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Thornham Marshes: coal barn, boat moorings and marshes

Thornham Marshes: coal barn, boat moorings and marshes

This image shows the Thornham Marshes, looking across Staithe Road towards the village of Thornham. The common marshes of Thornham (registered as units CL 41 and CL 56) were subject to an enclosure act of 1794 and award of 1797, which reorganised pasture rights and land management in the parish. The award determined that the area of salt marsh to the east of Staithe Road would become a stinted common managed by common reeves, with an annual stint-owners’ meeting held in the porch of Thornham Church (NRO PC 9/1-2 Thornham Enclosure Award and Map, 1797) (Photo: Eleanor Straughton). Click on image for larger version.

Thornham Church Porch

Thornham Church Porch

This image shows the porch of Thornham Church, where annual stint-holders meetings were held follwing the award of 1797. Stint-holders met to agree management rules and to elect common reeves for the Thornham marshes. Meetings continued to be held here into the 1940s, though occasionally other venues were used. It is not certain whether stint-holders met in the open porch itself or in the room above, accessed through an internal door. (Photo: Angus Winchester). Click on image for larger version.

View Across Thornham Marshes

Thornham Marshes: view towards Scolt Head Island

This image shows a view across the Thornham marshes, taken from Staithe Road. (Photo: Eleanor Straughton). Click on image for larger version.

Thornham Marshes: sluice at Thornham harbour

Thornham Marshes: sluice at Thornham harbour

Control of water courses has played an important role in shaping the marshland landscape, as can be seen in the construction of this sluice at Thornham. (Photo: Eleanor Straughton). Click on image for larger version.

Brancaster Marshes: gates onto the common

Brancaster Marshes: gates onto the common

This image shows the gateway onto the Brancaster marsh commons, giving public access to the beach and common marshes, and leading also to the Royal West Norfolk Golf Club, which has occupied a large area of marsh and dunes since its foundation in 1892. The Brancaster saltmarshes are registered common land, comprising a number of different CL units – the major ones being CL 65 (which includes Scolt Head Island), CL 124 and CL 161. (Photo: Eleanor Straughton). Click on image for larger version.

Brancaster Marshes: National Trust sign

Brancaster Marshes: National Trust sign

The common marshes form part of the manor of Brancaster: manorial rights are today owned by the National Trust. (Photo: Eleanor Straughton). Click on image for larger version.

Brancaster Marshes: collection box

Brancaster Marshes: collection box

This image shows a collection box for public donations towards the upkeep of the commons, situated near the public car park. The sign reads: ‘The National Trust, Brancaster Commons Committee: Please donate to the upkeep of this unique area of saltwater common and beach’. (Photo: Eleanor Straughton). Click on image for larger version.

Brancaster Marshes: view from Brancaster Staithe

Brancaster Marshes: view from Brancaster Staithe

This image shows the view across the Brancaster marshes in early evening, looking north-westwards from Brancaster Staithe (the Royal West Norfolk clubhouse is just visible silhouetted on the horizon, to the right of the picture). (Photo: Eleanor Straughton). Click on image for larger version.

Brancaster Marshes and Scolt Head Island, viewed from Barrow Common

Brancaster Marshes and Scolt Head Island, viewed from Barrow Common

This image shows the view from higher ground, looking down over Brancaster Staithe, and the salt marshes, with Scolt Head Island visible in the distance. Scolt Head Island is a nature reserve, famous for its sea bird colonies, and is registered common land forming part of unit CL 65 (with Brancaster and Burnham marshes). The island was used as a firing range during WWII. This picture was taken from Common Lane, the road which runs from Brancaster up to – and over – Barrow Common (CL 159). (Photo: Eleanor Straughton). Click on image for larger version.

Barrow Common, Brancaster: the common landscape

Barrow Common, Brancaster: the common landscape

Barrow Common (CL 159) is a surviving pocket of inland common land, being an area of higher ground reserved for the commoners of Brancaster under an enclosure act of 1755. The landscape character and vegetation are dramatically different from those of the nearby salt marshes. This image shows mature trees and grassland, together with evidence of attempts to control the spread of bracken (to the right of the picture). The common is primarily used and valued as a recreational space and wildlife habitat, and does not appear to be in regular agricultural use (Photo: Eleanor Straughton). Click on image for larger version.

Barrow Common, Brancaster: prevention of off-road vehicles

Barrow Common, Brancaster: prevention of off-road vehicles

As with many other commons surviving today, an open road runs through Barrow Common, and posts have been used to prevent vehicles from being driven onto the common itself. (Photo: Eleanor Straughton). Click on image for larger version.

Barrow Common, Brancaster: WWII Radar Station

Barrow Common, Brancaster: WWII Radar Station

During the First and Second World Wars, areas of common land were often requisitioned for firing ranges, training grounds or for wartime infrastructure. During the Second World War, Barrow Common was the site of a coastal radar station. The larger building (left) contained the radar station; the smaller building (right) was used for the power generator. (Photo: Eleanor Straughton). Click on image for larger version.

Barrow Common, Brancaster: WWII Radar Station information panel

Barrow Common, Brancaster: WWII Radar Station information panel

This sign, which provides visitors with information on the World War Two radar station, was put up by the Barrow Common Management Committee in 2008. (Photo: Eleanor Straughton). Click on image for larger version.

Barrow Common, Brancaster: vegetation

Barrow Common, Brancaster: vegetation

A view of the mixed vegetation of Barrow Common: in this image there are swathes of gorse, bracken and grasses. The common is particularly rich in gorse, seen here in bloom (Photo: Eleanor Straughton). Click on image for larger version.

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