Grimes Graves/Framlingham Castle 4/6/2012

My cousin set us off on our way this morning armed with directions and a plan to see two historical sights. Our first starts with Grimes Graves, near Thetford, which goes back to Neolithic man – some 5,000 years ago, where the inhabitants mined for high quality flint. It really does make you think of how difficult this was when their tools consisted of antlers used as picks, ladders made of notched tree trucks and pottery buckets. Also, how did they know to go so far down underground to even find the high quality flint, digging right passed the rubbish flint through two distinct layers of chalk, up to 12m deep. Our guide speculates that perhaps they found the seams in lower sections or exposed areas and realised what they needed to do. Stonehenge was erected around the same time period. I went down the mine shaft, on a nice modern day ladder, and was able to get some idea of the cramped conditions only with well lit electrical lighting, thankfully, perhaps not quite the Neolithic experience! Shane also discovers that a man by the name of A.E Peake worked here as an archeologist – could be an ancestor?

Framlingham Castle is also another significant part of English History and dates back to the 12th century. There is an abundance of history of Earls and Dukes living here but it was also briefly owned by Mary Tudor. Here she rallied her supporters and it was here she received the news she had been accepted as the Queen of England. I walked around the very top of the castle and looked out over the beautiful lake and fields that were used to feed the occupants. Quite eerie in some places but a very formidable structure, a fantastic spot to defend from any intruders.

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