or Phillimore's Marriage Registers.
Edmonds, Jenifer A.
Norfolk Non-Conformist Burials, 1700s-1800s.
Wells Independent Meeting House (1817-1837).
See Great Ellingham

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Church Records

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Civil Registration

For the civil registration of births, marriages and deaths between 1837 and 1930 (and for the censuses from 1851 to 1901), Wells was in Walsingham Registration District.

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Civil Registration

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Description and Travel

Wells Town Council
Councillors, meetings, minutes, etc.
Wells
Description, history, maps, pictures, news, organisations, etc.
Wells
Description, history and pictures.
Wells
Description, pictures and map..
Wells Harbour
Description, pictures, information for mariners, etc.
Wells Lifeboat
News, events, description, history, pictures, etc.
Wells
Organisations, holidays, pictures, etc.
Wells
Businesses, pictures, etc.
 
Wells Black's Lane Post Mill
Description, history and map.
Wells Mill Farm East Post Mill
Description, history and map.
Wells Mill Farm Tower Mill
Description, history and map.
Wells Mill Lane Post Mill
Description, history and map.
Wells Northfield Smock Mill
Description, history and map.
Wells West End Early Post Mill
Description, history and map.
Wells West End Post Mill
Description, history and map.
 
Anckorn, Gordon
A West Norfolk camera: King's Lynn, Wells and Wisbech in old photographs.
[ISBN 0906798086, Ashgrove Press, 1981]
Banham, Eleanor
Wells town trail.
[Norwich, Norfolk County Planning Department, 1980]
Lingwood, Lemmon
The illustrated guide to Wells-next-the-Sea, including Holkham, Walsingham, Fakenham, and Districts: containing full description of Lord Nelson's birthplace.
[London, Jarrold, (18-?)]
Perkins, Geoff
Wells on Sea - A Town and All Its People As It Once Was: Photographs from the late 1800s to the 1950s.
[1996]
Rouse, Michael
Hunstanton and Wells-next-the-Sea through time.
Photographs of the west Norfolk coast from Hunstanton to Wells.
[2011?]

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Wells-next-the-Sea which are provided by:

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Gazetteers

Ask for a calculation of the distance from Wells-next-the-Sea to another place.

Click here for a list of nearby places.

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Historical Geography

Wells is in North Greenhoe Hundred.

Parish outline and location.
See Parish Map for North Greenhoe Hundred
Description of North Greenhoe Hundred
1845: White's History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Norfolk

You can see the administrative areas in which Wells-next-the-Sea has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.

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History

Arguile, Roger
Wells-next-the-Sea: A little history.
[ISBN 80946148998, Poppyland Publishing, 2013]
Arguile, Roger
Wells-next-the-Sea: A small port and a wide world.
[ISBN 81909796102 and 81909796119, Poppyland Publishing, 2014]
Pooley, Graham
The port of Wells: 1100 years of history.
[ISBN 0951612018, Fakenham, 1992]
Stammers, Michael
Shipbuilding in Wells in the 18th and 19th Centuries.
[Wells Local History Group Occasional Publications, 2011]
Stephenson, Frank
The story of Wells-next-the-Sea: with a brief commentary on the adjoining countryside.
[ISBN 090288705X, Blakeney, 1972]
Walker, Graham B
The memoirs of William John Harman, 1854-1944: Shipwrecks and rescues off Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk.
[ISBN 0952599104, Wells, 1995]
Woods, Sheila
Out with the tide: recollections of Wells-next-the-Sea 1918-1939.
[ISBN 0946148422, Poppyland Publishing, 'East Anglian memories' series, 1989]
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Land and Property

Inclosure
See Warham All Saints
Welland, Michael
The History of the Inns and Public Houses of Wells.
[Wells Local History Group Occasional Publications, 2012]

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Land and Property

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Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

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Population

These figures are from the population tables which were produced after the 10-yearly national censuses. The "Families" heading includes families and single occupiers.

Year   Inhabited
Houses
Families Population
1801 523 555 2316
1811 588 610 2683
1821 648 696 2950
1831 734 800 3624
1841 801 --- 3504
1851 839 --- 3675
Year   Inhabited
Houses
Families Population
1861 867 --- 3464
1871 770 785 3044
1881 689 699 2645
1891 639 639 2555
1901 652 653 2494
1911 --- 681 2565

There may be more people living in detached parts of the parish (if there were any) and, if so, the number may or may not be included in the figures above. It is quite difficult to be sure from the population tables.

1831 Census
"In the Parish of Wells-next-the-Sea, all Men employed in Registered Vessels are properly excluded from the Return; hence the small proportion of Males 20 Years of Age."
1861 Census
"The decrease of population in the parishes of Wells-next-the-Sea and Holkham is partly attributed to the depression of the shipping trade, owing to the facilities of railway communications, and partly to the fact that a number of labourers and artizans were temporarily employed in 1851 on Lord Leicester's estate at Holkham."
1901 Census
These figures are for Wells Urban District.
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Societies

Wells Local History Group
Meetings, membership, research, newsletters, holdings of parish register and census data, etc.
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