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Norfolk: Cley next the Sea

William White's History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Norfolk 1883

[Transcription copyright © Pat Newby]

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
	  -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
	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

See also the Cley next the Sea parish page.

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Copyright © Pat Newby.
January 2009