Highlights Part 7 : Redgrave and Lopham Fen

Tags

, , , , , ,

At the beginning of September, I visited Redgrave and Lopham Fen with my friend Heather whom I hadn’t seen for over a year.  It was a very muggy, clammy day so not ideal for walking any distance.

p1010278r-l-fen

Redgrave and Lopham Fen – one of the many large ponds.

The sedge and reeds were very tall so we didn’t manage to see much open water and the pathways across the fen were quite narrow and enclosed at times.  We got very hot and sticky and our feet were black with the peaty soil we walked on.  However, we saw a few interesting plants and we managed to catch up with all our news!

p1010279r-l-fen

Water at Redgrave and Lopham Fen

Redgrave and Lopham Fen is situated on the border between Suffolk and Norfolk and is owned and maintained by the Suffolk Wildlife Trust.  It is where the River Waveney and the Little Ouse River have their beginning.  It is the largest remaining area of river valley fen in England.  Its diverse habitat make it a very important site; saw sedge beds, open water, heathland, scrub and woodland can all be found here.

It is one of only three sites in the UK where the Fen Raft Spider can be found, though we didn’t manage to see it on our walk.  Nineteen species of dragonfly, twenty-seven species of butterfly, twenty-six species of mammal, four species of amphibian, four species of reptile and ninety-six species of bird can be seen here.  The beginning of September isn’t a great time of year to go looking for wildlife but we were pleased with what we did manage to see.  It is a place I would like to return to one day.

p1010255rosehips-r-l-fen

Hips of the Dog Rose (Rosa canina)

p1010258purple-loosestrife

Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)

Surprisingly for a plant so widespread, this was the first time I had seen this flower since I was a little girl.

p1010266purple-loosestrife

Purple Loosestrife

p1010259purple-loosestrife-mint

Purple Loosestrife and Water Mint (Mentha aquatica)

p1010260birds-foot-trefoil

Greater Bird’s-foot Trefoil (Lotus pendunculatus)

p1010263bedstraw-trefoil-seedheads

Bird’s-foot Trefoil seedheads with Fen Bedstraw (Galium uliginosum)

These seedheads really do look a bit like birds feet!

Bulrush (Typha latifolia) is also known as Great Reedmace.  Common Reed (Phragmites australis) stands in this country are a priority habitat because of their importance for wildlife as food and shelter.

p1010267devils-bit-scabious

Devil’s-bit Scabious (Succisa pratensis)

According to legend, the Devil was so angry with this plant because it was successful at curing all sorts of ailments that he bit off part of the root.  The plant may have a short root but it still has curative powers!  Nicholas Culpeper says the boiled root is good for snake-bite, swollen throats, wounds and the plague.

p1010268devils-bit-scabious

A meadow full of Devil’s-bit Scabious

p1010269broad-buckler-fern

Broad Buckler Fern (Dryopteris dilatata)

Broad Buckler Fern has 3-times pinnate leaves.  Pinnate leaves are made up of leaflets, often in pairs, attached to a central stem and often with a terminal leaflet.  2-times pinnate leaves = the leaflets have their own leaflets.  3-times pinnate leaves = the leaflets of the leaflets have leaflets!  Broad Buckler Fern has a long stalk which only has leaf branches for half its length.

p1010270earthball

Probably Common Earthball (Scleroderma citrinum)

p1010271blackberries

Blackberries on Bramble (Rubus fruticosus agg.)  There is an out-of-focus Speckled Wood butterfly sitting on a leaf just to the right of the top red berry

p1010272haws

Haws of a Common Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna)

p1010274lesser-water-parsnip-perhaps

This might be Lesser Water Parsnip (Berula erecta)

p1010276amphibious-bistort-perhaps

I believe this is probably Amphibious Bistort (Persicaria amphibia)

It took me a while to identify this plant, mainly because it is extremely variable.  It has two main forms – an aquatic form, which is described and illustrated in most ID guides, and a terrestrial form, which isn’t often described and hardly ever illustrated.  The plant I saw is the terrestrial form.

p1010277mole-in-peat

This mole-hill shows how black the soil is

p1010282common-valerian

Common Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)

p1010281guelder-rose

Guelder-rose (Viburnum opulus) with clusters of red berries

Heather kindly bought me a gift of two hardy cyclamen plants as our meeting was close to my birthday.  I took a photo of them at the end of October where I had planted them in my garden.

p1010470cyclamen

White and purple hardy cyclamen.  I am hoping they will spread out under the shrubs I have in this border and prevent the moss from returning as soon as my back is turned!

Thanks for visiting!

