Thursday, 8 June 2017

Kingfishers meet Margaret Paston at Gresham Castle.

As part of our research into Gresham Castle, Kingfisher class today went and had a first hand explore of the remains.

Strangely, as we approached, we saw what looked like a silver scarecrow... except it moved!  As we got closer we realised that it was in fact a medieval knight.  We followed him as he turned the corner and abruptly stopped.  The knight had drawn his sword and was defending 2 ladies, again dressed in medieval clothes.  

Having convinced the knight that we were, in fact, friend and not foe, he let us nearer the ladies, one of whom turned out to be, no less than Margaret Paston - owner of Gresham Castle 600 years ago.

We listen attentivly to her story - a story of local competition, jealousy and hatred between two local families; the Pastons of Gresham and the Haydons of Baconsthorpe.  We heard how, on the 17th February 1448, Lord Moleyns (an ally of the Haydons) and 300 men, came and attacked the castle- with Margaret still inside, along with 12 of her servants and 1 knight.

Exploring the remains we discovered the size of the largest tower (35m in diameter), the moat (now badly silted up), and remains of the castle's walls.  We used copies of John Paston's original drawing as a guide as we searched for the position of the drawbridge.  Sadly we found no artifacts connected with the inhabitants daily lives from 600 years ago.

All in all we had a great afternoon of exploration and are all fired-up and ready to find out more about medieval life and the history of the castle, in future weeks.

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