2021 Past Events

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Tuesday 26th January 2021 7:30pm on Zoom

The Norwich Castle: Royal Palace Reborn Project—Principles and Processes

Dr Agata Gomolka, Project Assistant Curator, Norwich Castle

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 to view the recording of this lecture.

The major project currently under way at Norwich Castle aims to restore and renew the original fabric of the interior of the Great Keep.

This talk will discuss the approaches and progress of the reconstruction of the Norman interiors, and the development of the museum gallery showcasing over a thousand medieval objects.

Tuesday 23rd February 2021 7:30pm on Zoom

Eighteenth-century East Anglian Antiquaries

Dr Lucilla Burn

In 1709, a grave containing Roman pottery and bronze artefacts was discovered on the outskirts of Cambridge. This talk discusses the find and the network of antiquaries who reported it, setting both in the wider context of the developing eighteenth-century interest in local history and archaeology.

Frans van Mieris, The Revd Dr Cox Macro (1683-1767), Suffolk Antiquary

Tuesday 30th March 2021 7:30pm on Zoom

The Grand Tour & Beyond

Victoria Draper, Norfolk Record Office

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 to view the recording of this lecture.

During the 17th and 18th centuries many young upper class men travelled across Europe in order to complete their education and immerse themselves in the culture.

In this talk Victoria Draper, from the Norfolk Record Office, will take you on a journey through the archives to uncover the experiences of these grand tourists.

Using letters and diaries held by the Record Office, Victoria will explain what the tourists thought about crossing the Channel, how they found their transport on the continent and their encounters with the local people.

Tuesday 27th April 2021 7:30pm on Zoom

Travels in the footsteps of James Baillie Fraser

Dr Ben Cartwright

In 1820, twenty-one prints called Views in the Himala Mountains introduced audiences in cities such as London, Edinburgh, Calcutta and Madras, up close and personal to the Himalayan mountains for the first time. These prints were based on the watercolours of James Baillie Fraser, and are full of weather, incredible landscapes, treacherous mountain passes, local people, and the ravages of a fading war. In 2019, Dr. Ben Cartwright (Collection Curator, The South Asia Collection, Norwich) set out to retrace this route. Here, he will talk about his experiences.

Jumnotree, the source of the River Jumna by James Baillie Fraser – 1820.
Ben at the same location

Tuesday 28th September 2021 at 7:30pm on Zoom

Nelson, the Norfolk Hero

Charles Lewis

Nelson is Britain’s, and indeed the world’s, most famous naval hero. He was born in Norfolk in 1758, died at Trafalgar in 1805 and is buried in St Paul’s Cathedral.

Nelson spent his childhood in Norfolk and returned for a period of semi-retirement early in his career. Though later he was almost continually at sea, his thoughts were always with his family and friends and his native county, remarking on a final visit in 1800, “I am a Norfolk man and glory in being so”.

This talk looks at Nelson’s life and career against the background of his Norfolk associations.

Charles was a Curator with the Norfolk Museums Service for 25 years, at Great Yarmouth, specializing in Maritime History. Advisor to the Ben Burgess Nelson Memorabilia Trust and involved in the establishment and opening of the Norfolk Nelson Museum at Gt Yarmouth in 2002. Published “Nelson: I am Myself a Norfolk Man” in 2005.

Tutor with the WEA for 20+ years offering courses and day schools on subjects including Norwich, Norfolk and Naval History.

Tuesday 26 October 2021 at 7:30pm- Cley Village Hall & Zoom

Blickling Belles – The Georgian Daughters of Blickling Hall

Kate Barnes

Blickling Hall remained in the same family from the 1620s until it was taken over by the National Trust in 1940.  Only the surname changed – when there was no male heir to control the estate.  This talk tells the story of several daughters of Blickling Hall – some who caused scandals in society and one who married for love.  It will also address the difficulties of being a woman in the 1700s.

Oil painting on canvas. Henrietta Hobart, The Hon. Howard,later Countess of Suffolk (c.1688-1743) by Thomas Gibson (c.1680)

30 November 2021 at 7:30pm – Cley Village Hall & Zoom

Privateers, the press gang and service in the Sea Fencibles: the pressures on Blakeney and Cley’s seafarers c.1800
The AGM will be held following the lecture.

Margaret Bird

We are all too familiar with the natural hazards facing the merchant fleet in the days of sail when storms and stranding claimed their lives. Records in the National Archives provide a detailed picture of further pressures facing not only the seamen but the customs officers based in the Norfolk ports. Capture by enemy privateers or by the press gang at home posed a constant threat.

The Sea Fencibles, who guarded the creeks and estuaries, have gone almost unnoticed by historians. Yet Blakeney, Cley and other Norfolk coastal villages had thousands of men in this new ‘Home Guard’ force in the French wars 1793-1815. Trained weekly by serving officers in the Royal Navy, many of great distinction, these volunteers deserve to be better known.

Margaret Bird FRHistS was an honorary research fellow in the History department of Royal Holloway, University of London 2006-21. Editor of the four-volume Diary of Mary Hardy 1773-1809, she brought out further volumes of commentary in 2020 entitled Mary Hardy and her World. She is a long-standing member of the BAHS.

The Mouth of the Yare, by James Stark
William Hardy jnr, of Letheringsett owner of a Blakeney ship taken by a Dutch privateer
Courtesy, Cozens-Hardy Collection