Cromer’s Historic Architecture

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Church of
St. Peter and St. Paul

Newstead House

East end of Church Street

The oldest building in the town is the mediaeval Church of St Peter & Paul, with the highest church tower in North Norfolk. The tower, which can be climbed in the summer months, provides good views of the town and surrounding countryside.

The modest brick and flint cobble houses from the old fishing village can still be found clustered around Jetty Street, High Street and parts of Church Street. Houses from the late Eighteenth and early Nineteenth Centuries are on Tucker Street and the Gangway, the cobbled slope which leads down to the beach. Brunswick House, a fine Regency villa with curved bay windows, and The Crescent, built in 1822 but enlarged at the end of the nineteenth century, overlook the Gangway.

Late 19th and early 20th century architecture can be found throughout the town. The Hotel de Paris is at the centre of the seafront; it is actually three earlier buildings incorporated behind a new front by Norwich architect George Skipper in 1894. Just inland is the main thoroughfare through the town, Church Street. This has some good Victorian and Edwardian buildings, including Bank House by Herbert Green, and no 29, a very showy building of 1905 by Augustus Scott.

The local gentry favoured locations outside the centre for their summer residences, and some impressive villas can be found on the east side along Cliff Avenue and along the Norwich and Overstrand Roads. London architect Edward May worked here. Sutherland House on the Overstrand Road is an impressive villa he designed in the “Old English” style.

On the east and west sides of Cromer there is a mix of hotels and guest houses, many now converted to residential use. Here can be found work by renowned Norwich-based architects such as George Skipper, Augustus Scott and Herbert Green. The Cliftonville Hotel on Runton Road, enlarged by George Skipper at the end of the nineteenth century, retains much of its Edwardian interior. No less interesting are the houses and villas designed by local men such as George Riches and Rowland Carter. Carter’s Wood Dene in Cliff Avenue is a particularly striking, almost theatrical design.

The attractive seafront is largely due to the inspired work of a London engineering firm, Douglass and Arnott. They designed the majority of the late Victorian sea walls and the wide Promenade, which is as pleasant to walk on today as it was when first built. The crowning glory of the seafront is the Pier, built between 1899-1901. It has a pavilion theatre of 1905, which is home to the last traditional end of the pier show in Britain.

It is worth walking to the end of the pier to see the panorama of the town displayed before you, or onto the east beach to look back at the array of buildings which make up a truly memorable townscape.

Brunswick House

Wood Dene on Cliff Avenue

The Seafront today
with the Hotel de Paris

The Promenade circa 1900

The Crescent today
with Brunswick House