26 Mar 2012

The Burnhams

Burnham Market Sign
Burnham Market sign

The Burnhams is the name given to the villages grouped around the River Burn.  Burnham Market is the main village and is known as 'Chelsea-on-sea' as it is full of trendy shops, similar to the ones down the King's Road.  We stopped by there whilst on holiday recently  - it is a charming place and the shops all have quaint frontages, but inside are a labyrinth of nooks and crannies.

Burnham Market
 The picture bottom left is a house on the main street with the biggest pair of rosemary bushes by the front door that I have ever seen.  There is a second-hand bookshop in the village and as Rowan at circle of the year had recommended a couple of books about Norfolk I went in search of them.  The book shop had loads of little rooms crammed with books and with no help from a pre-occupied sales assistant, managed to find the books in question both by Lilias Rider Haggard - Rowan already has one of them on her Desert island books list (part 2) see link above.
Brazen Head bookshop

This is a passage that I found in the Norfolk Notebook:-

Grey and sunless it may have been, but the marsh was full of colour.  The pale masses of the bents, thick and soft as cream coloured fur.  The brilliant emerald patches of young grass round the pools of flood water.  The browns and umbers and golds of the reeds, standing with rain-straight stems and dark plumed heads all leaning one way like the sheaves which bowed down to Joseph, the light shining silver along the spear points of their leaves.  Grey November and the thraldom of winter's hand upon the land.  The cry of the redshank and the distant snarl of the tide on the shingle.  The long line of woods and rounded hills behind - the pewter-grey sea before - this corner of England which once it holds your heart is more lovely than any place on earth.  Beautiful with a hint of secrecy which haunts it, as the memory of a dark and tender sadness clouds the brilliance of a summer day.

I like the way she describes the 'snarl of the tide on the shingle' - I have often wondered how to describe the sound - 'snarl' does it perfectly.

Burnham Overy
 We often pass through Burnham Overy but have never stopped to take pictures before.  There are just a few houses and a watermill but it is very picturesque and in summer with the ducks and swans on the river would be a perfect place to stop for a picnic.

Burnham Windmill
Burnham windmill
 The windmill that you see in Burnham worked in conjunction with the watermill.  The windmill is 6 stories high and is now a private holiday home.

Burnham Overy Staithe is on the coast and provides moorings and launching for boats.

Burnham Overy Staithe
Burnham Overy Staithe
 Burham Thorpe is where Nelson grew up, with his father rector of the local church.  Edmund Nelson moved to Burnham Thorpe in 1755 after his marriage.  Horatio 6th of their 11 children was born in 1758 in a house called The Shooting Box.  Horatio went away to study and after his early years in the Navy, returned for 5 years to Burnham Thorpe with his new wife.

Burnham Thorpe Sign
Burnham Thorpe sign

Lord Nelson Sign
Originally called The Plough
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.

Finallly, there are several more Burnhams which are residential villages - Burnham Deepdale and Burnham Norton, Burnham Thorpe and Burnham Westgate - as you can imagine, it does get rather confusing.


  1. my kind of holiday - ambling around the British countryside and taking in the beauty.

    Love the pictures of the shop fronts - they are very reassuringly English!

  2. Lovely pictures! I don't really know this part of the country very well. It looks gorgeous. Jx

  3. I do like your photos. Mmmm I feel a trip up to Norfolk coming on. We used to go there many years ago and always found some lovely villages to visit.

  4. I love the suond of those books! Great post ,I have never been to Norfolk ,makes me want to plan a trip!

  5. Burnham Market looks a lovely place,I'd like to see the water mill as well. Might try and get there on one of my visits to Norfolk. Glad you found the books and I hope you enjoy them.

  6. It looks like a lovely area. I bet that book shop is full of goodies.


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