 

Highlights Part 6: Shingle Street

Tags

, , , ,

After we left the Suffolk Punch Trust we drove a couple of miles to Shingle Street on the coast.

p1000723shingle-street

Shingle Street beach

I wanted to visit this beach to look at the plants and flowers that live on the shingle.  I had heard that it was a desolate spot but when we were there the place was teeming with kite-surfers!

p1000712kite-surfers

Kite-surfing on a windy day

p1000721shingle-street

Kite-surfers on the beach

p1000720shingle-street

More kite-surfers. Here you can see the spit of shingle which curls round forming a calm lagoon.

p1000722shingle-street

The lagoon

p1000717coastguard-houses

The houses at Shingle Street

p1000724shingle-street

The Coastguard House

p1000725shingle-street

Shingle Street  Part of the beach was fenced off to protect nesting birds, little terns and ringed plovers, and to protect this beach from damage by trampling.

p1000729shingle-street

Shingle Street

p1000726shingle-street

Looking south towards the Martello Tower

p1000727orford

Looking north towards Orfordness lighthouse….

p1000735hollesley-phps

The village of Hollesley

p1000696vipers-bugloss

Viper’s Bugloss (Echium vulgare)

The name ‘Bugloss’ derives from the Greek for ‘ox-tongued’ – the plant is quite rough and bristly to the touch.  Parts of the plant are also thought to look like a snake – the fruits, which are said to resemble an adder’s head, used to be used to cure snake bites even though the plant is poisonous!

 

p1000697ladys-bedstraw

Lady’s Bedstraw (Galium verum)

According to my field guide, the flowers are honey-scented when fresh and smell of new-mown hay when dry.  In days gone by, it was said to discourage fleas and so was added to straw mattresses especially for the beds of women about to give birth.

p1000698sea-beet

Sea Beet (Beta vulgaris subsp. maritima )

p1000701spear-thistle

Spear Thistle (Cirsium vulgare). Not an uncommon plant but I find it beautiful – and spiny!

p1000702common-mallow

Common Mallow (Malva sylvestris)

p1000707sea-kale

Sea Kale (Crambe maritima)

p1000708yellow-horned-poppy

Yellow Horned Poppy (Glaucium flavum)

p1000709yellow-horned-poppy

Yellow Horned Poppy (with a few pollen beetles!)  

p1000710rosebay-willowherb

Rosebay Willowherb (Chamerion angustifolium)

p1000713sea-pea

Sea Pea (Lathyrus japonicus)

I was very pleased to see this plant still in flower!  Usually I find it too late to admire the bright pink flowers.  It is a nationally scarce plant but where it is happy it grows well and plentifully.  My field guide tells me that the seed pods resemble garden pea-pods and were eaten (apparently) in Suffolk in times of famine (e.g. 1555).  The pods are toxic in large quantities.

p1000714sea-pea

Sea pea

p1000716prickly-lettuce

Prickly Lettuce (Lactuca serriola) These plants can grow as tall as 200 cm/ 6.5 ft.  Prickly lettuce is a non-native and was first recorded here in 1632.

p1000715ladybird-on-prickly-lettuce

A Ladybird on Prickly Lettuce

p1000731mouse-ear-perhaps

I think this is a type of Mouse-ear, probably Common Mouse-ear (Cerastium fontanum)

This visit to the Shingle Street beach was a very pleasant end to an enjoyable day.

Thanks for visiting!

Harrap’s Wild Flowers: Simon Harrap

http://www.seasonalwildflowers.com/

Highlights Part 5: The Suffolk Punch Trust

Tags

, , , , , ,

Last summer we visited the Suffolk Punch Trust at Hollesley.  Richard had been in touch with his cousin who had enquired about Suffolk Punch horses and wondered if we could go and find some.  We obliged.

The Suffolk Punch Trust is a charity that works to protect the critically endangered Suffolk Punch horse by its breeding programme, by making people aware of the horse and its history and by training men and women to work with them.  Suffolk Punches have been on this site since 1880 when the then owner of the farm began to breed them here.  In 1886, the Colonial College was formed where young gentlemen were trained in farming methods but by 1906 the site was owned by London County Council who used the site to create work for the unemployed.  In 1938 the Prison Service took over the farm where they rehabilitated young offenders.  When I first came to live in Suffolk in the 1980’s the ‘Colony’ was featured fairly regularly on local news programmes because of the very successful stud the Prison Service with their young offenders had developed.  Sadly, the Prison Service found it had to sell the farm in 2002 and many of the workers there were sad to leave the horses.  This was when the Trust was formed and the good work that was begun so many years ago has been continued.

p1000675sp-trust-land

Suffolk Punch Trust land with paddocks.

The Suffolk Punch is  a heavy draught horse specially bred for agricultural work on the land rather than as cart horses on the road.  They are massive horses with very powerful, muscular necks but are shorter in height than most other draught horses.  They were used on and near the battlefields during the First World War because of their strength and because they were accustomed to working on thick, clay soil.  With the introduction of the motor tractor the horses were no longer needed and many were slaughtered.

p1000662suffolk-punch

All Suffolk Punches are chestnut horses though traditionally it is spelt ‘chesnut’ without the middle ‘t’

p1000663suffolk-punch

We looked at the horses resting in their stables

p1000664suffolk-punch

This one was very friendly

The Trust also looks after other horses…

…such as these Shetland ponies and also horses just out of racing, that are rested here by the charity ‘Retraining of Racehorses’.  They then go on elsewhere to be trained for a second career.

