Blakeney (St. Nicholas, St. Mary, and St. Thomas The Apostle)
BLAKENEY (St. Nicholas, St. Mary, and St. Thomas the Apostle), a small sea-port, post-town, and parish, in the union of Walsingham, hundred of Holt, W. division of Norfolk, 26 miles (N. N. W.) from Norwich, and 134 (N. E.) from London; containing 1021 inhabitants. This place was called Snitterley in the time of Henry III., who granted it a market: it assumed its present name in the reign of Edward III., in the 31st of which a statute was passed for the regulation of the fish trade, which was then carried on to a large extent, and attracted a great number of German merchants, several of whom fixed their residence in the town. It is chiefly noted for its excellent harbour, which is well situated for sheltering vessels, and has been improved under an act obtained in 1817: the trade consists principally in coal, timber, and deals, hemp, iron, tar, tallow, oil-cakes, &c., of which the importation is considerable; the exports are chiefly corn and flour. There is an ancient guildhall, relative to which some old deeds are yet extant. The parish comprises 1061a. 10p.; the soil is chiefly of a sandy nature, but beds of chalk are found in various parts, and between the towns of Blakeney and Clay runs the river Glaven, which, emptying itself into the sea, assists in forming the harbour. The living is a rectory, united to the livings of Little Langham, Glandford, and Cockthorpe, and valued in the king's books at £26. 13. 4. The tithes of Blakeney have been commuted for a rentcharge of £170, and an allotment of land; the glebe consists of 16 acres. The church, which stands on an elevation a little south of the town, is a handsome and spacious structure, partly in the early and partly in the later English style, with a lofty embattled tower which serves as a landmark to mariners. The Wesleyans have a place of worship. There are some remains, consisting principally of several fine arches, of an ancient monastery for Carmelites, or White friars, of which Sir William de Roos, Knt., and the Lady Maud his wife, were among the chief founders; it was established in 1295, and was dedicated "to the honour of God, and the Virgin Mary." In this monastery John de Baconthorpe, a learned divine and acute metaphysician, became a friar; he was born here, and died in London in 1346.