Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Crossing Borders

If you follow this blog you will know that last year we celebrated our Ruby Wedding Anniversary. As an anniversary gift my mum and my sister Julie kindly bought us a voucher for a couple of nights away in one of a wide choice of hotels and inns. We decided to save the voucher for early this year and, as we didn't want to drive too far for two nights away, we chose a hotel in North Walsham across the Suffolk border in Norfolk.

We headed out early on Sunday and drove to the Norfolk county show ground just outside Norwich. They were holding an enormous antique fair and we spent a couple of hours looking for a bargain amongst the thousands of items on hundreds of stalls - we didn't find one. 

After a very decent dinner and a comfortable night at the hotel (The Beechwood), we spent Monday exploring the North Norfolk area and had a good look around Holt with its many interesting shops.

Leaving Holt we drove north to the coast and found ourselves in Wells Next The Sea where we had a light lunch in the Grey Seal Coffee Shop. 

I've always been interested in visiting Walsingham having seen a lot of metal detecting finds of souvenirs from pilgrimages to the abbey including an ampulla that I found myself near to Framlingham. 

The abbey grounds are famous for their displays of snowdrops and we were fortunate to find them carpeting the whole woodland surrounding the ruins.

Our friends at our keep fit classes told us not to miss The Gunton Arms near North Walsham.

So on Monday evening we took a short taxi drive from the hotel and enjoyed a fabulous dinner there. My steak was probably the best steak I've ever eaten and Marion too enjoyed a hearty venison stew - a pub speciality. 

We had planned to do some more exploring of the coast on Tuesday but the weather wasn't suitable so we thought we'd check out Norwich cathedral. It's a place we've walked past a few times but this was our first time inside. It's a spectacular building and the best religious site I've visited outside of London. Here are a few photos.

The spire from the cloisters
Stained glass panels
The amazing ceiling

One of the hundreds of medieval carved ceiling roundels
A magnificent medieval panel by a Norwich artist that miraculously survived the Reformation  disguised as a plumber's table

Another major medieval art work.

I loved this Pre Raphaelite style stained glass memorial to Norwich soldiers who were South African War heroes 
Exquisite stonework
More wonderful stained glass
More master stonework
I could have taken a hundred photos.

I've still got a field available to search with the detector so I had a try today. The weather was bitter and I found myself carrying half the field around on my wellies and my detector but I did manage to find a bit.

Here's what I tipped out of the bag. This was from today and a visit last week.

The scrap lead box is starting to fill up again.

The best find was this Edward I silver penny 
Civitas Cantor means it was minted in Canterbury
This white metal cufflink with a glass inset dates to c1650-1750. It's interesting as it still has the link. There are several examples on the Portable Antiquities Scheme database but none with the link.
Artefacts and "partifacts" including a spindle whorl, a bell fragment a couple of lead pot mends, a pot foot and several unidentified bits

Three sixpences, a Charles I rose farthing and an unidentified copper coin 

And, of course, the usual selection of buttons

I think I'll wait for things to warm up and dry out before I head out again.