The Trust also looks after other rare breeds of native Suffolk farm animals such as the Large Black Pig, Red Poll Cattle, Suffolk Sheep, Ixworth Chickens and Bantam Silver Appleyard Ducks.

p1000665carts

A selection of old carts

They have a Suffolk Heritage Garden stocked with plants, shrubs and trees that originated in or are associated with Suffolk.  We didn’t get to see this unfortunately.

p1000666suffolk-punch

We then made our way to a large barn where we were shown how Punches are trained to pull a plough.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Richard videoed this as well.

There is a saying about the Suffolk Punch –

A Suffolk Punch should have a face like an angel, a belly like a barrel and a backside like a farmer’s daughter

Well, it’s obvious a woman never thought that one up!

We walked around some of the paddocks and met many of the residents.

p1000677hairy-b-w-pig

A very hairy black and white pig

p1000676painted-lady

A Painted Lady butterfly (Vanessa cardui)

p1000678suffolk-punches

Richard and friends

p1000679stallion-sp

Elinor loved this horse!

p1000680black-horehound-001

Black Horehound (Ballota nigra)

p1000681s-punches

Suffolk Punches

p1000683stallion

A beautiful stallion

We visited the museum.

p1000684museum

All sorts of things that would have been found on farms, in dairies, in villages, in stables and smithies.

p1000686museum

I was pleased to see an example of an old farming smock covered with exquisite smocking!

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We found it a very enjoyable and interesting place.

Thanks for visiting!

Highlights Part 4

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

p1000549rain-clouds

We had stormy weather like this all through last summer!

p1000654clouds

Many beautiful cloudscapes

p1000655clouds

Cloudy sunsets….

p1000559mist

…and a lot of misty evenings!

p1000561mist

ooOOoo

p1000563gazania

Richard grew Gazanias in pots last summer. They did very well especially towards the end of summer when the weather improved.

p1000568iris

I discovered this rather chewed iris on the bank of the big pond in our garden. We don’t have any other irises like this. I wonder where it came from?

p1000569red-eyed-damselfly

Red-eyed Damselfly (Erythromma najas)

I saw this damselfly on a lilypad on the big pond.  I zoomed my camera as far as it would go and then cropped the shot which explains the poor quality of the photo.  I needed to ID this damselfly which is a new one for our garden.

In 2014 I discovered a Bee Orchid in our garden and was very excited.  I looked for it again in 2015 but it didn’t re-appear.  Last summer I looked again at the place where I had found the orchid and was again disappointed.  However, a few days later I found four bee orchid plants about 2 metres away from the original plant.  I have already seen a few leaf rosettes this winter so I know that the orchids have survived.

Bee Orchid

Bee Orchid

Bee Orchid

Bee Orchid

p1000578bumble-bee

This may be a Southern Cuckoo Bumblebee (Bombus vestalis) on white Allium

p1000579wasp-beetle

A Wasp Beetle (Clytus arietis)

p1000581common-spotted-orchid

Common Spotted-orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii)

When we moved into our house we discovered one of these orchids growing close to the house.  I moved it to a safer place and since then it has done well and the plant has spread all over the garden.  I often find seedlings in a tub or flower pot where they seem very happy and grow enormous like the one in the photo.

p1000583hoverfly-syrphus-ribesii

Hoverfly Syrphus ribesii on Escallonia ‘Apple Blossom’

p1000596five-spot-burnet-moth

Five-spot Burnet moth (Zygaena trifolii) on White Clover (Trifolium repens)

p1000597five-spot-burnet-moth

Five-spot Burnet on White Clover

p1000598house-leek

House-leek in flower

img_2774large-skipper

Large Skipper butterfly (Ochlodes sylvanus) on Lavender – Lavandula angustifolia ‘Hidcote’.

p1000632hedge-woundwort

Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica)

p1000633black-medick

Black Medick (Medicago lupulina)

p1000635volucella-pellucens

Hoverfly Volucella pellucens

p1000639moth-h-fly

The same hoverfly next to a tiny micro-moth

p1000641branched-bur-reed

Branched Bur-reed (Sparganium erectum)

I have now caught up with all the photos taken in and near my garden last year.  I have photographs from a few outings we did that I would like to share with you and then I can concentrate on this year!

Here is my music selection – Chris Rea’s ‘Heaven’ – one of my most favourite songs!

Thanks for visiting!

