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Observations upon the Town of Cromer Considered as a Watering Place, and the Picturesque Scenery in Its Neighbourhood

Observations upon the Town of Cromer
Considered as a Watering Place, and the Picturesque Scenery in Its Neighbourhood
Title: Observations upon the Town of Cromer Considered as a Watering Place, and the Picturesque Scenery in Its Neighbourhood
Release Date: 2018-04-24
Type book: Text
Copyright Status: Public domain in the USA.
Date added: 27 March 2019
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The Project Gutenberg eBook, Observations upon the Town of Cromer, byEdmund BartellThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and mostother parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms ofthe Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org.  If you are not located in the United States, you'll haveto check the laws of the country where you are located before using this ebook.Title: Observations upon the Town of Cromer       considered as a Watering Place and the Picturesque Scenery       in its NeighbourhoodAuthor: Edmund BartellRelease Date: April 24, 2018  [eBook #57041]Language: EnglishCharacter set encoding: ISO-646-US (US-ASCII)***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK OBSERVATIONS UPON THE TOWN OFCROMER***

Transcribed from the 1800 John Parslee edition by David Price,email [email protected]

The sea shore at Cromer

Picturesque Scenery




Decorative graphic


And Sold by T. Hurst,No. 32, Pater-noster Row, London;
J. Freeman, London-Lane, Norwich. and B.Rust, Cromer.



Bathing places being generallyresorted to during the summer season, for the different pursuitseither of health or pleasure, I have often wondered that somelittle account of such as are not so much esteemed as Weymouth,Brighthelmstone and Ramsgate, should not be published; and moreparticularly where the situation of the place itself, and thescenery of the country around, are not entirely destitute ofbeauty.

These considerations, added to a residence on the spot, firstinduced me, for my private amusement, to consider Cromer and thescenery in its neighbourhood in a picturesque p. ivpoint ofview.  My profession, that of a Surgeon, leading me daily toone or other of the scenes here described, is certainly anadvantage, as the features of landscape appear extremelydifferent accordingly as they are affected by difference ofweather, of lights and shadows, and of morning and eveningsuns.

In watering places where there are neither public rooms norassemblies, walking and riding become the chief sources ofamusement; and for invalids it is more particularly necessary todivert the attention, by pointing put those things which areesteemed most worthy of observation.  Few people arealtogether insensible to the beauties of a finecountry,—few things to a contemplative mind are capable ofgiving that satisfaction which the beauties of nature willafford.

By the same rule, also, gentlemen’s seats, which areoften the repositories of the works of art, produce amplespeculation for the artist and virtuoso.

p. vInvisiting small, and I may be allowed to say, obscurewatering-places, retirement seems to be the principalobject.  Where bathing only is the inducement, the place andits neighbourhood is of very little consequence, provided it isconvenient and near the sea; but where the mind and body arecapable of being sufficiently active to be amused abroad, or tothose whose aim is pleasure, a country affording that amusementby its variety, is certainly to be preferred; and to such as arefond of the study of landscape, variety and some degree of beautyare absolutely necessary.

As every little excursion will begin and end at Cromer, eachwill be formed into a separate section.  I have before saidthat this undertaking was at first intended solely for my ownamusement, and with that idea I had sketched several views, butafter I had come to a determination to hazard its entrance intothe world, I found it necessary to confine myself to one only, onaccount of the additional price they would have put upon thepublication.

p. viAfterthe excellent things which have been produced in this way, by theRev. Mr. Gilpin, there is certainly great temerity in attempting,even for private amusement, any thing which bears the mostdistant resemblance to such elegant productions.  From whichconsideration, I cannot here omit to solicit the indulgence ofthe public for the ensuing pages, which are intended only ashumble imitators, not as daring rivals of that excellentmaster.


Section the First.

