Coordinates: 52°56′24″N 1°12′47″E / 52.940°N 1.213°E / 52.940; 1.213
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sheringham view from Beeston Hill.jpg
Sheringham from Beeston Hill
Sheringham is located in Norfolk
Location within Norfolk
Area4 km2 (1.5 sq mi)
Population7,367 (2011 census)[1]
• Density1,842/km2 (4,770/sq mi)
OS grid referenceTG157430
Civil parish
  • Sheringham
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtNR26
Dialling code01263
AmbulanceEast of England
UK Parliament
List of places
52°56′24″N 1°12′47″E / 52.940°N 1.213°E / 52.940; 1.213

Sheringham (/ˈʃɛrɪŋəm/; population 7,367) is an English seaside town within the county of Norfolk, United Kingdom.[2] The motto of the town, granted in 1953 to the Sheringham Urban District Council, is Mare Ditat Pinusque Decorat, Latin for "The sea enriches and the pine adorns".[3]


The place-name 'Sheringham' is first attested in the Domesday Book of 1086, where it appears as Silingeham. It appears as Siringeham in 1174, and Scheringham in the Book of Fees (Liber feodorum) in 1242. The name means 'the homestead of Scira's people'.[4]

Historically, the parish of Sheringham comprised the two villages of Upper Sheringham, a farming community, and Lower Sheringham, which combined farming with fishing.

The fishing industry was at its peak in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as the coming of the railways made it possible for fish to be transported more efficiently to market. Through the 1900s the focus of the fishing, as all along the north Norfolk coast, began to be on crabs, lobsters and whelks. The local fishermen were major suppliers of crabs and lobsters to the London fish markets. Long lining for cod and the catching of herring began to become less important in the second half of the century, as did whelking. Today, from a peak of maybe 200 boats, Sheringham has eight boats operated single-handed.

The current town of Sheringham was once Lower Sheringham, a fishing station for the main village, now known as Upper Sheringham. It is a railway town that was developed with the coming of the Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway line in the late 19th century. Most of Sheringham's range of buildings and shops come from this period and the early 20th century. It has a particularly interesting range of buildings using flint, not normally in the traditional Norfolk style but in a variety of techniques. Sheringham Town Hall, the former headquarters of Sheringham Urban District Council, was completed in 1912.[5]

In the First World War, Sheringham was hit by two bombs from a Zeppelin raid at 20:30 GMT on 18 January 1915, making it the first place in Britain to be attacked by Zeppelins from the air. No one was killed.[6]

The town today[edit]

Town centre

Sheringham town centre is centred on a traditional high street with a wide range of privately owned shops. On Saturdays throughout the year there is a popular market in the car park next to the railway station which attracts large crowds even out of the holiday season. The town also has a good selection of specialist shops such as second-hand books, antiques and bric-a-brac, fishing tackle and bait, a computer shop, a model shop, and arts and craft shops. The Sheringham Little Theatre has a wide range of productions on throughout the year including a well-established summer repertory season running from July to September, and a popular pantomime at Christmas; in the foyer is a coffee shop with display of art by local artists. There is a selection of food outlets, pubs, restaurants and a youth hostel.

On 15 October 2010, Tesco won a 14-year battle to open a store in the town. In a split vote North Norfolk District Council development committee chairman Simon Partridge used his casting vote in favour of the scheme.[7] The store finally opened on 24 October 2013.[8]

An annual Cromer and Sheringham Crab/Lobster festival is held in May,[9] and the town's Carnival is held at the beginning of August.[10]

Otterndorf Green is a small green space between the town's railway stations. It commemorates Sheringham's twinning with the German town of Otterndorf.[11]

The Church of England Parish Church of St Peter was consecrated in 1897.[12]

Sheringham Museum[edit]

The town's museum now known as The Mo includes a collection of old lifeboats, various displays, a viewing tower and houses the Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm visitor centre.[13]


Sheringham is reputed to be the only place in the world to have four of its original lifeboats.[14] The Sheringham Museum Trust owns three of these: JC Madge (1904–36) pulling and sailing. Foresters Centenary (1936–61) the towns first motorised lifeboat. Manchester Unity of Oddfellows (1961–90) an Oakley Class lifeboat, Sheringham's last offshore boat. Within the next two to three years Sheringham Museum Trust plans to have an extended museum to house this unique collection together with three crab boats and general lifeboat and fishing industry ephemera. The town has no harbour, so the lifeboat has to be launched by tractor, and the fishing boats are hauled up the beach. An old sail-powered lifeboat is preserved in the former lifeboat shed and the three other preserved RNLI lifeboats are kept in another centre.



Sheringham railway station is the northern terminus on the Bittern Line, the National Rail route to Cromer and Norwich. Services run generally hourly and are operated by Greater Anglia. The station has a basic single platform structure that was opened in January 1967, following the closure of the original and more substantial station close by; the platform was rebuilt in 2019, to accommodate the new Class 755 trains which now operate the route.


