Hunstanton (St. Mary)

HUNSTANTON (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Docking, hundred of Smithdon, W. division of Norfolk, 16½ miles (N. N. E.) from Lynn; containing 527 inhabitants. The parish comprises by admeasurement 1481 acres, of which 933 are arable, 334 pasture, 65 plantation, 33 common, 51 warren, and 65 sea-beach and chalk-pits. It lies at the north-western extremity of the county, and is distinguished by its bold shore and its lofty and precipitous cliffs, one of which, commonly called St. Edmund's Point, from the tradition of Edmund the Martyr having landed here when he came from Germany to be crowned king of East Anglia, extends westward from the village, and rises to a height of from 60 to 100 feet above the beach. The waters abound with fish, and at certain refluxes of the tide a fine walk of about two miles is afforded along the sands to a place called the "Oyster Sea," which supplies almost every variety of fish in large quantities. The ancient manorhouse, situated in a beautiful park, was from a remote period the residence of the family of L'Estrange, one of whom, Sir Roger L'Estrange, Knt., born here in 1616, espoused the cause of Charles I., and, after the Restoration, became conspicuous as a political writer. This mansion, which had been long unoccupied and ruinous, has lately been completely renovated by Henry Styleman L'Estrange, Esq., lord of the manor, whose ancestor married one of the sisters of the last baronet of the L'Estrange family. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £12; patron and appropriator, the Bishop of Ely: the great tithes have been commuted for £272, and the vicarial for £160; the vicarial glebe contains 27 acres. A school, erected in 1842 at a cost of £500, is endowed with £900, vested in three trustees. The church is a large edifice, with a strong tower rising from the west end of the north aisle; it contains several handsome monuments to the L'Estranges. There are vestiges of an ancient chapel on St. Edmund's Point.

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

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