Review: This Sceptred Isle: The Dynasties, Christopher Lee

Rating: 5 out of 5

It was very easy for me to pick up another volume of ‘This Sceptred Isle’ as I absolutely adored the general historical collections I went through earlier this year. The one doubt I had was to do with this one’s name: “Dynasties”. I thought that though the Plantagenets and Windsors have their charms, it might not be that interesting. Firstly, I was mistaken — this deals with the common(er) dynasties (and the people who have actually been influential), and secondly, it was very interesting indeed to go through the stories of so many families. Continue reading “Review: This Sceptred Isle: The Dynasties, Christopher Lee”

Binham Priory

I never expected to be visiting Binham but it was on the way. Or, rather, what I saw from the window of my car was that a ruined structure was rising up from the horizon on my right so I decided to stop and go for a walk. It’s a mighty sight to behold, and my poor camera’s representation of it is such: Continue reading “Binham Priory”

Creake Abbey

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.

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Dilham Hall

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.

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Hunworth Castle

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.

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Gresham 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.

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Thornage Hall

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.

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Warham Camp

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.

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Bloodgate Hill Fort

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.

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