On Tuesday 16 May, members of the Great Yarmouth, Gorleston and Lowestoft groups visited Caister Roman Fort and the
nearby lifeboat museum.
Constructed in AD 200, the Sea Fort was built as a base for the Roman army and navy. It was built on a small island on the north side of a large estuary, where the rivers Ant, Bure, Yare and Waveney converged; today, that estuary is mostly dry land on which Great Yarmouth is situated. The ruins of part of the foundations, which participants were able to walk around (below), are all that’s left of a site that one housed between 500 and a 1,000 men.
A short drive Caister Lifeboat Visitors Centre offered group members the chance to examine up close the lifeboats Fred Dyble II and Bernard Matthews II (below). The interactive part of the museum enabled visitors to relive the history of the lifeboat station at Caister, which as of 1969 is one of only three stations independent of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.
Two days later, on Thursday 18 May, a larger Heritage group enjoyed a day out at Framlingham Castle (below) in brilliant sunshine – like Caister Roman Fort, the site is managed and maintained by English Heritage. Built in the 12th century, it was home to the Dukes of Norfolk for over 400 years and, in 1553, was the centre of a royal succession crisis, with Mary Tudor, one of the contenders for the throne, using Framlingham castle as her stronghold. An impressive building, participants were able to walk around the castle ramparts (belowI), listen to an audio history, play a game to find out what castle inhabitants ate in the past and, in the museum, learn about the Suffolk regiments who served in the last century.
All this plus a picnic made Framlingham an exceptionally memorable day.
For more information on the Heritage Linkworker project, click here.
For more information on English Heritage, click here.