Month: January 2014

Coasting: Beeston Regis – Farmer Reynolds peculiar grave

A bit of a Norfolk folktale, a ghost story of sorts. The stone pictured above is the slightly unconventional grave of farmer James Reynolds and latterly his wife Anne. The tale goes that two stones stood either side of the path beside the church wall, James would often drive his cart along there of an evening, around the stones an apparition in a grey hood presumably a local monk rather than on of the Beeston Regis hip-hop fashion loving youngsters, would jump out and try and take the horses reigns. James doubtless conjecturally a stout Norfolk yeoman was unperturbed...

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Before the NHS…

I’ve microblogged before about this on Flickr using some family photos that belonged to my mother which you can see scattered about this page. The Health Service is quite important in our family, This was particularly true for my mother, who was involved from the start at the sharp end. This is mostly about her and for her, because I’m proud of her for what she did and how she did it, it’s an important facet of our family story. Grace Margaret Parr was born in a two-up two-down in Cowper Road in Cambridge of working-class stock. Her father...

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Bixley – the lost village

Bixley barely exists as a place, not far from the A146, it is now largely a track to a church which until relatively recently served the rural surroundings and a diminishing population. The last human connections are the graveyard and the landscape itself which still contains 3D echoes of what was once here. The site of the village is about three miles south of Norwich, nestled up in the elbow between the B1332 and that A146. Very close to Arminghall. The church itself is interesting as it has the very long and unusual saints name Wandregesilius, a 7th century...

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Norman for Norfolk: Horsford

It’s surprising when you look at the surrounding area close to Norwich quite how much there is in quite dense groups, we’re ringed with hidden areas that aren’t well signposted or in some cases even acknowledged, often overshadowed by other things, there’s barrows near Venta Icenorum and Arminghall that are largely ignored, being partly under a dual carriageway in an area full of rich pickings, Deserted Medieval Villages (DMVs) church ruins and old priories abound. Horsford isn’t famed for it’s locale especially, a satellite village tidily tucked between the Cromer and Holt Roads it’s quite easy to forget. It...

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Lost in a Landscape: Horsford Forest

I like to get out, occasionally with a target in mind, sometimes just to wander. This is one of the various places in Norfolk which involves bronze age barrows; ancient cemeteries lost in the landscape, with a nice ancient heath and a possible medieval postmill/barrow conundrum. Salthouse was the intention on this particular trip as it has a nice obvious batch of them, but due in part to the amount of activity after the helicopter crash I’d written it off for a few weeks and quite fancied maybe trying to catch them in snow if we ever get any....

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Vanishing points: The Sad Angel of Kemmel

The French Memorial. She sits next to a steep road in a cup in the trees, standing a fair way up the slopes of the mount on a clutch burning incline. Known as Mont Kemmel, Mount Kemmel or Kemmelburg depending on your nationality, all of them held it a one point or another between 1914 and 1919. It sits in Heuvelland in Western Flanders, not far from the French border below Ypres on the bottom of the Salient. The memorial commemorates the French who lived and died here defending this vantage point after April 1918, when the German Army...

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Lost in a Landscape: Warham Camp

Warham camp is the best known and best preserved iron age hill forts in Norfolk. Hills aren’t that popular in Norfolk, we like our sky to go right up to the edges of everything whenever possible, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist, if you think they don’t you must be confusing us with the fens, those are flat. That said this and Bloodgate Hill aren’t exactly Maiden Castle, Dorset we aren’t, but it does still sit neatly on an area of high ground or ‘a hill’ if you like. In fact it sits on the edge of the...

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Lost in a landscape: Bromholm Priory

A bit of a hidden wonder, Bromholm or Broomholm Priory also known as Bacton Abbey sits on a piece of farmland just off the coast road as you enter Bacton from the Mundesley end. The Priory is situated on private land, the main surviving gate at the top of a row of cottages, what remains of both the gatehouse and the Priory itself reveals a rather impressive building somewhere back in the past. The Priory was Clunic, founded in 1113 by William de Glanville, a pesky Norman, the then lord of Bacton. It was built on a Holm, presumably...

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Coasting: Kelling Hard and Salthouse

The weather opened up and glimmered for 24 hours in between the crushing Atlantic low we seem to have chained together coming at us at the moment, so we went for a wander along the shingle between Kelling and Salthouse, a favourite spot of ours, excluding the dog whose knees can no longer cope with the moving surface. I’ve written about and recorded this stretch of coast a fair bit and presented it on Flickr in the past; it’s an interesting bit of edge for the geologically and geographically minded and has a lot of history layered into it...

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