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Wroxham, River Bure

Wroxham, often called Capital of the Broads, is where holiday boat hire on the Broads first became popular. By 1937 Blakes Ltd of London were agents for thirty Norfolk Broads boat owners.

The first bridge linking Wroxham to Hoveton was built of wood in 1596, it was replaced by brick in 1614 and rebuilt in 1897.The arch is semi-circular with only 7 ft 3 ins ( 2.2 mtrs ) headroom at average highwater so many boatyards now insist on a pilot to take boats through.

Due to the high volume of traffic it was declared unsafe in the late 1960's. A steel structure was laid over the top and a separate walkway built for pedestrians. This was supposed to be a temporary measure until a town by-pass was built, 40 years later the town is still waiting.

A new footbridge was opened in 2002 so it looks like they may have an even longer wait.

Hoveton is the home of Roys of Wroxham who advertise themselves as " The Worlds Largest Village Store " they occupy most of the shopping area around the crossroads.

Wroxham Bridge 1904


J Loynes boatyard is on the left, John Loynes was the founder of the boat hire industry, creating the boatyard in 1883, the yard is still there trading as Faircraft-Loynes and Broads Tours as part of The Funnell Group Ltd.

Wroxham Bridge 2005


Note the new footbridge opened in 2002, the " Hotel Wroxham " is on the right



A tranquil Edwardian scene, the ladies in the rowing boat are wearing their Sunday best and large hats.

a pleasure Wherry leaving Wroxham c1912


A pleasure Wherry leaving Wroxham, the hirers are at the helm while the two man crew attend the sails.

Hoveton can be seen in the background.

Wroxham Bridge, River Bure 2004


The same view as above, day boats are for hire and the shops of Hoveton are in the background.

Wroxham Bridge. J Loynes boatyard. c1920


J Loynes boatyard on the left looks a lot busier.

Wroxham Bridge pm1925


Boats near Wroxham Bridge c1950


The crew of a motor cruiser get ready to pass under the bridge.

Wroxham Bridge and Roys warehouse pm1961


The dark building near the bridge is Roys of Wroxham warehouse

Wroxham Bridge and J Powles boatyard pm1962


The boatyard on the right belonged to J Powles and Co Ltd now the site of Hotel Wroxham, shopping precinct and car park.

Wroxham Bridge 1992. Broads Tours day boats on the left, the site of the old J Loynes yard


Broads Tours day boats on the left, the site of the old J Loynes yard.

Wroxham foot and road bridge 2005


A close up of the bridge showing the 1960's steel structure over the old bridge and the 2002 foot bridge.

Wroxham bridge from upstream. pm1909


View from upstream showing the bridge and A. Throwers boatyard. A sign on the shed offers launches and boats for hire and a trip on the broad for 6d ( 2.5 new pence ), probably Bridge Broad.

Wroxham bridge from upstream 1954


Above the bridge, Broads Tours trip boats moored over the river and Roys warehouse on the left the other side of the bridge.

wroxham bridge from upstream. 2003


Broads Tours have moved and their buildings are now a restaurant, houses and holiday apartments have been built where A.Throwers yard was and the other side of the bridge.

Hoveton, Wroxham c1935


View from the bridge of Hoveton, Wroxham. Roys of Wroxhams art deco style shop front can be seen in the background. The restaurant on the centre right is now an amusement arcade and cafe..

Hoveton, Wroxham 1992 from the bridge


Hoveton, Wroxham from the bridge. The main building of Roys of Wroxham was destroyed by a fire in 1995 but has been rebuilt.

Roy Brothers store. c1900


Arnold and Alfred Roy's first store was opened in Coltishall in 1895, it was very successful and they opened stores in Horning, Potter Heigham and, in 1899, Hoveton, Wroxham. The stores other than Wroxham are all closed now, the one in Lower Street Horning is now a quality gift shop after being a supermarket for a number of years.

After the deaths of Arnold and Alfred in the early 1950's, the business passed to Alfred's children and Mr Fred Roy became Chairman and Managing Director. In 1980 Mr Brian Godfrey became Managing Director. Fred Roy suffered an untimely death on Christmas Eve 1994 and his brother Mr Peter Roy was appointed to follow him as Chairman. Following in the family tradition, Peter Roy's sons, Paul and Edward are now Directors of the company too. The company has 4 other stores in Norfolk and Suffolk.

From Wroxham Bridge upstream. pm1962


Looking upstream from bridge, Broads Tours trip boats moored on the left, the firm was founded in 1935 by Charles Hannaford. David Dane, the Broadland artist, worked as a tour guide and pilot on these boats before he became well known. Over the river is the Kings Head pub staithe.

Wroxham staithe from the bridge. 2005


Looking upstream from the bridge, Wroxham staithe in the background, houses have been built on the left and the Kings Head covered staithe has gone.

Looking downstream from Wroxham Bridge. pm1904


Looking downstream from bridge, J. Loynes boatyard on the right

Wherry leaving Wroxham c1910


View downstream from bridge, Wherry leaving Wroxham

View from Wroxham Bridge downstream. 2004


View downstream from bridge, houses and holiday apartments have been built on the boatyards.

From Wroxham Bridge. c1950


From Wroxham bridge view downstream, Jack Powles and Co Ltd boatyard in the background.

From Wroxham Bridge. 1992


View point the same as above. Broads Tours day boats and holiday apartments are now on the site of the J Loynes boatyard. Jack Powles yard has gone.

Wroxham Bridge. c1910


A Wherry under sail makes its way from Wroxham while a steam launch makes its way upstream.

Yarmouth Boat arriving at Wroxham. c1910


The S.S. Queen of the Broads arriving at Wroxham from Yarmouth. She made the return trip every weekday from June to September carrying up to 180 passengers. Built at Critton's Yard in Great Yarmouth in 1889 she was 74 feet long and 13 feet wide, her draft was 5 feet. Considering 8 berth cruisers for hire now are 42 feet by 12 feet its hard to imagine 180 people on board! She was withdrawn and broken up in 1976.

Yachts, from Wroxham Bridge. pm1907


View towards Wroxham from the Earnest Collins boatyard. The yard closed with many others in the 1980's

Bure Court Hotel, Wroxham, Norfolk Broads. pm1972


The Bure Court Hotel, Wroxham. Built as a private house around 1940, it has now been vastly extended and is once again a private residence.

The Beehive, Wroxham. c1970


The Beehive shop, downstream from the bridge was a favourite venue for ice cream and sweets. Sadly its no longer there.

Close up of the Beehive shop. 1966


Close up of the ' Beehive ' shop, the house was the home of Mr Brinkhoff of the Barnes-Brinkcraft boatyard.

Wroxham Broad, Norfolk Broads. pm1906


Wroxham Broad downstream on the River Bure

Wroxham Broad. pm1909


Wroxham Broad is still home to the sailing club today and they hold regular events and regattas.

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