A collection of fabulous villages around the River Burn on the North Norfolk Coast
An Introduction to the Burnhams
The Burnhams is the name given to the villages grouped around the River Burn on the North Norfolk Coast. There is Burnham Market, the main village and is known as "Chelsea-on-sea" as it is full of trendy shops, similar to the ones down the Kings Road! Burnham Overy Staithe is on the coast and provides moorings and launching for boats. Burnham Thorpe is where Nelson grew up, with his father Rector of the local church. Burnham Overy Town, Burnham Deepdale and Burnham Norton are all small residential villages. The countryside around the Burnhams is very attractive, making walking between the villages a great thing to do on a fine day.
We start our tour of the Burnhams in Burnham Market. This is the major village of the collection and is about 4 miles from the sea. The village is famous for its growing collection of trendy shops, eating places and other businesses. The village is set out around a green, with the village sign and memorial cross in the centre. The road passes right through the village and it can become a carpark in high season, but Burnham Market is certainly one of the highlights of the North Norfolk Coast.
Burnham Market village sign
The memorial cross and green in Burnham Market
Norfolk Living Shop Burnham Market
The Brazen Head Bookshop and Gallery
Good Things Shop Burnham Market
Arthur Powell, Butcher, Farmer and Game Dealer
Pentney House Hat Shop, Burnham Market
The Hoste Arms, Burnham Market, Tel: 01328 738777
15th Century Coaching Inn, Burnham Market
House Bait Decorative Interiors
Gurneys Fish Shop
Burnham Market has its fair share of elegant cottages lining the main street, most of which is very expensive private homes, but some have been converted to businesses such as tea rooms.
Burnham Market Property
Elegant Cottages in Burnham Market
Burnham Cottage Door
Burnham Market Tearoom
At one end of the main street through Burnham Market is the parish church of St. Mary's. This church has become the main parish church of the Burnhams, but actually started life in the village of Burnham Westgate. This former village was amalgamated during the 19th century when Burnham Market was given a railway station. The tower has an interesting parapet showing a potted version of the Bible, starting with the Creation and the Fall and working forward to the Nativity and the Crucifixion.
The parish church of St. Mary's in Burnham Market
The tower with biblical carvings
Inside the parish church of St. Mary's
The church altar at Burnham Market
Stained glass window at Burnham Market
Light outside the church door
Nearby at Burnham Overy Staithe, we have plenty of launching facilities for boats of all kinds. The village of Burnham Overy has moved over the years, as the channel gradually silted up sea going vessels had to moor further and further downstream, until over time the majority of the population had moved from Burnham Overy Town to Burnham Overy Staithe. Today it is a mecca for sailing enthusiasts, with plenty of paths for those who prefer to remain on land!
Burnham Overy Staithe
Burnham Overy Harbour
Sailing Boats at Burnham Overy Staithe
Boating at Burnham Overy
Launching a sailing dinghy
Cottages grouped around the harbour
Burnham Overy Chandlery
Paths and views around Burnham Overy Staithe
Boats on the mud at low tide
Burnham Thorpe is the birthplace of Horatio Nelson. His father, Edmund Nelson, moved to Burnham Thorpe in 1755, after his marriage. Horatio, the 6th of their 11 children was born on 29th September 1758 in a house called the Shooting Box! Horatio went away to study and after his early years in the Navy, he returned for 5 years to Burnham Thorpe with his new wife. Nelson was given his first role as Captain after this and the rest is history. The church where his father was Rector, is well worth a visit as it is full of Nelson family memorabilia, including a cross and lectern made from wood from HMS Victory.
Burnham Thorpe Village Sign
The church of All Saints in Burnham Thorpe
The church tower flying the RAF ensign
Checkerboard flint work below the east wall
Inside the church at Burnham Thorpe
The grave of Edmund Nelson, Horatio's Father
The church organ at Burnham Thorpe
The church pulpit at Burnham Thorpe
Horatio Nelson's older sister lived the other side of Norfolk at Barton Hall, adjacent to Barton Broad. When Nelson was a boy, he would travel to see his sister and it is during his time there that he learn't how to sail on Barton Broad.
The pub in Burnham Thorpe was built in 1637 as the Plough, but fell into disrepair and in 1966 the new landlord restored it to its 1793 state, renaming it the Lord Nelson.
The Lord Nelson pub sign in Burnham Thorpe
The entrance to the Lord Nelson pub
Finally, the best of the rest, includes the lovely church of St. Mary's at Burnham Deepdale, which has a lovely Saxon round tower.
The church of St Mary's at Burnham Deepdale
Inside the church at Burnham Deepdale
The windmill that you see in Burnham, worked in conjunction with the watermill. Both were built by Edmund Savory from 1790 to 1816. The windmill is six storeys high and is now used as a private holiday home. The watermill had a wheel that drove 3 pairs of stones and was supplemented by a 16hp condensing steam beam engine powered by a Cornish boiler that drove a further 4 sets of stones. The water wheel and pit wheel were still intact until the 1960s. Both the windmill and watermill are not open to the public.