Norfolk: Winterton


William White's History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Norfolk 1845

[Transcription copyright © Pat Newby]

WINTERTON is an ancient fishing village, lying in a bay, 8 miles N. by W. of Yarmouth, and sheltered on the north-east by that bold promontory called Winterton Ness, well known to the mariner as the most fatal headland between Scotland and London. The parish had 719 inhabitants in 1841, including 131 fishermen, who were absent when the census was taken.

It contains 1562 acres of land, exclusive of a large extent of sea-beach and warren. The soil belongs chiefly to Joseph Hume, Esq., M.P., and the Earl of Winterton. The latter is lord of the manor, and the former patron of the rectory, which is valued in the King's Books at £20.13s.4d., and has annexed to it the curacy of East Somerton. The Rev. J. Nelson, B.A., is the incumbent. The joint benefices were valued, in 1841, at £492 per annum. The Church, dedicated to the Holy Trinity and All Saints, has a fine embattled tower, 120 feet high, overlooking the highest parts of the Ness, and commanding an extensive view of the ocean.

The Light House, which stands on a lofty summit, on the south-east side of the village, is an hexagonal tower, nearly 70 feet high, and now illuminated with patent lamps and reflectors. It is the property of Trinity House, London, and was granted, in 1687, to Sir Edward Turnour, with "1d. per ton for every vessel sailing by." There were formerly two lights on the Ness, more than a mile north of the village, but they were removed about 15 years ago. In 1843, a Floating Light was placed in the Cockle Gatt, at the north entrance to Yarmouth roads. Two neat houses were erected on the cliff in 1840, for the residence of the light keepers. A coastguard, with a number of beach men and a pilot, are stationed here.

Winterton had formerly a market, fair, and races. In 1665, by the sea encroaching on the cliffs, several large bones were found, and one of them, weighing 57 pounds, and measuring 3 feet 2 inches, was pronounced by the faculty to be the leg-bone of a man ! On December 27th, 1791, a high tide caused such alarming sea-breaches at Winterton, Horsey, and Waxham, as to threaten destruction to all the level of marshes from thence to Yarmouth, Beccles, &c.

Since 1766, Winterton has given the title of Earl (in the Irish Peerage) to the Turnour family. The Right Hon. Edward Turnour, the present Earl of Winterton and Viscount Turnour, resides at Shillinglee Park, Surrey.

A National School was built here in 1845, on land given by Mr. Hume, who has in the parish a wild-fowl decoy, covering about 30 acres. Here are about 150 fishermen, who find ample employment during the season of the Yarmouth herring and mackarel fisheries, but in winter are subject to much privation; machinery having robbed them and their families of their former employment in braiding fishing nets.

         Amis      John              mariner
         Brown     Robt. and Thomas  mariners
         Hodds     John              vict. Three Mariners
         Juby      John              vict. Fisherman's Arms
         King      Benj.             pilot
         Learner   Samuel            bricklayer
         Leech     Mr Edw.
         Lugar     Wm.               R.N.coast guard
         Nelson    Rev John, B.A.    Rectory
         Page      Thomas            bricklayer
         Palmer    Edmund            corn miller
         Popay     Charles           tailor and overseer
         Skelton   Wm.               decoy man
         Smith     Wm. sen. & jun.   light keepers
         Thornhill Thos. Esq.        Hill Cottage
         Watson    George            lodgings, Beach
           FARMERS            Shoemakers       Shopkeepers
         Dyball  Christmas  Goffin  Wm.      King    Ann
         Empson  James      Plane   Wm.      Leech   Edw.jun.
         Green   Wm.        Powles  Robert   Shales  Samuel
         Green   John       Smith   James    Soulsby John
         Grimmer Benj.
         Hodds   Henry
         King    Abel
         Nelson  Edmund
         Newman  Wm.
         Shales  Samuel
         Womack  Wm.
           CARRIERS (To Yarmouth.)
         Brown   Robert
         Flaxman Wm.

See also the Winterton parish page.

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Copyright © Pat Newby.
January 1998