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...

Vanishing point: Courcelette

I've been fortunate at times out on the front, walking the levelled trenches, across the flattened shell holes and in the regrown woods. You meet people, some you know via the curious world of social media, shared interests in a shared space...

Lost in a landscape: Barton Turf

It rained, my god how it rained. A bank holiday hex hanging over Easter. And typically the patterns of various occupations in one household left me on my own staring at a refracted sodden world as the cars trundling along Aylsham Road under a lead...

Lost in a landscape: Burying kings – Sutton Hoo

There is probably no finer Anglo-Saxon timescape in East Anglia,  you are so directly in touch with a hauntingly beautiful landscape and can feel the significance of what you can see in front of you with only the most basic of knowledge. It is...

Lost in a landscape: Hainford All Saints

Not everything is as it seems, and as you drive towards Hoveton from Hainford there is one of those odd little places, this is All Saints Church, it's separated from the uncentred village as it stands today, but isn't the site of a deserted...

The long walk

Not the most thrilling set of photographs, but the one above shows how a field with some lumps in it, tells a story or doesn't. And of course it also tells how history is there, I'm just the princess who knows where that particular pea is under...

Lost in a landscape: Godwick DMV

  There are literally, really, honestly hundreds of these sites in Norfolk, I'll do a post on them eventually. This one is one of my favourites; it's remote, a bit hidden up and not exactly populated by other wanderers. The vast majority of these...

Lost in a Landscape: Wayland Wood

There is a darkness in woodland, hiding in the shade of the green canopy, something that retracts in the sunlight in the corner of your vision, beyond the growing and shrinking of the shadows with each revolution of the earth on its tipping axis....

Coasting: Caister

March 2013, a scouring North Easterly for a few weeks changed the profile of Caister (and Hopton) beaches, revealing some secrets that haven't been seen for a decade or so, estimates indicate losses of between five and ten feet of sand, most of...

Dead cities: RAF Swannington

RAF Swannington, known locally as RAF Haveringland, either way it's a little Gem, I spent the best part of a blisteringly hot afternoon messing around on the edges of an all but invisible Second World War airfield. It's just there, lost in the...

Lost in a Landscape: Weeting pathways

We've been here before. Scrambling about in the past and the past is somehow where this piece of Breckland always feels like it is frozen. We took our children to run around the ridges around the holes in the landscape and down into the belly of...

Vanishing Point: High Wood

The way to start these things is difficult sometimes so here is a Piece of Mackintosh, not perhaps his best poem, but he can sum up the general situation in the area of High Wood better than I can. He knows what it was like because he was there in...

Lost in a Landscape: St Theobald

In 1982 we were starting sixth form, it's an odd piece of territory that whole mid-teen bit of the timeline. One chunk of life you are used to, the uniformity and structure of school lessons ends, then there's a summer of free fall. Suddenly...

Lost in a landscape: Ditchingham – an eye for an eye

Ditchingham sits just North of the Norfolk Suffolk Border. It is to all intents and purposes a suburb of Bungay albeit in a different county and on the other side of a main road. The town and its satellite village sit on the edge of the gentle...

Lost in a landscape: Thompson – Below the glacier.

When I was at school we had a teacher called Peter 'Percy' Williams, he primarily taught geography. At first he hammered it into our small and stupid heads; over those first three years he gradually worked out which ones of us were holding the...

Dead Cities: Deopham Green

RAF Deopham Green, latterly home to 452nd Bombardment Group (Heavy), becoming USAAF designation Station 142*. The group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses as part of the Eighth Air Force's strategic bombing campaign. This is a remnant of the North Runway...

Lost in a landscape: Little Snoring

When you drive you travel along the edges of things, where modern life has built a wall along the edge of the land, the tall banks, berms and tree lines of the A roads and motorways where the litter and pieces of spent tyre lie in the dust. The...

Vanishing Point: Carnoy to Montauban

I'm not far from here now. Sitting in a hotel room on a laptop, watching a dubbed film which was bad enough in English in the first place. So I thought I'd start work. Carnoy is just to the South West of Albert in the Somme region, maybe five miles...

Trench Ghosts part 5 – The Somme – High Wood and Courcelette

A couple of ones that nearly got away, I forgot I'd done the High Wood one until a few minutes ago when someone asked so this makes sense. The Courcelette one is appropriate for today (15th September 1916/2016) High Wood © Nick Stone 2016...

