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Gazetteer page 9


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The keep was formerly accessible by an external staircase. This has been destroyed, but it originally terminated in the fore-building known as Bigod's Tower. The interior was lighted by very narrow windows only. '' Between these narrow openings on the south side are some curious pipe-like passages in the wall, by which the archers could communicate with each other. The level of the floor of the basement was several feet lower than the present floor. It may be reached by a staircase at the southwest corner, and there the general arrangement of the building may be seen. It was divided into two halves by a great wall running from east to west. The foundations of this wall are still there; it is marked above by the line of modern columns, and it rose to the height from which the double-pitched roof now springs. The passage through the wall below is the original passage. In the northern half of the basement are the bases of an arcade of Norman columns, which supported a floor on the level of the present gallery. In the southern half will be seen another great wall, which sub-divided that half of the building into two parts. In the angle between these two walls is the old well, a most important feature of such places of refuge....

Beyond the sub-dividing wall are remains of dungeons with some interesting scratches made, probably in very early times, by some prisoners.... The visitor should go up to the gallery. At the north-east corner is the great entrance, with its richly ornamented Norman doorway, still existing outside. It gave access to the great hall, which extended across the keep on the level of the gallery." Hudson. The view from the battlements of the keep is a grand one. The visitor who wishes to identify its various features will do well to obtain a detailed description of them sold in the castle.

Some reference to the contents of the Mztseum is made in Itinerary II.; but to fully appreciate its splendid collections the visitor should get Mr T. Southwell's "Official Guide to the Norwich Castle Museum" (is.).

Omitting those recently built, the following are the Norwich churches.

St Peter Mancroft in the Upper Market Place.

St Andrew's, in Broad Street, rebuilt in 1506; contains some interesting monuments of the Suckling Family, especially one to Sir John Suckling, the secretary, comptroller, and privy councillor to James I.; and another to Abraham Lincoln, said to have been an ancestor of the American President.

All Saints, in Westlegate Street, contains a handsome font.

St Augustine's, in St Augustine Street.

St Benedict's, in St Benedict's Street.

St Clement's, in Colegate Street.

St Edmund's, in Fishgate Street.

St Etheldred's, in King Street, has a fine Norman doorway and round tower with octangular belfry storey.

St George Colegate contains some fine oak carving; also the tomb of " Old Crome," the famous Norwich artist.

St George's, Tombland.

St Giles's, in St Giles's Street. A fine Perpendicular church with a tower 120 feet high. It contains some good brasses.

St Gregory's, in Pottergate Street, has the altar raised above the level of the floor, and a passage beneath it. It contains a brass lectern, dated 1496, an interesting ringer's gallery, remnants of an old painted screen, and a Sanctuary Knocker on the vestry door.

St Helen's, in Bishopgate Street, now the church of St Giles's Hospital.

St James', Pockthorpe, contains an ancient font ornamented with carved figures.

St John's, Maddermarket, contains some fine brasses, and a tablet to the second wife of the fourth Duke of Norfolk.

St John de Sepulchre, in Ber Street.

St John the Baptist, Tiraberhill.

St Julian's, in King Street, has a Norman doorway and contains other Norman work. Its round tower is believed to date from before the Conquest.

St Lawrence's, in St Benedict's Street.

St Margaret's, between Lower Westwick and St Benedict's Streets.

St Martin's-at-Oakj in Oak Street.

St Martin's-at-Palace, in Palace Plain.

St Mary's, in Coslany Street, has a round tower believed to be Saxon.

St Michael's, or St Miles', in Coslany Street, is a good example of Norfolk Perpendicular work, and contains the "Thorp Chapel," famous for its flint and stone panelled work. Here is also a chantry chapel built by William Ramsey, mayor in 1502-8, and containing his altar tomb.

St Michael-at-Plea, in Queen Street, has a reredos composed of restored fourteenth century panel paintings.

St Michael-at-Thorn, in Ber Street, has a Norman porch.

St Paul's, in St Paul's Square, has an ancient round tower.

St Peter Hungate, on Elm Hill.

St Peter Permountergate, in King Street, contains a tomb (1623) with recumbent effigies; also a carved oak reredos with a panel picture of " The Last Supper."

St Saviour's, in Magdalen Street, contains the curiously carved stem of an ancient font.

St Simon's, in Wensum Street, contains some ancient monuments.

St Stephen's, in Rampant Horse Street, contains some fifteenth and sixteenth centuries brasses, and a large number of mural monuments.

