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Sep 2014

Bungay Coat of Arms

Right on the River Waveney and the border with Norfolk, Bungay is absolutely bubbling with history.

There's a natural spring made into a well by the Romans, the origin of the castle is Norman and the place name is thought to derive from a Saxon chieftain with the foundations of St Mary's Church dated to that period[1].

It's already been realised they're not the only relics. Their sign is firmly fixed in the '50s, eh?

A Fine Old Town

[1] Let's not even get started on the Benedictine nunnery.

There are several churches here and St Mary's looks to get most of the press. A lightning strike in the 1500s prompted an apparition of  Black Shuck, a boding, demonic dog who roams these parts.

He still puts in the odd personal appearance, apparently, and yes, that's him atop the coat of arms and yes, that's him what Led Zeppelin, sorry AC/DC, sorry the Darkness were  screeching about on their  stonkin' debut album.

Here's the best, though, the Roman Catholic St Edmunds. It was finished off in the 1890s with a bit of gothic flair and a flourish.

It all still happens here, in and around the old Buttercross. It was indeed all about the butter back in the day but now there's a burger van. That's slightly unfair, it's only here on a 'Thrusday', which is  market day, don't you know.

Thrusdays see a handful of local pop-up stalls with some decent looking fish by the look of it. Unlike Wells' fruit and veg., they're not from the local fields, which are known to be prone to the odd flood.

A slight slope on the high street has meant problems there during recent downpours and the faded newspaper clipping in the Chinese takeaway's window reports their soggy plight.

It's suggested that's not the best advert for their crispy duck. Just saying like.

The colourful Earsham Street loops round to cross the River Waveney from where you can drop down and then back up again via a new wooden walkway, not shown.

You'll emerge here at what's left of this castle.

Some old Norman or other called Roger laid the foundations for all of this before his second son fell out with King Henry II. The castle was confiscated and Hugh Bigod was killed somewhat presciently in Syria, in exile, in a bit of a punch-up.

Some recent renovations have kept it upright and there's free entry should you want to see it close up.

The attached  Jesters Café claims 'The Best Hot Chocolate in Town.' Really? How hard can that be? Kettle, sachet? Sachet, kettle?