Tag Archives: Thetford

Blo Norton, Norfolk

If I can beg forgiveness from anyone who is familiar with East Anglia and in particular with those who are conversant with the county of Norfolk, I have a confession to make, in that all the years that I headed the car between Thetford and Diss I had never encountered or heard of the village of Blo Norton until very recently.

It was after our visit to the Elveden in Suffolk that I came across the name of Blo Norton.

I wonder what deems a village to be of more interest than its neighbours, is it the manor house and its occupants old and new, the church with all its historic pedigree that was the centre of village life,its position in the landscape, I am sure it could be any of these if not all and Blo Norton is no exception.

It sit near the banks of the river Little Ouse which heads westerly joining The River Great Ouse at Brandon Creek, Blo Norton Hall was the home of Prince “Freddy” Frederick Duleep Singh for the last twenty years of his life, in the early twenty century Virgin Woolf made it her holiday home and then there is The Church of St Andrews the last resting place of Frederick Duleep Singh but perhaps what makes this place more interesting is its name.

St Andrews Church, Blo Norton, Norfolk

St Andrews Church

Prince “Freddy” Frederick Duleep Singh

Memorial Seat in St Andrews Grave Yard, Blo Norton, Norfolk, England,

Memorial Seat in St Andrews Grave Yard, Blo Norton, Norfolk, England,

Village Sign, Blo Norton, Norfolk

Village Sign, Blo Norton, Norfolk, England


Web Links

Blo Norton

The River Little Ouse

Blo Norton Hall

Frederick Duleep Singh


Elveden

It was one of those days that seem to be more prevalent in recent years, when making a decision is a challenge to say the least. It was not a matter of earth shattering proportions but only where to go on a excursion for the day.

After much deliberation not to say sole searching I remembered many years of travelling up the A11 from Newmarket on my way to Thetford and Norwich and passing through the village of Elveden with its church, country estate and it associations to an Indian Prince with a Scottish nickname and a pint of The Black Stuff.

On this day we arrived from Brandon in the west, passing The Center Parcs entrance before crossing over the newly opened A11 bypass taking the traffic traveling between London and Norwich away from the village Elveden at last after many years of ever increasing volumes of the motor vehicle.

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St Andrew and St Patrick Church

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The Cloisters leading to the Bell Tower

Although the church was locked it was a pleasure to wander around the church yard which was blessed with a profusion of snowdrops. Now that it no longer sits on the A11 it would have been a tranquil visit apart from the RAF Jets performing their manoeuvres in the clouded skies above.

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The Plague to The Memory of Maharaja Duleep Singh

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The Cloisters Looking from The Bell Tower to The Old Priest’s Door St Andrew and St Patrick Church

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The last resting place of The Maharaja Duleep Singh, his wife Maharani Bamba

and one of his sons, Albert Edward Alexander Dalip Singh, who died at the age of thirteen

In the shadow of St Andrew and St Patrick Church Elveden, Suffolk.

The Guinness Family Plot

The Guinness Family Plot Here lies Edward Cecil Guinness 1st Earl of Iveagh and Viscount Elveden,

His wife Adelaide Maria Guinness,Baroness Iveagh and later Viscountess of Iveagh

and their descendants.


Useful Web Links: 

Maharaja Duleep Singh

The First Wife of Maharaja Duleep Singh

Edward Guinness, 1st Earl of Iveagh

Elveden Hall

Elveden Estate and Farm Shop


Not so Much Dads Army More War of The Rose

Thetford Priory, Thetford, Norfolk

I have visited but more often than not driven through Thetford on many occasion in the pursuit of more exotic destinations (should read business trips) or so I thought. It is only when you take time to stop and stare (shorthand for Google it) that it is not just a stopping place on your way to Norwich or Great Yarmouth, it has a history both modern and ancient running in its environs.

