CLEY-NEXT-THE-SEA is a small town and port on the river Glaven, about a mile from the beach, 10 miles E. of Wells, 12 miles W. of Cromer, 4 miles N.N.W. of Holt, and 25 miles N.N.W. of Norwich. It is in Erpingham union, Holt county court district, Norwich bankruptcy district, Holt petty sessional division and hundred, Holt polling district of North Norfolk, Holt rural deanery and Norwich archdeaconry. It had 721 inhabitants in 1881, living on 2150 acres, and has a rateable value of £3675 8s. 9d., and a gross estimated rental of £4185.
The Eastern and Midlands Railway (formerly Lynn and Fakenham), now in course of construction, is planned to pass through this parish, and a station is proposed to be built near the centre of the village. About 300 acres of the parish is good marshland. W.H.C. Hardy, Esq., is lord of the manor and owner of most of the soil: but W.J.J. Bolding, Esq., and Lord Calthorpe have estates here. Cley had formerly a small market on Saturday, and a pleasure fair on the last Friday and Saturday in July.
The Harbour is small and shallow. The water-way leading from it to the sea forms a junction with the Blakeney channel. Cley is now under the port of Wells, and the Custom House is at Blakeney. The exports are chiefly corn, and the imports coal, cake, &c.
The CHURCH (St. Margaret) is a handsome edifice, comprising nave with aisles and clerestory, south porch with parvise, and square embattled tower at the north-west angle containing one bell. The transepts and western porch are now in ruins, but the chancel was restored in 1882, when the ancient staircase to the rood loft was thrown open and a credence table erected. [The] chancel contains the sedilia and piscina, and near the west doorway is a holy water stoup. The seats are modern, the ends are ancient and exhibit poppy-heads. There is an elegant oak pulpit, with the date 1611 on it. The font is octagonal, and bears carvings of the seven sacraments.
In the north aisle is a brass, dated 1429, representing John Yslington in a priest's habit, and in the south aisle is a fine brass with representations of John Symonds, his wife and eight children. In the churchyard is the altar-tomb of Captain John Grieve, who assisted Sir Cloudesley Shovel in burning the ships in the port of Tripoli, in Barbary, in 1676.
The parish Register dates from the year 1538.
The rectory, valued in the King's Book at £22 13s. 4d., is in the patronage of the Purdy family, and incumbency of the Rev. John Chanter Blackmore, who has 21A. of glebe, a yearly tithe rent-charge of £405, and a spacious Elizabethan residence, built in 1859 at a cost of £1300.
Here are chapels belonging to the Primitive Methodists and Methodist Free Church.
A School Board was established here in 1874, and now consists of Messrs. C.W.H. Cozens-Hardy (chairman), George Haycock (vice-chairman), William Lown, James Fox, and Stephen Starling. Mr. E. Hudson is clerk. The Board now use what was formerly the British School, built in 1860 in the Elizabethan style, at a cost of £600. There is an attendance of 140 children.
A Reading Room and Library was established in 1876, and has upwards of 400 volumes and 30 members. Mr. J.J. Lane is honorary secretary.
In 1406, James, son of Robert Bruce, King of Scotland, and heir-apparent to the crown, being on a voyage to France, was driven by stress of weather on this coast. and was detained by the mariners of Cley. He was sent to King Henry, who, learning from the Prince's protector, the Earl of Orkney, that he was going to France for his education, said, 'My brother of Scotland might as well have sent him to me, for I can speak French;' and forthwith remitted the Prince and his guardian to prison, where they continued for seventeen years, till the third year of Henry the Sixth's reign, when the prince immediately ascended the throne of Scotland.
POST, MONEY ORDER OFFICE, SAVINGS BANK and TELEGRAPH OFFICE at Mr. Edward Hudson's. Letters viâ East Dereham.
Allen Philip farmer Anderson John beerhouse Blackmore Rev. J.C. rctr. The Rectory Blyth Mrs Elizabeth A. pork butcher Brett Howard joiner & wheelwright Brown Rev. John U.M.F.C. Burroughes Stephen Barnabas miller, and corn merchant and baker Chasteney James tailor Clarke Thomas bootmaker Codling John vict. The Swallows Inn Cooke Henry vict. King's Head Inn Cozens -Hardy Clement Wm. Hardy (brewer), The Hall Dawes Edward carrier, and agent for G.E.R. Parcels Office Fox Jas. frmr. & oversr. Newgate farm Haycock George farmer Hearne Miss Mary Ann shopkeeper Hooke William Hy. tailor & draper Howes William vict. Fishmongers Arms Inn, & horse & trap letter Hudson Edward postmaster, clerk to School Board, assistant overseer, & rate collector, stationer and fancy dealer, tobacconist, dyers agent and dealer in patent medicines Hudson Mrs Martha Randall's bldgs Jarvis Charles bricklayer Jarvis Samuel joiner and carpenter King William Edward coast guard boatman Lane John Geo. Board schoolmaster Lee George blacksmith and farmer Leeder Robert John butcher Lewis Robert master mariner Long George shoemaker Lowne Wm. farmer & vessel owner Mitchell Mrs Elizabeth Moore Jeremiah master mariner Page & corn, coal, &c. merchants; Turner and at Blakeney Parker Hy. Nichols butcher Parlett David master mariner Pinchen Henry master mariner and vessel owner Pitcher John Batterby baker Porritt James William farmer Porter Mrs Eliza Proudford Richard earthenware dlr Randall Laurence coal, corn & frntre. dlr. & vict. George and Dragon Inn Rayner Jno. statnr. newsagt. & tea dlr Skoyles Miss Board schoolmistress Stangroom Fredk. grocer, draper and druggist, ironmonger, and wholesale and retail glass, china and earthenware dlr. agt. for the Reliance Life, Imperial Fire, & Accidental Insce Cos Stangroom James tailor Starling Stephen grocer, draper and registrar of marriages Sumpter Walter, M.D., surgeon to Erpingham union and L.S.A. surgeon to Coast Guard Taylor Edward farmer, Swan's lodge Turner Mrs Twiddy John baker Williamson James sexton Wilson Henry horse and trap letter Woodhouse James shopkeeper
Copyright © Pat Newby.