Tuesday, 1 March 2022

Herbert, Henry, Suckling And Sid

"What shall we do tomorrow?" asked Bob on Friday evening "We have absolutely no commitments. I fancy doing something interesting, going somewhere..." So I said "How about if we go out for breakfast and then, if the weather is OK, we can have a walk in the country?" Bob liked that idea. I said I had somewhere in mind, and it opened at 9, we would need to leave at about 8.40. 

We went to The Old Dairy at Stansfield. This place has a café, and a shop selling fresh bread, and locally made products. I'd met a guy from here at a food display in Norwich last summer - and the other week , on my way to the WDP committee, I realised that it was only 6½ miles from Cornerstones.
After a superb breakfast [scrambled eggs and smoked salmon on granary toast] we then drove a mile or so back to North Elmham, and parked by St Mary's Church for our walk
[from this site  which lists a number of excellent local walks] 
St Mary's Church was founded 900 years ago, by Bishop Herbert de Losinga. It replaced an earlier Anglo Saxon Cathedral, which had been the episcopal centre of Norfolk [until the bishop moved to Thetford 1071, and then in 1095 on to Norwich]
By 1388, Bishop Henry le Despencer, decided to turn the original building [which was really a large chapel - not a magnificent cathedral like Norwich] into a private dwelling. He added an extra tower and put in an upper floor. Now there are just the ruins. Henry was unpopular with the locals, he was a merciless man, and punished many involved in the Peasants' Revolt. He died, and later Thomas Cromwell became responsible for the property - allowing it to fall into ruin.
You can walk round, and imagine monks meditating here, bishops and clergy feasting, and the ordinary folk coming to pray. On a sunny Saturday we heard lots of birdsong [and an irritated little dog yapping in a nearby garden!] I love the Norfolk flints, the old stones, and the moss growing between them. We followed the map, up the High Street, past Nelson House.
This was once a grocer's shop, owned by Suckling Nelson, Horatio's younger brother [Suckling was their mother Catherine's maiden name] We walked along the footpath, discussing the unusual names of these local characters. On our route we passed through the Elmham House Estate.
We saw the beautiful round dovecote and octagonal gamehouse, both built around 1840 [and now listed] The latter has been converted into a chapel for private prayer. 
It is currently closed due to storm damage. We peeped in the windows - it is lined with benches, a simple altar on one wall, and icons and crosses on the walls. Looking up, we could see there were still large hooks on the ceiling for hanging the venison.
Walking on through the woods we passed banks of golden yellow aconites, and drifts of snowdrops.
It was a truly glorious morning.


Coming back into the village close to where our walk had begun, we were amused by a sign wedged into the church railings.
We certainly don't want to park here, if this Sid is as angerous as they say. Perhaps he had a sore throat, but was unable to buy Herbert's Lozenges from Henry The Dispenser, in Suckling's Shop - and this had turned him into a Revolting Peasant?

And then we went home!







15 comments:

  1. It sounds a tasty and interesting trip. I like having breakfast out!x

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  2. A lovely dayout, specially starting with delicious breakfast.

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    Replies
    1. The food was tasty, and the weather kind

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  3. I laughed out loud at the sign and the comments thereon! That is a beautiful walk.

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    Replies
    1. ..and it was just the right length too

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  4. Sounds like a truly grand day out!

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  5. So happy to read that you had an enjoyable outing and found so many interesting places to share with us, too!

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  6. It sounds like a good time ... apart from having to avoid 'angerous sid' ;-)

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    Replies
    1. I am stiull smiling at the thought of it

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  7. All I can say is that Horatio's parents were not very kind naming a child Suckling. School days must have been the very devil for the poor child. :)

    Your breakfast and the subsequent walk look to have been a treat.

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    1. Parents should think long and hard before naming their children!

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  8. Interesting names! I'm glad someone put up the sign about Sid being angerous! :D

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