The preserved North Norfolk Railway

The line beyond the National Rail station has been preserved as the North Norfolk Railway, also known as the Poppy Line. It operates between Sheringham's original station and a new station at Holt, via Weybourne. The railway operates primarily with steam and diesel-hauled trains, with some diesel multiple units.

The short link between the National Rail network and the North Norfolk Railway was re-established in 2010; the first train to use the link was hauled by 70013 Oliver Cromwell.


Local bus services are provided by Sanders Coaches. The primary X44 and 44A services run regularly between Sheringham, Cromer, Aylsham and Norwich. Routes also operate to other local destinations including Fakenham, Holt and Wells-next-the-Sea.


The A148, which connects King's Lynn and Cromer, by-passes the southern part of the town.


Sheringham has three schools. One is the Woodfields for disabled children,[15] the other two are Sheringham High School[16] and Sheringham Community Primary School.[17]

Places of worship[edit]

  • St Joseph's Roman Catholic Church
    The east end of St Joseph's interior. The high altar has a high reredos.

The Roman Catholic Church of St Joseph, on Cromer Road was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott. In 1901 a donation of over £3,000 by Catherine Deterding, the wife of the managing director and founder of the Shell Oil Company, enabled the purchase of land around an existing chapel to build a new church. Work began in 1902 and the first section, St Joseph's chapel was completed in 1908.[18] In 1910 the second section opened, which comprises the sanctuary, nave and the porch. Later the church was completed by extending the nave and adding a new porch. The complete building was consecrated on 25 March 1935. From the outside it is possible to see the join between the northern two-thirds opened in 1910, and the southern extension completed in 1935. This large red-brick church towers over its neighbours. The north end, (the liturgical east), has a high rose window, while each long side is pierced by three vast Perpendicular-style windows. The church is entered through a porch and into a narthex on the south west corner of the building. Behind a grilled area to the east there is a large framed icon of the Blessed Virgin. Inside the church the height and narrowness emphasizes the arcades which are also of a good height and have arches of alternate sizes. The décor is a mixture of both the arts and crafts movement and industrial Gothic, a signature of Gibert Scott's style. The font is a replica the seven sacraments font at St Mary and All Saints, Little Walsingham. There are some good pieces of early 20th century devotional art much of which was imported from the studio and workshop of Ferdinand Stuflesser in the Austrian Tyrol. There is a rood screen above the entrance to the sanctuary. The Stations of the Cross, ordered from Stuflesser, spent the First World War in the hold of a German freighter impounded at Genoa.

St Joseph's Catholic church

War memorial[edit]

The war memorial

The memorial to the men and women of Sheringham and Beeston Regis who died in military service during the two world wars is located at grid reference TG155433 on the traffic island at the intersection of the Boulevard, St Nicholas Place and the Esplanade. It was designed by Herbert Palmer somewhat in the style of an Eleanor cross. It is of Clipsham stone and stands 26 feet (7.9 m) tall.[19] It was unveiled on 1 January 1921. The names of the dead are on four panels that form the base of the cross.[20] A recent addition to the memorial is a small wrought-iron fence around the base with poppy motifs. There are also further names on memorial boards in the nearby parish church of St Peter.

Sheringham Park and other prominent property[edit]

  • In 1811, the Sheringham Estate was bought by Abbot and Charlotte Upcher. They asked Humphry Repton to design Sheringham Hall. The Upcher family also built a school. The Hall is still privately occupied, but Sheringham Park is in the care of the National Trust and open to visitors.
  • The Dales, formerly the residence of Henry Douglas King, M.P., and later Major William James Spurrell, D.S.O., M.C., is now a hotel (The Dales Country House).[21]
  • Sheringham watermill was mainly known as a papermill that operated from around 1750 to about 1865, although it quite possibly started life as a corn mill. It had an overshot waterwheel, which seems quite remarkable when considering the surrounding terrain and the fact that the mill was only supplied by the small Beeston Beck. A blue plaque on the wall of a cottage marks the location of the mill in Beeston road which was then called Paper Mill Road.[22]
  • The Masonic Hall on Cromer Road. Was once the Electric Picture Palace.

Offshore wind farm[edit]

The town is also home to a large 317MW wind farm, the Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm, approximately 11 miles (18 km) to 14 miles (23 km) offshore.[23]

The Oddfellows Hall[edit]

The Oddfellows Hall on the Lifeboat Plain, built in 1867, was the original RNLI Lifeboat station and a gathering place for fishermen and boat builders, and has over the years been used as a craft centre, used to exhibit a model railway, and to display a model village. The hall was also used as a shoe factory. After years of standing idle, it re-opened in October 2007 having been completely refurbished at a cost of £250,000. A collection of organisations such as East of England Development Agency, North Norfolk District Council, Sheringham plus Community Partnership and other interested parties worked together to facilitate the refurbishment of the hall and bring it back into community use.

