Cley (St. Margaret)

CLEY (St. Margaret), a small sea-port, a parish, and formerly a market-town, in the union of Erpingham, hundred of Holt, W. division of Norfolk, 26 miles (N. N. W.) from Norwich, and 124 (N. N. E.) from London; containing 828 inhabitants. In 1406, Prince James of Scotland, on his voyage to France, to receive his education, was driven by stress of weather upon this coast; and, being de tained here, was sent to London by order of Henry IV., who committed him to the Tower. The surface of the parish is boldly undulated, and some of the elevations command very fine views by sea and land. The town is situated on the banks of a small river that falls into the harbour, at the north-eastern extremity of the county, and consists principally of one street, in the centre of which is the custom-house, a neat and commodious edifice. It is plentifully supplied with water from springs. The trade of the port, which is called Blakeney and Cley, consists mainly in coal, timber and deals, hemp, iron, tar, tallow, oil-cakes, &c., of which the importation is considerable; a small trade is also carried on in malt: the exports are chiefly corn and flour. The navigation of the Cley is both narrow and of small depth, but in its course to the sea it forms a junction with the Blakeney channel. Under an act of inclosure, obtained in 1822, a large quantity of land has been recovered from the sea by an embankment. The market, held on Saturday, has long fallen into disuse; but a fair for horses is held on the last Friday and Saturday in July. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £22. 13. 4., and in the patronage of John Winn Thomlinson, Esq.: the tithes have been commuted for £400, and the glebe comprises 18½ acres. The church is a fine spacious structure, in the early English style, with portions of later date; the south porch is highly decorated, and has a fine groined roof: the nave is lighted chiefly by oriel windows of elegant design; the font has sculptured representations of the seven sacraments of the Church of Rome. There are places of worship for Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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