Historic Norfolk jetty where Lord Nelson landed to go ahead

The demolition of Great Yarmouth's historic jetty will go ahead later this month despite campaigners' efforts to save it.

Borough council officials have signalled their intention to press ahead, with a pre-start meeting between contractors and the council's architects department due to take place on Monday.

Conservation officer Darren Barker said preference all along was to save and fully restore the jetty, reputedly Nelson's landing place following the Battle of the Nile but now a health and safety hazard, had funding allowed.

Instead, the aim was to re-use some of the timbers to create a truncated structure that would follow the original's line out to sea and serve as a monument to its historic significance.

He said: 'The aim is to remove the danger, and there is a very real danger, and put back as much of the jetty as we can afford. It is important we acknowledge the location of the jetty and with the finances available reinterpret it so the site is marked and there is something visible as well as a plaque.'

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Local historian Margaret Ward, a member of the Great Yarmouth and District Archaeological Society, whose bid to get the jetty listed by English Heritage was finally thwarted at ministerial level, said she was 'extremely sorry' demolition was going ahead.

She said though it had little architectural merit, its fabric dating from the 1960s, the site was of great historical importance. That some timbers were being reinstated to mark what was once there was of some comfort, she added.

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The jetty was originally constructed in 1560 for landing fish, and importing and exporting goods.

Over the years it was storm-damaged, swept away, rebuilt and lengthened. Fish were landed there until the fish wharf was built in 1869. A glass roof was added in 1927 which was then declared unsafe in 1950 and removed in 1959.

During the Napoleonic Wars, the fleet was frequently assembled in Yarmouth's sheltered waters.

Nelson landed at the jetty in 1800 after the Battle of the Nile and in 1801 and set sail from it with the fleet to the Battle of Copenhagen. He disembarked there after the battle to visit the wounded at the Naval Hospital in Yarmouth.

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