Picture-postcard village unveils extra boat mooring space
- Credit: Cley Harbour
More modern-day seafarers can now park their vessels in one of north Norfolk’s most scenic villages following the latest phase of an ongoing restoration project.
An extra 55 metres of mooring space for boats has been created on the River Glaven at Cley-next-the-Sea - two years after a permit was originally applied for.
Simon Read, Cley Harbour chairman, said he was delighted this latest chapter in the Cley Old Harbour Restoration Project meant more people could now access the village by sea.
Mr Read said: “It is fantastic to be able to finish the latest stage in the restoration of the harbour and quay in Cley.
“In the last four years, Cley has become a popular destination for visitors by boat from Blakeney and Morston - so much so that we were beginning to run out of room for visitors to moor up.
“The extra mooring space means our visitors can now come ashore and visit the wonderful shops, galleries, café and pubs we have in Cley.”
The works mark a further return to form for the spot which has a long tradition as a safe harbour.
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But Cley’s early seafaring days were not so peaceful - in 1317 the harbour was reported to have been “in the grip of organised gangs of pirates”.
In the 15th and 16th centuries Cley became a thriving port welcoming traders from the Low Countries - a link still reflected today in the Flemish gables seen on buildings around the village.
But the river started to silt up in the 1600s, and the customs house closed in 1853.
The restoration project has been led by volunteers from the Cley Harbour committee as well as Cley Parish Council.
Mr Read said the goal was the restoration and maintenance of the quay and harbour - set in the shadow of Cley Windmill.
He said the works meant the harbour was once again navigable for boats up to 30 feet.
Mel Kemp, also from the Cley Harbour group, said: “It’s fantastic - people can come in by boat, spend money in the village and have a nice time, and then go off again. It makes the village a lot more accessible by boat.”
The works were funded by donations and fundraising events, including Cley Harbour Day and Carols on the Quay.