Vanishing Point – Langemark

Langemark is I feel one of the most desolate corners of the Western front. As I mentioned in another piece on Vladslo there is something so desperately bleak and sad about German cemeteries. They don't lack in any of the respectfulness of the loss...

Vanishing point: Berlin Sap

It looks like a field, because it is a field, one that slopes gently up to a low ridge, 60 metres at its highest point, best appreciated either from a mile or so back in the open areas behind the old line. It looks like nothing much, close up it is...

Vanishing points: The Sad Angel of Kemmel

The French Memorial at Kemmel. 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...

Lost in a landscape Hardingham – four crosses

There's a sort of axis of travel in everyone's existence, roads that we travel often at various times that become embedded into us a part of our journey through life. Well worn paths that aren't exactly desire lines, they are the things that link...

Vanishing Point: Dartmoor – father and son

There's a focus, out there. You'll see it in most cemeteries on the old front. The famous dead, the men, and boys who achieve some infamy by dint of their bravery, age or circumstances. Sometimes it's a footballer who scored big in 1912 before...

Lost in a Landscape: Walsingham and the wolves

I have a book on Norfolk abbeys and friaries, a junk shop finds years ago, dating from the 1950s and is extraordinarily complete for a slim tome, Just enough background on everything to get you started without too much detail to confuse, small...

Lost in a landscape: Worstead

  I was looking for something else, I didn't actually find what I was after, because of gates and no access signs and the sound of people murdering wildlife in Westwick woods, but as I pootled down another dead end this vista was there, so I hopped...

Lost in a Landscape: Little Hautbois

Another desertion. The photograph below was taken looking very roughly South at the present day situation of Little Hautbois; Little more than a row of houses just off the B1150, set in Pretty Farmland, it still just about clings on to its...

Coasting: Lost lands – West Runton

Another one of my favourite bits of Norfolk coast, lots of reasons; my childhood, our children played here, I spent a lot of my teens mooching about between the slipway with Vodka and the Village Inn with beer, staggering up to Roman Camp to doss...

Lost in a Landscape: Bawsey – the Church on the hill

It seemed rude not to, I've been driving past Bawsey for far too long, so on a trip to Derbyshire to drink and take in a band (Phantogram) with my Nephew Rich, I made an attempt to stop. In fact I had two attempts at it, Sundays' mission was...

Vanishing points: Mining the front – Messines 1917

The anniversary of the massive mining attack passed at 3.10am on Saturday the seventh of June, ninety-seven years since. This year rather overshadowed by the 70th anniversary of D-Day on the sixth of June and justly so. But this is one of those...

Lost in a landscape: Little Witchingham

There's a sea of barley, the horizon a shadowed thin night cloud line of trees. In the late afternoon heat this far from the coast there's no wind, no air sucked in by the heated land to move the thorned tops. Everything is calm. The summer hasn't...

Ghost Airfields of WW2: Part 2

Second in the series, again a simple trick, sticking an aerial photo on a Google map, Maps eh, what's not to like. A selection here from the fair scatter across Norfolk, more to follow eventually. The Ghost above is from a series of photos which...

LOST IN A LANDSCAPE

Hidden corners, holloways, tracks, and desertion in the deep landscape.

Lost in a landscape: Barton Turf

It rained, my god how it rained. A bank holiday hex hanging over Easter. And typically the patterns of various occupations in one household left me on my own staring at a refracted sodden world as the cars trundling along Aylsham Road under a lead grey sky. I went...

Lost in a Landscape: Scottow

Memory has a strange tonal range, there are sparks of colour in between the washes of grey and flat spots of black or white. I have a very distinct memory of first learning to ride a bike. Oddly for some reason that escapes me it wasn’t at the hands of a parent...

Lost in a Landscape: Stratton Strawless

There is this thing were you travel through a landscape, passing things, that have become lost, part of the blur of the countryside, the unnoticed facets of a landscape which sit just back, away from our arterial routes cut as they are by human traffic. It’ is also...

Lost in a Landscape: Wayland Wood

There is a darkness in woodland, hiding in the shade of the green canopy, something that retracts in the sunlight in the corner of your vision, beyond the growing and shrinking of the shadows with each revolution of the earth on its tipping axis. Beyond the sterility...