 

 

January Chill

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

Before I resume my Highlights posts from last year I thought I’d better write something about this new year.

img_2827frost-and-fog

Frosty path next to our big pond

There have been lots of frosts this month; probably more frosty mornings than non-frosty which makes a pleasant change.  The last two winters have been quite mild with frost being a rarity.  We have had some rain, even a day of snow (it didn’t hang around for long) and a fair amount of fog.  The  best days have been the sunny ones; a sparkly start to the day and then blue sky until sunset.  Freezing nights with countless stars and a moon latticed by the bare branches of trees.  Today the temperature stayed at -2 centigrade and a very cold wind and thick cloud made it unpleasant to be outside.

p1010605full-moon-11-01-17

Full moon

p1010607full-moon

Full moon

My life has carried on as usual – driving Elinor to college in Norwich, taking Mum shopping, to her hospital appointments and to church once a fortnight and when I am at home, basic household chores.  I have been very tired this month so haven’t done more than necessary!  I went to see my Rheumatoid Arthritis clinician at the hospital for a routine appointment and she seems to be pleased with how I am coping and doesn’t think I need any change in my drug regime.  Richard is feeling much better, though still has some problems with his leg and back.  He is driving again and we have resumed our sharing of the driving and shopping duties.

p1010609birch-tree

Birch tree in the breeze

I mentioned at the end of last year that Elinor had decided to try acupuncture to see if it helped to reduce her anxiety and its symptoms.  She had three appointments before Christmas and has had three more this month.  She would have gone this week but it was cancelled as the practitioner has ‘flu.  Elinor is continuing with it, despite it being quite uncomfortable at times, because it has made a difference.  The first session caused her to feel calm for the first time in her life and the effects lasted for nearly 24 hours!  Not all her sessions have been as effective but since Christmas we have all noticed that she has been able to make decisions more easily and has had the courage to do a few things that for some time have been beyond her capabilities.

p1010602dunston-hall-hotel

Dunston Hall

The venue for her treatment is Dunston Hall, just south of Norwich, which is a mock Elizabethan building constructed between 1859 and 1878 but is now a hotel with spa, beauty and therapy treatment rooms, a gym, a pool and outside, a golf course, driving range and football pitch.  The acupuncture reception area and treatment rooms are ‘below stairs’ and I have become used to sitting on a sofa listening to ‘ambient’ music, attempting to read a book and trying to keep awake while waiting for Elinor.

p1010604dunston-hall-hotel

Dunston Hall

She had her 20th birthday on Saturday and we went out for a meal together that evening.  She felt a little unhappy to think that her whole teenage years were given up to anxiety and, because she has no friends, she had to celebrate her birthday with her Mum and Dad.  Richard and I felt so sorry for her and wished there was something else we could do to help her.

The following day was quite eventful because she announced that she had decided that the college course she has been studying since September was not one she was happy with and was considering giving it up!  We spent the day discussing this statement and even though it does sound like a negative step I am amazed that she has been able to come to this conclusion.  She has been studying Graphic Art because she is interested in illustration work and had been told this course was the best one for her.  She has struggled with it and has not been able to attend many of the classes.  I have suspected for some time that she found it unsatisfactory but until this weekend she has said she thought it fine and was going to continue with it.  She has been told of a one-year-long Art and Design course at the college for students who are 19 years old and older and this is what she intends to apply for.  This week she has been talking to her tutors and support staff and has explained the situation to them.  Her final day is tomorrow when she will try to apply for the new course and discover if there are any short courses she can attend in the meantime.

p1010652bullfinch

A bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula) in my winter-flowering honeysuckle. I opened the kitchen blinds this morning and saw two bullfinches in the honeysuckle. I found my camera and because I didn’t want to disturb the birds too much I crouched down by the window and took this poor photo while peeping over the window sill. I now know why I haven’t had many flowers on the shrub this winter!

We had a beautiful day here on Monday and wanted to go to the coast for a walk to enjoy the cold but still and clear day and also to recover from our surprise the day before.  Because of other duties we had, we didn’t set out until 3.30 pm and it was nearly sunset when we got there.

p1010645southwold

A still afternoon in Southwold

p1010646southwold

Fortunately Southwold wasn’t damaged by the surge tides and flooding a couple of weeks ago.

p1010647southwold

Herring gull (Larus argentatus)

p1010648southwold

The North Sea

p1010649southwold

Southwold lighthouse

p1010651southwold

The sea merges into the sky

My choice of music today is ‘Don’t Get Me Wrong’ by The Pretenders.

Thanks for visiting!

 

St John Maddermarket

Tags

, , , ,

This is one of my occasional posts about Norwich.

Last summer, as I wandered about in Norwich while Elinor was at college, I saw that the church of St John Maddermarket was open and so took the opportunity to look inside.

p1000415pottergate

This lane is Pottergate and the church of St John Maddermarket is on the right of the photo. The black and white building next to the church is The Belgian Monk pub

St John Maddermarket, dedicated to St John the Baptist, closed for Anglican worship on 31st December 1981 and for the following eight years was used by the Greek Orthodox Church.  It is now cared for by The Churches’ Conservation Trust.  Madder flowers were used to make red dye for the flourishing cloth industry in medieval Norwich but there is no evidence to prove that there ever was a maddermarket  in the city.

p1000416st-john-maddermarket

St John’s church, the Belgian Monk pub and St John’s Alley in-between them.

p1000418st-john-maddermarket

St John Maddermarket

p1000420st-john-maddermarket

The processional way (St John’s Alley) goes through the base of the tower. The pub is on the left of the photo and the Maddermarket theatre can be seen at the far end of the passageway.

