Cromer Pier, in the seaside town of Cromer, is located in on the East Coast of Norfolk. It is a grade II listed building. Built in 1902, the actual location of the pier that can be seen today dates back further to 1391, when a structure stood on the site but was more like a jetty. In 1582, Queen Elizabeth I, wrote to the town’s people granting them permission to export wheat, barley and malt with the instruction that all profits would be used to maintain the pier and the town of Cromer.
In 1822 a cast iron jetty was built, stretching 210 feet out to sea. It was considered a magnificent structure but unfortunately had to be replaced 24 years later after it was totally destroyed in a storm.
The jetty was rebuilt using wood and extended by a further 30 feet. It quickly became very popular with the people of Cromer and was used as a promenade. In order to maintain the strict etiquette of the time, a keeper was employed to enforce the rules of ‘no smoking’ and ladies had to vacate the area by 9pm.
In 1897 the jetty was completely destroyed when a coal boat smashed into it, bringing to an end the period when Cromer had a place for its town’s folk to take leisurely walks along the promenade. The structure was missed and the town’s “Pier Commissioners” decided to rebuild the pier but on a grander scale. In 1902 it was opened to the public.
The new pier now reached 450 feet out to sea and cost £17,000 to build. Shelters were screened with glass panels and a bandstand stood at far the end. Further changes were made over time as architectural fashions changed.
The pier has undergone a number of maintenance programs over the years and, in the summer of 2012, North Norfolk District Council began a £1.2 million restoration project replacing some of the major supports thus reinforcing the overall strength of the pier. Work was finished in October 2013, just in time to prevent another disaster happening as the weather changed and the coast was hit by a tidal surge during the notorious storms of December 2013.
Some damage was done to the walkways and several of the buildings sustained structural damage but the pier withstood the storm, although further repairs costing hundreds of thousands of pounds had to be carried out.
In 2000 the Cromer won the ‘Pier of the Year Award’, presented annually by the National Piers Society. The NPS is a registered charity dedicated to promoting and sustaining interest in the preservation and continued enjoyment of seaside piers.
The Pavilion Theatre that is situated at the end of the pier is said to be one of the country’s most haunted buildings and paranormal investigations have taken place in the theatre on a number of occasions. Psychics claim to have communicated with sprits dating back to the 1300s and poltergeist activity has also been recorded.
It is not only the theatre that is reputed to be haunted. The pier itself is said to be haunted by apparitions wearing medieval clothing gliding across the walkways. Visitors have sometimes claimed to have seen strange fishing boats near the pier built in a design common amongst 9th century Anglo-Saxons.
Local folktales tell of an ancient village near to where the pier was built that was swallowed by the sea on year and never seen again. Another legend tells of a beautiful medieval maiden who would visit the jetty and show off her loveliness until one day a great black dog leapt from the sea and carried her off under the waves.
Camping and Caravanning Club Site
Holgate Lane, West Runton, Cromer
Norfolk, England, NR27 9NW
+44 (0)1263 837 544
- Address: Esplanade, Cromer, Norfolk NR27 9HE, UK
- GPS: 52.932540153419865,1.300927315344211
- Phone: 0044 (0)1263 512 495
- Part of UK: England
- Sat Nav Postcode: NR27 9HE
- Entrance Fees: Free Access
- Disabled Access: Good
- Visibility from Road: Good
- Image Credits: Ian Woolcock