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Walton on the Naze
Essex UK location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location within Essex
OS grid reference TM246214
Civil parish
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town WALTON ON THE NAZE [1]
Postcode district CO14
Dialling code 01255
Police Essex
Fire Essex
Ambulance East of England
UK Parliament
List of places
51°50′53″N1°16′05″E / 51.848°N 1.268°E / 51.848; 1.268 Coordinates: 51°50′53″N1°16′05″E / 51.848°N 1.268°E / 51.848; 1.268

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 (according to the 2011 census). [2] 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. [3] The name 'Walton' is a common one meaning a 'farmstead or village of the Britons', [4] while 'Soken' denotes the soke (an area of special jurisdiction) that included Thorpe, Kirby and Walton, which were not under the see of London but under the chapter of St Paul's Cathedral.

Walton had a HM Coastguard team and was home to the Thames MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre), organising rescues from Southwold to Herne Bay. It closed in June 2015 [5] as part of a Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) modernisation programme, transferring its operations to a national centre in Fareham on the south coast.

Walton-on-the-Naze railway station is on a branch of the Sunshine Coast Line.

Along the coast there are many fossils to be found. Some rocks are up to 50 million years old. Rocks include red crag and London clay.

The Naze

"Naze" derives from Old English næss "ness, promontory, headland". In 1722 Daniel Defoe mentions the town calling it "Walton, under the Nase". [6]

The Naze is a peninsula north of the town. It is important for migrating birds and has a small nature reserve. The marshes of Hamford Water behind the town are also of ornithological interest, with wintering ducks and Brent geese. Many bird watchers visit at migration times.

The Hanoverian tower (more commonly known as the Naze 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.

Cliff erosion, the overlying Red Crag deposit has eroded faster than the London clay base Uneven cliff erosion - geograph.org.uk - 724951.jpg
Cliff erosion, the overlying Red Crag deposit has eroded faster than the London clay base

Originally, Walton 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. The site of the medieval village of Walton now lies nine miles out to sea; its old church finally succumbed[ clarification needed ] in July 1798. [7] 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 Naze continues to erode rapidly (at about 2 metres per year), [8] threatening the tower and wildlife. The Naze Protection Society was formed to campaign for erosion controls. The Naze has become popular for school fieldwork to investigate erosion and ways to protect the coast. Protection includes a sea wall, a riprap, groynes and a permeable groyne as well as drainage. Millions of tons of sand have been added to the beach to replenish it and stop the cliff eroding. However, the cliff near Naze Tower is greatly eroded. It is receding fast, and within 50 years Naze Tower may tumble into the sea like the pill boxes that can be seen on the beach.

The cliffs themselves are a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), the base of which is London Clay (54 million years old) which is overlaid with a 2-million-year-old sandy deposit of Red Crag. This sandy deposit contains many fossils including bivalve and gastropod shells, sharks' teeth and whale bones. The clay base is considered one of the best sites for pyritised fossils (mainly wood) and for bird bones (which are very rare). [9]


Like the rest of the British Isles, Walton-on-the-Naze has an oceanic climate, with slightly more marine influence than nearby inland areas due to its position on the North Sea coast.

Climate data for Walton-on-the-Naze 1981-2010 averages
Average high °C (°F)6.6
Average low °C (°F)2.1
Average precipitation mm (inches)46.7
Mean monthly sunshine hours 63.288.1121.7192.8222.8227.0224.2222.2161.5123.378.353.51,777.9
Source: Met Office [10]

Walton Pier

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 (91 m), later extended to 800 feet (240 m). The pier was badly damaged in a storm in January 1871. [11] A second pier opened in 1880, which also did not last. [11]

In 1895, the Walton-on-the-Naze hotel and pier company (then owners of the pier) opened a replacement pier 500 ft longer (150 m) than the original. Several extensions have increased the pier's length to 2,600 ft (790 m), 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.

Today, the pier remains a popular attraction, with amusements and funfair rides in a hangar-type building. Beyond this, the pier extends into a promenade popular with anglers.

