Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Upper Sheringham is in the Domesday Book and was an Iceni settlement occupied by the Roman Empire. Lower Sheringham has existed for about 700 years, but by 1600 the village had been swallowed up by the sea.
The crab and lobster fishing made the local fishermen major suppliers to the London fishmarkets. The industry was at its peak in the late 1800s and early 1900s, 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. Long lining for cod and the catching of herring began to become less important in the second half of the century, as did whelking, and today from a peak of maybe 200 boats, Sheringham now 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 railway line in the late 19th century. Most of Sheringham's pleasant range of buildings and shop 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 to make use of Norfolk's only natural stone.
Today, 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 old lifeboat shed and three other RNLI lifeboats are kept in another centre. The railway line to Cromer and Norwich remains open as the Bittern Line. Beyond Sheringham, the line has been preserved as the North Norfolk Railway as far as Holt, and reminds us of the importance of the railway in the development of the town we know today.
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.
Sheringham is twinned with the German town of Otterndorf .
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