Part 1- Fishing
Cromer has been mainly supported by fishing since the early middle ages with the Anglo-Saxons as the first settlement. They settled there because of the only gangway through the cliffs to the sea. Cromer’s main economic activity carried on until late 19th Century when railways were introduced, tourism took over and it became less important. In the Middle Ages, the main type of fishing was herring fishing. There are several sources showing the importance of fishing. Extract from the will of Clement Fysheman in 1519. “I give Alys my wife nets, ropes, and co…residue of nets to be divided between John, son and Robert, son.”
This quote shows that he left his equipment for his family to show the wealth and importance of the next generation. Another source from Daniel Defoe: A tour through Britain 1724. ‘Lobsters which are taken off the coast in great numbers, carried to Norwich and in large quantities to London. This portrays that even from as early as 1724, Cromer were famous for their sea food and trading with other cities. A crab measure was introduced after the crab acts in 1876 as young crabs were being caught and were not ready to be used. So this crab measure was used to measure how big the crabs are, if they were not big enough they were thrown back into the sea.
Part 2 – Coal and Corn trades
Coal trade in Cromer involved importing cargo of coal from the North East of England, mainly from Newcastle by ships. This carried on until the railways were introduced in 1877 when the coal was imported through railways. The gangway was very useful back in that time as it was were the horses brought the coal from the sea into the city. It was a dangerous job importing the coal trade into Cromer. This made coal expensive. The problem was unloading the cargo, as told by E. Bartell in 1806. “Perhaps there are a few places where coals are dearer than they are here; one principal of which is, the expense and hazard attending the unloading; to effect which, the vessel is laid upon the beach at high water.”
The agricultural revolution that took place happened because the harvest was outstanding, high levels of corn and other crops. Corn trade was exported from Cromer to Europe for many centuries as there were too many crops growing in East Anglia so they had to do something about it. The Granary was used to store corn until it was ready to be exported. The corn trade stopped when the Napoleonic wars took place.
Part 3 – Early Tourism
In the 18th Century tourist that were rich went to the seaside as they thought the sea water and air was good for you. As a result of this, tourism built up from there. New bath houses were introduced which allowed more tourist to come as there was more space to accommodate them but only rich people could afford to. Bath houses were an early feature of fashionable Cromer because it was facing the beach; working class would sleep there as they were warm rooms.
The Crescent was also a sign of early tourism as it was curved you can see that it has expanded from the marks on the building this meant more tourists. Advantages of the crescents location were that there was easy access to the sea and centre of town. Towards the end of the 19th Century, the beach became more popular which attracted more tourists. Entertainment started to be provided such as goat cart and donkey rides.