The pre William and his Norman Conquerors (1066 AD) history of England is surprisingly murky, especially considering the riches of ancient earthworks and civilisations with advanced technical skills. Trying to look into the past of Norfolk and Suffolk is somehow even murkier – like its coastal rivers, estuaries and famous reed marshlands of the Broads. …
Gorleston is an ancient village. Parts of Gorleston-On-Sea are so antiquated they even had an impressively large Augustinian priory but now there is virtually no physical evidence of its existence left above the surface.
Another missing Medieval antiquity was the centuries old St Clement’s stone Cross, appropriately the tanner’s and fisherman’s Patron Saint. The Crucem Clementij monument was mentioned in a 1597 Latin manuscript, when Elizabeth I was Queen of England and the House of Tudor’s rule would soon be coming to an end.
There was a significant religious St Bennett’s Cross situated in old Gorleston. Its location or at least the remains of this antiquity, marked on older Ordnance Survey Maps beside St Andrew’s Church roundabout on the Church Lane and Church Road corner.
St Bennett’s stone Cross, also spelt St Benett’s, was drawn on OS maps into at least the 1950’s. There were other very old and large stone Crosses in Gorleston Parish.
Maps show St Bennett’s Cross and Stone Cross roundabout (old White Horse roundabout). But where was St Clement’s Cross, the appropriate Mariner’s Cross?
The presence of other stone crosses, maybe even 2 or 3 more, perhaps have existed. Or might just be local folklore getting a bit mixed up and creating that strange phenomena of doubling up events or doppelgänger tales we puzzlingly find so often in ancient accounts of historical episodes. Yet Gorleston’s repeated myths are only a few centuries old.