Wenhaston Doom


The Wenhaston Doom is a remarkable piece of 16th century church art that can be seen in St Peter’s Church, Wenhaston, close to the Norfolk/Suffolk border.

A Doom is a painting that depicts the Day of Judgement. Usually these were painted directly onto the wall, but the Wenhaston Doom was painted onto a wooden tympanum instead, inadvertently saving it from the fate that befell most other Dooms.

For an unknown reason, somebody whitewashed over the Doom in the 1500s. This meant Cromwell’s church despoilers overlooked it during their rampage against Catholic iconography in the seventeenth century. It still wasn’t safe though, in 1892 the wooden boards were removed from the church, either with the intention of destroying them as part of a refit, or perhaps stripping them down and repainting. However, the tympanum was left outside on a rainy night and when the workmen returned in the morning they found the whitewash gone, revealing the Doom underneath.

You can find out more about this fascinating piece of nationally important art – and Wenhaston itself – here.



Photo: Amanda Slater


From 10th to 13th September 2015, thousands of volunteers across England invited visitors to experience local history, architecture and culture. Love Architecture joined Heritage Open Days to tell the architectural story of buildings – past, present and future, through a series of interpretation boards, talks, architect-led tours and special events which took place across the four-day festival.

In Norwich, there were over one hundred events to attend, all exploring the city’s fantastic architecture, including the Cathedral, historic merchant’s houses, and guided tours around the city.

Find out more about upcoming open days here.

Plan a trip to Norwich with Visit Norwich.


Photo: Norwich Cathedral Refectory, Hopkins Architects © Richard Brine


One of five world premieres at 2015’s HighTide Festival was Lampedusa, which ran from 10th-20th September in Aldeburgh.
In 2014 4,000 people drowned trying to get to Europe in rickety migrant boats. The UK government responded by eliminating support for the main rescue programme.

One man’s job is to pull bodies out of the Mediterranean; the sea that gave birth to the world. And in the UK, a pay loan collector tramps from door to door hearing complaints about immigration and the jobs crisis.

In a story of divide and rule, two strangers strive to find human connection in a world of separation. This is the story of two Europes – one that people are desperate to enter, and one that people are desperate to keep for themselves.

For more information about the festival, visit HighTide‘s website.

The Suffolk Coast has plenty to explore around Aldeburgh. Plan a trip here.



Chris Dobrowolski is an artist. In 2008 he was selected for a residency in Antarctica. For three and a half months Chris lived and worked in the coldest, windiest, driest place in the world, surrounded by scientists, engineers and medical professionals at the top of their game. Every day was about survival. His work, Antarctica, is shaped by that experience.

This is an adventure story about overcoming hardships and celebrating difference, via tales of cannibalistic ducks, Ladybird books and a sledge built out of gold picture frames.

Antarctica is produced by Artsadmin, and in September 2015 was shown as part of the New Wolsey Theatre’s Pulse Presents programme, offering performances that share the new and innovative approaches that Pulse Festival is celebrated for.

Check out the current programme at the New Wolsey Theatre.

Why not make a day of it? See what else the town has to offer at All About Ipswich.


Photo: Chris Dobrowolski


This roundel is an exceedingly rare example of English Medieval art, representing exceptional intact survivals of pre-Reformation glass, and outstanding examples of the Norwich school of stained glass from the early sixteenth century.

They show clear Flemish influences and it is likely that they were made by one of the Norwich ‘Strangers’, immigrants from the Low Countries, some of whom are known to have been glass makers (find out more about the Strangers with this previous Culture365 post).

They are most likely to have been made for the Norwich house of Thomas Pykerell, mercer, Sheriff and Mayor, whose house still stands in Rosemary Lane. They were removed and relocated to Brandiston Hall, Norfolk, before 1860, possibly via Marsham Church.

There would originally have been twelve roundels, depicting the Labours of the Months. This was a popular medieval theme, but no complete set survives in glass. Of this set, eight survive: four in Norwich Castle, two in the V&A Museum and two in a private collection.

You can see four of the collection at Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery.