In writing this post I realised that I needed a few more photos to illustrate some of the things I wanted to say about this church.  I called in at the church again on Tuesday 17th January and took most of the pictures I wanted.

p1010616st-john-maddermarket

The processional arch under the tower has a rib vault with carved bosses 

p1010643maddermarket-theatre

The Maddermarket Theatre was founded in 1921 by Walter Nugent Monck who, during that decade was one of the first people to re-create a Shakespearean stage.

There is a memorial in St John’s church to Walter Monck 1878-1958 (one photo I forgot to take!)

p1010614

St John Maddermarket

Note the raised burial ground.  In the 16th and 17th centuries there were many complaints about graveyards like this one.  Because of the confined space allowed for burial there were often too many bodies with too little earth to cover them!  This graveyard contains the Crabtree headstone which has a pre-Christian symbol of the Ouroboros carved on it.  An Ouroboros is a serpent eating its own tail.

p1010644crabtree-gravestone

The Crabtree headstone with the Ouroboros at the top on the left. There are other strange markings on this headstone which I think are Masonic.  Why the headstone for Mary and Mary Ann Crabtree should have these markings on it, I have no idea!  I couldn’t see all of it as the churchyard is permanently locked and this is the view I got over the wall.

p1010615st-john-maddermarket

Wall of St John’s churchyard

William Shakespeare’s friend William Kempe, the comic actor, had an argument with Shakespeare and in trying to upstage him wagered that he could morris-dance all the way from London to Norwich (about 100 miles) in nine days.  He managed to do it (though with a few days rest in-between the days of dancing) and on his arrival he jumped the wall of St John’s churchyard.   He wrote about it in his book ‘A Nine Daies Wonder’.

p1000419st-john-maddermarket

Entrance to the church through the south porch. The door to the north porch was open so a view of the lane beyond the church can be seen

p1000438st-john

Inside the church, looking out through the south porch door

p1000421st-john-maddermarket

Looking towards the altar from the back of the church

The eye is drawn to the imposing Georgian baldachin (canopy) over the high altar which is supported on columns.  I’m not at all sure I like it there very much; it seems too big and heavy for the church it is in.  William Busby who was Rector of this church from 1898-1923, assembled a large collection of church furnishings and this canopy was part of the collection.  It was made for another Norwich church (St Miles, Coslany) and brought to St John’s in 1917.  It obscures the Gothic revival reredos (decoration behind the altar) which had been installed in 1863, and part of the east window.  The east window itself (i.e. not the glass) dates from about 1325 and is older than the rest of the church.  It was possibly taken from a former chancel.

p1000423st-john-maddermarket

A closer view of the baldachin and high altar

p1010620st-john-maddermarket

Here you can see how ornate the carving on the baldachin is.

p1000422st-john-maddermarket

This is the ledger stone in memory of ‘Dame Rebecca the deservedly beloved consort of S. Benj. Wrench Knt. Dr. of Physick, of whose singular virtues in every relation of life, the remembrance of surviving freinds (sic) is the amplest testimony and the best monument.  After thirty-six years happily spent in the conjugal state she departed this life the 4th day of March 1727 in the 59th year of her age’.

p1000424st-john-maddermarket

The nave roof is basically medieval but was heavily restored in 1876 after it was damaged in a gas explosion. It probably has a hammer-beam roof but ribbed plaster coving hides the hammer-beams.  There are angels at the edge of the coving.

p1010619st-john-maddermarket

The ribbed coving and an angel holding a shield. The stop at the bottom of the photo also has an angel.

p1010618st-joh-maddermarket

This angel has traces of gold paint still upon it. Just imagine how bright the church must have been when new!

p1010629

Another angel with traces of paint on it.

p1000425st-john-maddermarket

The lectern was made in the 18th century. It revolves.

p1000629st-john-maddermarket

Here is the pulpit, made in 1863. The banner inviting us to climb up and read aloud is for the benefit of the many school visits they have.

The pulpit has a sounding board above it which may be 17th century.

p1010627st-john-maddermarket

The sounding board hanging above the pulpit. It helped the preacher’s voice carry round the church.

p1000426st-john-maddermarket

The Lady Chapel

p1000430st-john-maddermarket

The roof of the Lady Chapel in the south aisle is painted

p1010642

A detail from the painted ceiling.

p1000432st-john-maddermarket

Another ledger stone. “Beneath are deposited the remains of Mary, wife of Thos. Rawlins architect. A woman of strict virtue. Borne down with a long series of affliction. Resign’d her soul to Him that gave it. On the 31st of August 1785 aged 65 years. Also the above Thos. Rawlins who died March 18th 1789 in the 63rd year of his age”.

p1000429st-john-maddermarket

A wall monument to Alderman Thomas Sotherton and his wife Frances with their children kneeling behind them.

p1010623st-john-maddermarket

Another Sotherton family monument, this time for Nicolas and Agnes Sotherton.  They had six sons and five daughters.  Nicolas was a grocer who amassed a great fortune and owned much property in the city.  He died in 1540.

