Norfolk: Winterton


William White's History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Norfolk 1864

[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 Winterton Ness, well known to the mariner as the most fatal headland between Scotland and London. (See p.340 [which is the Shipwrecks section of the History of Yarmouth]). It has 682 inhabitants, and contains 1562 acres of land, exclusive of a large extent of sea-beach and warren. The Earl of Winterton is lord of the manor, but Mrs. Hume and W.B. Hume, Esq., have estates here.

The rectory 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, and the joint benefices are valued at £492 per ann.

The Church, dedicated to the Holy Trinity and All Saints, consists of nave, south porch, chancel, and fine embattled tower. The latter is 120 feet high, and is surmounted by four carved figures in lieu of pinnacles. It contains five bells, and its summit commands an extensive view of the ocean. New windows were inserted in the chancel in 1859. The roof of the nave is supported by eighteen wooden pillars, nine on either side, and the pulpit stands under the centre of the chancel arch. Here is a brass to Thomas Husband, dated 1676, and several tablets of the Knights, Lens, Huntington, and Hume families. The Rectory House was built in 1822.

In the village is a National School, and also a small Primitive Methodist Chapel.

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 35 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 consisting of seven men and a chief-officer, and a number of beachmen, are stationed here. In 1859, a Life Boat was placed here by the National Life Boat Association, and is manned by thirteen beachmen and a coxswain. It has been the means of affording assistance to many distressed vessels.

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 Dec. 27th, 1791, a high tide caused such alarming sea-breaches at Winterton, Horsey, and Waxham, as to threaten destruction to all the level marshes from thence to Yarmouth, Beccles, &c.

Since 1766, Winterton has given the tittle [sic] 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 the late Joseph Hume, Esq., M.P.

POST from Yarmouth, via Hemsby.

         Bell      John               shopkeeper
         Boult     Edward             farmer, Hall Farm
         Brown     Robert             carrier to Yarmouth
         Bungard   John               coast guard officer
         Crisp     Jas.               farmer
         Empson    Jas.               farmer
         George    Philip             carrier to Yarmouth
         Green     John               farmer
         Hewitt    James              baker and shopkeeper
         Hume      Wm. Burnley, Esq.  Hill House
         Jay       Christopher        parish clerk
         Juby      John               vict. Fisherman's Return
         Larner    George             vict. Three Mariners
         Leach     Edw.               shopr
         Nelson    Rev. John, B.A.    Rectory
         Pearce    Jas.               Lighthouse  [see note below]
         Smith     James              shoemaker
         Smith     Wm.                Lighthouse  [see note below]
         Starling  George             corn miller
         Wilton    George & Mrs.      National School

Note: in the original this is:
     Pearce Jas. and Smith Wm., Lighthouse

See also the Winterton parish page.

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Copyright © Pat Newby.
September 2006