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It is approximately 23 miles (37 km) north of the county city of Norwich, 116 miles (187 km) north-northeast of London and 4 miles (6.4 km) east of Sheringham on the North Sea coastline.
Shortly after one raid, Cromer featured as the location for an episode of An American In England, written by Norman Corwin with the narrator staying in the Red Lion Hotel and retelling several local accounts of life in the town at wartime.
The place-name 'Cromer' is first found in a will of 1262 There are other contenders for the derivation, a north-country word 'cromer' meaning 'a gap in the cliffs' or less likely a direct transfer from a Danish placename.
It is reasonable to assume that the present site of Cromer, around the parish church of Saints Peter and Paul, is what was in 1337 called Shipden-juxta-Felbrigg, and by the end of the 14th century known as Cromer.
The civil parish has an area of 4.66 km The town has given its name to the Cromerian Stage or Cromerian Complex, also called the Cromerian, a stage in the Pleistocene glacial history of north-western Europe.
Cromer is not mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086.