Great Yarmouth: Strange facts

Be warned: some of these facts may not be from reputable sources.

Among the most complete town walls in England. 

Oldest civic building in UK (Tolhouse)

Largest parish church in England (St. Nicholas Church)

Only vaulted Franciscan cloister remaining in England

One of the largest market places in Britain

Third worst affected town in England by the Black Death

Charles I’s death sentence signed in Great Yarmouth

One of the first purpose built cinemas in Britain (Windmill)

The Regent was the most luxurious cinema outside London when it was built

Oldest wooden scenic railway outside the USA (one of the oldest still in use in the World)

Only large urban icehouse left in country

The Hippodrome is only one of two permanent circus buildings in Britain

The Hippodrome is one of only three circuses in the World to have a sunken ring, allowing water shows

Breydon Bridge has the longest lifting section of any bridge in Britain.

First civilian deaths in an air raid in Britain

First air raid on UK soil

First Zeppelin raid on British soil 19/1/15 – 25 St Peter’s Plain

Last Zeppelin raid on British soil 5/8/18

Fish finger invented in Great Yarmouth, 1952.

The many potato chip stalls on Great Yarmouth Market are prohibited by local byelaws to sell fried fish

Great Yarmouth exports spaghetti to Italy

Largest windfarm in the country.

First escalator in East Anglia

First speed camera in UK

Largest colony of little terns in Britain (North Denes)

All the Rows end to end would have exceeded 7 miles

The self righting lifeboat was designed by a Yarmouth man James Beeching, 1849

Town council entered the first lottery in England (1567) to raise money for the Borough. “a very rich lottery, generally without blankes, containing a great number of good prizes as well as ready money as of plate and certain sortes of merchandizes. The number of lottes to be 400000 and no more; and every lot to be the sum of ten shillings sterling and no more.”

One of only a few (4?) towns in England granted the right of outfangthef in the town charter.

Finest quay in Europe (Daniel Defoe)

Strangest town in the wide world (according to Dickens)

Yarmouth has long been celebrated for the great purity and bracing quality of the air, which acts as a powerful yet wholesome stimulant to the human frame, whether worn down by care, anxiety or disease (Great Exhibition, quoted in Pevsner and Wilson, 1997, 488)

The plan can well be compared, on its own intimate scale, with that of Manhattan (Pevsner and Wilson, 1997, 489)

Click here for the Great Yarmouth bibliography.

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