|OS Grid: TF 910430||Approx 2.5m 4.1km From the Coast View Google Map|
|Latitude: 52° 57' 00"|
|Longitude:0° 50' 36"|
|Latitude: 52.95||Select another Norfolk Location:|
A fascinating jumble of buildings many colour washed wind down to meet the harbour of this small popular seaside town. Its quirky interesting history reflects the salty character of its local people.
The picturesque quayside and waterfront is still very much a working port with whelk and shrimp boats berthed in this small harbour.
The main shopping centre of Wells lies in Staithe street, a narrow mostly pedestranised lane with surviving Victorian and Edwardian shop fronts, that runs from the waters edge all the way back up into the top part of the town. Here you will find a good range of shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants.
At the quayside are stalls selling
locally caught mussels, dressed crabs, cockles and
samphire. Or you can partake of a portion of fish and
chips whilst overlooking the harbour and checking to see
if any of the small children and lets be honest, adults
as well, have managed to catch any crabs on their baited
lines along the harbour wall.
Or if you fancy a leg stretch and a wonderful view, then you can walk along the causeway which runs parallel to the main shipping channel to reach the beach, giving you the opportunity to admire the many colourful boats. At the beach there is a caravan park, which offers pitch and putt a canoeing lake and also refreshments. The large sandy beaches of Wells are flanked with colourful beach huts and surrounded by a pine tree forest and nature reserve with miles of winding sandy footpaths.
Back in the centre of the town is the
Butlands a large rectangular green lined with late
Georgian and Victorian houses as well as an inn and
hotel. The Butlands is where locals in medieval
days used to practice their archery. Nowadays, the green
is traditionally where the towns fetes carnivals and
bonfires are held.
In 1970 a Miss May Savidge moved from Ware in Hertfordshire to Wells, which in itself may not sound that extraordinary, particularly given the pretty location of Wells town. However, Miss Savidge brought with her, her own house from Ware, which she had dismantled brick by brick and then had reassembled in its new location.
In the floods of
1953 and 1978 the embankment was breached and the
marshes flooded. You can see these high tide marks on
the wall opposite the harbour. In 1978 a heavy tide
deposited a large ship in the middle of the streets,
much to the embarrassment of its owners
The name of Wells is derived from the fact that it used to tap the springs of fresh water held by the underlying chalk on which Wells is built. The addition of 'next-the-Sea' was to distinguish the town from other places in Norfolk of the same name. It was known as Wells-next-the-Sea in the early 1800's but with the coming of the railway in 1857the name 'Wells-on -Sea' seems to have been used. The town council made the decision in 1956 that the name 'Wells-next-the-Sea' be adopted, and this has been used since then.