Walton Town / Naze Park
The real old village of Walton is now nine miles out to sea on the west rocks, its old church having finally fallen into the sea in 1798. The new town grew in the early 19th century. Today, Walton thrives as a holiday resort.
Walton’s early history is one of a scattered farming community. The old name of Walton-le-Soken (still visible on the Church today) shows that the area once formed a “soke” with its neighbours Kirby and Thorpe. These villages were once owned by the Chapter of St. Paul’s Cathedral and enjoyed special privileges and powers.
Walton was much smaller than Kirby. Coastal erosion meant that much of the land, used for farming, was soon lost to the sea. The old church finally fell victim to the waves around the turn of the 19th Century.
Naze Park Road
Around this time the new town began springing up where we know it today, and Walton become a seaside resort. As the popularity of the seaside increased Walton began to boom. The coming of the railway and the building of the pier allowed travellers to make their way to Walton from the nearby towns. The building of hotels and other amenities gave rise to what might be described as Walton’s Victorian heyday.
Three developers dominate this period in Walton’s History – John Penrice who built the Marine Hotel and the first Pier, John Warner who owned the foundry and built the East Terrace and Peter Bruff who is best known for bringing the railway to Walton in 1867.
Bruff had a grand vision of a Walton connected to Frinton with a tramway along the landscaped cliffs connected to the railway. This was, however, never fully realised, and eventually other projects took him away from Walton.
Today Walton-on-the-Naze retains a strong flavour of its heyday. A recent regeneration project is transforming the high street whilst still maintaining its old charm.
last updated: 11/04/2008 at 14:09
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