The Walton and Frinton Lifeboat is moored afloat near the end of the pier.

War memorial

The unusual war memorial commemorates a Halifax crew who all died when they crashed on the Naze. It also has a tribute to Herbert George Columbine, who was awarded the VC and after whom the local leisure centre is named, and a tribute to those lost from HMS Conquest during World War I.[ citation needed ]

Lifeboat house

The old lifeboat house on East Terrace dates from 1884: it now houses the Walton Maritime Museum. It was designed by C H Cooke and is a grade II listed building. [12]

Notable residents


Although the Civil Parish is now shown under Frinton and Walton, an electoral ward in the name of Walton still exists. The population of this ward at the 2011 Census was 4,372. [13]

Cultural references

Walton was the inspiration for the fictional Balford-le-Nez in Elizabeth George's detective story Deception on His Mind.

Hamford Water and the town of Walton-on-the-Naze are the location of Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons series book, Secret Water . [14]

Walton features as a turning point in the song "Tracy Jacks" from the album Parklife by Blur. The song's character, Tracy Jacks, takes "the first train to Walton" and stands "on the seafront". (Three of the band's members grew up in Colchester, from where one can take a train to Walton-on-the-Naze.)

The town is referred to in the episode 'General Hospital' of the Blackadder Goes Forth series. When Lieutenant George is injured and sent to the military infirmary, Captain Blackadder visits him with the ulterior motive of getting his hands on the food sent to George by his family, whom Blackadder refers to as a "collection of inbred mutants". When George retorts that his family are not inbred, Blackadder replies, "Come on, somewhere outside Saffron Walden there's an uncle who's seven feet tall with no chin and an Adam's apple that makes him look as though he's constantly trying to swallow a ballcock!", to which George replies, "I have not got any uncles like that! Anyway, he lives in Walton-on-the-Naze".

The seaside and pier of Walton were referred to briefly in an episode of EastEnders on 3 April 2017. During a scene between Martin and Stacey Fowler, Martin says that his sister Michelle and her friend Rachel took him and his other sister Vicki "down to the seaside, you know. Walton-on-the-Naze." Martin continues to talk about what they did on their trip to Walton. "Paddling, took us up the pier, bit of ice cream, building the sandcastles. The lot." Martin also references that they booked a caravan during their Walton trip, though the specific caravan site is not mentioned.

The first iteration of "The Stig", an anonymous, petrol-guzzling race car driver, created for and featuring in the 'Top Gear' television series, was killed off in 2003 when he accidentally drove [15] "The 'Top Gear' Jag" off the deck of a Royal Navy aircraft carrier. In February 2009, it is revealed he survived the accident when a group of men playing frisbee on Walton-on-the-Naze's Central beach witnessed "The Stig", wearing his iconic black overalls and helmet, emerge from the waves, [16] initially mistake their frisbee for a steering wheel, before turning and running down the beach and disappearing under the Pier.

"Port Walton" is also featured in Assassin's Creed Valhalla as a military base in Essexe, garrisoned by West Saxon troops. The protagonist Eivor attacks the base to free a number of Rollo's warriors, who had earlier been captured in an ambush on their camp by Saxon soldiers.

Related Research Articles

Clacton-on-Sea Human settlement in England

Clacton-on-Sea is the largest town in the Tendring peninsula and district in Essex, eastern England, and was founded as an urban district in 1871. It is a seaside resort that saw a peak of tourists in the summer months between the 1950s and 1970s.

Tendring District Non-metropolitan district in England

Tendring is a local government district in north east Essex, England. It extends from the River Stour in the north, to the coast and the River Colne in the south, with the coast to the east and the town of Colchester to the west. Its council is based in Clacton-on-Sea. Towns in the district include Frinton-on-Sea, Walton-on-the-Naze, Brightlingsea and Harwich. Large villages in the district include St Osyth and Great Bentley.

Frinton-on-Sea Human settlement in England

Frinton-on-Sea is a small seaside town, in the Tendring district of Essex, England. It is part of Frinton and Walton civil parish. In 2018 it had an estimated population of 4837.