The situation of the town ofCromer.  The parish church a beautiful specimen ofarchitecture, in the time of Henry the fourth.  The beautyof its proportions injured by the necessary manner in which ithas been repaired.  Accident of a bay falling from thesteeple.  Anecdote of Robert Bacon.  Free School. Inns.  The Fishery the chief support of the lower class ofinhabitants,—also, a great source of picturesqueamusement.  Boat upset.  Mercantile trade. Dearness of Coals,—the reason of it.  Cromer aneligible situation for retirement.  A description of thebathing machines, cliffs, and beach.  Sea-shore a constantamusement to the artist.  Picturesque effects of the stormand the calm compared.  Sea-fowls.  Light-house. Overstrand.  Cromer Hall.

p.viiiSection the Second.

Walk to Runton.  Cromer seento advantage in the return from Runton.  The battery.

Section the Third.

Excursion to Holt—upper roadto be preferred.  Description of the country between Cromerand Holt.  Churches or villages, seen through a valley, avery common species of landscape.  Fine distance acircumstance of great beauty.  Heath ground terminated bydistance.  Particular effect given to a distance.  Theinfluence which a distant prospect, under particularcircumstances, has upon the mind.  Holt.  Return fromHolt by the lower road.  Beeston Priory.  Remark ofShenstone’s upon ruinated structures.  Felbriggbeacon.

Section the Fourth.

Felbrigg.  Groundsdescribed.  Oak,—its uses in thepicturesque,—improved by age and decay. Shenstone’s ideas of trees in general, particularly theoak.  Felbrigg house, pictures and library.  Beckhamold church,—the loneliness of its situation greatly to beadmired.  Such scenes calculated to excite reflection.

p.ixSection the Fifth.

Church at Thorp-Marketdescribed.  Stained or painted glass in windows,—itseffect.  Gunton Hall, the seat of the Right Honourable LordSuffield.  Offices very fine.  Parish Church in thepark.  North-Walsham.  Hanworth, the seat of Robert LeeDoughty, Esq.

Section the Sixth.

Ride from Cromer toMundesley.  Trimmingham beacon.  Mundesley.  Thebeach at Mundesley.  View from it particularly affected bythe state of the weather.  Effects of partial lights, calledby Mons. du Piles—“accidents in painting.”

Section the Seventh.

The Cottage atNorthrepps,—its romantic situation.  Casualobservations on planting.  Echo at Toll’s hill.

Section the Eighth.

Blickling, the seat of theHonourable Asheton Harbord.  Description of the house,pictures, etc.  The park.  Mausoleum.  Parishchurch.  Aylsham.  Road from Aylsham to Cromer. Woody lanes frequently very picturesque.

p.xSection the Ninth.

Woolterton, the seat of the RightHonourable Lord Walpole.  Its situation.  Ruin in thepark.

Section the Tenth.

Sherringham, Upper. Description of the grounds belonging to Cooke Flower, Esq. Shepherd’s cottage, rural situation of.  Thatchconsidered as the most picturesque covering to a cottage. Connection of objects necessary to produce a pleasingeffect.  Weybourn.  Sherringham, Lower.  Goodsituation of the inn.  The beach.  Thompson’sdescription of a sun-set at sea.


Section the First.

The town of CROMER is situated onthe north-east part of the county of Norfolk, upon the edge ofthe british ocean, from which it is defended by cliffs ofconsiderable height.

It must formerly have been a place of much more consequencethan it is at present, as that which is now called Cromer, was inthe survey made by the Conqueror, accounted for under the townand lordship of Shipdon, which has long given way to theencroachments of the sea, together with the parish churchdedicated to Saint Peter.

p. 2At lowwater there are many large masses of old wall to be seen, whichappear evidently to have belonged to some of the buildings of theold town; and at very low tides a piece of building isdiscoverable, which the fishermen call the Church Rock, it beinggenerally supposed to have been a part of the old church ofShipdon, and I think with some probability of truth; thoughothers have doubted it, supposing it impossible but that theconstant action of the sea for so many ages, must long ere thishave dissolved all traces of it.

