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Weird Norfolk: What lies beneath Organ Beck, Beeston Regis?

PUBLISHED: 09:00 05 January 2019

Organ Beck in Beeston Regis with Beeston Bump and St Andrews Church.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2019

Organ Beck in Beeston Regis with Beeston Bump and St Andrews Church. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2019

Archant 2019

In the shadow of Norfolk’s most famous ‘mountain’ - the aftermath of Norfolk’s glacial legacy – lies a mysterious pond said to the ghostly resting place of a spectral coachman who can be seen driving his horse and cart into its inky depths.

Organ Beck, also known as Orban or Orben Beck, is a quarry pit filled with water on the site of Beeston’s coastal caravan park which can be seen from the stunning Norfolk Coastal Path.

Now lost to the North Sea, Beeston’s brickworks has long since been lost to coastal erosion, the only discernible sign that this was once where bricks were turned out in their thousands being this deep pond which is now itself perilously close to the cliff edge.

The pond is said to take its name from unusual landfill: it is said that the old pump-organ from the local church rests at the bottom of the pond – if, that is, that the pond has a bed: some believe the pit is bottomless and leads only to one destination, that being Satan’s lair.

Beeston’s quarry ceased operation at the outbreak of World War One when the lime kiln on the site was blown up by the army in 1916. It first appears as a pond on maps in 1928 and is now just a stone’s throw from the cliffs, nearby sea defences the only thing between the pond and its return to the sea.

Bill Atkins, a visitor to geograph.org.uk, under a photograph of the beck, said in 2008: “I used to fish there in the 1950s when I lived as a lad by Beeston Common. The name should be Organ Beck; the story being that the original pump-organ from the nearby church lies somewhere in its depths!

“Legend has it that there’s also a horse and cart plus the unfortunate driver ... but rather unlikely I think…In those far-off days the pond was a good 25 metres from the cliff edge but I believe it’s now not far off being emptied into the North Sea, when ... who knows what will come to light at the bottom!

“I remember it being very deep. The sides sloped down rapidly and there was a lot of barbed wire in there from the war.”

The beck is, of course, close to the site of another Weird Norfolk tale, that of the farmer menaced by a hooded spectre which leaps from behind a stone left by a glacier who decided to fight back and lay the ghost to rest by guarding it from his grave for eternity.

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