Near Surlingham On The Yare
Photographer: Jennings, Payne (1843 - 1926)
Medium: Photographic print
“...The wherry is peculiar to Norfolk waters. It is a kind of barge of great carrying capacity, frequently stowing cargo of the dead weight of from 25 to 30 tons. One huge wherry, the 'Wanderer,' has been laden with as much as 75 tons of wheat. Usually they are from 45 to 55 feet long, with a beam of from 10 to 12 feet. The mast is stepped extremely far forward, and can be lowered or raised at any time by means of a chain and winch. From the heel of the mast to within ten feet of the stern is her enormous hold, and aft of the hold the little cabin in which the two men live, cook, sleep, &c. They only draw from 2 ft. 9 to 3 ft. 6 of water, and it is claimed for them that in skillful hands they will sail nearer the wind than any other vessel under the sun. They carry only one huge tanned sail; but in light winds supplement this by hoisting the sail as high as possible, and lacing a 'bonnet' along the foot, which gives them an extra four feet of height to their sail, and a proportionately greater rate of speed.”
This is the second of 12 views published in 'Photographs of Norfolk Broads and Rivers' by Victorian photographer Payne Jennings. The letterpress description above by Ernest R. Suffling accompanies Plate LXXXIX from the second edition of ‘Sun Pictures of the Norfolk Broads' which was published by Jennings in 1892.