Burnham Market

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Burnham Market
St Mary, Burnham Market, Norfolk - geograph.org.uk - 321235.jpg
St Mary's parish church
Burnham Market is located in Norfolk
Burnham Market
Burnham Market
Location within Norfolk
Area18.43 km2 (7.12 sq mi)
Population877 (2011 Census)
• Density48/km2 (120/sq mi)
OS grid referenceTF834422
Civil parish
  • Burnham Market
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townKings Lynn
Postcode districtPE31
Dialling code01328
AmbulanceEast of England
UK Parliament
List of places
52°56′45″N 0°43′41″E / 52.94584°N 0.72815°E / 52.94584; 0.72815Coordinates: 52°56′45″N 0°43′41″E / 52.94584°N 0.72815°E / 52.94584; 0.72815
The village green
The Hoste Arms

Burnham Market is an English village and civil parish near the north coast of Norfolk. It is one of the Burnhams, a group of three adjacent villages that were merged: Burnham Sutton, Burnham Ulph and Burnham Westgate. Burnham Market was rated among the "20 most beautiful villages in the UK and Ireland" by Condé Nast Traveler in 2020.[1]


Burnham Market is about 1 mile (1.6 km) inland, about 5 miles (8 km) west of Wells-next-the-Sea, 12 miles (19 km) north-east of Hunstanton and 10 miles (16 km) north of Fakenham. The smaller Burnham Deepdale and Burnham Norton are within 2 miles (3 km) to the west and north of Burnham Market and Burnham Overy and Burnham Thorpe a similar distance to the east. North Creake is about 4 miles (6.4 km) to the south. The city of King's Lynn is 20 miles (32 km) to the south-west and the city of Norwich is 30 miles (48 km) to the south-east.[2] The civil parish area is 18.43 sq. km2. The 2001 census gave it 948 inhabitants in 496 households. This fell to 877 at the 2011 Census and an estimated 794 in 2018.[3][4] The parish belongs to the district of King's Lynn and West Norfolk.[5]

Burnham Market in the district of King's Lynn and West Norfolk

Burnham Market is close to the mouth of the River Burn and the name Burnham probably derives from this. However, another theory is that the town was a centre of the amber trade. As the name implies, historically Burnham had a market and so was considered a town, although the market had been discontinued for several years by 1854.[6] Today Burnham Market is normally seen as a village, although it is slightly larger and much busier than its neighbours.

A map of Burnham from 1946

The village was served until 1952 by what had been built as the West Norfolk Junction Railway. This linked Burnham Market to the east with Holkham and Wells-next-the-Sea, and to the west, via several intermediate stations and a junction at Heacham, with the line between Hunstanton and Kings Lynn. The station stood on the road to North Creake, south of the village centre. The main station building and platform still exist.


Burnham is the name of the electoral ward that covers all the Norfolk Burnhams and surrounding areas. The total population at the 2011 census was 1,714.[7]

St Henry Walpole Catholic Church, Burnham Market in the Diocese of East Anglia
Burnham Market

Burnham Westgate Hall[edit]

Burnham Westgate Hall is a Grade II* listed Georgian country house, built in 1783–1785 by Sir John Soane, for Thomas Pitt, 1st Baron Camelford.[8] It was a remodelling of the original Polstede Hall, which had been built in the 1750s by Matthew Brettingham for Pitt's father-in-law, Pinckney Wilkinson, MP for Old Sarum. In 1783, Wilkinson gave the house to his daughter, Anne, on her marriage to Pitt.

In 1808, the Hall was purchased by Sir Mordaunt Martin.

In 1933, the house passed to the Royal British Legion. After World War II, it was used as an old people's home until 1990. Recently it has been the home of Baroness Rawlings.[9]


The novelist sisters Anne Elliot and Emma (writing as Margery Hollis) were living in Burnham Sutton by 1901. Anne Elliot died there in 1941.[10]


The village has two Church of England churches. The larger is St Mary's, Westgate, at the west end of the marketplace. All Saints' is at the eastern end of the village – Sutton-cum-Ulph, as it incorporated the parish and some of the stone of St Ethelbert's at Burnham Sutton, some 400 yards to the south, when Horatio Nelson's father Edmund was rector of both in the 1760s and 1770s. A third parish church near Burnham Market is St Margaret's, in the neighbouring parish of Burnham Norton. Its benefice was joined with St Mary's (Westgate) to form the new ecclesiastical parish of Burnham Market in 2012. The former churches and congregations of Burnham Overy and Burnham Thorpe (Nelson's birthplace), now form a single benefice.[11]

There are two other places of worship in the village: a Roman Catholic church dedicated to St Henry Walpole and a Methodist church. The former Gospel Hall was put up for sale in 2015.


  1. ^ "THE 20 MOST BEAUTIFUL VILLAGES IN THE UK AND IRELAND, 20 October 2020". Retrieved 14 March 2021.
  2. ^ Ordnance Survey (2002). OS Explorer Map 251 – Norfolk Coast Central. ISBN 0-319-21887-2.
  3. ^ "Parish population 2011". Retrieved 26 August 2015.
  4. ^ City Population site. Retrieved 5 October 2020.
  5. ^ Office for National Statistics & Norfolk County Council (2001) Census population and household counts for unparished urban areas and all parishes. Retrieved 18 October 2005.
  6. ^ Francis White (1854). Francis White's History, Gazetteer and Directory of Norfolk - Burnham Westgate (or Burnham Market). Retrieved 18 October 2005.
  7. ^ "Burnham ward population 2011". Retrieved 27 August 2011.
  8. ^ "Burnham Westgate Hall" (PDF).
  9. ^ Churchill, Penny (2011). "An exceptional country estate in Norfolk". Country Life.
  10. ^ Victorian Fiction Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  11. ^ Burnhams Benefice Parish. Churches; Church Locations. Retrieved 28 August 2017

External links[edit]