The Corn Hall, in the historic Norfolk town of Diss, has been a central part of the community since it was built in 1854. Originally the economic centre of the town, where corn would be traded, the Corn Hall (like many others across the country) was repurposed for use as a public cultural venue.
In 2015, the building became an important part of Diss’ Heritage Triangle, a project that aimed to restore and regenerate three historically and culturally significant sites around the town centre. Whilst these important renovations took place the corn hall was closed until Autumn 2016, but a series of live events took place in a number of locations across the town, as a ‘Diss Corn Hall on Tour’ series.
Want to explore the heritage triangle of this historic town and its surrounding area? Plan a trip at Visit Norfolk.
This door knocker, shaped like a horse’s head, is very appropriate considering it is on the door of the house that Anna Sewell was born in.
Born in Great Yarmouth on March 30th 1820, Sewell is most famous for writing the 1877 children’s novel Black Beauty. She lived in a number of locations across England, including Stoke Newington and Brighton, but returned to live in Norfolk as an adult.
Over the years, the building has been used for a number of different purposes, but most recently it was opened as Kirsty’s Cakery by Great Yarmouth-born chef Kirsty Fielder.
This tide clock, a 20th Century reproduction of an ingenious 17th Century timepiece, can be found on the tower of St. Margaret’s Church in the historic town of Kings Lynn. It faces towards the quays on the Great Ouse so that ships’ captains could see when the next high tide would arrive.
The single ‘dragon’ hand makes a full rotation every lunar month. The dial ring represents the 24 hours of the day (the even hours from 12 noon – L on the dial – are the letters; the odd hours are the ‘dogs-tooth’ markers or the red dots between the words). The moon-phase function is self-evident. Reading from 12 noon, the letters spell out LYNN HIGH TIDE.
The original clock was installed in the 1680s by Thomas Tue, a clockmaker and churchwarden, but was damaged when the spire collapsed during a gale in September 1741, causing extensive damage to the church.
This isn’t the first Kings Lynn tower to be featured in Culture365 – we took a look at the Kings Lynn Minister, part of the Lynn Lumiere, back in Culture365 – 27.
Lady Anne Bacon Drury (1572-1624) was the niece of Sir Francis Bacon, though these paintings, created in the early 17th Century, are a reason for her to be recognised in her own right. The panels, depicting a wide range of symbolic images, were found in a special room in Lady Drury’s estate, and were moved to Christchurch Mansion, Ipswich in 1924.
The exact story of the panels, and the order in which they should be read, isn’t known, but they are filled with Biblical and Classical imagery, and share a great deal of similarities with emblem books: collections of images with allegorical meanings that were hugely popular at the time.
At the heart of the charming Gainsborough’s House garden you will find a huge and venerable mulberry tree: quite spectacular with its spreading, giant boughs now propped by tree stumps.
The tree dates back to well before the birth of Thomas Gainsborough: it was planted in the early 1600s during the reign of James I, who encouraged the planting of mulberry trees with the idea of establishing a silk producing industry. Silk weaving took off in Sudbury (as explored in the previous 365 item, Sudbury Silk) but not silk producing, and this tree is now the well-tended producer of fruit from which jam is made once a year.
Young Gainsborough would have spent many happy hours in the company of the tree, and visitors to his childhood home are delighted and moved to make contact with this link to his past.
As with so many wonderful things, The Electric Picture Palace comes as a complete surprise.
The building on Blackmill Road, Southwold, was once a garage and a cart shed. Not something you’d necessarily realise from its ornate exterior and lush interior, complete with rising cinema organ. Michael Palin cut the ribbon to this cherished institution back in 2002, blessing it with warm well wishes “May your screen bring joy and your organ continue to rise!”
In 2015, the cinema was proud to announce the installation of a Royal Box which raised seating capacity from a cosy 68 to a positively snuggly 70.
Architect John Bennett is behind this, and you can’t just buy a ticket – you need to join the Southwold Film Society. Probably a good addition to your memberships.
Willy Lott’s House in Flatford features in one of Constable’s best loved paintings, ‘The Hay Wain’.
In the early 1900s, when there was a revival of interest in John Constable, the house was renovated and renamed Willy Lott’s House. This was clearly a term of fondness: Willy Lott was a good friend of the Constable family, and it is rumoured that he only ever spent four nights out of his 84-year life away from home.
If you want to experience the life that Willy Lott enjoyed, the cottage provides dormitories for those on residential Field Studies Council (FSC) courses. Visitors can also see inside the building on National Trust tours.
To find out more about this and other National Trust properties in Constable Country, visit the National Trust website.
And if you’d like your own lovely home in Suffolk, even for a flying visit, find out more at Visit Suffolk.
The ruins at Covehithe, Suffolk stand alone, at the end of a long, narrow country lane that leads to the clifftops.
The walls of what was once a great medieval church to rival the ones at Blythburgh and Southwold are almost all that remain of the original temple, but in the seventeenth century a smaller church was built within, though it too is in a rather poor state of repair.
The cliffs on which the ruins stand are gradually being eroded by the relentless North Sea, so it is hard to predict how long this piece of history will be around to view. It’s probably best not to wait.
The Sandringham Estate in Norfolk has been the private home of the British Royal Family for four generations, since it was purchased by Queen Victoria in 1862 for her son who would eventually become King Edward.
The first orchards at Sandringham were planted by King George VI, and have been yielding apples ever since. The orchards produce seven varieties of apple, and they are all pressed into different apple juices at the on-site juice factory. The juices are a Royal Family favourite, and are regularly served a Buckingham Palace.
The Duke of Edinburgh is responsible for the management of the grounds, and conservation is crucial to ensure that future generations can enjoy it. Every year over five thousand trees and several miles of hedges are planted, and the grounds are sympathetically farmed to encourage many different species of wildlife to thrive.
The estate and a museum exploring royal life are both open to the public year-round, and include tours of the Sandringham Orchards. Plan a visit at the Sandringham Estate website.
Visit the estate, the nearby Sandringham, and the rest of West Norfolk at Visit West Norfolk.
These stained glass windows are quite a constrast to the Jacobean and Georgian architecture of Felbrigg Hall. Whilst the property avoided a full Victorian renovation, these windows were installed in 1840 in the Great Hall.
One of the most elegant country houses in East Anglia, and perhaps the entire UK, Felbrigg Hall is a place of surprises and delights; it boasts a fine Gothic style library and a magnificent collection of Grand Tour paintings.