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The popular image of Norfolk is of a flat featureless landscape relived only by the Broads and the many fine church towers.
Nothing could be further from the truth, in the northern half of the county at least.
If you stand on the beach at Weybourne Hope, to the east you can see the start of the cliffs that reach their highest around Cromer,
and then gradually dip away. This stretch of coastline is under constant threat from the sea,
nowhere more so than around Happisburgh.
To the west the coast could not be more different, a ridge of shingle stretches from here to Blakeney Point,
favourite haunt of seals, and there are extensive salt marshes and sand dunes almost all the way to Hunstanton. Around Holkham
there is even an area of reclaimed land.
Erosion and deposition, you couldnʼt get more varied than that.
Iʼm tempted to say that you can stand on the beach at Heacham with the Wash on one side and the unwashed on the other,
but that would get me into trouble with the good folks who stay on the extensive caravan parks around here. Many of whom, Iʼm sure, observe the highest standards of hygiene.
Unfortunately swathed in scaffolding at the time of our visit, Stow Mill is in the process of being lovingly restored by its current owners.
The brick tower mill was built as a flour mill between 1825 and 1827 by one James Gaze, and was in use up until 1930.
The internal workings were removed at that time, and there is no immediate prospect of the mill being fully restored due to the deterioration of the cap sill,
which prevents the sails from being turned into the wind.
External Links and References
Stow Mill, Paston
Extensive official website with history, details of the restoration, opening times, etc. http://www.stowmill.co.uk/