The Town of Great Yarmouth in Norfolk

Great Yarmouth Norfolk Holidays

A visitors guide to Great Yarmouth located on the East Coast of Norfolk. Yarmouth is a seaside holiday resort with bright lights and a festive atmosphere, there are lots of indoor and outdoor pursuits, many places to stay and a whole host of eating establishments.

But Yarmouth is much more than just a seaside resort, its a place with a rich history and has much to offer the visitor. The town sits at the mouth of the river Yare and is surrounded by flat land and waterways complete with old windmills and wind pumps. The river is where the town derived its name from. 

The Golden Mile which runs along side the beach is the summer holiday face of Great Yarmouth. It has everything for all ages, from children's fun parks to the thrills of attractions in the Pleasure Beach, there are also two piers, large bowling greens, sea life centre and amusement arcades. The town has colourful gardens, regular shows, nightclubs, a Nelson Museum, guided walking tours, casinos and horse and grey hound racing. Great Yarmouth is the largest of Norfolk’s seaside resorts and has fifteen miles of golden sandy beaches. 

It began life as a small settlement on a sand bank, by the middle ages it was a town of some importance with a large herring fishing industry producing endless supplies of Yarmouth bloaters and kippers. The old  quay side was filled with open sheds and smoke houses where the fish was prepared. Excavations in 1974 in Fullers Hill revealed large numbers of fish bones especially those of cod and herring, this find demonstrated Great Yarmouth’s dependency on the fishing trade, which began as early as the 11th century but which unfortunately stopped in the 1930’s.

It is well worth wandering around the back streets of Great Yarmouth where you will find a wealth of ancient buildings and  sections of the town wall which date from around 1300. The Yarmouth Rows built around the town in the 1200s were deliberately made very narrow some only 27inches wide so as to fit within the town walls. Up until the 1700’s no building was permitted between the wall and the sea. The rows were originally erected east west across the narrow spit of land that lies between the Town Wall and the River Yare. If all the rows had been put end to end they would have exceeded seven miles.
There used to be 145 rows, unfortunately with 200 air raids between 1939 and 1945 many of them were reduced to rubble. But those that remain are certainly worth exploring. A large majority of them were paved with pebbles from the beach and they even had their own special carts to navigate their small dimensions. English Heritage now maintains and preserves the remaining rows, which they open to the public. Once described by Charles Dickens as the finest place in the Universe.

At the end of the Market Place is the lovely church of St. Nicholas, which lays claim to being the largest church in England. Founded in the 12th century by Herbert de Losinga who was also the builder of Norwich Cathedral.  The Town Arms of Great Yarmouth show both the England lion and the local herrings. There is a ghostly tale attached to the church. The Maritime Festival is held each September.  A weekend of sea shanties, traditional food and drink, ships and lots of nautical displays and exhibitions.  Captain George Manby created the Manby Mortar whilst serving at Gt. Yarmouth.

For Norfolk or Suffolk Magazine Articles - Click the Articles Link. Near to the church is the house that the author of Black Beauty Anna Sewell was born in.

For Norfolk or Suffolk Villages - Click the Location Link. Large sections of the old town date back to the 1300’s. In the 1261 a wall was built around the town to defend it. It took some eighty years to complete and was originally half a mile long and seven feet thick and over twenty-three feet high. Some of the remains of this wall can be seen today at Blackfriars Road.

For Norfolk or Suffolk Magazine Articles - Click the Articles Link. Have a look at Broad Row and Market Row with their many shops, whose shop windows almost meet across the narrow alleyway. 

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