This page lists information (images AND text) on local shipping especially Glaven shipping. This information is provided to assist in deciding whether a visit to the History Centre may benefit your research. However, please do not assume that it is either complete or accurate.

Images (which may be clicked on to enlarge) are provided as they often convey more information than the text that follows . The images may also help with locating information within the History Centre.

The Ships of Blakeney Haven

The History Centre has an extensive archive relating to the ships and shipping history of the Blakeney Haven. Some of the records are unique but none more so than the Graffiti found in our three local churches. To date, these scratchings are the most remarkable and comprehensive depiction of 15th and 16th century ships to be found anywhere in the UK and are fast being recognised as a “national treasure” to be valued and preserved.

The Haven ships, be they wooden or otherwise, range from large foreign trading and fishing vessels to east coast and cross channel traders with the occasional visiting naval vessel. Then there are the more local ships and boats, fishing yawls, canoes, punts, the five Blakeney Lifeboats of yesteryear (including the Hettie whose model may be found in St Nicholas’ Church, Blakeney by her service board), houseboats and a whole plethora of small pleasure craft including the “Blakeney One” design.

Another source of information is The Merchant Fleet of Late Medieval and Tudor England, 1400–1580.

Records, be they documents, manuscripts, articles, newspaper cuttings, books, photographs, etchings etc., include the following;

  • owners, mariners, sailors and fishermen
  • local shipwrights and their yards
  • plans
  • registration
  • crew agreements
  • seamens’ tickets
  • census location of ships and their crew, especially for 1861
  • Harbour Company Act and Dues
  • Harbour Act 1817. Tidal Harbours Commission 1846
  • Harbour Masters and Pilots
  • Custom House officers
  • Coastguards
  • Glaven Shipping: A to Z of Ship Images (Minor Collections)
  • Glaven Shipping: Ships A to Z (Minor Collections)
  • Glaven Shipping: Shipwrecks & Misadventure (Minor Collections)
  • Glaven Shipping: Extracts from Ship Register (Minor Collections)
  • Glaven Shipping: Maritime Papers and Reprints (Minor Collections)
  • Glaven Shipping: Seamen/Mariners A to Z (Minor Collections)
  • Glaven Shipping: Shipwrecks & Misadventure (Minor Collections)
  • Glaven Shipping: Maritime Sources (Minor Collections)
  • Glaven Shipping: Ship/Crew Lists  (Minor Collections)
  • mutiny, beach men, wrecks and rescues
  • Lifeboat service records, crew and their families
  • Sailing Club
  • Water Frolics, now morphed into Regattas


Port Books

1 NRS Vol. VIII 1587-90 Blakeney, Cley, Wiveton (Cozens Hardy) O

Ship victualling lists

2 NRO Aylsham 158 C 16th Yarmouth OC

3 NRO Aylsham 158 C 16th  Cley OC

NRO MC. 106 17 Port Books (Blake no) (K. Allen)

4 E. 190.471.9 1566 Overseas O

5 E. 190.473.1 1572-73 Overseas & Coastal O

6 E 190.481.4 1600-01 Coastal O

7 E. 190.481.6 1600-01 Overseas O

8 E 190.481.7 1600-01 Coastal O

9 E 190.482.5 1601 Coastal O

10 E 190.484.8 1613-14 Coastal O

11 E 190.485.18 1617-18 Overseas O

12 E. 190.491.6 1638-39 Coastal O

13 E. 190.515.22 1700-01 Overseas OC

14 E. 190.540.1 1725-26 Overseas Customer OC

15 E. 190.540.15 1725-26 Overseas Controller OC

16 E 190.540.3 1725-26 Overseas Searcher OC

17 E. 190.539.8 1725-26 Coastal OC

18 E. 190.541.10 1726 Coastal OC

19 E. 190.585.27 1780-01 Coastal OC

20 E 190.585.4 1780-01 Overseas Searcher  OC

21 E. 190.585 16 1780-01 Coastal OC

22 E. 190.585.22 1780-01 Overseas Controller OC

23 E.110.72.9 1780 Overseas OC


24 Bacon Papers II 1580 Shipping list (names by port) OC

25 (J. Wright) 1508-11 Trade with Newcastle (by port) OC

26 Mason (publication) 1565 Shipping list (totals by port) OC

27 Rye (publication) 1626 Ship provision costs (1 ship) OC

28 Mann’s A/C Books 1869-71 Brig ‘Elizabeth’ & Brig ‘Mary’ (MF Transcription)