In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Great Yarmouth like this:
Yarmouth (Great), parl. and mun. bor., par., sea-port, fishing town, and watering-place, Norfolk and. Suffolk, at mouth of river Yare, at influx of river Bure, 19 miles E. of Norwich and 121 miles NE. of London by rail - par. (wholly in Norfolk), 1519 ac. (240 water), pop. 37,151; mun. bor. (including also Gorleston par., Suffolk), 3685 ac., pop. 46,159; 4 Banks, 5 newspapers. Market-days, Wednesday and Saturday. Yarmouth is the chief seat of the English herring fishery. ...
This industry alone employs several thousand people. The deep-sea fishing is also actively prosecuted, and the produce is forwarded daily to London by railway. The harbour, in the Yare, admits vessels of 900 tons. The quays stretch along the river upwards of a mile. The exports are agricultural produce, malt, herrings, and other fish. (For shipping statistics, see Appendix.) Shipbuilding is carried on. Yarmouth has recently risen into considerable importance as a watering-place. The sea-frontage has a fine esplanade, with two piers 450 and 753 ft. long. The chief architectural feature of the town is the church of St Nicholas (1101), said to be the largest parish church in the kingdom. The Nelson monument is an elegant column 144 ft. high. Yarmouth appears first on record in 1081; was long a mere fishing village; was fortified in the time of Henry III. and subsequent sovereigns; was occupied by the Parliamentarians in the Civil War, and its fortifications demolished; and was a naval station during the great war with France. It received borough rights of its own from King John. Great Yarmouth, which returned 2 members to Parliament from Edward II. until 1667, was revived as a parl. bor., with 1 member, in 1885; its parl. limits include the whole of the mun. bor. (with Gorleston) and part of the parish of Runham.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Great Yarmouth has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Great Yarmouth. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Great Yarmouth and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Great Yarmouth in Norfolk | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 16th September 2014
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