Our interest on this occasion was not Dads Army or even Thomas Paine but the remains of Cluniac Priory of Our Lady of Thetford, the burial place of the Earls and Dukes of Norfolk before they were removed to Framlingham Church in Suffolk by The Third Duke on The Dissolution of The Monasteries.

The Ruins of Thetford Priory

The Ruins of Thetford Priory

The Ruins of Thetford Priory

The Ruins of Thetford Priory

Being a Scot and having an interest in The Howard Family may strike some as less than patriotic as The Second Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Howard was instrumental in the defeat of The Scottish Army at the battle of Flodden. I could claim the higher ground and maintain that we Scots forgive and forget old grievances (permission to laugh, question or agree if desired) but I have to admit that my justification is perhaps not so laudable.

I have to confess a partiality for a sonnet or two particularly the Shakespearean variety, all thanks has to go to the great grandson of The first Duke of Norfolk John Howard who fought and died at the Battle of Boswell Field, The Earl of Surrey, Henry Howard who was responsible for refining the form.

Brittle beauty, that Nature made so frail,
Whereof the gift is small, and short the season;
Flowering to-day, to-morrow apt to fail;
Tickle treasure, abhorred of reason:
Dangerous to deal with, vain, of none avail;
Costly in keeping, past not worth two peason;
Slipper in sliding, as is an eel’s tail;
Hard to obtain, once gotten, not geason:
Jewel of jeopardy, that peril doth assail;
False and untrue, enticed oft to treason;
Enemy to youth, that most may I bewail;
Ah! bitter sweet, infecting as the poison,
    Thou farest as fruit that with the frost is taken;
    To-day ready ripe, tomorrow all to-shaken.
Brittle Beauty by Henry Howard

The Last Resting Place of Henry Howard, The Earl of Sussex, The Poet Earl in The Church of St Michael, Framlingham, Suffolk

The Last Resting Place of Henry Howard, The Earl of Sussex, The Poet Earl in The Church of St Michael, Framlingham, Suffolk

The Ruins of Thetford Priory Showing the Position of The Second Duke of Norfolk Original Resting Place

The Ruins of Thetford Priory Showing the Position of The Second Duke of Norfolk’s Original Resting Place

The Prior's Lodging

The Prior’s Lodging

The Last Resting Place of The Third Duke of Norfolk, The Church of St Michael, Framlingham, Suffolk Henry Howard's Father who outlived his son thanks to dear old Henry VIII

The Last Resting Place of The Third Duke of Norfolk, The Church of St Michael, Framlingham, Suffolk
Henry Howard’s Father who outlived his son thanks to dear old Henry VIII


Web Links:

English Heritage


Honington and Sapiston: In Search of Robert Bloomfield

If you mention the name of Honington in Suffolk I would imagine that it is the RAF base that springs to mind and not the birthplace of a sadly neglected Romantic poet.

Honington lies to the North East of Bury St Edmunds and the South East of Thetford the birth place of Thomas Paine the author of the Rights of Man.

Although it is Honington Raf base which is most famous, the village which it takes it name from lies about a mile to the west of The RAF Base.

Robert Bloomfield the author of A Farmers Boy which was a publishing sensation was born here on the 3rd December 1766 he was educated by his mother who run the village school until he was a eleven when he was sent to work on his Uncle William Austen’s farm across the river Blackbourn in Sapiston.

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NEGLECTED now the early daisy lies:

Nor thou, pale primrose, bloom’st the only prize:

Advancing SPRING profusely spreads abroad

Flow’rs of all hues, with sweetest fragrance stor’d;

Where’er she treads, LOVE gladdens every plain,

Delight on tiptoe bears her lucid train;

Sweet Hope with conscious brow before her flies,

Anticipating wealth from Summer skies;

All Nature feels her renovating sway;

The sheep-fed pasture, and the meadow gay;

And trees, and shrubs, no longer budding seen,

Display the new-grown branch of lighter green;

On airy downs the shepherd idling lies,

And sees to-morrow in the marbled skies.

From A Farmers Boy, Spring by Robert Bloomfield