The Village of Castle Rising in Norfolk
According to legend the screams of Queen
Isabella (the She Wolf of France) are said to ring out on nights of the
full moon in the small village of Castle Rising (see the Myths and Legend
pages for the full story). This lovely village tucked away off the beaten
track retains is charm and oldey worldey atmosphere. Dominating the
village and commanding both past and present are the remains of a Norman
Castle, now managed by English Heritage.
Castle Rising was once a thriving seaport, and pictures from the 18th
century show that the Castle was still accessible by sea. An old ditty
(date unknown) goes like this "Rising was a seaport town, When Lynn was
but a marsh, Now Lynn it is a seaport, and Rising fares the worst."
The village has a small shop / post office /
tea shop and a village inn. The large town of Kings Lynn is just
under four miles away.
The church of St. Lawrence with its quirky
roof design was restored completely in the nineteenth century, it still
has an interesting Norman West porch.
On special occasions you may see a procession of ladies in scarlet cloaks
making their way to the church of St. Lawrence. These are the ladies of
Trinity Hospital or Bede House, which was founded by the Earl of
Northampton in 1614. The earl Henry Howard imposed certain conditions on
those ladies who were beneficiaries of his aid, conditions, which apply to
this day. Each lady must be able to read, be single, at least age 56, no
harlot, scold, drunkard or frequenter of taverns, inns or alehouses. They
should attend church every Sunday wearing their scarlet cloaks and badges
of the Earl of Northampton.
On founders day these ladies add to their
regular church costume a distinctive steeple hat, similar to those that
the stereotype image of a witch would wear. They are housed in the single
storey red-bricked almshouses close to the church, which was rebuilt in
1807 but still contains original 17th century furniture.
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