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That's the word that best describes East Anglia. The level
landscape imparts a sense of space and freedom, and also
allows opportunities for easy walks and cycling. Much of
that landscape was under water until several centuries ago;
prodigious drainage projects from the Middle Ages onward
have reclaimed land that was once best navigated in a flat-bottomed
of the highlights of the Fen Country is Ely, with its superb
rising on a low hump of ground above the surrounding fens.
Ely is renown for its remarkable octagonal lantern tower,
one of the engineering triumphs of medieval architecture.
for cathedral honours in East Anglia is Norwich
where the cathedral
has the unusual - for England - feature
of a rounded apse behind the high altar. Look for the carvings
on the bosses of the nave and in the cloister walk.
interior is a superb example of Norman architecture, and
the bishop's throne behind the high altar is the oldest
in England. William the Conqueror built a castle
in 1067, using the townsfolk as forced labour, and the present
stone castle was built on the same mound some 60 years later.
Horsey pump mill,
is the gateway to the Norfolk
, a National Park made up of a multitude of broad,
shallow lakes lying along five major rivers. The Broads
are a very popular sailing centre, and provide excellent
walks along miles of seaside trails and through several
from the delights of nature to rich architectural heritage,
Cambridge is first and foremost a university town - though
the inhabitants have struggled to accept the large student
population in their midst down the centuries. Cambridge
was founded by students and masters fleeing an
outbreak of "town and gown" violence at Oxford
in the early medieval period.
the colleges of Cambridge do not play second fiddle to those
of Oxford! Most renown of the colleges are Trinity
where the Chapel
is one of the marvels of late Perpendicular
Near Cambridge is Ickworth House
, an amazing
Italianate structure topped by a massive rotunda, built
for the 4th Earl of Bristol in 1795. It was to house the
earl's art treasures, but they were seized by Napoleon and
the Earl died (and his body was shipped home from Italy
in a coffin labeled "antique sculpture").
Framlingham Castle, Suffolk
is Jacobean stately home surrounded by a dry moat.
The long gallery at Blickling is a reminder of the house's
Tudor origins, and the gardens blend yew hedges, a parterre
and topiary, large herbaceous beds, pools and fountains.
At Framlingham, Suffolk, the remains of 12th century Framlingham
is surrounded by a perfectly preserved curtain
wall with 13 towers.
Cambridge can be crowded with tourists on occasion, East
Anglia as a whole is largely unaffected by the onslaught
of tourism. There are still pockets of rural calm, such
as Dedham Vale, the valley of the river Stour around Dedham
and East Bergholt so beloved of native son John
. Many of the scenes that Constable painted
can still be appreciated today.