Thorpe-le-Soken Human settlement in England

Thorpe-le-Soken is a village and civil parish in the Tendring district of Essex, England located west of Walton-on-the-Naze, Frinton-on-Sea and north of Clacton-on-Sea.

The Naze

The Naze is a headland on the east coast of England. It is on the coast of Essex just north of Blackwater and projects into the North Sea. This area is south of the double estuary of the River Stour and River Orwell at Harwich and just north of the town of Walton-on-the-Naze. It is also the location of the Naze Tower, an 18th century monument.

Sunshine Coast Line

The Sunshine Coast Line is the current marketing name of what originally was the Tendring Hundred Railway Line, a branch off the Great Eastern Main Line in the East of England. It links Colchester to the seaside resorts of Clacton-on-Sea and, via a branch, Walton-on-the-Naze. The line is part of the Network Rail Strategic Route 7, SRS 07.08, and is classified as a London & South East commuter line. Passenger services on the line are currently operated by Greater Anglia.

Peter Schuyler Bruff was an English civil engineer best known for founding the seaside resort town of Clacton on Sea, Essex, and for improving the lives of residents in the Essex towns of Walton-on-the-Naze, Colchester and Harwich, no less than for his important involvement in the planning and construction of the Suffolk railways, the renewal of the Ipswich sewerage system, and the Victorian revival of the Coalport porcelain factory, which he purchased in 1880. By the time of his death in 1900, Peter Bruff had helped turn what had thirty years before been an empty piece of farmland with a beach into the flourishing seaside town of Clacton on Sea.

Frinton and Walton is a civil parish in the Tendring district of Essex, England.

Clacton (UK Parliament constituency) Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom

Clacton is a constituency in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament, containing the town Clacton-on-Sea and also the towns of Frinton-on-Sea and Walton-on-the-Naze. It has been represented since 2017 by Giles Watling of the Conservative Party. It was created in 2010; Douglas Carswell, who was previously the Conservative MP for Harwich, won seat at the general election that year. In 2014, Carswell announced his defection to the UK Independence Party (UKIP); this triggered a by-election in the constituency, which Carswell won with a large majority, becoming UKIP's first elected MP. Carswell retained his seat at the 2015 general election; this was the only constituency won by UKIP at the election. In March 2017, Carswell left UKIP and became an independent MP; he did not stand for re-election in the 2017 general election, and the seat was gained by Watling for the Conservatives.

Weeley railway station

Weeley railway station is on the Sunshine Coast Line, a branch of the Great Eastern Main Line, in the East of England, serving the village of Weeley, Essex. It is 62 miles 78 chains (101.3 km) down the line from London Liverpool Street and is situated between Great Bentley to the west and Thorpe-le-Soken to the east. Its three-letter station code is WEE.

Wivenhoe railway station

Wivenhoe railway station is on the Sunshine Coast Line, a branch of the Great Eastern Main Line, in the East of England, serving the small town of Wivenhoe, Essex. It is 56 miles (90 km) down the line from London Liverpool Street and is situated between Hythe to the west and Alresford to the east. Its three-letter station code is WIV.

Thorpe-le-Soken railway station

Thorpe-le-Soken railway station is on the Sunshine Coast Line, a branch of the Great Eastern Main Line, in the East of England, serving the village of Thorpe-le-Soken, Essex. It is 65 miles 7 chains (104.7 km) down the line from London Liverpool Street. Its three-letter station code is TLS. To the west the preceding station is Weeley and to the east the following stations are Clacton-on-Sea on the single-stop Clacton branch or Kirby Cross on the branch to Walton-on-the-Naze.

Kirby Cross railway station

Kirby Cross railway station is on the Walton branch of the Sunshine Coast Line in the East of England, serving the village of Kirby Cross, Essex. It is 67 miles 55 chains (108.9 km) down the line from London Liverpool Street and is situated between Thorpe-le-Soken to the west and Frinton-on-Sea to the east. Its three-letter station code is KBX.