St Swithin's, in St Benedict's Street, a dilapidated building, containing Norman work and a carved roof, is now disused.

At the corner of Blackfriars Street is the famous St Andrew s Hall, a magnificent Perpendicular building, open daily to the public. Originally it was the nave of a Blackfriars priory. It was built about the middle of the fifteenth century, when a son of Sir Thomas Erpingham was a friar of the priory. The arms of his family are on the outside wall of the clerestory. The Hall was granted to the city at the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Since then it has been used for many civic purposes, and in it Charles II. was entertained when he visited Norwich and knighted Sir Thomas Browne. The Triennial Musical Festivals have been held in it since 1824. Among the many portraits it contains are those of Queen Anne, George, Prince of Denmark, Robert, Earl of Orford, Horatio Walpole, Lord Nelson, Sir Harbord Harbord, by Gainsborough, and the late Lord Stafford. The Nelson portrait is by Beackey, and is the last for which the gallant admiral sat. Two historical pictures at the west end are by Thomas Martin, a native of Norwich, and pupil of Cipriani. They represent Edward and Queen Eleanor, and the death of Lady Jane Grey. Edward VI. Middle School, northward of the Hall, contains part of the cloisters and domestic buildings of the Blackfriars priory.

The Guildhall, in the market-place, is a black flint building dating from the fifteenth century. It contains several portraits of early mayors and benefactors; also the sword of the Spanish admiral Don Xavier Winthuysen, taken at the battle of St Vincent, and presented to the city by Lord Nelson. The city regalia, kept here, includes a mace presented by Queen Elizabeth in 1578. In a chamber under the Hall Thomas Bilney the martyr was imprisoned until burnt at the stake in the Lollard's Pit, near Mousehold Heath.

The Shirehall, on the east side of the Castle, was built in 1823. In it was conducted the trial of Blomfield Rush, who murdered Mr Jermy, Recorder of Norwich, and his son, at Stanfield Hall. The Agricultural Hall, at the city end of Prince of Wales Road, was opened by the Prince of Wales in 1882.

Visitors entering Norwich by Prince of Wales Road cross a bridge over the Wensum. A little way above is the Bishop's Bridge, built in 1295 by the Prior of Norwich. Some traces of the city's old fortifications are seen about here in the Cow Tower (so-called from a story that a cow once climbed its stairs), and the Devil's Tower, near Carrow Bridge. From the Bishop's Bridge it is not far to Mousehold Heath, on a hill of which are the barracks and county prison. The Heath was the scene of the final battle between Kelt's rebels and the Earl of Warwick's troops. It is now converted into a People's Park; but the greater part of it remains in a wild state.

Other places of interest in the city are the Old Bridewell in St Andrews; the gateway and staircase of the Strangers' Hall in Maddermarket; Curat's House in the market-place; the Maid's Head Hotel (said to date from 1287) in Tombland; the Boar's Head in St Stephen's; the old Music House (formerly occupied by the Pastons and Sir Edward Coke, the Lord Chief-Justice) in King Street; and George Borrow's House in Willow Lane.

The following parishes are included in the city: - Earlham. - The parish church contains a fine carved oak screen and a splendid marble monument to the Bacon family. The Hall was the birthplace of Joseph John Gurney, the author and philanthropist, whose sister, Elizabeth Fry, spent her youth here. Eaton. - A parish extending 2 m. S.W. from the city. It has two churches, a modern building and an ancient one in the Early English style.

In the latter the parents of Henry Kirk White, the poet, are interred. Heigham. - Here is the Dolphin Inn, formerly the residence of Bishop Hall of Exeter, who died here in 1656. Lakenham. - A parish on the Yare, extending m. S. from the city. New Lakenham. - An ecclesiastical parish formed of Trowse and Lakenham. Thorpe Hamlet. - An eastern suburb, with a modern church and the ruins of an old one.

Ormesby St Margaret (or Great Ormesby). - A village, with a station, 5 m. N. by W. from Yarmouth. The church contains some brasses, including one to Lady Alice Clere, aunt to Anne Boleyn.

Ormesby St Michael (or Little Ormesby). - A parish 1 m. W. from Ormesby station. The church contains a fine modern carved oak reredos.

Oulton. - A village 1 m. N. from Bluestone station.

Ouse, Little. - An ecclesiastical parish, a portion of which is in Cambridgeshire, 4.5 m. N.N.E. from Littleport station. It contains the parishes of Feltwell Anchor and Redmore.

