BOOK NORFOLK HOTELS

Join in

Send page to a friend

2747 views since 11th March 2011

Related links:

Events | Lore & Legend | Rather Interesting | Cultural Britain

Featured Destination

May 2017: Regency Brighton and Hove

The plurally-named City of Brighton and Hove rather fittingly is a holidays – plural - destination. It’s modern, historic, cultural, sporting, happening, a seaside resort ...More
More Uk destinations

Blessing the Nets, Norfolk

To this day Great Yarmouth preserves the custom of blessing the nets, an event which has a considerable heritage behind it. Herring was one of the great staple foods of medieval Europe, and Great Yarmouth one of the major centres for fishing for the ‘silver darlings’. For centuries the town had a Herring Fair held over 40 days from Michaelmas (September 29), something of huge economic and even political significance, as the town had to fight for the right to control its very profitable herring trade. In the 13th century Yarmouth even sent raiding parties to the South Coast to defend this power. No wonder - it made Great Yarmouth the fourth richest settlement in the land at one time.
These days the custom is observed in a ceremony and service at St Nicholas Church in the town (fittingly given St Nicholas is the patron saint of fishermen), a lovingly restored Norman building claimed to be the largest parish church in England. In earlier days the blessing took place by the sea on the South Denes shore, and included the symbolic Wetting of the Nets as well as the religious blessing. Great Yarmouth, with the town’s crest showing three herring tails attached to lions’ torsos, and the bloater the culinary king of the place, retains a small fishing industry, though sadly the days when it was possible to walk across the Yare from Gorleston to Yarmouth on the decks of trawlers are long gone. But the October blessing of the nets service at the church of St Nicholas is an important reminder of and link with that glorious past.

More British Folk Customs?

If you like this, Share it

Brit Quote:
The marvelous thing about a joke with a double meaning is that it can only mean one thing - Ronnie Barker
More Quotes

On this day:
Hillary climbs Everest - 1953, Man Utd Win 1st English European Cup - 1968, Heysel Stadium Disaster - 1985
More dates from British history

click here to view all the British counties

County Pages

//