Berney Arms

Coordinates: 52°35′19″N 1°38′29″E / 52.588535°N 1.641424°E / 52.588535; 1.641424
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Berney Arms
Civil parish
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtNR30
Dialling code01493
AmbulanceEast of England
UK Parliament
List of places

Berney Arms is a settlement on the north bank of the River Yare, close to Breydon Water in the English county of Norfolk. It is part of the civil parish of Reedham, in the district of Broadland, and lies within The Broads. It comprises a railway station, a windmill, a farmhouse[1] and a pub which closed in late 2015 (though permission for conversion to a dwelling was refused; campaigners are seeking to reopen it as a pub).[2] In 2020, an adjacent property opened as a bistro.[3] The area is not accessible by public road.


The Berney Arms windmill
Berney Arms Mill

Berney Arms takes its name from the Berney Arms public house, which is situated by the staithe on the north bank of the River Yare and served walkers and boaters who pass through the area.[4] It was closed in 2015 and the owner proposed to turn the pub into a private house, but planning permission was refused.[5]

The public house was named after the landowner Thomas Trench Berney who owned the Reedham Cement Works centred on the Berney Arms Windmill. The mill was built in 1865 and is the tallest windmill in Norfolk at 21.5 metres (71 ft) tall. It was used to grind cement clinker and was later converted into a drainage mill. It closed in 1948 and is now a Scheduled Monument in the care of English Heritage.[6][7] At one point the mill supported a small settlement of 11 domestic dwellings and a chapel.[8] Berney sold the land on which the railway was built, on the condition that a stopping place was built to serve the settlement in perpetuity.[1][9][10]


Berney Arms is in an area of marshland, much of which is at or below sea level. It lies on the River Yare just to the west of Breydon Water. The area is part of Berney Marshes RSPB reserve[11] and within the Halvergate Marshes Site of Special Scientific Interest. These provide important habitats for a range of plant and invertebrate species as well as providing important wintering grounds for bird species such as Bewick's swan.[12]

The area is also a Ramsar Site and part of the Broadland Special Protection Area. Ashtree Farm is used by the RSPB as a series of dwellings and as its base for the marshes.[8]


Berney Arms can be reached only by train, by boat or on foot; it has no public road access, with only a private track running to it.

Berney Arms railway station is a request stop on the Wherry Lines between Norwich and Great Yarmouth, via Reedham. Greater Anglia operate a limited number of services each day, with more frequent trains on Sundays.[13] In 2019, it was the least used station in Britain.[14]

The settlement is on both the Weavers' Way and Wherryman's Way footpaths.

In popular culture[edit]

Berney Arms was mentioned in Arthur Ransome's children's book Coot Club, which is in the Swallows and Amazon series.

In 1960, BBC reporter Fyfe Robertson made a short black and white documentary covering Berney Arms station and interviewed two residents.[15]


  1. ^ a b Dunford, M.; Lee, P. (2012). The Rough Guide to Norfolk and Suffolk. Rough Guides UK. pp. 107–109. ISBN 978-0241238592.
  2. ^ "Home page". Berney Arms Web. Retrieved 9 November 2018. The current situation with the pub is that it remains closed until further notice, but local efforts to purchase, restore to a working pub are slowly being looked at. The planning authority (The Broads Authority) have refused an application for it to be converted to a dwelling.
  3. ^ "Berney Arms Bistro". Retrieved 8 December 2020.
  4. ^ "'Remote' Berney Arms pub set for new business". BBC Look East. 13 April 2013. Retrieved 19 February 2014.
  5. ^ "Application for Determination" (PDF). Broads Authority Planning Committee. 11 September 2015. Retrieved 13 January 2022.
  6. ^ Historic England. "Berney Arms Windmill (133775)". Research records (formerly PastScape). Retrieved 19 February 2014.
  7. ^ Historic England. "Berney Arms windmill (1003957)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 13 January 2022.
  8. ^ a b "Local character area 19 – Halvergate marshes (excluding Bure loop and the west of Tunstall dyke)" (PDF). Broads Landscape Character Assessment. Broads Authority. 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 February 2014. Retrieved 13 January 2022.
  9. ^ McKie, David (11 July 2010). "The rail to nowhere". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 January 2022.
  10. ^ Mitchell, Laurence (2010). Slow Norfolk and Suffolk. Bradt Travel Guides. pp. 130–131. ASIN B009XQA69C.
  11. ^ "About Berney Marshes and Breydon Water". RSPB. Retrieved 19 February 2014.
  12. ^ "Halvergate Marshes" (PDF) (SSSI citation). Natural England. 25 February 2014. Retrieved 20 February 2014.
  13. ^ "Timetables". Greater Anglia. 10 December 2023. Retrieved 11 May 2024.
  14. ^ Lawrence-Jones, Charlie (27 August 2021). "Eerie train station 2.5 hours from London that only 42 people used last year". MyLondon. Retrieved 29 August 2021.
  15. ^ James, Derek (n.d.). "Life in the rural Norfolk hamlet of Berney Arms in the 1950s". Eastern Daily Press. Retrieved 16 December 2023.

External links[edit]

52°35′19″N 1°38′29″E / 52.588535°N 1.641424°E / 52.588535; 1.641424