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The Picture of Yarmouth: 200 Years of Built Heritage


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The Picture of Yarmouth: 200 Years of Built Heritage has taken 25 buildings in Great Yarmouth described in John Preston’s original book of 1820 and looks at what has happened to them since, with illustrations from the original book and modern photographs.


In January 1820, John Preston, Comptroller of His Majesty’s Customs in Great Yarmouth, published The Picture of Yarmouth, an illustrated account of the public establishments in the town. This book became an important historical and cultural reference for Great Yarmouth. His words have resonated down the centuries and the book’s illustrations have been constantly reproduced in other works and adorn the walls of both homes and hotels in Great Yarmouth even today.

In 2018, the Great Yarmouth Local History and Archaeological Society was successful in its bid to the Heritage Fund to commemorate the bi-centennial of its publication. This book is one of the outcomes of that project.

The Picture of Yarmouth: 200 Years of Built Heritage looks at the buildings that Preston described and illustrated in his original book that still remain today, and some sites that have not survived, as well as exploring the built heritage of the town post-Preston. While there are many buildings that deserved inclusion, these have been chosen by popular vote by the people of Great Yarmouth. They range from iconic buildings and spaces that epitomise the development of the town as a mass tourist destination in the early and mid-20th century, to modern functional structures that reflect Yarmouth’s future economic aspirations.


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