Beeston Bump[edit]

Sheringham nestles under the nearby hill of Beeston Bump, a geological SSSI which was the site of one of the Second World War secret Y-stations. The Bump can be climbed using the Norfolk Coast Path from either the east or west. The Bump is a kame, a glacial deposit that began forming between 10,000 and 15,000 years[24] ago at the end of the latest Ice Age. The huge mass of ice caused a depression in the land and, as the ice melted, the land mass began to 'spring' slowly back in a process called isostatic readjustment. This process still occurs in the UK, as Northern England is slowly rising.

Sea swimmers on Sheringham seafront, East Anglia
Sea swimmers on Sheringham seafront, East Anglia

Sea defences[edit]

The northern frontage of Sheringham is protected by a concrete seawall which also serves as the promenade. It is a vital part of the protection of the town against the natural erosion that occurs along the North Norfolk coast. The storm surge of 1953 considerably damaged Sheringham's wooden sea defences. In front of the sea wall are groynes, armoured at their bases with large blocks of natural rock, which prevent long shore drift. There are numerous drains along the frontage. To the east towards West Runton the seawall ends just below Beeston Bump. From there a timber revetment and groyne system, designed and constructed in 1976, runs eastwards for 2 km (just over a mile) to West Runton Gap. The shoreline management plans of the Department for Environment include a policy of "managed retreat" along this stretch of coast. The revetment between Sheringham and West Runton is no longer being maintained and is thus in a poor state of repair. Sections that become hazardous will be removed. The coastline will then be left to evolve naturally.

Sport and leisure[edit]

Sheringham has a Non-League football club Sheringham F.C. who play at Weybourne Road. Sheringham Golf Club opened in 1891. In October 2016, it was announced a disused sewage outlet pipe stretching 50 metres (160 ft) from the beach into the sea will form the North Sea's "first snorkel trail".[25] Sheringham Golf Club is located on town's western outskirts and is bounded by the North Sea and the North Norfolk Railway.[26] A modern sports and leisure complex, incorporating a swimming pool and gym, and known as The Reef Leisure Centre, opened on Weybourne Road in late 2021,[27] replacing the ageing 'Splash' facility that had occupied the site.

Notable people[edit]

Twin towns[edit]

Location diagram[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Town population 2011". Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  2. ^ Ordnance Survey (2002). OS Explorer Map 252 - Norfolk Coast East. ISBN 0-319-21888-0.
  3. ^ Town Crest and motto Retrieved 7 March 2013
  4. ^ Eilert Ekwall, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-names, p.417.
  5. ^ "Sheringham Conservation Area Appraisal" (PDF). North Norfolk District Council. 2013. p. 62. Retrieved 25 February 2022.
  6. ^ "Norfolk towns mark WW1 Zeppelin raid centenary". BBC News. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  7. ^ Eastern Daily Press article Retrieved 18 October 2010
  8. ^ Sheringham Tesco opens after 17-year feud Retrieved 24 October 2013
  9. ^ Crab Festival
  10. ^ "Sheringham Carnival official website". Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  11. ^ Otterndorf Green Archived 27 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 3 February 2011
  12. ^ Norfolk churches Retrieved 26 February 2015
  13. ^ "Our Collection". The Mo: Sheringham Museum. Retrieved 11 January 2011.
  14. ^ "Museum Life Boats". Archived from the original on 18 May 2008. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  15. ^ Woodfields School Retrieved 17 May 2009
  16. ^ Sheringham High School Retrieved 17 May 2009
  17. ^ Sheringham Community Primary School Archived 11 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 17 May 2009
  18. ^ St Joseph's Church Archived 30 July 2012 at Retrieved 22 August 2008
  19. ^ Sheringham & District Branch, The Royal British Legion - War Memorial
  20. ^ List of the names on the war memorial with brief biographies
  21. ^ "Luxury North Norfolk Hotel". Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  22. ^ Norfolk Mills - Sheringham watermill
  23. ^ "Sheringham Shoal Offshore Windfarm Location". Sheringham Shoal. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  24. ^ Beeston Hill
  25. ^ "Victorian Sheringham pipe becomes North Sea's " first snorkel trail"". BBC News. 9 October 2016. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  26. ^ "Sheringham Golf Club". Sheringham Golf Club. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
  27. ^ "The Reef Leisure Centre". North Norfolk District Council. 23 May 2022. Retrieved 23 May 2022.
  28. ^ BBC news report Retrieved 16 August 2015
  29. ^ King Nicholas and the Copeman Empire (Paperback), by Nick Copeman ISBN 0-09-189920-6
  30. ^ "PULLAN (or PULLEYNE), Benjamin", in John Venn, Alumni Cantabrigienses Part II. 1752–1900, Vol. V Pace – Spyers (1953), p. 214
  31. ^ Literary Norfolk, Allan Smethurst-The Singing Postman Retrieved 18 April 2013
  32. ^ "Votre lettre d'informations municipales" (PDF). Muzillac. September 2014. p. 1. Retrieved 24 October 2014.

External links[edit]