On the 9th August 1888 a steamer tug called Victoria,
laden with passengers left Great Yarmouth for a day trip
to Cromer. At that time Cromer had no pier so Victoria’s
passengers had to be landed by means of a small boat.
After a pleasant stay and a look around Cromer, the
Victoria’s passengers re-assembled on the beach for
their return journey.
The Victoria’s engines were started and the boat began
its return journey back to Great Yarmouth. Several
hundred yards out the steamer hit something, and began
to take in water fast. Local fisherman who had observed
what had happened, helped evacuate the passengers and
they were taken back to Great Yarmouth by train.
It turned out that the Victoria had struck the tower of
a church, which was submerged in Cromer’s waters. The
steeple belonged to the church of St. Peters, of the
village of Shipden.
The forgotten village of Shipden had existed some seven
hundred years ago. Unfortunately its fine jetties,
houses and church were washed away during the 14th
It is said, that on days when the tide is exceptionally
low, you can still see the remains of this steeple, but
we have looked and have not been able to observe it for
ourselves. It has also been said that after the
Victoria’s disaster, and because of the hazard it caused
to shipping, it was dynamited. But we are not sure if
this is true.
However, on cold and stormy nights, so the residents of
Cromer say, one can hear a strange booming sound coming
from a seaward direction. This noise can be heard above
the roar of the wind and the waves.
A noise which sounds very much like a church bell
ringing out for its parishioners, who never come.