Account for the Main Features in the Development of Cromer Before the Coming of the Railway 1500 - 1875.

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Amy Copping 11RCZ

Account for the Main Features in the Development of Cromer Before the Coming of the Railway 1500 – 1875.

        Cromer changed from a small fishing village to a popular seaside watering place for the gentry towards 1875. In the 1500s, the fishing industry was everything to Cromer; its whole way of life. The corn and coal trades and Cromer’s part in them gave Cromer further financial support, and the new medical ideas from Dr. Russell which led to the town becoming a watering place greatly influenced its development. These are the main features which I am going to account for.

        Cromer’s fishing industry was its only claim to fame during the eighteenth century. Daniel Defoe said in 1724, “I know of nothing it is famous for except good lobsters”. Fishing had supported Cromer since at least 1519, when Clement Fysheman wrote a will documenting the boats and nets necessary for him to make a living being passed down through the generations; “nets to be divided between John, son and Robert, son”. The trade continued to support the town through to 1798; when the lower class of people were “chiefly supported by fishing”.

        Due to its important fishing industry, Cromer needed such things as a curing house and therefore it developed by extending its fishing facilities. The information about the curing house was found in Bartell’s ‘Guide about Cromer 1798’ which suggests that Bartell considered the fishing industry something that the tourists would find interesting. Indeed, visitors such as Dr. Martin did find it interesting. He wrote in his journal how it provided entertainment for him, saying, “the busy scene of landing…rendered our evening walk on the jetty amusing and pleasant”. The fishing boats became a feature of Cromer, allowing people to see authentic working fishermen.

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        The charm of Cromer’s fishing industry and its “good lobsters” meant that it acquired a reputation which grew until many more families heard about it. The corn and coal trade was one way in which people could have heard about Cromer’s developments and recommendations. As more people visited the fishing village more accommodation was needed leading to the development of houses for the tourists to stay in. As White’s Directory says; “ The number of tourists continued to increase yearly” which led to “many neat houses” being built and the town being “considerably improved”.

        Although in the 1800s people still ...

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