Showing posts from May, 2016

Redgrave, South Lopham & Banham

Redgrave & Lopham Fen is an internationally important lowland valley fen with a unique landscape of spring-fed sedge beds, rush and grass meadows, wet and dry heath, woodland and pools. Home to insect-eating plants and Britain's biggest spider, the fen raft spider, this dramatic fenland landscape is one of the most important wetlands in Europe and the source of the River Waveney. The fen is an exceptional place for wildlife and a testament to the vision of those who battled to save it. It`s a wild watery landscape of sedge, rush, heath and hundreds of pools created over many centuries by local people as they eked out a living, digging peat for fuel and cutting reed and sedge for thatching. Talking of large spiders, here is an image I captured in 2010 on a visit. Not the best quality, but it does show the creature in its habitat. The Raft Spider is a large, chunky spider that lives around the edge of ponds and swamps. Adults sit at the edge of the water, or on flo

The hidden history of Little Wenham

Little Wenham is a small village in Suffolk, England. It is part of the civil parish of Wenham Parva (the ancient name for Little Wenham) within Babergh district. A village with no public roads but fortunately some rights of way. Its most famous building, Little Wenham Hall, is largely hidden from view. To quote Sir Nikolaus Pevsner from his “The Buildings of England” series, “The house was built c.1270 - 80, probably for Sir John de Vallibus and his successor Petronilla of Nerford. It is of great historical importance for two reasons. The first is that it is built of brick, and represents one of the earliest uses of home-made brick in England. Flint is used only for the base of the walls and stone for the much rebuilt buttresses and dressings. The second point of outstanding interest is that the house is a house and not a keep. It is fortified of course, but it is in its shape and appointment on the way from the fortress to the manor house and so ranks with Stokesay and Acton Bu

A visit to Flatford

The Mill at Flatford was once owned by John Constable’s father and Constable made the Mill and the surrounding area the subject of many of his works of art, which are now world famous. The famous `Willie Lott`s Cottage` at Flatford, taken in 2011 on a summer evening.  Valley Farm is the oldest building on site at Flatford. Built in the mid-15th century and is a good example of a medieval, open hall house which is now a Grade 1 listed building.  At one time Willy Lott's grandparents (English and Mary Lott) lived at Valley Farm and it was later owned by Willy Lott’s brother John (a farmer like his brother) who lived there with his wife and 14 children. Up until the 1930's Valley Farm was surrounded by buildings for all sorts of different agricultural uses. A fire in the 1930s destroyed nearly all of them.  Outside, the walls were timbered and painted with lime wash at regular intervals to preserve the timber frame and seal the gaps between the timbers and th

Flags of Convenience

Recently, while at Languard Point, I was at watching these two vessels coming into Felixstowe Port and mulling over their countries of origin. So, when at home, a bit of research on the internet gave me the following. ANNABA, registered in Liberia but owned by a firm in Germany. It has a length of 168m and deadweight of 20600 tons The  MAERSK ESSEN, registered in the Marshall Islands but the owner is from Singapore. It has a length of 366m and deadweight of 142105 tons.The interesting point is that neither ship is registered in the country of the owner. So, why is this? Well, When registering a vessel for international travel, one must choose a nation under the flag of which that vessel will sail. The term “flag of convenience” refers to registering a ship in a sovereign state different from that of the ship's owners. Why register a flag of convenience? Ships registered under flags of convenience can often reduce operating costs or avoid the