UnknownNorfolk2 line - GreyNestled

sketch blog

By Jamie Cooper, Feb 17 2019 05:25PM

There is a clump of trees around the corner from where I live - which sits upon a mound protruding like an Island in the middle of ploughed fields. I walk near here often and wonder what the mound represents - a forgotten Iron Age site of a fort - or perhaps a buried Viking Ship? The river is very close by - so maybe. These places do fire the imagination a tad! This is just a corner of that mound silhouetted against a typical Norfolk Winter Sky.


Watercolour background on A3 140lb Paper, with dip-pen & ink for tree-lines and foreground.

By Jamie Cooper, Jan 31 2019 04:44PM

What is left of the Priory at Bacton - Broomholme Priory - is now used for outbuildings and farm storage. Unfortunatley there is no access and the ruins can just be viewed from a pathway which runs alonside the field next to it. And the only glimpses are through gaps in the bushes and fencing.


Founded in 1113 by William de Glanville for monks of the order of Cluni, it was dedicated to St. Andrew. The priory was remarkable for its reputed possession of a 'little cross' said to have been made by St. Helena from part of the Saviour's cross where his hands and feet were nailed. The priory was one of the largest places of pilgrimage in East Anglia until 1536 when Henry VIII dissolved the monastries.


The ‘Cross of Our Lord’ brought prosperity to Bromholm upon its arrival in 1223. Soon afterwards ‘Divine Miracles’ began to occur. According to Capgrave, nineteen blind men had their sight restored and thirty-nine men were raised from the dead by the power of the cross. Such miracles brought fame across the known world and Bromholm became a focus for Pilgrims.


The Paston family, (famous for the "Ordinary" or "Paston Letters"), were also patrons of the Priory. Sir John Paston, upon his death in 1466, was brought from London to Bromholm to be buried amid much pomp and ceremony.



By Jamie Cooper, Jan 30 2019 05:43PM



Some photos I took a few years ago of the deserted WW2 RAF Ludham - plus a pen & watercolour sketch I did at the same time.






In August 1943, the airfield was allocated to the United States Army Air Forces and given the USAAF station number 177, but no American units were ever based here. Work was then begun to upgrade the runways and the airfield was closed for the duration, which lasted a year. In August 1944, the station was reopened by a skeleton duty crew providing emergency recovery facilities for USAAF bombers returning from missions on the continent.


Ludham was the first airfield on the flight path home to Norfolk and eleven aircraft are recorded to have either crashed in the vicinity or to have made emergency landings on the airfield. Major John B "Jack" Kidd's aircraft was damaged during a raid on Regensburg and crash-landed at Ludham; the Blakely crew, also from the 100th Bomb Group, crash-landed on the airfield in October 1944, after their bomber was damaged during a raid on Bremen. The crew of a damaged fighter aircraft of the 352nd squadron landed at the first aerodrome they saw in England, which was Ludham. A B-17G Flying Fortress bomber of the 388th Bomb Group was damaged over Kiel and crash-landed near Laurel Farm.



When we went there then it was accessible. The last time we past though the gates were locked so you couldn't access.

By Jamie Cooper, Jan 27 2019 07:30PM

So I went for a long lonesome walk today over the Norfolk fields. Luckily I managed to take a short-cut across some muddied fields - to get back to my car before a winter downpour of sleet in freezing wind. Now I feel too tired to paint but had done an extra painting the other day of a group of trees across the fields. Very much like a lot of the scenery I saw today.

By Jamie Cooper, Jan 26 2019 04:41PM

Sometimes simplicity speaks louder than too much work and creates more excitement. For those - like me - who have spent many hours of their lives traipsing about the Countryside and wondering about the story behind some anomaly. There are a lot of crooked trees in the Norfolk landscape(s) which have been bent over due to the wind from the coast. But this one isn't one of those. More likely broken somehow or could even have been struck by lightning - I doubt that though as lightning trees are often more fractured. - Someone once crashed their tractor into it at an earlier stage in it's growth? Maybe that. The locals may tell you a yarn about how a German Parachutist once landed in it and was taken prisoner by pitch-fork weilding farm-hands. But unfortunately - most villages don't have locals anymore as they can't afford the exuberant cost of the houses.

By Jamie Cooper, Jan 24 2019 01:39PM

Contrary to common belief there are many hilly areas in Norfolk. But there is in truth a lot of flatness in places where the skies can be viewed in their glory. A lot of places though the view is obscured by the tree lines - which make you feel a bit of a voyeur when walking a footpath and a gap in the hedge rows gives you a view. If you step back a bit the contrast of the hedge and trees frame this view very well.


Another dip-pen & ink and watercolour.

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