Set within the magnificent, newly-revealed vaulted undercroft of the 15th century Trinity Guildhall, Stories of Lynn invites visitors to come in to discover the stories behind the notable characters that helped shape King’s Lynn.
Medieval Lynn was a port of international importance and one of the largest port towns in England. Its status can be clearly seen in the rich legacy of historic buildings and beautiful architecture visible all around the town, and in its amazing collections of artefacts and its comprehensive borough archive.
Using information from the archives and collections, the stories of the seafarers, merchants, mayors, magistrates and miscreants over 800 years of the town’s history are told through an exciting, interactive, multi-media experience.
The revitalised town hall complex will act as a gateway to the town’s other heritage sites including the Red Mount Chapel, neighbouring King’s Lynn Minster, Greyfriars Tower, True’s Yard, St. Nicholas’ Chapel and Lynn Museum.
Great Yarmouth-based artist Alan Kane was one of 40 artists with work in the British Art Show that came to Norwich in summer 2016.
Kane questions the hierarchies around forms of artistic production, particularly the distinction between high art and everyday creativity. In his installations and photography, he brings commonplace objects – from crockery, to items from joke shops and appliquéd badges – into artistic contexts. Kane is the co-curator of Folk Archive: Contemporary Popular Art from the UK (2000-ongoing), a collection of objects and documents associated with Britain’s local folk culture.
The British Art Show 2016 was host to a number of functional objects by Kane, including the Gravestone Benches (of which early designs are pictured here).
Every year since 2013, the Suffolk Coast has played host to Felixstowe Book Festival.
Driving home after an exciting weekend at Cambridge Word Fest, Felixstowe resident Meg Reid thought “Why can’t Felixstowe have its own book festival? Why should other towns have all the fun?” Meg spoke with fellow book lovers in the town and realised that there was enough interest in literature to support a book festival.
With the generous support of local funders, friends, family and volunteers, Meg got the book festival off the ground, and the first festival took place in June 2013. Now going into its fourth year, Felixstowe Book Festival has become one of the highlights of the East Anglian Arts Calendar.
2016’s festival took place across 25-26 June, and was the biggest yet, with opening night entertainment from FlipSide, Book Trails across the town and readings from celebrated authors and poets, including award-winning Hollie McNish.
For today’s Culture365 item, we’re not in the East. Instead, we find ourselves in California for Benjamin Johncock’s The Last Pilot, another masterpiece shaped by the inspirational East.
Set against the backdrop of one of the most emotionally charged periods in American history, The Last Pilot begins in the bone-dry Mojave Desert during the late 1940s, where US Air Force test pilots are racing to break the sound barrier. Among the exalted few is Jim Harrison: dedicated to his wife, Grace, and their baby daughter.
By the 1960s, the space race is underway and Harrison and his colleagues are offered a place in history as the world’s first astronauts. But when his young family is thrown into crisis, Jim is faced with a decision that will affect the course of the rest of his life – whether to accept his ticket to the moon and at what cost.
While not set in the East, this region helped shape the novel. Author Benjamin Johncock wrote the majority of the novel in the seaside town of Southwold, Suffolk, before relocating to Norwich and finishing the novel at the Millennium Library with support from Writers’ Centre Norwich.
Pick up a copy of The Last Pilot in one of the region’s fantastic independent booksellers. The Book Hive is one of our favourites!
Feel like being inspired yourself? Have an adventure in Norwich and start writing that novel. Visit Norwich is the best place to go to plan your trip.
WW2 saw thousands of American servicemen arrive in East Anglia, using the region as a base for their sorties across the continent.
There are several places across Norfolk and Suffolk where you can find tributes to these brave men, such as the 100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum, in Thorpe Abbots near Norwich. The museum is a moving testament to the Americans who were stationed in Thorpe Abbot during the war. It consists of the control tower, the engine shed and several other original buildings, plus thousands of exhibits.
To plan your visit to this fascinating and atmospheric site, visit the museum’s website.
Stephen Fry is possibly Norfolk’s most famous celebrity after Nelson, so when he was approached to be the star of new comedy-drama Kingdom, it was perhaps only natural that it was set in a Norfolk village. Filming took place primarily in Swaffham, but also Holkham, Dereham, Hunstanton and Thetford. The show ran for three series, gaining an audience of six million, but ITV chose not to renew it for a fourth run, citing budget cuts as a reason.
This odd looking sceptre can be found at the ancient Anglo Saxon burial site Sutton Hoo.
It’s a replica which has been crafted using the same materials and methods with which the original would have been made. Experts theorise that this sceptre would have belonged to a king, or at least a powerful lord, and blended both Anglo-Saxon and Roman identities.
Sutton Hoo is one of the most important archaeological sites in the country. Plan a visit and see all they have to offer by going to their website.
In previous 365 posts we’ve looked at Norwich’s strong literary links, including Julian of Norwich and Noirwich Crime Writing Festival, but today we’re taking a closer look at books in Norfolk through the variety of fantastic book shops in the county.
Norfolk Children’s Book Centre (pictured) in Alby has been established for over 30 years, and its team of ex-teachers, librarians and book lovers select the best children’s literature for their customers.
Avid naturalists favour the Crabpot Bookshop in Cley. which stocks a wide range of books about the natural world as well of thousands of secondhand books, including classics and contemporary literature.
Kett’s Books in Wymondham is quite a unique find. It’s a community-ran, not-for-profit bookseller, which was saved from closure by a group of enthusiastic volunteers for the benefit of the whole town. Staff get to know their core customers, and offer recommendations based upon previous purchases.
This is just three highlights in a county that’s a book-lovers paradise! Explore the county to your heart’s content with Visit Norwich.
St Mary’s Church, East Bergholt, has the heaviest peal of five bells currently being rung in England.
They are housed in a medieval bell cage, which was originally built as a temporary measure in 1531, in the expectation that the tower would be completed and the peal would be moved into their new home. However the tower was never finished, and local legend points the finger of blame squarely at Anne Boelyn.
Cardinal Wolsey was said to be the financier of the building project, but when he failed to annul Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon so the King could move on to his new flame, Anne, the Cardinal fell from favour and could no longer afford to fund the tower. Originally the cage was on the south side of the church, but in the 17th century it was moved to its current position as the family living in the Old Hall objected to the noise of the bells.
The bells themselves weigh around 4,400kg, the largest over a tonne. And as they’re in a cage rather than a tower, they are rung by hand rather than using a rope.
To find out when you can see the bells being rung, and get more information about the church visit their website
To see more about Constable Country itself use this link.
Every year, as the seasons transition from winter into spring, it’s time for a deep clean to clear away the cobwebs at Ickworth. And to mark the house undertaking this annual task, a wide range of activities are planned to show how they keep the house in peak condition.
In 2016, a new trail opened for children that explored the variety of creepy crawlies that threaten the conservation of National Trust properties across the country. Visitors were able to learn more about the pests which can cause havoc in the care of historic houses, and could follow the children’s trail around the Rotunda while spotting cuddly versions of carpet beetles, moths and woolly bears hidden amongst the decor.
And once the trail is complete, visitors can learn some top tips from the House Team at Ickworth. As they uncover the Rotunda for the spring discover how the routines of housekeeping have evolved over the years. They’ll be comparing how Ickworth was looked after when the Hervey family lived there to how the Conservation Team work today caring for the building and collection.
Find out more about all of the Spring cleaning events at the National Trust.