Creake’s history in effect spans not more than about three centuries, but in it we may find our historic senses of justice and injustice renewed. The small abbey (most of the walls are still standing but the cloister is now a private garden and cannot be visited) was originally founded as sir Robert de Nerford’s private chapel in 1206 and converted into a hospital in 1217. Its status as an ecclesiastical edifice was confirmed slightly later and from 1231, the King, in the person of Henry III, was Creake’s patron.
I will start by saying I did not even try and approach Dilham because it is a private property. The original fortfified structure was added to, with the resultant edifice being the hall that’s extant today. What I did do was take a look around the general area, and think about the people who started with the constructions here — the 15th century is what background info suggests for the fortifications and the manor/hall-building.
Visiting Hunworth was fun! One really wouldn’t expect to see a glacial escarpment just like the one that is located in the village in Norfolk — at least I didn’t, based on my past experiences. There are cliff-faces and other structures, but this place here heralded back to the when your neighbourly glacier was just about here. Of course, these notes have ignored the castle and its premise, but this ridge made a perfect place for a castle.
Gresham became, moments after arriving there, one of my favourite places in the whole of East Anglia. Not only are we looking at a small wooded enclosure where one can find scattered pieces of masonry all about, this is also a very small — and, therefore, understandable — site.
I can safely say that I won’t say very much about Thornage Hall. Really, I wouldn’t visit it unless one was a keen fan of the Bishops of Norvich (Norvic) and their history as this was an ecclesiastical site. The present building dates to the late 15th century and Bishop James Goldwell.
Warham Camp is quite a spectacular site, even if the place is not quite the same as two millennia ago. It still retains a lot more of the original scope than Bloodgate Hill, and it’s classification as “the best preserved Iron Age fort in East Anglia” makes it a worthwhile place to visit.
There have been very few places I have visited which have been named as ominously as ‘Bloodgate Hill’. This might lead one to think about ritual sacrifices or large-scale battles that took place here, but I really don’t know much about the origin of this name. What I can say is that a review I read of Bloodgate Hill Fort, specifying it as “a place only the keenest of hill fort enthusiasts will find interesting” was probably accurate.
Branodunum is another one of the Saxon Shore forts I have managed to make my way to. I am in very two minds about whether to recommend this place or not to do so. This is, mostly, because the extant fort can be represented by a field. Almost any field, except for the fact that any field will not have had a Roman fort standing there fifteen centuries back. Continue reading “Branodunum, Litus Saxonicum”
I sometimes have the feeling that I end up praising literature too often, and this one here again makes me want to crown this work with all the laurels one could. It’s not even that it’s perfect, but there’s a lot more that ‘This Sceptred Isle’ does well than poorly, and it does so with good style. Frank Bridge’s opening music is a good example; by the end of this series I was definitely humming along every time another chapter started. Continue reading “Review: This Sceptred Isle, Collection 2, Christopher Lee”
This was a delightful history, a lot more complex than I would have expected from my first impressions. There were some good inconsistencies that get promoted quite often (such as “The Unready”) which this series also delightfully corrected. Furthermore, the show included a number of illustrative stories of the time (such as the dialogue between Edward I and Roger Bigod on each others’ rights). Continue reading “Review: This Sceptred Isle, Collection 1, Christopher Lee”