A Grand Tour of East Anglia
In East Anglia the sky comes into its own: clear, luminous blue arching up from limitless horizons to proclaim that East Anglia has no end and no beginning.
Salt Flats and Sand Dunes
Salt flats like these abound in East Anglia, a county of sweeping, curving coastlines. They are poor protection against the treacherous North Sea. As the coast recedes, whole towns are swallowed by the bitter waves.
The Norfolk Broads
The reed cutters and trading wherries have long since disappeared. The holiday maker has taken over in the Norfolk Broads, leading to the popularity of sailing for pleasure, turning these lovely waterways into a playground for amateur sailors. In even more recent years, the sail has become a rare sight, as more and more visitors demand a faster means of transport in order to explore more of the broads.
Willy Lott’s Cottage
Willy Lotts Cottage, adjoining Flatford Mill, was the subject of John Constable’s most celebrated work. So little has the scene changed that Constable would have no difficulty in recognizing the cottage as it stands today.
The East Anglian wool trade, which, in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, made this region one of the wealthiest in England, has bequeathed some architectural gems. One of its richest jewel boxes is the Suffolk village of Lavenham. In the village centre, wherever you turn, there are beautifully preserved medieval houses as well as the Guildhall in Market Square (pictured above).
Though modernity has crept perilously close, Elm Hill remains a sensitively preserved corner of medieval Norwich, winding from Prince’s Street to Wensum Street and all within the shadow of Norwich’s Norman Cathedral.
There is a strong similarity between the Cathedrals of Ely and Winchester. This is no coincidence; Abbott Simeon, responsible for the design of Ely Cathedral, was the brother of Bishop Walkelin who built Winchester Cathedral around the same time.
King’s College Chapel, usually seen at this angle beyond the punters on the River Cam on a fine summer’s day, is not only the architectural gem of Cambridge but also England’s finest example of the perpendicular style. Begun by Henry VI in 1446, it was completed in 1515, six years after Henry VIII’s accession because of delays due to the Wars of the Roses.