Showing posts from February, 2010

The Tithe War

The Elmsett tithe memorial is one of several reminders in Suffolk of the battle fought by small farmers against the demands from the Church for payment of tithes. It also recalls a now largely forgotten but rather murky period in East Anglian local politics.  In the 1930s, agriculture in England experienced a deep depression, and it was very hard to make the land pay. The Church of England had undergone much modernisation over the previous century, but even so, there were still parishes where the tithe system meant that even small landowners were legally obliged to contribute a proportion of their income to the church for the upkeep of its incumbent. This was the case even if they were not Anglicans, which in Suffolk many were not. In addition, many of the smaller landowners were supporters of the Liberal Party, but the governing Conservative Party, which many of the larger landowners supported, stood foursquare behind the Church in the matter. If the landowners refused to pay, t

Framlingham and Orford castles

Framlingham Castle is an externally perfect moated 12th century castle. The fortress consists of a curtain wall punctuated by 13 square towers. The curtain wall has remained in an exceptional state of preservation despite the castle's advanced age, and the renovations of later centuries, which saw it used as a school, a poorhouse, and a prison.! Now for some history (courtesy of Wikipedia): The site was probably used for fortifications as early as the 6th century, but of those early structures nothing remains. Framlingham enters history more firmly at the turn of the 12th century when the estate was given by Henry I to Roger Bigod. It seems likely that Bigod built a simple wooden motte and bailey castle at Framlingham, but it was left to his second son, Hugh, later the first Earl of Norfolk, to replace that structure with one of stone. That fortification was ordered dismantled by Henry II about 1175, but it was rebuilt by Hugh's son Roger, the Second Earl of Norfo