Today we had a relaxed day visiting Norwich. We drove via Swaffham, a larger village to the north of us and the location for the filming of town scenes for the Kingdom TV series starring Stephen Fry. He may possibly even live thereabouts too.
Norwich was a lot easier to get into than Cambridge, and parking was a breeze as well, setting a good tone for the day. It seems like a laid-back kind of town but still plenty of interesting buildings, including two cathedrals and a castle.
After the obligatory coffee to wake us up, we found and looked at the Norman castle, which has rather a modern appearance. From there we spotted the Anglican Norwich Cathedral and made our way there. This cathedral is relatively unchanged from Norman times. We had lunch the the refectory there, where I had the pleasure of queuing next to a woman of my height – this is very rare indeed.
baptismal font originally used to make chocolate
We then made our way across town to the Catholic cathedral of St John the Baptist, the first RC cathedral we’ve encountered this trip. It was completely empty and silent when we arrived, being off the main tourist trail. It had a good lot of stained glass that appeared to be pre-Victorian. Also notable was the black stone used for small polished pillars. It contained fascinating fossilised plants and sea creatures. I wonder what Bishop Usher would have made of that.
On return to our home village, we explored the grounds of the grounds of the nearby Lynford Hall, now a country hotel. Queen Victoria visited here and even considered buying it, but opting for Sandringham instead.
We’ll be staying with friends over the next two days, so blog posts will be deferred until we are in London.