Spring Field Trips

As soon as the weather gets warmer, we take our undergraduate students out into the field to teach. This year we’ve had a run of field trips all bathed in glorious sunshine (unheard of!)

The second year undergraduates enjoyed a warm and sunny day out in Wayland Wood, an ancient wood near Watton which is reputed to be the site of the Babes in the Wood legend. We spent time looking at how the wood is managed as a coppice, as well as the earthworks of the medieval boundary banks.

The area around Wayland Wood is also the focus of a local project, Capturing Wayland’s Heritage, which aims to record and celebrate the history of the local area. The project has an interesting blog and a Flickr group with nearly 700 photos of the area.

We also visited Castle Acre on the same day. The students looked at the parish church of St James, the earthworks of the Norman settlement, and the impressive ruins of the castle itself.

Our third year undergraduates have been studying post-medieval designed landscapes this term, so we visited two very different landscapes which were created nearly a century apart.

We visited Houghton Hall, created for Robert Walpole in the 1720s and 1730s, and with a number of surviving formal avenues, vistas and garden features. We spent some time examining the remains of the pre-parkland landscape, including the earthwork remains of Houghton village.

We also visited Sheringham Park, designed by Humphry Repton in 1812. Repton thought of Sheringham as his favourite commission, and we walked along his original entrance drive which is now lined with rhododendrons. There are wonderful views over the whole landscape from the top of the gazebo.

This week we’re looking forward to another Landscape History field trip this week – we’re off on a tour of Breckland. Fingers crossed for some more sunshine!


Author: UEA Landscape History

Landscape historians based in the School of History at the University of East Anglia.

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