I had a good writing week so was relaxed about taking time for a two day trip to Norwich, our local city. Our hotel was The Maids Head Hotel, featured in the book, Tombland, for those that enjoy reading about the Tudor detective, Matthew Shardlake. They believe it is the oldest hotel in England, 800 years old but much of it was rebuilt over the years. The oldest part is on the right-hand side. It is a lovely hotel with lots of different communal areas in which to relax and take afternoon tea. I will find a way to include it in my current book. It’s also very handy for the cathedral.
We undertook a guided tour of the cathedral, first pausing at the statue commemorating Edith Cavell, which had been featured the evening before on TV. Serendipity rules again. I hadn’t realised that she was a Norfolk lass. When she was reburied in the city, thousands came to pay their respects.
Our guide was a lovely lady, passionate and knowledgeable about the cathedral. It always add so much when she points out things that you would otherwise miss. The beautiful ceiling is uniquely decorated with tiny carved figures from the old and new testament. I love the guy who decided he wanted to be buried upright in the wall of the cathedral.
One scene in my book is set in the wonderful area of Elm Hill, a medieval street with cobble stones.
They say that there are churches for every week of the year in Norwich. There could be more. This area had three or four within a hundred meters. Some are no longer churches but have become antique centres or a theatre, or an arts centre. How to repurpose a church and make it viable is a big question in Norfolk with so many ecclesiastical buildings.
My next trip to Norwich is later this month for a walking tour about black history in Norwich. I have a couple of abolitionists in my new book so am hoping to find out more background for the historical elements.