with the Christian name Onesiphorus deserves to succeed in life,
for it means "bringing profits".
was certainly true of Onesiphorus Randall, born in Cley on August
11, 1798 and the youngest of five children, On leaving school
he went to London, entered the building trade and subsequently
made his fortune from speculative development.
returning to Norfolk he bought woodlands House in Holt - now
part of Gresham's School - before acquiring Kelling Old Hall
(now ruined) and the associated title of Lord of the Manor.
is, however, not why he is remembered. His local claim to fame
came through his decision to build, about 1860, a castle-like
sructure on Salthouse beach. Just why he did so is not clear
although his reputed penchant for entertaining the ladies has
been suggested as one reason!
of the time show it to be a most unusual structure with double
carriage doors back and front. This enabled Onesiphorus to drive
straight through in order to turn his horse and carriage round
ready to return again through the house and over a bridge which
connected with Beach Road.
building became known as Randalls' Folly although villagers,
because no doubt of the romantic dalliances which took place
there, knew it by a much scaucier and descriptive name!
died in Poplar, London, in November 1873. His "castle"
was bought by the then Board of Trade for use as a coastguard
station. It was subsequently sold off to become a holiday home.
During the 1953 floods it was rendered unsafe and demolished.
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