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Activity 3: Great Yarmouth, Norfolk

Great Yarmouth continues to be an important port on the east coast of England, but not as important as it was in times gone by. In Nelson's time it was the headquarters for the North Sea fleet of the Royal Navy. (Poppyland Publishing has several other books that deal with the history of Great Yarmouth and you can find more information elsewhere on this site).

Use the book 'Nelson - I am myself a Norfolk man' to answer the following questions:

The town of Yarmouth - so called Great Yarmouth to distinguish it from Little Yarmouth on the other side of the river - grew up on a sandbank in the mouth of the river Yare about one thousand years ago.

It became very important because of the many herring landed there. Because the fishing fleet grew, it was home to many sailors, and in the Middle Ages many of the king's ship and sailors came from Yarmouth.

To begin with, the river often flooded and changed where it went into the sea. Eventually the present harbour entrance was established, and quays began to be built, sheltered from the open sea. By Nelson's time, fishing vessels and naval vessels both used the port.

It is difficult for us to imagine now the harbours around England filled with many sailing ships. The ship in the video clip is a modern reconstruction, much like the frigate which Nelson sailed from Yarmouth. In 2000 it sailed into the river at Yarmouth as part of an event to remember Nelson's visit 200 years before. You can see it in this clip.




You will be able to see more in the video and DVD "Great Yarmouth - History, Herrings and Holidays".

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