Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Around the Town Tuesday: a History Lesson

I read about this today and I can't resist! I think it will be a fun way to get to know & see my town a little more, and for YOU to learn about it too!

For *almost* one year (I can't believe it!) I've lived in Thetford. "The Ancient Capital of East Anglia." I don't know exactly what that means, but it's on the sign so it must be a source of pride around here.
Thetford is here:
(according to Wikipedia) The big white blob is England. The little red blob is probably East Anglia. The funky shape outlined in the middle is (I think) Norfolk County. Don't say "Nor-folk" say "Nor-fuk" :) And Thetford is at the bottom right in that little notch. I ran to Suffolk county yesterday, so I can guarantee you that Thetford is at the very bottom of Norfolk County.

Here are the things I know about Thetford: there are ducks, lakes, bridges, pubs. The market is on Tuesdays and Saturdays. There's some pretty old stuff around here. Like from the 12th century. There is some even older stuff, the "Thetford Treasure" in the British Museum and it was found near the giant hill right down the street. There's a statue of Thomas Paine, a Thomas Paine Hotel/restaurant, and last year, a big Thomas Paine festival. King Henry VIII ordered a bunch of Thetford stuff to be destroyed. The traditional buildings are "flint cottages". A show called "Dad's Army" was filmed here and there's a museum for the show in town centre. There are great places to run. There's a Tesco, a Sainsbury, a train station and puh-lenty of charity shops. I love it here.

Here's what I learned just for this blog post:
There's been "activity" going on here since 2,500 B.C. The Iceni--a Celtic tribe-- starting piling up that giant hill in 500 B.C. and were using it by 40 A.D. Talk about perseverance! There was also an Iceni gal named Boudicca... a "flame-haired warrior Queen" who found joy in revolting against the Romans. I'm glad things have quieted down here now.
Back in the 10th Century, when Thetford was the Saxon capital of the area, they even had their own mint/coins.
After Henry VIII had had his way with Thetford's religious buildings, the town went through some tough times, but in the 19th century it was known as an "elegant spa town". Maybe that means I'll be able to find somewhere to get my eyebrows done this week.
The Bell Inn (you can see a bit of it in the photo above) was featured on Ghosthunters!
Queen Elizabeth I ate dinner down the street from my house in 1578!
These are all old pictures because I just read about this today and couldn't add "walk to town centre and take pictures" to my to-do list. I'm really looking forward to visiting new & old places and taking more pictures for this blog hop!


Courtney said...

Becca, this was so interesting! I can't wait to learn more. So glad you joined the blog hop. Looking forward to learning more about you and where you live!

Jes said...

How neat! I think it is very intriguing to hear about a place I never knew existed. Glad you made the decision to join us. Can't wait to learn more!

Dogeared said...

Great idea!

Amy said...

What a historically rich area you live in. I have lived in the same city my whole life, so I don't think anything interesting happens here, but I should research it, just for fun. That could be a lot of fun. Thanks for the inspiration.

Brandi said...

Your town looks amazing, what a great place to live, so much history.

Anonymous said...

What a neat town and it's so cool that I can learn about small English towns through the power of the internet!

omly said...

We have SCA friends who have a daughter named Boudicca after that warrior queen. :)

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