Hear story of the sailor killed by a pirate, and buried in churchyard

PUBLISHED: 15:11 23 October 2016 | UPDATED: 15:11 23 October 2016

Yarmouth tombstones  heritage walk

Yarmouth tombstones heritage walk


A brave sailor killed by a notorious pirate, an orphan minstrel who busked across Canada, and men who created landmark buildings in the Great Yarmouth area are among the hundreds of people buried in the town’s churchyard.

And a special guided walk will bring their fascinating stories to life again.

They include David Bartleman, the master of a ship crewed by 10 men and boys whose gravestone says he “nobly defended himself” against the 100-man cutter of pirate John Fall in January 1781.

Bartleman “fairly beat him off”, but was wounded in a second attack which left mate Daniel MacAuley “expiring with the loss of blood”. And, despite bringing his shattered ship home to Great Yarmouth “with more than the honours of a conqueror”, Bartleman also died from his wounds aged 25 days later.

Other tales from the tombstones during the special walk on Friday, October 28 include:

George Gilbert, a circus act horseman who was behind the creation of the Hippodrome Circus. He also served his community as a councillor. Thomas Sutton, who died at the top of Yarmouth’s Nelson’s monument in 1819 – from a heart attack, not, as some stories reported, jumping after seeing Britannia facing the wrong way. James Beeching – a Yarmouth boatbuilder who designed the first self-righting lifeboat.

The walk, led by local guide Len Vincent, and which lasts one and a half to two hours, is a special autumn event in the series of heritage walks. It starts at the Fisherman’s Hospital Gates, Yarmouth Market Place and finishes with refreshments inside the Minster. Tickets £6.50 adults, £4 children, U7s free.

For details or to book, call Great Yarmouth Tourist Information Centre on 01493 846346 or log onto

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