Tuesday, 16 August 2011

HAPPISBURGH

Moving inland slightly from Winterton-On-Sea, the quaint sight of the Horsey Windpump hoves into view, briefly making the visitor disoriented, thinking this is Holland. It is possible to go inside this windpump, owned by the National Trust, and there is a cafe on site serving drinks and snacks, plus the nearby Horsey Mere, an offshoot of the Norfolk Broads. Back on the coast, there are a series of coastal villages leading up to Happisburgh: Waxham with the longest thatched barn in Norfolk; Sea Palling, with its beautiful, unspoilt beach; and Eccles On Sea, which succumbed to the sea in 1895, fragments of its church still littering the beach.

The church in the coastal village of Happisburgh has a tower tall enough to act as a warning to mariners out at sea, alerting them to the presence of the sandbanks nearby. The other major feature on the skyline of the village is the red-and-white striped lighthouse, built in 1790 and the oldest working lighthouse in East Anglia. The lighthouse is independently run courtesy of voluntary contributions, having been saved by the local community. The village website includes a fascinating account of the air raids and other incidents which occurred during the Second World War, including an attack by a Messerschmitt which damaged a Manor and killed two people. In June 2001, the village suffered an unwanted airborne visit of a different kind: a rogue vulture which had escaped from a zoo fifty miles way. The Ruppell’s Griffon Vulture swooped down on the village without warning and took up residence in the church tower. However, the bird soon moved on and proceeded to terrorise a pensioner in Suffolk.

Map of the area.

'Happisburgh Lighthouse' photo (c) 2007, Sean - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

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