Upcoming Events

Sunday June 9th, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
A.G.M. & “The Flintknapper’s Ghost” Poetry Walk
Santon Downham

The 2019 Annual General Meeting will take place between 2.00 and 2.45pm on Sunday 9 June in the Church of St Mary the Virgin, Santon Downham.

This small Grade 1 listed church, also known as The Church in the Forest, is historically important with notable dedicated foundation stones at the base of the tower and a marvellous stained glass window depicting Brecklands wildlife. Please note there is no toilet in the church – public conveniences are in the nearby public carpark, by the Forestry Commission offices. Full details of parking options will be included in one of our periodic emails closer to the date.

Immediately after the Annual General meeting, poet, entomologist and naturalist Tim Gardiner will lead us on The Flint Knapper’s Poetry Walk, from St Helen’s Well Picnic Site, Santon Downham, from 3.00-5.00pm. Tim will talk about the area and its wildlife and read Santon poems from his book, The Flint Knapper’s Ghost, an anthology of prose and haiku (which will be on sale). Other poets are invited to read their work too.

Venue: St. Mary The Virgin Church, Santon Downham, United Kingdom

Tuesday June 11th, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Invitation to Visit Marham House

Sir Jeremy and Lady Sarah Bagge have kindly  invited members of  the Breckland Society to tour Marham House on Tuesday 11 June at 6.30pm. There are around seven acres of grounds, a 20th century house and some remains of the earlier 1815 house: a Winter Gardens and The Old Dairy. Wine, soft drinks and light refreshments  will be provided. Please note this will be a member only event for a maximum for 30 attendees, with only outside photography permitted. The cost will  be £12.50 in aid of Marham church. Full details of the event, including arrangements for parking, will be sent out on an event notification email nearer the time.

Sunday July 7th, 10.30am – 12.30pm
The Flowers of Weeting Heath
Guided walk led by James Symmonds, Norfolk Wildlife Trust
(Members only)

Following on from our excellent walk round this reserve in mid-July 2018, James, a highly knowledgeable naturalist, will guide us round sections of this NWT reserve not normally open to the public. (Note: Rescheduled from May due to James’ availability).

Weeting Heath is famous for breeding stone curlews, and is one of the very finest remaining Breckland heaths and home to the rare Spiked Speedwell, Spanish Catchfly and Maiden Pink.

Please book in advance. Members only – £5. Maximum of 15 attendees.

Refreshments can be bought at the NWT visitor centre before and after the walk.

Venue: NWT Reserve, Weeting Heath IP26 4NQ

Friday August 9th, 7.30pm – 9.00pm
The Angel Roofs of East Anglian Churches
An illustrated talk by Sarah Cassell in St Mary’s Church, Mildenhall

East Anglia is home to some of the most extraordinary church roofs in the country, richly decorated with ‘life sized’ and often painted angels. These churches and their angelic hordes are beautifully documented in Michael Rimmer’s 2015 book “Angel Roofs of East Anglia”.

Quite a number of these are in Breckland, or easily accessible from the area; one of the best Breckland angel roofs is that of  St. Mary’s Church, Mildenhall.

Sarah Cassell is currently doing a PhD on the subject; by the kind permission of the vicar, Sarah will talk about these amazing roofs in the very appropriate setting of St Mary’s! So not only will you learn about the fascinating history of this extraordinary form of church decoration, including Cromwell’s attempts to destroy them (and how the locals saved many of them) you will do so under the gaze of dozens of angels.

The event will be a joint one with the Church, and will be publicised locally in Mildenhall – but given the venue, we don’t expect to run out of seating!

For those members who are keen photographers, we hope to arrange for you to be able to turn up early with your long lenses and tripods, and photograph the amazing angels and beautiful carved beams earlier in the evening. A donation to church funds would be appreciated.

Friday September 13, 7:30 pm
M.R. James’s East Anglian Connections and Influences
Talk by Rik Hoggett

Rik is an archaeologist, formerly with both Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils, and is also a Journal of Breckland Studies editorial panel member.

M.R. James was a Cambridge university academic, probably best known for his Christmas ghost stories, told to friends and students in his college rooms in the early 1900s, and now often dramatized on radio around Christmas. However, he was also a distinguished archaeologist and medievalist, who conducted a lot of research in our region.

Rik Hoggett, who many of you will know, is a professional archaeologist and is currently researching this topic. The talk will cover James’ work at Livermere, Bury St Edmunds Abbey and the excavations of the abbots’ tombs, as well as the wider influences of East Anglia’s landscape and history on James’ academic work and ghost stories.

Venue: The Engine House, Brandon Country Park, Brandon, Suffolk IP27 0SU