Norwich Cathedral has over 1,000 bosses, more than any other cathedral in the world. These miniature sculptures cover a wide variety of subjects, from parables to Mystery Plays. They reward close inspection and offer a real insight into the medieval psyche.
You can also find mysterious Green Men peeping out of gilded foliage (pictured here) and fearsome grotesques. Here strange creatures, half beast half human, lurk with intent.
Dragon Hall is named after the intricately carved 15th century dragon in one of the hall’s spandrels. Originally there would have been fourteen dragon carvings. Medieval Norwich was full of dragons and they can still be found all over the city in stone archways, wooden pews and painted on walls.
In 2015, Writers’ Centre Norwich moved into Dragon Hall ahead of the launch of a National Centre for Writing in early 2018. This will be an inspirational venue for locals and visitors alike and a major new cultural space in the city. www.writerscentrenorwich.org.uk
To celebrate 50 years of the Landmark Trust, this Antony Gormley sculpture stared defiantly out to sea from the Martello Tower in Slaughden, Aldeburgh for twelve months from June 2015.
The tower was built in the early 1800s as a coastal defence and the Gormley figure echoes its purpose Gormley said “The sculpture’s attitude is one of defiance and indifference to any potential invader from across the sea.”
This sculpture is one of five across the country, as part of the Landmark Trust’s ‘Land’ project.
Discovered in 1998 in Holme-next-the-sea, Norfolk, this ring of 55 closely fitting oak posts, colloquially known as Sea Henge, dates back to 2049BC and it’s estimated that the posts were once three metres high.
No one knows exactly why the circle was built, but it is thought that the body of a high ranking person may have been placed on the upturned stump to be picked clean by animals and birds. One thing we do know is the entrance to the circle was sealed very shortly after it was built.
These ceremonial rings were quite common during the Bronze Age, but most have eroded. The salty silt of the Norfolk coast has helped to preserve the timber of this construction.
The site was excavated between 1998 and 1999, an action that led to complaints from druids and other protesters. The preserved remains can be seen at the Lynn Museum.
The small market town of Sudbury is the unexpected silk capital of England. Four silk weavers in the town work on around 110 metric tons of silk a year, and Sudbury silk is used around the world. Gainsborough Silk holds a royal warrant for furnishing fabrics, Stephen Waters created the silk for Princess Diana’s wedding dress, Humphries Weaving supplies royal palaces and the National Trust, and Vanners develops bespoke patterns for haut couture fashion houses.
Today is the summer solstice: and where better to greet the dawn than Ness Point, Britain’s most easterly promontory. The juxtaposition of North Sea and the rising sun before you, and the industrial landscape of the East’s green energy enterprise zone behind you, is striking.
This is a place of peace and reflection: not one of the traditional solstice gathering points but the true starting point for the longest day of the British summer.
There’s been a theatre on the site of Norwich Theatre Royal since 1758, but in the early 1930s the existing building burned down and a new home was needed.
Short of time and money, the theatre’s builders reached for an Odeon cinema auditorium template to provide its 1,300 seats. It’s a world away from the gilded cherubs, multiple pillars and florid proscenium arch you’d expect.
The result is one of the best large-capacity theatres in Britain, with a good view from every seat. This well-used theatre bucks the trend for regional theatres; it’s often almost at capacity, with its year-round range of touring productions and locally produced shows.
To find out what’s on at the Theatre Royal, click here.