p1010625st-john-maddermarket

Monument to Christopher Layer (died 1600) and his wife Barbara (died 1604). There are personifications of Pax, Vanitas, Gloria and Labor on the uprights at the side of the monument.  See here for a full description

p1000437st-john

Three wall monuments and the beautiful clerestory windows above

p1010626st-john-maddermarket

This is the centre monument from the photo above. It is to The Virtuous Lady Margaret Duchess of Norfolk 

p1000433st-john

There’s quite a crowd of wives in this grave!  Margaret, Rebekah 1 and Rebekah 2; the first, second and third wives of William Barnham, as well as his daughter Elizabeth!

p1000447st-john

The North Chapel dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament with its wood panelling

Because of the gas explosion in the 19th century most of the stained glass in the church is from the 19th and 20th centuries.  The window pictured above on the right has many fragments of the medieval glass that were rescued after the accident.  Fortunately, no-one was killed or even badly injured in the explosion despite it happening during choir practice.

p1010631st-john-maddermarket

A closer view of the pieces of old glass.

p1010628st-john-maddermarket

The font at the back of the church dates from the 1860’s.

p1000436st-john

This beautifully made gallery was erected in 1912 and has made the west bay at the rear of the church into a narthax (antechamber)

The north and south porches, which are inside the body of the church, are at either end of this narthax.  The craftsman responsible for the gallery lived just a few yards from the church and made it in the Jacobean style.  (The Jacobean era was named after King James I and covered the first quarter of the 17th century – 1600-1625).  The choir sang from the gallery.

p1000439st-john

Stairs up to the gallery.  On the left is one of the brasses from the church which were removed from the floor during one of the many re-organisations of the church.

Apparently, there is also a room above one of the porches (I think) which has information on all the servicemen in the parish who lost their lives in the First World War.

p1010635st-john-maddermarket

A monumental brass that is still in situ in the centre aisle.  I believe this is to Ralph Segrym (d. 1472) MP 1449, Mayor 1451 and his wife. 

p1010637st-john-maddermarket

A monumental brass in the north chapel to John Todenham (c.1450) in civilian dress with inscription and scroll  

p1000441st-john

The wonderful rib-vault in the north porch

The north porch has much thicker walls than the rest of the church and many people think this is because it might be all that remains of the Anglo Saxon church which stood on the site before the current church was built.  The doorway is much more ornate than the south porch door.  (Another missed photo!)

p1010617st-john-maddermarket

Photograph of a panel depicting St Agatha and St William of Norwich

p1010630st-john-maddermarket

Photograph of a panel depicting St Leonard and St Catherine

Both these panels came from St John Maddermarket and are now housed in the Victoria and Albert Museum

http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O77491/st-agatha-holding-pincers-and-panel-unknown/

http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O131973/st-leonard-with-crozier-and-panel-unknown/

These panels were commissioned by Ralph Segrym whose memorial brass I have commented on above.  If you are interested in clicking on the links to the panels, I recommend you subsequently click on the ‘Further Information’ button.

All photographs are mine.

Information gleaned from a conversation with a Churches Conservation Trust officer at the church and also from the following books:

The Medieval Churches of the City of Norwich – Nicholas Groves

The Little Book of Norwich – Neil R Storey

Norwich – Stephen Browning

Churches Conservation Trust Church Tour leaflet

 

Thanks for visiting!

Highlights Part 3 Strumpshaw Fen

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It was our 22nd wedding anniversary in June and instead of buying each other gifts we usually plan a day out that we will both enjoy.  We chose to visit Strumpshaw Fen  which is situated in the Broads.

p1000488pond

Pond at Strumpshaw Fen

We had hoped to see all sorts of birds here and I had set my heart on finding a Swallowtail butterfly (Papilio machaon), as the Broads is the only place in the British Isles where they can be found.

p1000494strumpshaw-fen

Fenland

As was the case with many of our ventures last year, we didn’t have as successful a visit as we had hoped because the weather was miserable.  It was cold, wet and windy – not a day for viewing rare butterflies or the Norfolk Hawker dragonfly or any of the birds we had hoped to see.   However, we persevered with our walk round the reserve and saw a few things of interest.

p1000496strumpshaw-fen

A broad

p1000499fish

Small fry – baby fish in the broad

p1000501dogwood

Dogwood (Cornus sanguinea) in flower

p1000502strumpshaw-fen

A waterway in the fen

p1000503yellow-water-lily-001

Yellow Water-lily (Nuphar lutea)

The flowers are much smaller than White Waterlily flowers being only 6 cm/2.5 ins across and are alcohol-scented apparently!

p1000506mute-swans

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) with cygnets

p1000507common-valerian

Common Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) You can just see the pink flower-heads!

p1000508river-yare

The River Yare

p1000510hemlock

This might be Milk-parsley (Peucedanum palustre) the food plant of the Swallowtail caterpillar.

