Weaving in Norfolk

I am a transplanted Englishwoman, living in Georgia USA, and I am returning for a short visit in October.  My grandmother is celebrating her 100th birthday, so some of my week will be spent in family celebrations.  

However, since I was not a weaver when I emigrated many years ago, I don't know what is worth seeing, visiting etc.  Does anyone have any recommendations of places related to weaving in or around Norwich?  I am planning a trip to Strangers Hall, but is there somewhere else I should add to my to do list??

Thanks in advance for any suggestions

Cheryl 

Comments

Posted on Sat, 09/01/2012 - 10:01

I am not sure if it is still there, or even if it would be of any interest but I know there was a black sheep herd and shop in Aylsham. I know in the medieval times Norfolk/Norwich was the centre of the wool trade due to the HUgenot workers expelled from the Low Countries. Lots of churches from that era (52 within the city walls - one for each sunday - to put in perspective apparently there were also 365 licenced establishments as well - one to get drunk in for each day of the year).

The only other thing I've seen unique to Norwich - not to do with weaving/wool - is the swan pens where they used to round up all the swans to find out how many the monarch owned. I'm not sure I'd be able to find it anyhow as its many years since I went around the footpath.

Anyway apart from the place I first did any weaving (at the age of seven) (definitely not a place of world heritage centre) I am not sure of anything weaving related. Other places/things worth visiting/trying Eating a Cromer crab, Adnams beer (strictly from Suffolk rather than Norfolk but well worth tasting (despite it not being cooled), Cider from Wroxham Barns (This is alcohol as well but Norfolk used to be a hub of cider making) The Mustard Shop in Norwich. Elm hill is a cobble street and used in many films

It really is a beautiful city and I hope you enjoy your stay.

Paul

Posted on Sat, 09/01/2012 - 23:31

Paul,

You brought back a lot of fond memories.  I lived in Norwich, (actually Mulbarton on the Ipswich Rd) until I was 11.  I was home 10 years ago for Gran's 90th and we had Cromer Crabs (so good) and went to Wells, and toured the castle and cathedral ( I had my 12 year old son with me for his first visit).  I had a time getting him out of the book shop in Elm Hill, and he thought the pastries were really good.

But, as I said, I was not a weaver when I lived there, so I was looking for anything related to that end.  I have actually been to the Black Sheep Farm and my husband still has his sweater, even though it is now quite old, and it is rarely cold enough in Georgia to break it out of the cedar chest.

I have read of the Norwich shawls on display at Strangers Hall, so I think that is one of my "points of interest".  And I may just have to try that beer!!

Thanks again

Cheryl

Posted on Fri, 10/26/2012 - 19:49

I had a fabulous trip to Norwich, and really enjoyed my week. 

I did get a chance to visit Strangers Hall, which for those who don't know is a Medieval house that was owned by a successful merchant, and showcases changes to life in Norwich. (for those not from Norfolk, strangers refer to the Flemish , French Hugenot, and Walloon weavers who were encourage to come to Norwich in the 14 and 1500's to revive the weaving trade.  There are bed curtains in Norwich cloth, some amazing antiques and stumpwork embroidery, and a dyers garden.

The Bridewell Museum has been redone, and has the history of trade in Norwich, but the high light of the museum (to me) is the Jacquard loom which is completely set up and has a nice video with it.

There is a woad farm in Norfolk growing the dye the Iceni used in the time of Queen Boadicea.

All this I found in the one free day I had to ramble.  It was lovely to reconnect with the generations of weavers past, and if anyone heads to Norwich there was lots to see.  There is also a textile collection, managed by the Castle Museum, but it is being moved and was not available for viewing when I was there.

Just thought I would provide an update 

Cheryl