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Cultural heritage

The interaction over millennia between people living in and using the area and their environment, overlain on the fundamental geology and landforms, has formed the areas unique qualities of natural beauty that we see today.

Illustration for Cultural heritage

Evidence for people living in and using the area goes back thousands of years, even hundreds of thousands in rare cases, and archaeological sites and landscape features record this interaction over the centuries since the Bronze Age.

The Norfolk Coast contains a large numbers of sites of historic and archaeological significance - and the landscape itself is part of the historic environment. Use the Norfolk Heritage Explorer to find out about these - it also covers the rest of Norfolk!

Cultural heritage designations

Within the AONB, there are:

59 Scheduled Monuments
6 Historic Parks and Gardens
42 Conservation Areas (part of almost all settlements)
Numerous Listed Buildings!

You can find out more about historic environment designations in the Conservation Designations summary appendix to the current AONB Management Plan.

See our designations page for access to mapping for some designations, through MAGIC mapping.


What the AONB Management Plan says...

See the 20 year vision, objectives and policies for the built and historic environment from the 2014-19 AONB Management Plan

Read the introduction and key issues from the built and historic environment section of the 2014-19 AONB Management Plan

Cultural associations

The quality of light and landscapes has long attracted artists to capture the area's timeless tranquillity, and its unique character and atmosphere has been recorded and used as a setting by writers. A brief summary of some of these can be found in an extract from the 1995 Countryside Commission publication 'The Norfolk Coast Landscape; an assessment of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty'.

Probably the most famous historical association, amongst many, is the birthplace of Admiral Nelson at Burnham Thorpe.