It might also be Hemlock! (Conium maculatum) They are both described as hairless biennials with purple-blotched stems.  Hemlock’s stems are hollow and purple-blotched and Milk-parsley has ridged stems that are often blotched purple!

p1000511hemlock

Ridged purple-blotched stems?  I can’t decide!

p1000512hemlock

More purple-blotched stems.

p1000513hop

Hop (Humulus lupulus)

p1000515dames-violet

Dame’s-violet (Hesperis matronalis)

p1000519guelder-rose

Guelder-rose (Viburnum opulus)

p1000521common-meadow-rue

Common Meadow-rue (Thalictrum flavum)

p1000524southern-marsh-orchid

Southern Marsh-orchid (Dactylorhiza praetermissa)

p1000526ragged-robin

Ragged-robin (Lychnis flos-cuculi)

p1000530marsh-thistle

Marsh Thistle (Cirsium palustre)

p1000531yorkshire-fog

A meadow full of Yorkshire Fog (Holcus lanatus)

The flower-heads of this grass are red-tipped and gave the meadow a pink glow!

Part of our walk was along Tinker’s Lane

p1000533tinkers-ln

Tinker’s Lane – looking back the way we’d come

p1000534tinkers-lane

Tinker’s Lane – looking ahead. Elinor is the figure in the far distance

p1000536green-alkanet

Green Alkanet (Pentaglottis sempervirens)

p1000537common-twayblade

Not a good photo of Common Twayblade (Neottia ovata) Though ‘common’ I had never seen this orchid before and was very pleased.

p1000538common-twayblade

Common Twayblade

p1000542grey-heron

a Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) that refused to look my way!

p1000544great-crested-grebe

Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus)

We enjoyed our walk round the fen and were pleased with the amount of interesting plants we had seen.  I would like to return there this summer if possible to see the butterflies, dragonflies and birds we had intended seeing last year!

Thanks for visiting!

 

Plough Blessing Service 2017

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

Those of you who have been reading my posts for a while will recognise the title of this one.  Every year my church of St Felix and St Michael at Rumburgh holds a special Plough Blessing service on the first Sunday after Epiphany.   Epiphany is on the 6th of January and celebrates the arrival of the Wise Men who brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to Jesus.  The first Sunday after Epiphany is Plough Sunday and the following day is Plough Monday when traditionally, work on the land is recommenced after the Christmas break.  These days there is no real break for Christmas and farm workers do not suffer from the terrible poverty they did in former times though they are still not very highly-paid.  Here is a link to the ‘Old Glory’ site of our local Molly Men.  Please take time to look at all their pages if you can.

p1010594plough-at-blessing-service

The decorated plough in the nave of the church

p1010595plough

The decorated plough

I enjoy this short service each year.  In it, we look forward to spring, summer and harvest and pray that not only will there be enough warmth and rain to grow the crops but that we will not take anything for granted and will thank God for his care of us.  We don’t just pray for ourselves but for all farmers throughout the world.  Each component of the plough is blessed – the beam, the mouldboard, the slade, the sidecap, the share and the coulters.

I love the words from the prayer of gratitude.

From God comes every good and perfect gift:  

The rich soil, the smell of the fresh-turned earth.

The keenness of a winter’s frost and our breath steaming.

The hum of the tractor, the gleam of a cutting edge.

The beauty of a clean-cut furrow, the sweep of a well-ploughed field.

The hymn at the end of the service is ‘We Plough the Fields, and Scatter…’

During Harvest-tide we get a little tired of singing this hymn as all the churches in our benefice have their own harvest service and the hymn is very popular, especially with the farming families.  However, singing it at this time of year, so gloomy and cold as it is, gives hope and cheer so we all sing with gusto!

p1010600plough-etc

The plough and some of the costumes of the Molly Men.

The plough is left in the church over-night and is ready to be processed down the lane to the pub the next evening on Plough Monday.  There are no street lights here and the nights are black at this time of the year.  Flaming torches are carried to light the way.  This year they won’t be accompanied by the church bells which will be silent out of respect to one of the ringers who died suddenly a few days ago.

Here is a film made in 2010 of the procession of Old Glory with the plough from the church to the Rumburgh ‘Buck’ pub.

Thanks for visiting!

December 2016

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Before Christmastide draws to a close I thought I’d better write something about what we managed to do over the past few weeks.

p1010512advent-crown

This is the Advent Crown that Elinor and I made this Christmas. The first candle was lit on the first Sunday in Advent.

Norwich Market

Norwich Market

Norwich Market

Norwich Market

The 1st of December began with a frost (we had many frosty and foggy days in December) but by the time I had driven Elinor into Norwich for her afternoon classes at college it had clouded over and had become a little milder.  The light wasn’t really good enough for photographs but the city had recently put it’s decorations up and was looking festive, though these photos make it look rather gloomy!

