Eccles by the Sea


"Eccles-by-the-Sea, 9 miles E. by S. of North Walsham, is a decayed parish, once a noted fishing town, with a lordship of 2000 acres, but so wasted by the incursions of the ocean, that the inhabitants, in their petition for a reduction of taxes, in 1605, complained that they had then only 14 houses, and 300 acres of land, "the rest being all destroyed by the sea, together with the church." It has now only 53 inhabitants, and 253 acres of land divided into three farms, occupied by Cornelius Croxton, George Empson and Robert Thompson. Edward Lombe, Esq., is lord of the manor, and patron of the vicarage, valued in the King's Book at £8, and now enjoyed by the Rev. Edw. Evans; but owing to the want of a church, this is a sinecure benefice, and the inhabitants use the church at Hempstead, with which parish they have long been united for the support of the poor. Eccles Church (St. Mary,) was destroyed nearly 250 years ago, as noticed above, except the tower, which is still standing, but is embedded to the height of the former walls of the church, in the accumulated sand-hills which have been thrown up by the sea, and serve as a barrier against the too rapid encroachments of the tides. The lower part of this tower is circular, and the upper octangular.


Eccles by the Sea is about 14 miles E. of Aylsham.
It is consolidated with Hempstead near Stalham in some records.
See also Eccles in south west Norfolk.


Church Directories

  • In 1883 the parish was in the Deanery of Waxham, in the archdeaconry of Norfolk.
    It could have been in a different deanery or archdeaconry both before and after this date.
  • The parish church is dedicated to St Mary, but it was destroyed in the 16th century.

Civil Registration

For the civil registration of births, marriages and deaths between 1837 and 1869 (and for the censuses in 1851 and 1861), Eccles was in Tunstead and Happing Registration District.

This district was renamed on 1st January 1870 and, from then until 1930, Eccles was in Smallburgh Registration District for civil registration and for the censuses of 1871 to 1901.

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Civil Registration


Description & Travel

No author
Eccles next the Sea, Norfolk, and the erosion of the East Coast.

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Eccles by the Sea which are provided by:




Historical Geography

Eccles by the Sea is in Happing Hundred.

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

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



Palmer, Frederick Danby
Eccles by the sea.
[Norwich, Norfolk and Norwich Archaeological Society, in "Norfolk Archaeology", vol.12, 1895]
Pestell, Ronald and Stannard, David
Eccles-Juxta-Mare, a lost village discovered.
[ISBN 0952641402, Steeple Publishing, 1995]

Land & Property

Great Britain. Inclosure Commissioners
Statement of Claims: Repps with Bastwick (39) and Eccles next the Sea.
Great Britain: Statute
Repps and Eccles Inclosure and Drainage Act, 1807.
An act for inclosing and draining lands within the parishes of Repps with Bastwick and Eccles next the Sea, in the county of Norfolk, 27th April 1807.
[London, George Eyre and Andrew Strahan, 1807]
Land allotment and drainage
See Hempstead.

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Land and Property



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference TG404294 (Lat/Lon: 52.808365, 1.565379), Eccles by the Sea which are provided by:


Poor Houses, Poor Law