History of Wells-next-the-Sea

Wells-next-the-Sea is located on the North Norfolk Coast. Its prime location meant that in the late 16th Century, Wells (as it was known) was the major port for the area, with up to 19 ships trading corn. Several of the old buildings can be found down the back streets. Well's status as a port carried on well into the early 20th Century, with the Granary and loading gantry built in 1903. This has now been turned into luxury flats with a Quayside view.

The History of the Name

The name Wells comes from the many spring wells that were around the town.

Wells became known as Wells-next-the-Sea in the 1800s when the increase in travel meant it was needed to distinguish between towns. The name was chosen as the town's official title by Wells Urban District Council in 1956.

The Lifeboat Disaster

In 1880, the Wells Lifeboat was launched to help the Ocean Queen. The heavy seas meant that the conditions were treacherous, but the lifeboat propelled by oars and sails went out to help the stricken craft. 11 of the 13 crew of the lifeboat lost their lives after being hit by a wave.

A memorial can be found by the Harbour Offices, the old Lifeboat house and the crew are remembered every year by residents of the town.

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