History of Trimingham
Trimingham is a village and a civil parish in the English county of Norfolk. The village straddles the coastal road between Cromer and Mundesley. The nearest railway station is at Gunton for the Bittern Line which runs between Sheringham, Cromer and Norwich. It is very close to the village of Overstrand and has a small church.
Trimingham Church is called St John the Baptist's Head. This strange dedication to John the Baptists head dates from the medieval period. During this time a life size alabaster head of the saint was kept at the church and pilgrims in this country came to the church to the shrine altar, rather than make the journey to Amiens Cathedral where a relic said to be the real head of John the Baptist was kept. The alabaster head did not survive and although it is unknown what happened to it, it has been suggested that it was probably destroyed by Anglican reformers as a result of the 1538 Injunction against images during the reign of Henry VIII. Another theory is that the head was destroyed as a result of a further injunction which was rigorously imposed in 1547, during the early weeks of the reign of Edward VI. Today an Alabaster head survives in the Victoria and Albert Museum and it is thought that the head at Trimingham was exactly like the head in the museum collection.
To this day, the nearby old Village Hall is called the Pilgrim Shelter as a reminder of Trimingham's past as a site for pilgrimage. The church has a short tower which is thought to be unfinished. It has heavy buttresses on the west elevation which suggests that a fault in the construction of the church may well have been the reasoning for the unfinished tower. The nave to the east cuts around the buttress to embrace it. This peculiarity may be partly the result of a restoration by Thomas Jekyll in the 1850's. Pevsner states in his survey book that Thomas Jekll completely rebuilt the nave of which the most notable feature is the way the tower buttresses on the east side project into the nave. The churches rood screen is very small with four figures on either side of the entrance to the chancel. The figures are St Edmund with his arrow, St Clare with her book of monstrance, St Clement with his anchor and crozier, and St James in his pilgrim's robes. On the south side are St Petronella with her book and keys, St Cecilia with her garland of flowers, St Barbara with her tower and St Jeron with his hawk. The east window of the church is credited to H. Wilkinson and dates from 1825. The window depicts Christ in Majesty flanked by St Michael and St. Gabriel, with the symbols of the four Evangelists surrounding them.
Trimingham is home to RAF Trimingham (RAF Neatishead), a remote air defence radar station shaped like a giant golf ball on the edge of the cliff on the coast road. In November 2006, the Ministry of Defence admitted that the Type 93 radar spinning inside the dome had been out of alignment between November 2005 and February 2006, causing car engines and lights to cut out, and speedometer dials swung up to 150 mph as motorists drove past. Having previously denied problems, the Ministry of Defence said it will consider claims for compensation after an injury found the radar was "out of alignment". A local garage owner who runs the nearest garage at Mundesley, said he dealt with 30 calls over a couple of months.
Trimingham has a secluded beach that is popular with surfers, jet skiers, dog walkers and night-fishermen. It is reached by a steep one-vehicle only road accessed via a lane at the Ingleside. The cliff face at Trimingham has the youngest chalk in the United Kingdom and it is possible to collect shells, bivalves, crinoids and oysters from here. The chalk has been prevented from washing out to see although it remains very dirty and poorly exposed.
The village has a football team called the Trimingham Pilgrims.
Trimingham was once served by Trimingham railway station on the Norfolk and Suffolk Joint Railway between Cromer and North Walhsam. It was closed in 1953.