Norfolk Archaeological Trust blog

On Sleeping Beauty and approaches to decay

This month has seen the successful conclusion of the repairs to the precinct walls at Burnham Norton Friary. The project, funded through the Higher-level Stewardship agreement with Natural England, began back in 2015 with clearance of vegetation to provide access.

Of work and toil, of love and life, of crooks and pioneers...

Mary Kelly, queen of pageants, wrote in 1936 that ‘We must be an optimistic people, for, in spite of the notorious uncertainty of our climate, we continue to produce pageants and outdoor plays.’ (1) Over 70 years later this proved to still be true when the Imagined Land Village Pageant took place in Tasburgh last month.
 

Exploring the Saxon period

Over the past few years the Trust has been able to commission geophysical survey at a number of sites in our care: Caistor Roman Town, St Benet’s Abbey, Burgh Castle Fort, Burnham Norton Friary and Tasburgh. The results of such surveys are always eagerly awaited.

Imagining an unquiet country

I wouldn’t normally get into the business of recommending a ‘good summer read’ - but the book I have just finished chimes so well with the aims of the Imagined Land project, I feel compelled to share it.

Where butterflies and archaeology meet

It’s difficult not to be distracted by the wildlife at this time of year, as I visit Trust sites to check their condition and to look for any potential visitor safety issues.

Heritage: a manifesto for the head and the heart

As we approach the election, manifestos are rife. The heritage sector doesn’t usually get much of a look-in at such times, when the NHS, education and immigration are consistently at the top of the list for political parties.

Exploring the earth beneath our feet

Why do we love to explore the lives and places of people from the past?

On getting your hands dirty

It’s nice, once in a while, to get your hands dirty in the pursuit of the Trust’s conservation aims.

Looking in from the outside

Much of the Trust’s day to day work focuses on the local: local history, local communities and local management. In research and interpretation of our sites we often set them in a county or East Anglian context, although our most significant sites such as Burgh Castle Fort, Caistor Roman Town and St Benet’s Abbey fit readily within familiar national narratives concerning power, religion and culture. But it is less common for us to stand back and look at our sites from a global perspective. What do our Roman sites and ruined monasteries signify to visitors from Japan, for example?

Imagining the land

One of the main benefits of projects like ‘Imagined Land’ is the way they bring together research, resources – and people - that are out there in the community but have not necessarily been brought together in one place for exploration, discussion and connections. Last month I had the privilege of meeting up with Drs Helen Clarke and Sally Francis who both have research interests in the Friary.

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