The present church, dedicated to Saint Peter and Saint Paul,was probably erected in the time of Henry the fourth.  It isa very handsome pile, built with flint and freestone, consistingof a body and two aisles, covered with slate; the tower, which issquare, with an embattled top, is an hundred and fifty-nine feetin height.

The entrance at the west end, is a beautiful specimen ofgothic architecture, now in ruins; as is the porch on the northside and the chancel.  p. 3The flinting in many parts of thebuilding, for the beauty of its execution, is, perhaps, scarcelyany where to be excelled.

The inside of the church, which is kept in good repair, iscapable of containing a very great number of persons; it is alsotolerably well pewed; but except the double row of arches whichsupport the roof and divide the aisles, very little of what ithas been remains; these, however, are of beautiful proportions,and the windows which were formerly of noble dimensions, andprobably ornamented with that most elegant of church-decorations,painted glass, are now in a great measure closed up by the handsof the bricklayer.

Amongst the repairs done to the church is one, which though itmay be, and certainly is, in some measure beneficial, yet, as itaffects the beautiful proportions of the middle aisle, the eye oftaste must regret—I mean the flat ceiling, which diminishesthe height of the building by cutting off the roof.  Heightwhen duly proportioned p. 4proportioned certainly adds much tograndeur.  In churches and in most gothic buildings the roofterminates in a point corresponding with the other parts, and bythe exclusion of which the proportion and beauty of the buildingis in a great measure destroyed.

There is something too in the dark and sombre hue of the roofsof churches, when the timbers are left in their original state,that is very pleasing.

Monuments there are none of any consequence,—one or twoof the Windham and Ditchell families are all the church contains;but a well-toned organ has been placed in the gallery withinthese few years, for which the church is peculiarly adapted.

At about a third part of the height of the staircase, whichleads up the steeple, is a door which opens upon the lead of asmall turret, communicating with the stairs, from which a fewyears since, a boy, by the name of Yaxley, p. 5fell into thechurch yard, between some timbers which were laid there for therepairs of the church, without receiving any other hurt than afew slight bruises, and is now on board a ship in hisMajesty’s service.

Robert Bacon, a mariner, of Cromer, (says the History ofNorfolk) found out Iceland, and is said to have taken the Princeof Scotland, James Stewart, sailing to France for education, inthe time of Henry the fourth.

By the will of Sir Bartholomew Rede, citizen and goldsmith,also an alderman of London, made in October, 1505, in thetwenty-first of Henry the seventh, the annual sum of ten poundswas bequeathed for the foundation of a free grammar-school, whichis paid to the master by the goldsmith’s company.

The houses in general are indifferent and the rents very high;yet tolerable accommodation is to be found for strangers, fromone to three guineas per week, some of which command p. 6a fine view ofthe sea, and are extremely desirable.

The want of a large and well-conducted Inn is amongst thosefew things which are chiefly to be regretted by those who pay avisit to Cromer.  Parties are frequently formed for anexcursion to a watering place by those who have neither time, norinclination, to stay sufficiently long to make it worth theirwhile to engage lodgings; of course they complain of the want ofaccommodation.  The consequence is, they become disgustedwith the place, and not unfrequently, I fear, leave it with adetermination of coming no more, but also by describing to othersthe inconveniences they have experienced, deter them from makingtrial of a place where their neighbours have fared soindifferently.

Unfortunately the trade to an Inn-keeper (in this and Isuppose, indeed, it is the same in most small bathing places) isalmost entirely confined to the summer season; therefore, unlessthe influx of company at that time was p. 7sufficient to carry him through theexpences of the winter also, I very much fear such an Inn as isnecessary for the situation could not answer.  However, Ishould think the trial of it, though hazardous, might probablyprove successful: with such an addition, Cromer would, perhaps,in the course of a few years, stand a chance of rivalling some ofthe more celebrated

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