Visit the castle, Strangers Hall, and the other historic sites in Norwich with Visit Norwich.

Photo: Norfolk Museums Service


Sparrowe’s House is a Grade I listed building in Ipswich town centre, dating back to the 15th Century.

The building has detailed pargeting and elaborate wood carvings around the front of the house. Four panels of pargeting show a Tudor impression of the world. The continents Africa, America, Asia and Europe are shown – but not Australia, which wasn’t discovered at the time.

The front of the building as it can be seen today (in a restored state), was not an original feature of the building – it was added by Robert Sparrowe between 1660 and 1670. It bears the Royal Arms of King Charles II, and the words ‘honi soit qvi mal y pense’, which is old French for ‘shame upon him who thinks evil of it’.

Sparrowe’s House is featured in the updated Pevsner Guides, which we explored in an earlier Culture365 post.

Discover more about the historic buildings of Ipswich at Ipswich Waterfront.

Take a tour of historic Ipswich, and let All About Ipswich help.

Photo: Ian Dufour


Olive Edis was a British photographer who was famous for autochrome and portrait photographs. She was a war artist during World War I.

In 1903, she and her sister opened a studio in Sheringham, Norfolk where they photographed local fisherman and members of the local gentry.

Olive was one of the first female photographers to make use of the autochrome process and she patented her own design of autochrome viewers, called diascopes.

This autochrome self portrait was taken by Edith in her studio in Sheringham: the basket of flowers is believed to be there to hide the shutter mechanism. Although Olive set up her pictures in a quite traditional manner, her penchant to only use natural light set her apart from others.

Learn more about Sheringham, and plan a visit at Experience Sheringham.

Extend a visit to the wider area with Visit Norfolk.

Photo: Norfolk Museums Service


45 Years, a 2015 film by British director Andrew Haigh, tells the story of Kate and Geoff Mercer, a couple approaching their 45th wedding anniversary, who receive an unexpected letter which contains life-changing news.

The letter, from the Swiss authorities, explains that the perfectly-preserved body of Geoff’s ex-girlfriend, Katya, has been found – 50 years after she fell into an Alpine crevasse – which causes the couple to confront some home truths that have remained buried for some time.

The Norfolk Broads are the backdrop to this drama, their flat expanse a perfect counterpoint to the Alps.

Starring Charlotte Rampling, Dolly Wells and Tom Courtenay, the film proved very popular at international film festivals, gaining Best Actress awards for Charlotte Rampling in Berlin and Edinburgh.

Explore the Broads and the other landscapes that inspired the film with Visit Norfolk.

Look back at another film that is inspired by the Norfolk landscape, Culture365 number 3, The Goob.


flint alphabet


This unique example of a flint knapper’s skill was made by Bill Basham of Brandon, Suffolk. Working in his spare time, it took almost two years to complete these finely crafted letters. Flint is a widespread local resource, at one time Brandon was the leading area for the manufacture of gun flints, which were produced in vast quantities during the Napoleonic wars of the early 19th century.

You can see this Flint Alphabet at the Ancient House Museum of Thetford Life.

Explore the surrounding area at Visit Norfolk.

Photo: Norfolk Museums Service
lowestoft porcelain


Did you know that Lowestoft used to have a thriving porcelain industry?

The Lowestoft porcelain factory was a successful concern in the Suffolk coastal town for the last four decades of the 18th century. Specialising in domestic wares in ‘soft-paste’ porcelain for the middle-class East Anglian market, Lowestoft prospered until competition from Staffordshire earthenware and newer and more central porcelain factories began to erode their market. Norwich Castle Museum has an extensive and comprehensive collection of Lowestoft porcelain, including many fine examples, as with this bottle and basin from 1764.

Unlike other factories, pieces produced in Lowestoft don’t show a factory mark to show their origin, but would often display the words ‘A trifle from Lowestoft’.

See the collection of Lowestoft porcelain at Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery.

And why not make a weekend of it – there’s plenty of history in Norwich. Start exploring with Visit Norwich.

Photo: Norfolk Museums Service