Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Kingfishers come face to face with The Normans in Norwich.

8.30 am and all of Kingfisher class were assembled on the platform of Cromer train station, ready for our day in Norwich.  We were on the trail of The Normans who left their mark on Norwich soon after their invasion in 1066.

At the castle a slightly grumpy Saxon lady led us around, painting a picture of what the building was like nearly 900 years ago.  She explained that the site of the castle was actually part of the Saxon settlement and said that the Normans had set about changing the city so they could control the Saxons. They had demolished around 100 houses to make space for the new castle, and had moved the market from Tombland to where it is now, in sight of the castle.

We found the toilets, sorry 'Garde-robes', and looked at how the building was built out of local flint but faced with limestone from Normandy.

We met with a Norman knight who showed us some of his weapons and armour and taught us how to fight like a Norman. He had been knighted by King William and now had been given a large amount of land (100 peasants worth) in return for his loyalty.

After lunch in the Cathedral cloisters we met with our guides for a tour of the Norman Cathedral, built at about the same time as the castle under the orders of Bishop Herbert (who had seemingly bought his Bishop status with money and so was building the cathedral as a penance).

We became history detectives as we looked for clues about the past in the building, for example red, burnt limestone blocks as well as masons marks.  We looked at how the French limestone stone was cut and carved to make the building and also spent time thinking about what the Cathedral was for and how it has been used by people, from the original Norman Benedictine monks through 900 years of history to today.

Finally we headed back to the railway station for the journey home.  A great day.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please feel free to comment.