Read the Story of the Park Before it Became the Park

History of North Lodge Park

The 1825 grand design above for the land which became the park would have filled the field from the cliff top to Overstrand Road, as superimposed on Francis Park’s map of the Goldsmiths’ School Field.

Two imposing Regency terraces comprising 34 four-storey houses 50 ft deep by 23 ft wide, of best Suffolk White Brick and Portland Stone, would have been almost 400ft long. Purchasers would have their own keys to access private gardens “not open to the public…forever thereafter used as a pleasure ground for the owners and occupiers.”

chronicles of North Lodge park, V2

Volume II of the Friends of North Lodge Park’s “Chronicle of North Lodge Park” covers the pre-history of the park from 1505, starting with the Cromer man who left money to establish Norfolk’s first Grammar School in Cromer, latterly in the Free School built 200 years ago and still standing a few yards west of the park gates.

The 72 page book, illustrated with original letters, plans and other documents, traces the history of Cromer’s links with the Goldsmiths Company over nearly 500 years. This includes the story of the building of the 1821 Free School, and other attempts to build on the school land – for example, the 1839 North Lodge built on spec as a ‘show house’ to encourage building of similar mansions.

It also tells the tale of the charismatic Simeon Simons, who became Master of the School at just 17 years old, holding the position (only just) for 52 years during which he also ran the Bath House for 40 years.

As the first 92 years of North Lodge Park, it is a story of change and development. Find out what happened when and why in this story of “the park before it became the park.”

Both the “Brief History of the Park 1929-2019” and the “Will You Marry Me?” Book of cake recipes are still available. All proceeds to the Friends of North Lodge Park, Reg Charity No 1169907