St Mary's Church roof


St Mary’s Church in Huntingfield hides one of the most ornately decorated chancel ceilings in the region.

Painted in the nineteenth century by rector’s wife Mildred Holland, it took eight months to complete. Each of the twelve large panels in the chancel depicts an angel holding a scroll or an emblem of the crucifixion, such as the cross, and the hammer and nails. Bible verses are inscribed, and there are also pictures of the Lamb of God and the Keys of Heaven. Three years later, Holland took to the scaffolding again, this time adorning the nave roof with the twelve apostles and two female saints. The work, including restoration and preparation of the roof cost £247.10s.7d., (around £23,000 in today’s money), £72 (£6897) of which was just for colours.

To learn more about this spectacular ceiling visit the website where you can find out more about the church and how to visit.


Photo by: Spencer Means (Flickr)


One of the Norwich 12, The Forum is the landmark Millennium building for the East of England and a marvellous example of 21st century design.

The Forum sits on a pre-conquest settlement, inhabited by French settlers after the Norman invasion. During the Reformation the site was home to immigrants from the Low Countries – known as ‘Strangers’ they contributed significantly to Norwich’s textile trade. We explored the Strangers in a previous Culture365 post.

More recently Norwich Central Library was located here. Destroyed by fire in 1994, it provided the opportunity for massive archaeological excavations of the site.

Designed by Sir Michael Hopkins, The Forum is a £65 million project, built to mark the millennium in the East of England.

The main section forms an enclosing horseshoe, made from handmade load bearing bricks with several windows. The glass façade forms a stunning entrance and embraces the marvelous Gothic church tower of St Peter Mancroft.

For more information, visit The Forum.

Explore the other sights in the area with Visit Norwich.



Immortalised in John Constable’s work, the landscapes of Flatford are one of Suffolk’s best-loved features. Flatford Mill sits at the heart of this area, and is the perfect starting point for any Constable-inspired visits.

The Mill was owned by Constable’s father, Golding Constable, and ground grain for flour.

Today, it’s occupied by the Field Studies Council (and has been since 1946), though visitors are still able to enjoy the views from the front and back of the property, the same views that inspired Constable centuries ago.

The Mill is the starting point for plenty of self-guided walks, too. We explored Suffolk walking routes around National Trust properties in a previous 365 item.

Immerse yourself in Constable Country, starting with Flatford Mill, at the National Trust.

Plan a trip to the surrounding areas with Visit Suffolk.

Photo: National Trust / Ian Shaw


On January 19 1915 Great Yarmouth and King’s Lynn became the targets of the first fatal air raids of the German’s fearsome Zeppelins during the First World War. The terrifying German Zeppelin raid on the two towns killed four people, including two civilians, 53-year-old shoemaker Samuel Smith and 72-year-old widow Martha Taylor. They were killed when the L4 Zeppelin dropped bombs on Bentinck Street, King’s Lynn.

The giant airships had already been used to strike the Belgian cities of Liège and Antwerp in the opening weeks of the First World War, killing a number of civilians during the siege of Antwerp.

The Ancient House Museum in Thetford has on display an unusual object in the form of an aluminium frame from a Zeppelin that came down in 1916. It came from a German Zeppelin, the L48, belonging to the German Navy.

To find out more, visit the Ancient House Museum.

Explore the rest of the county packed full of history. Plan a trip with Visit Norfolk.

Photo: Norfolk Museums

suffolk stargazing


On 17th January 2016, astronomers ran a Suffolk Stargazing workshop at RSPB Minsmere.

The evening began with an introductory talk, followed by the opportunity to view planets, galaxies and more from a variety of telescopes on show.

This was particularly fitting, as Suffolk’s night skies have amazed people for centuries. English poet Jane Taylor wrote the favourite nursery-rhyme Twinkle Twinkle Little Star whilst in Lavenham, inspired by the village’s breathtaking night skies.

For more information about Minsmere, visit the RSPB.

Plan a trip to the inspiring area surrounding Minsmere, and find the perfect place to warm up after stargazing with The Suffolk Coast.

Moyse Hall

Moyse’s Hall Museum

Located in the heart of Bury St. Edmunds, Moyse’s Hall Museum houses collections from The Bronze Age, Roman and Medieval times.

Immerse yourself in the history of a rural community and enjoy the eclectic range of exhibitions available. There are opportunities to take in artwork from Mary Beale, England’s first female professional painter, or try and solve the notorious Red Barn Murder for yourself.

Situated in a building that itself is over 1,000 years old, the Museum’s architecture perfectly compliments the history and life works exhibited throughout the building. Suitable for all ages, a visit to Moyse’s Hall Museum is the perfect family day out.

To plan a visit or find out more information, visit the West Stow website here.


abbot's hall


Abbot’s Hall is a Queen Anne House in the grounds of the Museum of East Anglian Life.

Now over 300 years old, the house and its inhabitants have long played an important part in Stowmarket’s history.

The name ‘Abbot’s Hall’ originated in the 12th century when King Henry II granted the manor of Stowmarket to the Abbey of St Osyth in Essex. Following the Abbey’s dissolution in 1539, a variety of families went on to own the estate.

Today, the Hall houses a series of exhibitions as part of the Museum of East Anglian Life. Find out what’s on at the moment at the MEAL website.

Plan a trip to Stowmarket, and explore the rest of West Suffolk with Visit Suffolk.

the old ipswich museum


Tucked away on Ipswich’s Museum Street is the the original home of the Ipswich Museum.

The museum was founded in 1846 and opened in January 1847 with the specific remit to educate the working classes in natural history. From 1847 to 1853 it was run by a committee on behalf of subscribers, with open evenings for the public. The first President was the entomologist, an original Fellow of the Linnean Society.
The primary initiative for this philanthropic venture came from George Ransome, FLS, a member of the Quaker Ransome family of Ipswich. The Sims & Jefferies” Ransome engineering industry helped to build the town’s industrial prosperity in the early 19th century. All political complexions became involved in the common aim of social improvement through the Museum, and over sixty leading scientists lent their support as Honorary Members or Vice-Presidents.

Today, the Ipswich Museum is located a short walk away from this original site, but the old building houses a restaurant, Arlingtons.

Discover more of Ipswich’s history at All About Ipswich.

Gainsborough Trail Map


If you love the works of Gainsborough, or just enjoy walking in beautiful Suffolk countryside, then make a beeline for the Gainsborough Trail.

This walk in and around the landscape of Sudbury and the Stour Valley encompasses the artist’s favourite vistas, including the ancient water meadows and Brundon Mill.

Discover more about the Gainsborough Trail and the local area at Visit Suffolk.



Marriott’s Way is a 26 mile footpath, bridleway and cycle route, which follows two disused railway lines, and runs between the historic market town of Aylsham and the historic city of Norwich.

The path is designed to be enjoyed by everyone: from families and casual walkers to ramblers, cyclists and horse-riders. It’s available for use all year round, and links to the public rights of way network.

Along the route there are a number of fascinating points of interest, including a series of mile markers all designed by different artists and concrete sculptures that symbolise the railway’s concrete heritage. The route also offers great opportunities to witness Norfolk wildlife including kestrels, owls, hares and deer.

Interested in taking a trip to Marriott’s Way? The guidebook for the full route is available at the Marriott’s Way website.

Explore Norwich and Aylsham at either side of your visit with Visit Norfolk.