Facts About Walton
Walton-on-the-Naze is a small town in Essex, England, on the North Sea coast in the Tendring District. It is north of Clacton and south of the port of Harwich. It abuts Frinton-on-Sea to the south and is part of the parish of Frinton and Walton. It is a resort town, with a population of 12,054. The town is in the civil parish of Frinton and Walton. It attracts many visitors, The Naze being the main attraction. There is also a pier. The parish was earlier known as Eadolfenaesse and then as Walton-le-Soken. The name ‘Walton’ is a common one meaning a ‘farmstead or village of the Britons’, while ‘Soken’ denotes the soke that included Thorpe, Kirby and Walton, which were not under the see of London but under the chapter of St Paul’s Cathedral.
The Hanoverian tower at the start of the open area of the Naze was a sea mark to assist ships on this otherwise fairly featureless coast. It is now privately owned and open to visitors. Originally, Walton-on-the-Naze was a farming village situated miles inland. Over the centuries a large extent of land has been lost to the sea due to coastal erosion. Its last service was held on 22 July 1798. This loss of land to the sea is recorded on a Canon’s stall in St Paul’s Cathedral with the inscription Consumpta per Mare.
The original pier was built in 1830, one of the earliest in the country. It was built for landing goods and passengers from steamers and was originally 300 ft long, later extended to 800 feet. The pier was badly damaged in a storm in January 1871. A second pier opened in 1880, which also did not last. In 1895, the Walton-on-the-Naze hotel and pier company opened a replacement pier 500 ft longer than the original.
Several extensions have increased the pier’s length to 2,600 ft, the third-longest in the UK. When the new pier opened in 1895, an electric tramway was installed to take passengers from the steamers to the front of the pier. This was in use until 1935 when it was upgraded to a battery-powered carriage. In 1945 fire damaged the pier, and the carriage was replaced by a diesel locomotive train. This was removed during the 1970s.