Heritage tourism: East Anglia

Ickworth © David Gill

The top seven paid heritage visitor attractions in East Anglia (Norfolk and Suffolk) account for 1.1 million visitors a year (2018). Four are properties managed by the National Trust: Ickworth, Blickling Hall, Felbrigg Hall, and Oxburgh Hall. Framlingham Castle is managed by English Heritage.

Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery © David Gill

There is a single museum, the Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery.

Sheringham Station, the Poppy Line © David Gill

The Poppy Line (North Norfolk Railway) is also in the top seven.

Chart © David Gill

North Elmham Chapel

North Elmham Chapel © David Gill

In the late Anglo-Saxon period North Elmham was a focal point for the Bishops of East Anglia. The bishopric was moved to Thetford in 1071.

Bishop Herbert de Losinga [ODNB] founded a church, after 1091, on the site of the earlier Anglo-Saxon cathedral. At some point after 1388 Bishop Henry le Despencer turned the former chapel into a castle. Part of the walls within the inner moat can be seen to the right of the chapel’s apse.

The chapel is now in the care of English Heritage.

The MPBW published a short paper guide by S.E. Rigold (1960) using the site’s then title of ‘North Elmham Saxon Cathedral’.

1960 (repr. 1966)

Celebrating Suffolk’s Heritage

Heritage_Gala_2016Later this month there will be an evening to celebrate Suffolk’s Heritage and to plan for a new heritage research facility (‘The Hold’) adjacent to the Ipswich Marina.

Tickets are available.

Heritage Fortnight Lecture: The Saxon Shore

Othona / Bradwell-on-Sea, Essex © David Gill
Othona / Bradwell-on-Sea, Essex © David Gill

East Anglia is dominated by a series of Late Roman fortresses around its coast: from Brancaster on the north Norfolk coast, to Bradwell-on-Sea on the mudflats of Essex. These forts, known as ‘The Saxon Shore‘, continued round the coast of Kent, Sussex and Hampshire. Several of them became sites of Christian foundations during the 7th century: Burgh Castle, (possibly) Walton Castle (near Felixstowe), and Reculver. 

Saxon Shore lecture (2014)
Saxon Shore lecture (2014)

The lecture for the Ipswich Heritage Fortnight (2014) will explore some of the issues on this transformation from Late Roman Britannia to the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of East Anglia. It will also suggest the way that this important part of East Anglia’s history could form part of a visitor trail.

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