During the whole month, unless I got to the city before 9.00 am, I was unable to find a parking space in any of the car-parks.  Norwich Council would like their visitors to arrive by train, bus, bike or on foot and don’t make it at all easy for car drivers.  There is very little public transport from where I live so we have to drive into town.  There are ‘park and ride’ places on the outskirts of the city but an acquaintance of mine queued for ages to get into the car-park and then waited an age with crowds of other shoppers for a bus  which was full before he got to it!  He returned home without doing his shopping.  I have discovered a roadside parking area near to the college where I get two hours free parking and which is only a fifteen minute walk away from the city centre!  This is where I had parked that day.  I had coffee and a sandwich in a café and did some Christmas shopping and then made my way back to my car.

p1010509coachmakers-arms

The Coachmaker’s Arms

This former coaching inn is on St Stephen’s Road and was built in the 17th century on the site of an asylum.  The pub is said to be haunted.

p1010510coachmakers-arms

An attractive frieze outside the pub showing what the inn might have looked like when first built.  It was near one of the many city gates

For most of the month, Richard was still unable to drive any distance and was very bored being at home all the time.  On the 2nd of December he joined Elinor and me in the car and after I had dropped Elinor off at college just before 9.00 am we drove to the north Norfolk coast and spent the morning in Cromer.

p1010513cromer

Cromer Pier

p1010514cromer

The tide was in.  Looking westward.

p1010515cromer

Looking towards the east.

p1010516turnstone

This is a photo of a very tame Turnstone (Arenaria interpres) who had decided that a good living can be made by following visitors about and eating food crumbs. It behaved just like a feral pigeon!

We were so surprised to see this bird at such close quarters!  Normally they keep their distance from humans and find worms and molluscs etc. on the shore.

p1010519cromer

Cromer Pier

p1010521cromer

There was a large amount of spray coming off the sea

p1010522cromer

The sand and stones on the promenade show how high a recent tide had been

p1010523cromer

Boats out at sea

p1010526cromer

An off-shore wind-farm

p1010527cromer

A rainbow

p1010528cromer

Richard walking towards the beach changing rooms

p1010531cromer

Cromer cliffs

After walking along the front we then visited the pier.

p1010533cromer

View from the pier

p1010534cromer

Looking back towards the town

p1010535cromer

Cromer

p1010538lifeboat-museum

We visited the Lifeboat station at the end of the pier

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

p1010537lifeboat-museum

Part of one of the boards listing all their call-outs. I chose this because I was born in 1958

p1010536lifeboat-museum

This is one of the war-time boards

p1010548cromer

Richard in one of the shelters on the pier

p1010550cromer

‘The Wellington’ – one of the pubs in the town

Returning home from shopping the following week, Elinor and I marvelled at the beauty of this misty sunset

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

p1010559font-decoration

Christmas flower arrangement around the font at our church at Rumburgh

Richard and I had a lot to do at church this Christmas.  At the beginning of the month we had an Advent Carol Service with all our favourite Advent hymns and Advent readings.  Usually we have a Carols and Capers service with the local Morris group and their friends at the beginning of the season but sadly they were unable to organise it this time.  We had a Christmas Carol service on the 21st of December and then our church hosted the Midnight Mass service on Christmas Eve too.

p1010562advent-crown

I had made an Advent Crown for church too

p1010564westleton

We went for a walk on Westleton Heath on Boxing Day

p1010565gorse

The gorse (Ulex europaeus) was in flower

p1010566westleton

In the autumn this area of heather is a rich purple colour

p1010567westleton

Alice, Elinor and Phil, Alice’s boyfriend who stayed with us this Christmas

p1010569phil

Phil up a tree

p1010568richard

Richard, walking without a stick now!

p1010572westleton

Trees on the heathland as dusk fell

p1010576westleton-001

Sunset

p1010582frost

Melting frost on the outside of my bedroom window

These following photos were taken by Richard in our garden that same morning.

img_2825frost-and-fog

Hoar frost on a Hogweed seedhead

img_2830frost-and-fog

Hoar frost on rose leaves

img_2821frost-and-fog

Our big pond

img_2826frost-and-fog

Frost and fog

img_2828frost-and-fog

Frost and fog

Richard and I went out for a walk across the fields on New Year’s Eve.  The weather was very gloomy and I didn’t find much to photograph.

p1010589new-years-eve

View across the fields

p1010590new-years-eve

View across the fields

p1010593new-years-eve

Yet another view!  Note the large toadstool – bottom right of the photo.

p1010591fungus

The large fungus!

And that was my December which also included Christmas celebrations with much cooking and baking, a lot of driving about, lots of shopping and an amazing amount of housework!

Thanks for visiting!

Happy New Year!

Tags

p1010586christmas

Alice bought me this gorgeous peacock bauble this year!

I wish you all a happy and healthy new year and apologise for not being around for the past few days.  We developed a fault on our land phone line just before Christmas and were told it couldn’t be repaired until the 28th December.  Our internet gradually got weaker and weaker until it virtually disappeared but, as you can see, all is well again and we can communicate with our friends and relatives and I can find out what everyone else has been up to!  I had got behind-hand with my blog and post reading even before we discovered the fault on the line because my daughter’s lap-top had to be repaired and so she borrowed mine.  I don’t own a smart-phone and I couldn’t keep up!

p1010587christmas

I will be visiting all your blogs in the next few days and will be acknowledging all your kind comments too.