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Itinerary for East Anglia

  'Seahenge' before the removal of the timbers

EMAS Study Tour to East Anglia

28 October to 1 November 2019


  Monday, 28 October   Coach pick up at London Baker Street

St Mary's Church, Reed

The aisleless Anglo-Saxon church of St Mary, Reed is still discernible between the fourteenth century chancel and the fifteenth century west tower.

The long and short quoins of the nave are clearly visible and the blocked north doorway shows late Anglo-Saxon features similar to some at Langford, Oxfordshire.

Thaxted Guildhall

The Guildhall was built between 1390 and 1410 for the Guild of Cutlers. Altered and restored in early C18, circa 1910 and 1978. It is timber framed and plastered with frame exposed externally and has a red plain tile, double range hipped roof. It consists of 3 storeys and cellars.

The ground floor forms open flagged market house with open timber ceiling, and heavy cross beams, supported on great centre post. The 2 upper storeys are jettied on 3 elevations with moulded bressumers, and curved brackets.

Church of St Peter and St Paul, Lavenham

An outstanding church mainly built during the C15-C16, the period of Lavenham's greatest prosperity as a wool town. The chancel with its crocketted spirelet is the only part that survives of the earlier C14 church. The church was built by the wealthy wool merchants of lavenham, the principal benefactors being -the Spring family and. John de Vere, 13th Earl of Oxford.

Church of St Martin, Fincham

This church was extensively rebuilt about 1450 with all the grandeur of the Perpendicular period. It is on the exact site of the earlier St. Martin’s church and partly on the original walls. The famous Norman font here came from a second church in this village, called St. Michael’s Church, which was pulled down in 1744.

Hotel in Kings Lynn


  Tuesday, 29 October   Thetford Warren Lodge

The lodge, is a rectangular building of two storeys measuring c.8.5m by 5.8m, with a chimney c.1.6m wide and of two stages projecting from the west wall. The walls, which stand for the most part to almost their full original height and are up to 1m thick at ground floor level, are constructed of mortared flint rubble with some brick and tile and with limestone dressings which include many reused architectural fragments of 12th century type.

Thetford Castle

The site consists of a medieval motte and bailey castle incorporating remains of an earlier earthwork enclosure identified as an Iron Age fort.

The motte and bailey castle is believed to have been constructed shortly after the Norman Conquest, either by Ralph Guader, Earl of East Anglia until his rebellion in 1076, or by Roger Bigod, his successor as Earl.

Priory of Our Lady of Thetford

The priory, dedicated to St Mary, was established in 1104 by Roger Bigod and colonised by a prior and 12 monks from Lewes priory (the first Cluniac monastery to be established in England).

The original foundation was to the south of the river, within the Saxon town and centred on the former cathedral church which had been abandoned when the see was moved to Norwich. This urban site soon proved to be too confined and building was begun on the present site in 1107, the prior and convent moving to it in 1114.

Flag Fen Archaeological Park

Flag Fen Archaeology Park is home to a unique ancient wooden monument. A kilometre long wooden causeway and platform are perfectly preserved in the wetland. 3300 years ago this was built and used by the Prehistoric fen people as a place of worship and ritual. 60,000 upright timbers and 250,000 horizontal planks are buried under the ground along with many swords and personal items given as offerings to the watery fen.


  Wednesday, 30 October   Kings Lynn

King's Lynn was one of England's foremost ports as early as the 12th century, and was perhaps as important in the Middle Ages as Liverpool was to become during the Industrial Revolution. Aptly described as 'The Warehouse on the Wash' it maintained its prominence as a port until the railways robbed it of much of its traffic in the mid 19th century.

Originally known as `Linn', the town is thought to have derived its name from the Celtic word for a lake or pool, and it is recorded that a large tidal lake originally covered this area. By the early 13th century with the granting of the charter, the town became Bishop's Lynn.

Bishop's Lynn grew rich on trade both with Britain and abroad. The Hanseatic League, a powerful German trading organisation made up of merchants from North Germany and neighbouring countries around the Baltic Sea contributed greatly to this prosperity. The legacy of this history is still very much in evidence today. Fine late medieval merchants houses stretch back to the river between cobbled lanes.

After the Dissolution of the Monasteries by Henry VIII, Lynn changed its name to Lynn Regis - subsequently King's Lynn, the name it has retained to this day.

Kings Lynn Museum

Kings Lynn Museum is home to the famous discovery of 'Seahenge' back in 1998.


