Boundary Stables in Nelson’s County

Boundary Stables in Nelson’s County



Boundary Stables, in the little seaside village of Happisburgh, is a cluster of one-storey, dog-friendly holiday cottages, with private courtyards and facilities for guests with limited mobility. Whether your holiday is about peace and quiet, outdoor activity, or an exploration of towns and villages, you might be interested in a few significant Norfolk personalities from history.


There have been so many noteworthy people born in Norfolk – for example, Sir James Paget (1814-1899), the surgeon who identified, and gave his name to, Paget’s disease. Paget was born in Great Yarmouth, and the James Paget Hospital, in nearby Gorleston, is named after him. Edith Cavell (1865-1915), a nurse from Swardeston, is celebrated for her courageous acts of humanity during WWI, which resulted in her execution; a primary school in Norwich is named in her honour.


Charles Townsend (1674-1738), 2nd Viscount Townsend, was an English politician, who served as Secretary of State for the Northern Department, which later became the Home Office. He began and ended his life at Raynham Hall, near Fakenham. Despite his many years of service to the government, under the leadership of his brother-in-law, Sir Robert Walpole, ‘Turnip Townsend’, as he became known, is perhaps best remembered for his contribution to agricultural development, through his promotion of the Norfolk four-course crop rotation system.


Raynham Hall, near Fakenham, about 38 miles from Happisburgh, is now owned by Charles George Townsend, 8th Marquess Townsend. Arrangements for visits to this lovely stately home can be made by emailing or by telephoning 01328 862 133.


Turnip Townsend’s second wife, Dorothy, was the sister of Sir Robert Walpole (1676-1745), 1st Earl of Orford, who held the position of First Lord of the Treasury from 1721 to 1742, and is considered to be the first de facto Prime Minister of Great Britain. Sir Walpole, who was born in Houghton, near King’s Lynn, was the first great leader of the Whigs, a political party that supported a constitutional monarchy – where the powers of a sovereign must be exercised within the parameters of an established legal framework – in contrast to the dictatorship of an absolute monarchy.


Investment in the successful South Sea Company made Sir Walpole a very wealthy man, allowing him to build his mansion, Houghton Hall, which is now owned by a descendant of Sir Walpole, the 7th Marquess of Cholmondeley. In 1955, an old library book was discovered at Houghton Hall, borrowed by Robert Walpole’s father, Colonel Robert Walpole, in 1667; it was 288 years overdue!


Mary Anne Suckling, daughter of Walpole’s sister, Mary Turner, was the grandmother of Norfolk’s most famous son, Admiral Horatio Nelson. Mary Anne’s daughter, Catherine, was Horatio’s mother, and her son, Captain Maurice Suckling, was responsible for his nephew’s early nautical training. The baby Horatio was named after Horatio Walpole, who was the son of Robert Walpole’s younger brother, also named Horatio.


Nelson (1758-1805) was born in Burnham Thorpe, and was educated at Paston Grammar School, North Walsham, and at King Edward VI’s Grammar School in Norwich. When King George III received the news that Nelson had been killed at the Battle of Trafalgar, in which Britain was victorious, the king said, “We have lost more than we have gained.”

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