Lost in a Landscape: Trunch

There’s a lot in a name, Trunch has one that doesn't fit in in Norfolk, or in fact in England. Locally it sits uneasily with the profusion of ~hams and ~tons, and ~bys and ~thorps. East Anglia’s toponymy is that of the invaded, repeatedly settled. People who move into...

Lost in a Landscape: Rich pickings – Swafield

‘Fruit picking’ and ‘Pick your own’, still seen on cardboard hand painted signs still wedged in hedges and gateways, were and are a summer long routine in Norfolk. The memory flickers up from somewhere as I drive, I'm here and not, between sunlight and...

COASTING & WATERLANDS

The sea edged curve of Norfolk and the waters within

Coasting – Bacton

Bacton; a place name to conjure with if you know North East Norfolk's emptier fringe. A confusing piece of coast where as you move North of Happisburgh the cliff first drops and as you swing further there is a vale where Walcott sits. As the cliff starts to rise a...

Coasting: Sidestrand – the moving edge

There are a few places where you can really see the dynamism of the erosion of the soft coastline. It is obvious along nearly the whole length of Norfolk and well into Suffolk, our soft glacial memory is easily eroded. Shifts can be seen in the surfaces, the revealed...

Coasting: Happisburgh Low light

It's a habit, almost a ritual. On Boxing day we go on a beach walk, blow away the cobwebs, usually at Happisburgh. This drives further back than our family now. We did the same when I was a child. My mum and dad and whoever else happened to be there on Boxing Day were...

Coasting: Trimingham – On the beach

I wrote a bit about Trimingham a few weeks ago, it was canvas really, the backdrop, the beach is the deep history. Being what it is and how quiet it can be we went back. There was a bitter driving Northerly, ice bearing, even the hardy fishermen had all packed up and...

Coasting: Happisburgh

I keep trapping myself in series' of work and forgetting that sometimes I take a photo just because I happen to be somewhere and something special happens. I was just poking about in my digital shoe boxes and I came across these. We went along the coast the day after...

Coasting: Caister

March 2013, a scouring North Easterly for a few weeks changed the profile of Caister (and Hopton) beaches, revealing some secrets that haven't been seen for a decade or so, estimates indicate losses of between five and ten feet of sand, most of what was left seemed to...

VANISHING POINTS

The Landscapes of the Western Front

Vanishing Point: Dartmoor – father and son

There's a focus, out there. You'll see it in most cemeteries on the old front. The famous dead, the men, and boys who achieve some infamy by dint of their bravery, age or circumstances. Sometimes it's a footballer who scored big in 1912 before signing away four years,...

Vanishing Point: Bernafay Wood

After Carnoy the cloud started to drop, a shield of it obliterated the sun. Within twenty minutes the light had almost completely failed, the air filled with prickles of moisture. It took a good hour to lift as the edge of a small front slid in from the South West. It...

Vanishing point: Courcelette

I've been fortunate at times out on the front, walking the levelled trenches, across the flattened shell holes and in the regrown woods. You meet people, some you know via the curious world of social media, shared interests in a shared space eventually made flesh out...

Vanishing point: Guillemont, Trones and Jünger’s Lane.

It suddenly struck me yesterday, what I'm trying to finish the unfinishable. The Great War may have ended in 1918, but it didn't, and so it goes, new layers of images, understanding and history being laid down with every word typed and shutter click. I'd set various...

Vanishing Point: Carnoy to Montauban

I'm not far from here now. Sitting in a hotel room on a laptop, watching a dubbed film which was bad enough in English in the first place. So I thought I'd start work. Carnoy is just to the South West of Albert in the Somme region, maybe five miles from the town. It...

Lost boys: Sid Northrop

I recently rediscovered this. It was something I'd put on Flickr. It is the tale of another family member and his last few days and hours in the Great War. We visited the panel he is remembered on at Tyne Cot a couple of years ago. He was my grandmother Jesse Parr's...

Urbanism and the hidden city

Walking the old streets

Hidden City: The Chapel in the fields.

One of the most intriguing things about any landscape urban or rural isn’t so much what you can see as what you can’t, and how what is there covers up what was, or how it gives up clues. The Assembly House in Norwich covers a particularly interesting one....

