Explore the gardens and cliff top scenery to trace the story of St Edmund, Hunstanton’s most famous visitor and first patron saint of England. The story and legend or St Edmund, Hunstanton’s most famous visitor can now be explored by a series of way markers which lead you from the cenotaph in the cliff top gardens to the dramatic cliff top location of St Edmund’s chapel.
St Edmund was born into the Wuffing family (Wuffa was the old English word for a wolf) and was the last of that dynasty which had ruled the Kingdom of East Anglia for over 200 years. He landed in Hunstanton in 855 A.D., and since then Hunstanton has had a long and close association with St Edmund. The story of his arrival in Hunstanton, his time ruling East Anglia, the dramatic story of his eventual martyrdom at the hands of the Vikings and the legendary appearance of a wolf to guard over his severed head can be discovered following the Hunstanton Wolf Trail. Hunstanton’s association with St Edmund were celebrated by Henry Le Strange, when in the 1840’s he proposed his new sea bathing village ‘St Edmunds’. As the town quickly grew it became known as Hunstanton St Edmund’s, retaining this name until 1893 when the new council decided to rename the town ‘New Hunstanton’. The connections with St Edmund live on in road names ‘St Edmund’s Terrace’ and ‘St Edmund’s Avenue’ and he is the patron saint of both the Anglican and Catholic Churches. The Wolf Trail starts at the entrance to the Esplanade Gardens, just a short walk from the Tourist Information Centre. You will find an information board about the story of St Edmund at the start of the trail and the first of six ‘Wolf Trail’ way markers which take you to the site of St Edmunds Chapel, the surrounding gardens and home of the Wolf statue.