A history of Cromer in 10 objects

PUBLISHED: 11:24 19 March 2018 | UPDATED: 13:01 19 March 2018

A couple enjoying fish and chips in the sunshine on Cromer promenade. Photo: Antony Kelly

A couple enjoying fish and chips in the sunshine on Cromer promenade. Photo: Antony Kelly


The gem of the Norfolk coast has for many years attracted visitors including royals, Prime Ministers and celebrities.

A piece of Shipden church cobble. Picture: ArchantA piece of Shipden church cobble. Picture: Archant

The history of Cromer is just as fascinating as its illustrious guest list. Here are 10 objects from the town’s history.

1. The West Runton Mammoth bones at the Cromer Museum.

The most complete set of bones of a steppe mammoth ever discovered were unearthed in West Runton in 1990, a stone’s throw away from Cromer.

Margaret and Harold Hems found a bone sticking out of the side of a cliff.

Jimmy Bishop's Gansey. Picture: ArchantJimmy Bishop's Gansey. Picture: Archant

2. Winston Churchill’s Cromer quote on the promenade

“I am not enjoying myself very much” is the famous line a young Winston Churchill said while visiting Cromer in 1888.

The words are enshrined on the promenade in front of Cromer’s famous Pier.

3. Henry Blogg statue at North Lodge Park

Olive Edis' cameras. Picture: ArchantOlive Edis' cameras. Picture: Archant

Cromer’s heroic lifeboatman Henry Blogg’s bust sits overlooking the North Sea in North Lodge Park.

The RNLI’s most decorated lifeboatman, Blogg worked with the RNLI from 1894 before becoming coxswain in 1909.

4. Shipden Flint Cobbles at the Cromer Museum

Cromer was not always a seaside town, back in the 14th century a village called Shipden was the actual seaside town, which was washed away by the coast. These church cobbles were found on a dive in 1985.

A John Moray-Smith Plaster mural. Picture: ArchantA John Moray-Smith Plaster mural. Picture: Archant

5. The Cromer Pillbox

The Cromer pillbox is one of around 20 outposts around the town, and is located on Cromer beach about half a mile north of the Pier.

Cromer was subject to a number of air raids in World War Two.

6. Jimmy Bishop’s Gansey at the Cromer Museum

Ganseys are a vital part of a traditional fisherman’s outfit.

A fragment of lower jaw from a rhino. Picture: ArchantA fragment of lower jaw from a rhino. Picture: Archant

The Ganseys in Cromer Museum include one worn by Jimmy West which was knitted in 1912.

7, Olive Edis’ Camera at the Cromer Museum

Mary Olive Edis was one of the most influential female photographers of the 20th century.

Born in Sheringham, she photographed everyone and everything from her cousins to the Royal family.

Pieces of the West Runton mammoth. Picture: ArchantPieces of the West Runton mammoth. Picture: Archant

8. John Moray-Smith murals at the Cromer Museum

Formerly hung in the Ship Pub, these iconic plaster-work murals are now housed in Cromer’s museum. The first depicts the struggle to pull a lifeboat out of the water in the 19th century.

9. Rhino teeth at the Cromer Museum

Ever wondered what North Norfolk looked like at the dawn of time? Look no further, for the fossils in the Cromer museum show that everything from Rhinos to hyena roamed the north Norfolk plains.

10. Mosasaurus replica at the Cromer Museum

The museum also has a more than metre-long replica of a Mosasaurus skull, a type of dinosaur living in the North Sea during prehistoric times. They were joined by orca wales, seals, and often, swimming mammoths.

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