Castles and Churches may not set everyone alight, but these two are different!
I have often been to Baconsthorpe Castle near Holt, North Norfolk, with my husband. who likes to paint it, but it was only the last time I visited it and found that the ‘drawbridge’ had been repaired and information boards had been erected that this evocative castle came alive for me. It was on one of those typically cold, wet and windy April days this year that I found I was quite happy to tramp around the grounds, view the moat and think of the Heydon family who I now knew had built the castle in the 145Os. Sir Christopher was Lord of the Manor at the height of the family fortunes and threw grand parties and dinners and often entertained 30 or more master shepherds. A cut-away section on the information board gives an idea of how the rooms probably looked, lavishly decorated with silks and tapestries furnished with fine wooden furniture.
Unfortunately Sir William, his eldest son, began the family’s downfall with unwise speculations in the city and had to sell off much of the stone with which the castle had been built to pay off his debts. The remainder appeared to hve been demolished by the Roundheads!
The church itself carried on the story with many of the Heydons being either buried there or referred to in commemorative marble edifices and brasses. The memorial to Sir William and his wife at the east end of the south aisle is particularly fine.
These are really a must for visitors to Norfolk after, of course, enjoying the many attractions offered by the Victorian Nights Festival during the 18th to 20th May.