This is the location of Seahenge (Holme 1) a timber circle with an upturned tree root in the centre, Holme 1 was apparently built in the 21st century BCE, during the early Bronze Age in Britain, most likely for ritual purposes.

One hundred metres east, another older ring has been found, consisting of two concentric timber circles surrounding a hurdle lined pit containing two oak logs. Known as Holme II, it dates to the centuries before Holme I (c. 2400-2030 BCE) although the two sites may have been in use together.

Although also threatened with destruction by the sea, this site has been left in situ and exposed to the tidal actions of the sea. Archaeologists have suggested that this decision by English Heritage relates to the controversy over digging Holme I.

Branodunum Fort

This Roman 'Saxon Shore' fort was probably constructed 225 to 250 AD, replacing an earlier fort on the same site. It was one of a chain of eleven forts between Brancaster on The Wash and Portchester in Hampshire which were under the command of the 'Count of the Saxon Shore', a military commander whose forts and units are listed in the 'Notitia Dignitatum',

Warham Camp

Warham Camp is a large and very well-preserved Iron Age fort sitting within agricultural land. It is a circular structure with an overall diameter of 212m. The course of a channel of the River Stiffkey cuts across the south western edge of the earthworks, but this is an 18th century alteration and the original river ran in a curve to the west.

Church of St Mary, Burnham Deepdale

St Mary's Church is a round-tower church, the earliest parts of which date to the 11th century. The church underwent additions and rebuilding in the medieval period. It fell into disrepair by the early 18th century, and much of the current building's appearance dates from an 1870 renovation by Frederick Preedy.

The famous Norman font has scenes depicting the Labours of the Months.

Creake Abbey

The remains of the Abbey Church of St. Mary. The earliest religious foundation on the site was a chapel, which was established in 1206 by Lady Alice de Nerford and her husband Sir Robert. In or soon after 1217, Sir Robert used the chapel to found a hospital dedicated to St Bartholomew. In 1227 the hospital adopted the Augustinianrule and became a priory.


  Thursday, 31 October   Weeting Castle

The moated site of Weeting Castle survives very well, and the remains of the hall within it constitute a rare surviving example of a high status 12th century manor house built in stone.

The standing walls of the building display a variety of features which allow of the organisation and life of a noble household of the period to be reconstructed.

Grimes Graves

Grime’s Graves is the only Neolithic flint mine open to visitors in Britain. This grassy lunar landscape of 400 pits was first named Grim’s Graves by the Anglo-Saxons. It was not until one of them was excavated in 1870 that they were identified as flint mines dug over 5,000 years ago.

Blackfriars Church, Norwich

St. Andrew's Hall and Blackfriars' Hall are a Grade I listed set of friary church and convent buildings dating back to the 14th century. They make up the most complete friary complex surviving in England.

Norwich Cathedral

The Cathedral and Cloisters were begun in 1096 by Herbert de Losinga. He bought land to found a Benedictine monastery in 1094.

The priory was dissolved in 1539. Some of the monastic building were destroyed but the church became a Reformation cathedral. It had a dean, six prebendaries and 16 canons, most of them were former monks from the priory.

Cow Tower, Norwich

The Cow Tower is one of the earliest purpose-built artillery blockhouses in England. It was built in 1398-9 to control a strategic point in Norwich's city defences. It was intended to house guns and a garrison of gunners to defend the approach to the city across the River Wensum.

The tower was built with widely splayed gun ports so that it was suitable for the recently developed cannon, while the 'arrow loops' could still be used for crossbows and small guns.


  Friday 1 November   Church of St Wendreda, March

St Wendreda's Church has a mix of 13th, 14th, 16th and 19th century architecture, although most of the Church dates from the 14th Century onwards

The double hammer beam roof was built during the early 16th century. It features 118 beautifully carved angels, most of which are attached to the hammer beams and appear to be flying but others are in relief and it is believed to be one of the finest timber roofs in Britain.

Some of the angels are made up of figures depicting martyrs and saints with emblems, whilst the lower tier consists of angels holding medieval, musical instruments.

Church of St Benet, Cambridge

St Benet's church is famous for its late Saxon west tower and its imposing tower arch.

All four quoins of the Anglo-Saxon nave survive and until 1872 most of the Anglo-Saxon was complete.

Paycocke's House, Coggeshall

This house was built for Thomas Paycock in the late 15th century. The jetty has original carving including; vine leaves, small heads, figures and the letters T and P. People often build features like their initials into houses to demonstrate their wealth and importance.

Arrive at London Baker Street



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