There are tantalising glimpses of the remains of the Ming Dynasty city walls around the modern centre of Beijing. Some parts have been adapted and built up against, whilst some like this section are backdrops to tiny pocket parks, which provide much needed green space in a frenetic city. Often you have to take a moment to work out what you are looking at, as not all sections have interpretation panels (though many do, like this one). The sections provide intimate glimpses into the long history of settlement and the ever-present role of history and a deeply valued cultural story. They are used heavily as spaces for rest for workers from nearby offices and recreation space for flat dwellers in the vicinity who have little green space access otherwise.
The tour of the medieval walls of Norwich was extremely instructive. We started at the Boom Towers adjacent to Carrow Bridge. These structures allowed a chain to be raised to restrict river traffic along the Wensum (although the position of the chain and winding mechanisms was not immediately clear). The damage to the tower since 1934 can be seen quite clearly here.
We climbed up the hill from the river inspecting the well preserved walls and towers along the south side. For an image of the tower in the 1930s see here.
Notice the wall walk and the way that the staircase is mounted into the wall.
We crossed the river to inspect this terminal bastion adjacent to the river in the northern part of the circuit.
Further details about the medieval walls of Norwich can be found here. A photographic record of the walls can be found here.
A group of us walked the line of the city wall of Norwich today. Some of the sections are well preserved, and the line is marked out along pavements and even in the middle of one of the roundabouts. We came across a number of metal plaques that noted ‘This forms part of the old city wall built during the 13th-14th centuries’.
One of the suggestions is that they were placed on the wall by the Office of Works either in the early part of the 20th century or in the 1930s.