Our Aims

Our Club's aims are to:

Learn collaboratively about the history, heritage and archaeology of Norwich and Norfolk

Develop resources and activities that contribute to the wider community’s understanding of history and archaeology

Develop activities that enhance/maintain the wellbeing and emotional resilience of club members

Be actively inclusive – open, accessible and welcoming to all


Thursday, 15 July 2021

George Vancouver

Don mentioned an article on George Vancouver to me today, so hopefully you will enjoy this.  Born in Kings Lynn on 22nd June 1757, he entered the navy at 13 years old - yes he was 13 years old!  Nelson was 12 years old when he joined the Navy.  So what was George famous for?  Why is there an island and a city named after him?  Which famous explorer did he accompany on his second and third voyages?  What was the book that was published after his death in 1798?  It’s a great insight into Nelson’s navy.  Please select the following link to find out more:

https://www.britannica.com/biography/George-Vancouver

Here is a more detailed account of his life.  It goes into more detail on his apprenticeship with Cook and his experiences in the Caribbean where there was more opportunity for promotion because of the high death rate!  It also explains the Nootka Sound Affair.  What was George charged with on his return to England?  Where is an annual commemorative ceremony held for George?  Please select the following link to find out more:

http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/vancouver_george_4E.html

Tuesday, 6 July 2021

Thorpe Railway Disaster


Here is an interesting film on the Thorpe Railway Disaster of 1874.  Please read on if you aren’t aware of this awful story like myself.  I didn’t realise that the Electric Train Tablet System was introduced as a result of this disaster.  Miscommunication was the cause of the disaster but how did this occur and who were the guilty parties?  Where did the accident occur?  And how many passengers died?  Two persons were arrested but what were they charged with and what were their sentences?  What compensation was paid?  Note the above picture that was taken by George Plunkett in 1955.  Please select the following link and press play, you may need to move the red bar back to the start, and you can always give the film a thumbs up:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3q8A9GH_lBo&t=5s

Here is a more detailed account of the disaster.  It goes into more detail on the miscommunication or was it just plain disobedience?  Please select the following link to find out more:

https://www.broadlandmemories.co.uk/blog/2014/09/the-thorpe-railway-disaster-1874/

Tuesday, 29 June 2021

Great Yarmouth Venetian Waterways











I was talking to Jackie today and she suggested including an article on the Great Yarmouth Venetian Waterways.  It looks like they are worth a visit because they have recently been restored.  I didn’t realise who and why they were built, when you find this out you will get a great insight into society after the First World War.  They were built in 1928 but which workers were given priority to build them?  Who was the designer?  When did The Waterways fall into decline?  They have been restored in 2019 but which workers were given priority to work on the restoration?  And where did the finance come from?  Please select the following link to find out more:

https://venetianwaterways.com/about/

Here is a more detailed account of The Venetian Waterways for those that are interested in more information.  I didn’t realise that decorative features (Nursery Rhyme tableaux, a large volcano, statutes) had been added in the 1950s but have subsequently been removed:  Please select the following link to find out more:

https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1001618 

Thursday, 24 June 2021

St Benet's Abbey and Windmill


I was undertaking a recce for a Ramblers walk recently and came across St Benet’s Abbey and Windmill located on a lovely spot on the River Bure in the middle of the Broads, and I wondered what its history was.  So here is a film by the Bald Explorer that explains some of its history.  Why is there a windmill built in the abbey and what was its purpose?  How old is the abbey and how long has there been a church on this site?  Listen and discover the staggering facts about its dissolution during the Reformation.  To find out the answers to these questions and more related information please select the following link, you may need to press play and move the red bar back to the start to play the talk, and also give the film a thumbs up:  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20i7e-afwD8

Here is a written article to supplement the above.  What happened to the abbey during the Peasants Revolt?  Who was the famous Norfolk knight who is buried in a chapel near the high altar?  There is more information about the dissolution of the abbey.  Please select the following link to find out more:

https://www.britainexpress.com/counties/norfolk/abbeys/st-benets-abbey.htm


Discord, Dispute and Toleration in Reformation Norwich

Here is an interesting insight into Norwich during the reformation period by Muriel C McClendon.  Given what was happening in the King’s Court and other parts of the country, the Norwich magistrates took a different stance.  It’s staggering that they didn’t attract the attention of the monarch’s court.  But what was their motive and why did they take a more tolerant approach?  What were the past disputes which had resulted in outside intervention.  What action did the magistrates take against Thomas Miles for his harsh words on religious doctrines, the priesthood and the Virgin Mary?  Did the magistrates approach change during the reigns of Edward VI and Mary Tudor?  To find out the answers to these questions and more related information please select the following link, you may need to press play and move the red bar back to the start to play the talk, and also give the talk a thumbs up:  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSQYXXxlfdI

Here is a summary of Muriel’s book which supplements the above talk.  It describes how the Norwich magistrates endorsed each change in Tudor religious policy in a formal sense, however they neglected to enforce conformity and to discipline religious dissidents in their jurisdiction. Please select the following link to find out more:

https://www.sup.org/books/title/?id=1111

Sunday, 13 June 2021

Bethel Hospital

I was attending another history group the other day and one of the members mentioned something I knew nothing about - the Bethel Hospital in Norwich.  So who provided the funds to build the hospital and when was it built?  What was the Great Blow?  It was the first public psychiatric asylum outside London but who were its inmates?  And which famous Norwich architect remodelled the hospital?  Above is a picture of the front of the hospital.  To find out the answers to these questions and more related information please select the following link:  

https://www.edp24.co.uk/things-to-do/mary-chapman-and-the-bethel-hospital-norwich-1454762

Here is another related article about Bethel Hospital which does repeat itself a little but there is some interesting content.  The article mentions some items discovered in an inventory which may be of interest and also the average length of stay of the inmates is quite shocking.  Please select the following link to find out more:

https://www.heritagegateway.org.uk/Gateway/Results_Single.aspx?uid=1057688&resourceID=19191 

Friday, 4 June 2021

Herbert De Losinga and Norwich Cathedral

Colin mentioned Herbert a number of time on the recent Heritage Walk so I thought that an article about him would be of interest.   So who is Herbert De Losinga?  When and why did he come over from Normandy to England?  How much did he pay the king to become Bishop of Thetford?  And when did he move his diocese to Norwich and commence the building of Norwich Cathedral? This article also describes the riot of 1272, what caused the riot and the aftermath including the remodelling of the cloister.  You can read on about the history of the cathedral through until modern times.  To find out the answers to these questions and more related information please select the following link: 

https://thefreelancehistorywriter.com/tag/herbert-de-losinga/

Here is another related article about Herbert De Losinga and a charter from King William Rufus to him granting him hunting rights without penalty.  This document also happens to be the oldest document held in the Norfolk Record Office.  Please select the following link:

https://norfolkrecordofficeblog.org/2016/04/13/norfolk-record-offices-earliest-document-a-charter-from-william-ii/