Sea Palling & Waxham

Sea Palling is a village and civil parish (containing Waxham) in Norfolk. It lies some 19.6 miles north-east of Norwich and some 140 miles from London. It covers an area of 4.27 square miles with a population density of 114 per square mile. The appropriate Ordinance Survey map is Explorer Map 24 (1997) - Norfolk Coast Central - ISBN 0 - 319 21726 - 4 and the O.S. Grid reference is TG 42919 - 26938. (Waxham Grid is TG 44053 - 26237).



Its name derives from Paelli ingas which is the Old English for the 
Settlement of Paelli's people. At various times it has been known as Pawling or Pauling. Its prefix was added after Edwardian holiday makers discovered its attractions as a beach resort. For centuries agriculture and fishing provided the means of livelihood for most of the inhabitants. However, whilst still an agricultural area, sadly the need for farm workers has been decimated through mechanisation. Similarly there are now few fisherman based in the Village. Whilst this has resulted in Palling becoming a "commuter" place there is still a lively community spirit based upon the Village Hall activities and voluntary bodies such as the inshore lifeboat. Tourism now plays a great part in Palling's economy, aided by the installation of the flood protection reefs which have greatly enhanced the beach.

The population of the two places has remained remarkably constant - in the 1841 census the combined total was 425, in 1951 - 478 and by 2001 this had risen to 488.

Palling's church St. Margaret of Antioch has a C13 tower in its lower stages, an octagonal C14 font. Records show that it was a ruin before renovation took place between 1643 and 1691. Over the south porch is the date 1674. However a severe fire in 1779 destroyed all the parish records for the C18. Today the restoration programme of 1898 to 1900 gives it much of its character. Inside there are boards recording the rescues undertaken by Palling's lifeboats and also a plaque marking the tragic deaths of residents in the great flood of 1953.



The whole coastline has always suffered from inundations from the sea and as late as 1782 the area was under salt water. There were two Saxon townships at the time of the Danish conquest of 876 but Waxham Parva and its church has been lost to the waves and the present Waxham Hall, now hard by the dunes, was in C16 considerably further inland.

What makes Waxham unique is the combination of the church, the Hall whose high C15 walls and large gate surround it on the seaward side and the C16 barn built by the Wodehouse family. At 180 feet long and 35 feet wide it is one of the biggest tithe barns in the country. Extensively damaged in the Great Storm of 1987, it was purchased by Norfolk County Council and restored in 1992 at a cost of nearly half a million pounds.

The church of St. John has a font with an unusual brick pedestal from C14. The nave is at least partly Norman with a rounded arched North Window. Records show bequests in 1477 and 1485 for the construction of the South Porch.


Village Signs of Norfolk

Wherever you go in Norfolk & Suffolk, you will find Village Signs, usually carved and painted. many of them record a famous person or event in the life of the village.

The tradition of village signs started in Norfolk at the beginning of the 20th century when King Edward V11 suggested having signs to focus the identity of the villages around the Royal Sandringham Estate. The idea was slowly taken up by other villages in the region.

In the 1930's Harry Carter, an art and woodwork master at Hammonds Grammar School in Swaffham, carved a sign for his home town. Little did he know that it was a start of a lifetime hobby. When he died in 1983 there were over 200 villages and Towns in the region that boasted of a sign carved by Harry Carter.

There was a large increase in the number of signs at the time of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth 11 and since then other national and local occasions have been marked by the erection of signs. Many new ones have appeared to mark the Millennium.

The Sea Palling sign was made by Harry Carter from a design by local resident Henry Barnett and depicts a lifeboat with crew which is still in existence in Sea Palling. It was first unveiled in 1977 and was re-furbished in 2002 as part of the village's Golden Jubilee project.