Outwell. - A village partly in Cambridgeshire but principally in Norfolk, 6 m. W. from Downham station. The church is a fine building in which the three periods of Gothic architecture may be easily traced. The roof of the north chapel is beautifully painted. Here is a curious rectory house with a detached tower.

Overstrand. - A coast parish 2 m. S.E. from Cromer. There are two churches here; but one, containing the tomb of Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, the slave emancipator, is in ruins. Of late this village has attracted many visitors, for whom there is accommodation in a considerable number of new lodging houses. The neighbourhood is exceedingly picturesque, and its proximity to Cromer gives it many advantages. The cliffs here rise to a height of about 90 feet above the beach. Cromer Lighthouse and the Royal Cromer Golf Club's Links are in this parish.

Ovington. - A village 1½ m. N.E. from Watton station. The church has a Norman doorway, and there are traces of old dedication crosses on the outer walls.

Oxborough. - A parish 3½ m. E. from Stoke Ferry station and m. W. from Swaffham. The church is a large building in the Early English and Perpendicular styles, with a chapel south of the chancel, founded by the Bedingfields in 1513. In the church is an altar-tomb, under a marble Corinthian canopy, to Sir Henry Bedingfield, who was constable of the Tower in the reign of Queen Mary, and died in 1583. Oxborough Hall, a castellated mansion built by Sir Edmund Bedingfield in 1482-3, is surrounded by a wide moat, but the bridge which leads to the entrance tower is modern. The entrance tower itself is eighty feet high and has an octangular turret on each side of the archway. The house was formerly quadrangular, but the banqueting hall which occupied the south side was pulled down in 1778, when two wings were added. The most interesting part of the building is the King's Room, over the gateway. It contains some tapestry of the time of Henry VII., and is traditionally reported to have been occupied by that king when he was the guest of Sir Edmund Bedingfield. A bed in this room has a coverlet and curtains pf green velvet, worked with curiously named representations of birds and beasts by Queen Mary of Scotland and the Countess of Shrewsbury. Queen Elizabeth stayed at Oxborough when she visited Norfolk and slept in the room immediately above the King's Room. In a turret of the east tower is a " priest's hiding-hole." Oxborough Hall is one of the finest moated and castellated buildings in England, and many visitors to Norfolk will regret that it is closed to strangers. The Bedingfield family were originally lords of the manor of Bedingfield in Suffolk, and an ancestor of Sir Henry George Paston - Bedingfield, Bart., the present occupant of the Hall, first settled at Oxborough in the early part of the fourteenth century. The estate passed out of the possession of the family during the Commonwealth, when it was taken from Sir Henry Bedingfield by the Parliament, but it was repurchased at the Restoration.

Oxnead. - A parish on the Bure, 1 m. N. from Buxton station and 3 m. S.E. from Aylsham. The church, almost hidden by trees, contains a marble tomb, with alabaster effigy, to Clement Paston, a naval commander who died in 1599. He lived for some time at Caister Castle, where he held prisoner the French admiral Baron de Blanchard, whose ransom was fixed at 7000 crowns. He was the builder of Oxnead Hall, a magnificent mansion of which only a portion now remains, forming part of some farm buildings. It contained a fine banqueting hall, in which Charles II. was entertained. A fountain basin and some statues which stood in the grounds are now at Blickling Hall. There are frequent references to Oxnead in the "Paston Letters."

OxwiCK and Pattesley form a parish 3½ m. from Fakenham.

Palling. - A small coast village 4 m. N.E. from Stalham station. There is some accommodation here for visitors.

Panxworth. - A village 3 m. N. from Lingwood station. A ruined tower is all that is left of the old church.

Paston. - A coast parish 4 m. N.E. from North Walsham station. The church contains a fine monument by Nathaniel Stone to Catherine, wife of Sir Edmund Paston, who died in 1628, and other memorials of the Paston family.

Pensthorpe. - A parish on the Wensum, 2 m. S.E. from Fakenham. What is left of the church forms part of some farm buildings.

Pentney. - A scattered village in which is Narborough station, 6 m. N.W. by N. from Swaffham. The fine gateway of an Augustinian priory, founded by Ralph de Vaux, is still standing about 2 m. W. from the church.

Pickenham, North. - A village 1½ m. W. from Holme Hale station. The church contains a reredos of Italian workmanship, and a carved oak pulpit.

Pickenham, South. - A parish 3 m. S.W. from Holme Hale station.

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