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.
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