Frinton-on-Sea railway station

Frinton-on-Sea railway station is on the Walton branch of the Sunshine Coast Line in the East of England, serving the seaside town of Frinton-on-Sea, Essex. It is 68 miles 66 chains (110.8 km) down the line from London Liverpool Street and is situated between Kirby Cross to the west and Walton-on-the-Naze to the east. Its three-letter station code is FRI.

Walton-on-the-Naze railway station

Walton-on-the-Naze railway station is one of the two eastern termini of the Sunshine Coast Line, a branch of the Great Eastern Main Line, in the East of England. It serves the seaside town of Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex. It is 70 miles 15 chains (113.0 km) down the line from London Liverpool Street. Its three-letter station code is WON. The preceding station on the line is Frinton-on-Sea.

Little Clacton Village in Essex, England

Little Clacton is a village and civil parish in the Tendring district, in the county of Essex, England. It is located on the Tendring Peninsular, close to Clacton-on-Sea. The population of the parish at the 2011 census was 2,822.

Kirby Cross Human settlement in England

Kirby Cross is a village in Tendring district, Essex, England. It is situated near to Kirby-le-Soken and Frinton-on-Sea. Historically, Kirby Cross was a hamlet within the parish of Kirby-le-Soken, but since 1934 both settlements have been part of Frinton and Walton civil parish.

Kirby-le-Soken Human settlement in England

Kirby-le-Soken is a small village in the Tendring district of North East Essex, England, which is mainly agricultural, but increasingly residential, near Frinton-on-Sea and Walton-on-the-Naze, in the civil parish of Frinton and Walton. In 2018 it had an estimated population of 1387.

Holland-on-Sea Human settlement in England

Holland-on-Sea is a seaside town in east Essex in England. Located south of the little village of Great Holland and directly north of Clacton-on-Sea, it has bus links to Walton-on-the-Naze and Clacton-on-Sea. It is a short coastal walk down the coastline to Clacton.


  1. The post town name is unhyphenated by Royal Mail. Because only the first 10 characters are given in Mailsort post town lookup tables, the lack of hyphens has the accidental benefit of helping to distinguish unpostmarked mail for WALTON ON THE NAZE from mail addressed to WALTON-ON-THAMES (which is officially hyphenated and has a lookup entry at "WALTON-ON-", though there is no entry for either town at "WALTON ON "). Royal Mail Mailsort Technical website
  2. "Walton-on-the-Naze (Essex, East of England, United Kingdom) - Population Statistics, Charts, Map, Location, Weather and Web Information". www.citypopulation.de. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  3. "History of Walton on the Naze, in Tendring and Essex | Map and description". Visionofbritain.org.uk. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
  4. Mills 1998
  5. "End of an era as Thames Coastguard station in Walton closes down today". East Anglian Daily Times. 5 June 2015. Retrieved 10 August 2020.
  6. Defoe 1927
  7. "Essex - Coast - Walton Town / Naze Park". BBC. 19 July 2005. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
  8. Archived 9 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  9. "Walton-on-the-Naze (Essex)". Discovering Fossils. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
  10. "Walton-on-the-Maze Climate Normals 1981–2010". Met Office. May 2015. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  11. 1 2 Foote Wood, Chris (2008). Walking over the waves: quintessential British Seaside piers. Caithness: Whittles Publishing. ISBN   978-1904445-67-8.
  12. "23 remarkable places listed in 2018". Historic England.
  13. "Walton ward population 2011" . Retrieved 25 September 2015.
  14. David., Fairhall (2013). East Anglian shores. London: Adlard Coles Nautical. ISBN   9781472903426. OCLC   859162120.
  15. "The End of The Stig? | Jaguar vs Jet | Top Gear". YouTube. 26 March 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  16. "Black Stig Returns from the Dead". YouTube. 5 February 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2020.

Further reading

Commons-logo.svg Media related to Walton-on-the-Naze at Wikimedia Commons