Sunday, 20 October 2013


The view of Paycocke's from the garden. Paycocke's is an example of the wealth generated in East Anglia by the cloth trade in the 16th century.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Kirby Hall and Lyveden New Bield

I was out mucking about with lenses today but for the black and white pics I was using an old friend the Panasonic GF1 with the 20mm f1.7 lens.

Of course the weather could have been kinder, it was just dull and grey.

First stop was English Heritage's Kirby Hall. The Hall is Elizabethan and today it is a semi ruin with some rooms roofless.

So next stop the National Trust's Lyvden New Bield. This looks like it is a ruin but isn't. It was built, as a lodge, for Sir Thomas Tresham who died in 1605 before its completion. His son was implicated in the gun powder plot and the lodge was left as it.

It is fascinating to visit as you can see the outlines of the Elizabethan garden. I will freely admit however that my reasons for the visit were to visit its newly opened tearoom. I had the Roast Carrot soup which was delicious (and was sat by a real fire, bliss!).

Of course we had to pop back to the tearoom

and shared a piece of Victoria Sponge and Apple and Cinnamon cake..... it was lovely. The tearoom is up there as one of the best in the Trust. I will be revisiting because the cream and savoury tea's sound rather good..

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Houghton Mill

I woke early to the sound of rain...... it looked like the forecast was right but by the time I had dragged myself out of bed the weather wasn't bad!

So where to? I decided that as I hadn't been to the national trusts Houghton Mill I ought to fix that obvious omission.

There has been milling on the site for over a thousand years, a mill is mentioned in the Doomsday book and there was a mill in the 10th century. In 1500 villagers rioted when the abbot of Ramsay Abbey blocked the river to divert water to the mill flooding the village.

The mill you see today is 18th century and is the only working water mill on the Great Ouse river. The mill was almost demolished but was saved by the local villagers. It was used as a Youth Hostel for 50 years until 1983.

The mill works and is self sufficient in power with surplus going to Wicken Fen.

The rats are part of a childrens trail. 

 A reminder of the mills of Youth Hostelling past.

There are some exhibits you can play with which are good for kids.

The rats need to watch out

  As I say the mill still works and there is a demo tomorrow and you can buy the flour....

There are some decent walks which will be well worth doing in better weather (although I STILL have walked from Flatford to Dedham and back!).

So I wandered into the small tearoom for lunch. As I'm not a fan of mushroom soup I went for a scone (made from Houghton flour) and a cup of tea and read a bit. The scone was nice and I was reminded of how much I've missed a traditional tearoom after my overseas trips.

If you're in the area it's worth a visit.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013