Saturday, the weather was fabulous, so we had some family time – aka a field trip for pics for the Suffolk ruins book. At half the sites, my lot were quizzing me. ‘I thought you said there was a castle here?’ Yup. There was. Operative word being ‘was’. ‘Er, where?’ Go look behind the church tower, but BE CAREFUL because there’s a huge ditch and I don’ t want to have to fish you out. ‘That’s the castle?’ The earthworks. ‘And why are you taking pictures of the village pond?’ It used to be the moat. There’s a wet ditch on the church boundary, and this is where it ends up.
These are the abbey ruins with a view of the cathedral. The park was lovely - full of flowers and people really enjoying themselves - the site was probably as busy as it would have been in medieval times. This was the richest abbey of the kingdom, at one point.
Now, I don’t work on just one book at a time on location visits, because I try to minimise travelling; it's pointless going somewhere this week, then to the next village a couple of weeks later. I group places together, where I can - Lidgate is on the way to Bury, and Haughley, Woolpit and Ixworth are all close by. (However, although Clare is near, I need to do a lot at Clare and more at Sudbury, so they're grouped together for the next trip. It's also a matter of not putting in too many locations to one trip, or I end up with pics in poor light and have to revisit anyway.) I also found something that would do nicely for the churches book - this is graffiti of a windmill at Lidgate church (the one which has a huge ditch behind the tower).
Suffolk churches are pretty... but I think in Norfolk we’re really spoiled. Not that surprising, as we had a thousand churches, at one point. Anyway, I wanted to go to Breckles on the way home to check out something for the Little Book of Norfolk; there's an unusual ledger stone by the altar because Ursula Hewytt was buried standing up. I'd forgotten that there were two other things I wanted to see there, as my Norfolk notes were at home: one was some Anglo-Saxon carving... and one is this utterly stunning Norman font. It's enormous. And just look at the fabulous carving.
So in all it was a lovely, nerdy day. Finished up with dinner at the Elsing Mermaid with DH's best friend and his wife, so it was an excellent end to the day, too.
Yesterday was mainly thinking time. And I also messed about a bit with family tree stuff. On DH's paternal side, I've managed to get back to a marriage in 1791 - DH's great-great-great-great-grandfather. Interestingly, his name is the same as my son's. Most of the parish records I need to check now aren't online, so this means library time... so it'll have to wait until this book is done.
Plan for today: more damp readings (fingers crossed for improvements there); sort out the pics for my school talk on Wednesday; work on my revisions. And I'd better spend ten minutes on the Dowland, too...
Oh, and almost forgot! Winner of the book from the caption comp is Lori. (Please email me with your snailmail addy - kate dot hardy at btinternet dot com - and I'll get it in the post this week.)