6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to EDP Norfolk today click here

Nelson’s Norfolk: 5 places that mark his life

PUBLISHED: 13:03 14 August 2017 | UPDATED: 13:07 14 August 2017

Admiral Lord Nelson, 1801, by William Beechy (photo: Norfolk Museums Service)

Admiral Lord Nelson, 1801, by William Beechy (photo: Norfolk Museums Service)

Picture: Norfolk Museums Service

As a new exhibition focuses on the life and legacy of Nelson, we discover the places with a particular connection to Norfolk’s hero

The Battle of the Nile, 1 August 1798, End of the Action, 1799, by Thomas Whitcombe (picture: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich) The Battle of the Nile, 1 August 1798, End of the Action, 1799, by Thomas Whitcombe (picture: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich)

Born in the Burnhams

Did you know, Horatio Nelson had a brother called Suckling? He grew up with Horatio, and their more conventionally-named brothers including Maurice, Edmund, William and George, and sisters Susannah, Ann and Catherine, at Burnham Thorpe, where their father was rector. In fact our hero, Horatio, was not even the first Horatio in the family – but named for a brother who died aged just three months.

The future admiral was born, prematurely, and baptised within hours, using the marble font which still stands in Burnham Thorpe church. Today the church’s rood cross and lectern are made from timber from HMS Victory and the graves of Nelson’s parents lie beside the altar.

The Ensign of Le Généreux, St Andrews Hall, Norwich (Norfolk Museums Service) The Ensign of Le Généreux, St Andrews Hall, Norwich (Norfolk Museums Service)

The family home was Parsonage House where, years later during extended shore leave, Nelson created a ship-shaped pond.

The web of waterways around Burnham Overy Staithe are where Britain’s greatest naval commander learned to sail.

Silk picture of Emma Hamilton and Nelson, late 18th century (picture: National Maritime Museum) Silk picture of Emma Hamilton and Nelson, late 18th century (picture: National Maritime Museum)

School in North Walsham

Nelson learned Latin and Greek and had sailing lessons on Barton Broad, while a student at the Paston School, now Paston College.

Burnham Thorpe church (photo: Matthew Usher) Burnham Thorpe church (photo: Matthew Usher)

Staircase at Brinton Hall, near Melton Constable

Four generations of Jeremy Bagnall-Oakeley’s family have lived at Brinton Hall – and used the glorious wooden staircase which is believed to have been moved here from Nelson’s London home.

Brinton Hall is open via the Invitation to View scheme on Thursday, August 17, when visitors will be able to climb the staircase, as part of a tour of the house and its beautiful parkland, lake and gardens.

The Nelson Bullet: The musket ball that struck down Nelson on the deck of HMS Victory is coming to Norfolk for the very first time (picture: Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017) The Nelson Bullet: The musket ball that struck down Nelson on the deck of HMS Victory is coming to Norfolk for the very first time (picture: Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017)

Glory in Great Yarmouth

Nelson sailed into and out of Yarmouth several times and it was here that Nelson declared: “I am myself a Norfolk man and glory in being so,” the quotation which greets travellers today at the main roads into Nelson’s county.

Britannia on top of the Nelson Monument, Great Yarmouth (photo: Andy Darnell) Britannia on top of the Nelson Monument, Great Yarmouth (photo: Andy Darnell)

Another famous Yarmouth quote came when the landlady of the town’s Wrestlers Arms asked to be allowed to rename the inn The Nelson Arms. “That would be absurd, seeing that I have but one,” the great man replied. During that stay Nelson received the Freedom of the Borough. At the swearing-in ceremony he put his left hand on the Bible. The clerk said: “Your right hand, my lord,” to which Nelson famously replied: “That is in Tenerife.”

Nelson sailed from Yarmouth to take part in the Battle of Copenhagen, during which he refused orders to withdraw, raising his telescope to his dead eye and saying: “I really do not see the signal.”

Never mind Trafalgar Square, London. Great Yarmouth has its own Nelson’s Column, known as the Nelson, Norfolk or Britannia Monument. More than 20 years older than the London pillar, it offers fantastic views for those with a head for heights, and lungs for its 217-step spiral staircase.

Today the tower stands in an industrial estate but in Nelson’s time, the South Denes area was a sandy, grassy military parade ground. And in paintings by JMW Turner the monument is shown on the shore. Legend suggests the superintendent of building work threw himself from the tower because the statue of Britannia, at the top, was facing inland, rather than out to sea, but historians say it was always intended to face inland towards Nelson’s birthplace. A £1m restoration project saw the Grade One listed landmark reopened to the public in 2005, the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar.

www.nelsonsmonument.org.uk

The Nelson Museum on South Quay, Yarmouth, is the only museum in the country dedicated to Nelson and tells the story of his boyhood in Norfolk, and his heroic life and death at sea.

The objects which formed the basis of the museum were collected by Nelson enthusiast Ben Burgess, (of the grounds care business of the same name, which is now co-sponsoring the new Nelson exhibition at Norwich Castle.)

Norwich

As a young child Nelson was a pupil at what is now the Norwich School in the Cathedral Close and a statue of him now faces the school.

This summer the bullet which killed him and what could be the earliest French tricolour flag in existence are two of the highlights of the Nelson and Norfolk exhibition at Norwich Castle Museum from Saturday, July 29 to Sunday, October 1.

The bullet, removed by the ship’s doctor, belongs to the Queen, after being presented to Queen Victoria, and is mounted in a locket alongside scraps of gold lace from the uniform which made Nelson a target. It has never before been brought to Nelson’s home county. The huge flag was captured from a ship and this is a rare chance to see it unfurled.

www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk

More from People

Monday, June 11, 2018

Do you have a spare hour a week and would like to help transform somebody’s life? Then why not consider volunteering?

Read more
June 2018
Monday, June 4, 2018

Her first novel was an international bestseller, now Emma Healey has another book out and it transforms a mother’s tense relationship with her teenage daughter into a must-read mystery

Read more
May 2018
Monday, June 4, 2018

With a new baby due, a big house move planned and a nationwide tour, Norfolk classical singing star Humphrey Berney has a hectic summer ahead

Read more
Monday, May 21, 2018

Septic tanks, heating oil, broadband... rural life may not be easy, but Susie wouldn’t have it any other way

Read more

Vikings vanished centuries ago, but there are people out there dedicated to bringing our history to life

Read more
May 2018
Tuesday, May 8, 2018

As celebrations for the 100th anniversary of the RAF continue, Norfolk flier shares what the RAF did for him

Read more
May 2018
Tuesday, May 8, 2018

The royal wedding on May 19 will be particularly special for many people in Norfolk who have taken Prince Harry to their hearts

Read more
May 2018

We meet a Norfolk portrait artist who has persuaded many of the country’s leading actors to sit for him

Read more
April 2018

How a small Norfolk social enterprise is working to boost cycling

Read more
April 2018
Tuesday, April 24, 2018

From ducks in the kitchen to fuel from old newspaper, there’s a bit of the TV sitcom classic in Susie’s household

Read more
April 2018
 
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Like us on Facebook

Local Business Directory

Norfolk's trusted business finder

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search