Blofield Heritage Day a big success

We were involved in a warm and sunny heritage day at Blofield Church, just east of Norwich, on Saturday, 10 September, 2012. This is a large church which gave plenty of room for re-enactors, displays and workshops – and there was great enthusiasm locally, making the day an outstanding success, especially for the teddy bears who were given balloon rides – not a big feature of the Paston Letters, but one feels sure the Pastons would have approved. 

The handmade book was on show, and Paston videos playing on a loop attracted a lot of interest, as did the lute player. The latter was a link to the Edward Paston (1550-1630) whose striking marble monument is on the wall of the church. He was a great patron of music and composers, including William Byrd. The church also contains the 1713 grave of another Edward Paston – who lived at Barningham – and one of his first wife, Margaret, who died at the age of 23 in 1689. Her stone in the church floor contains a poem by John Dryden.

The Blofield event was preceded by four re-enactment workshops for Members and Friends of the Society. These provided training for people to say the right things at events, but also gave a fascinating glimpse into the world behind the letters. They took place at The Barn, Dayspring, Mundesley Road, Paston:
May 5: The making of books
June 2: The making of textiles (spinning, weaving, dyeing and dressing)
July 7: Living in a fifteenth century household (herb lore, food, clothes, arms etc)
August 25: The 16th and 17th century Pastons –“ preparation for Blofield day.