Ancient Origins IRAQ Tour

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Sunset silhouette of Orford castle in Suffolk (Steve Mann / Adobe Stock)

Shuckland: Where Legends Haunt The Landscape

Shuckland encompasses haunted landscapes where legends, folklore, history and even tales of villains and heroes (but mainly villains) seemed to permeate the very fabric of the place and imprint their presence on the terrain. The location, East Anglia – the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk – is a liminal place, midway between the land and the sea, the earth and the sky, the present day and over 800,000 years of human history. Flint, sand, clay, clunch and carstone edging against brooks, rivers, meres, broads, estuaries and the ocean and big skies pierced only by Medieval towers – this is where England began.

Remains of St Benet’s Abbey church nave, looking toward the high altar (JohnArmagh/ CC BY-SA 3.0)

Remains of St Benet’s Abbey church nave, looking toward the high altar (JohnArmagh/ CC BY-SA 3.0)

The Treacherous Monk Of St Benet’s Abbey

A traveler would set out from the source of the Waveney (a distinctly uninspiring ditch) down to the sea and nowhere is this more evident than at St Benet’s Abbey on the Norfolk Broads. Although the abbey has been reduced to little more than a ruined Medieval gateway, into which an enterprising farmer inserted a red brick windmill, now also ruined, some 700 years later, one cannot help but shudder upon hearing the fate of the treacherous monk who sold out his colleagues to the invading Normans in the months after the Battle of Hastings in 1066.


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