Up city: St Giles Street, Norwich

I've realised recently I rarely write about the city itself, or at least I don't on here. This is actually based on something I wrote for something that was a sort of outline history of St Giles in relation to a couple of properties. I found it recently while rooting...

Last breath: Rosary Cemetery

My inclination was to put this into the hidden history category, but then I remembered how often I end up sauntering around with people I've never met, but whose names I can see, in the light and shadows of trees and bushes and stone and thought it all sort of needed...

Collapsing new buildings: Barrack Road Gasometer

Another thing to collect, often more by chance than design. These are unmistakable monuments in our urban landscapes and I happened to pass this yesterday in Great Yarmouth and happened to stop and get my camera out and take a few snaps of it after it skylined in...

Westlegate: The tall boy at the back

I first met Westlegate tower in the 1970s, I would have been about seven or eight. It was just part of the background noise in a city where I had yet to link up all the parts. In 1975 it was just a place where my brother-in-law worked. And on a couple of occasions I...

Collapsing new buildings: Sheffield

I used to go to Sheffield a fair bit, less so now as one of the reasons we went as often as we did (one of my children) now lives in Slovakia, one of the estimated 2 million Britons living in Europe that handily get ignored by the hysterics burbling on about...

Hidden history

What you don’t always sense

Gate guardians – Coltishall and Horsham.

This post is a short one, more of a response to this post and the photo which was found in a jumble sale in 2016 by Julie Chettleburgh. It contains a fabulous photo of a Spitfire on Farmer's Avenue (above) which caused a flurry of excitement as everyone either...

Hidden history: The burial mounds of Greenwich

I've been to Greenwich twice in my life once when I was at school, I can't remember why except we looked at the Cutty Sark sat in the water, I have no other memory than that, it's lost in the maze at Hampton Court, and in the stalls of the Old Vic where I went on...

Hidden History: The forgotten chapel

Ring-roads, go round and past. Nature of the beast I suppose, circling. Norwich is blessed with ever-increasing circles; from the old castle ditches and the fee to the city wall and the inner link roads, out to the proper ring-road now forming into another ripple of...

Norwich: “Brightest shining of the city” – part 1

We live here. It is easy to forget where Norwich comes from, we take our surroundings for granted; a city that has grown from virtually nothing over the last 1200 years. A scattering of people living on  gravel terraces above a bend in a river in wooden houses, living...

Hidden History: The Mousehold heath air crashes

It's an odd little memorial just off the side of the Road near the football pitches near Gilman Road. I'm not entirely sure of the circumstances either. Mousehold was at the time a dummy airfield chances are that either plane could have been making that way to try and...

Hidden history: Myths – Tombland, Norwich and the Plague

It's odd where you end up in conversations, the same is true in a digital landscape as it is in an analogue one. In between the pictures of cats, the videos of fat people falling over and the flux of skulking, trolling and pixel-fist-waving/bumping that goes on in our...

The Walled City

The flint and water circle

The Walled City 4: St Augustines Gate

This used to be the back wall of Magpie Print. I remember it being an inside; a building full of printing gear with 'Mudpie Bob' at the helm steering it. The trade seas were rough, from letterpress through to photolitho. I used to help him out with now-and-again with...

The Walled City 3: Pockthorpe gate and city wall

Barrack Street is pretty dull these days, a humdrum piece of grey carriageway winding through crossings and traffic islands as it links the Magdalen Street flyover to the nexus; Mousehold, Plumstead, Kett's Heights or along Riverside. It's the epitomy of 'Innerlink'...

Maps: Norwich City Wall

Basically Norwich City Wall with all the main elements marked on, This is not 100% accurate for detail, It's stepping off point and that is all at that stage. Building started on 1294, finished in 1350-ish, then we started to pull it down. Privately financed partly by...

The walled city 2: Berstrete gates

Ber Street Gate or Berstrete Gate, sitting just on the edge of Foulgers opening off Ber a Street and Bracondale. Another Norwich city wall fragment, not the gate itself. The gate no longer exists, nor do any of the others, largely a result mainly of progress (or...

The walled city: part one

Norwich: The walled city I've been wandering around staring at flint in various forms for years. This is Norfolk after all it's ubiquitous and unavoidable from pebble built fisherman's cottages to our gazillion churches, dividing walls, farms, sheds and tumbledown...