Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Iceni village

Ricardo has been reading a book from the library entitled 'The Boudiccan revolt'. It recalls the history of Boudicca the Queen of the Iceni who is reputed to be buried somewhere near where we live. We're talking 60AD in East Anglia when the fens were undrained, 'The Wash' a huge expanse of swamp and Ely still an island.
The Iceni king at the time, Prasutagas, Boudicca's husband, decided that it would be prudent to make his will leaving half of his property to the Roman emperor and half to Boudicca, his wife. When Prasutagas died, Roman officials decided to interpret his will as a submission to the Roman state, so they moved to appropriate all of the Iceni lands and disarm the tribe. Boudicca protested. The Romans had her flogged and her daughters were raped. This high handed treatment of an ostensible ally had predictable results. Queen Boudicca summoned the Iceni and the neighbouring Trinivantes tribe in revolt against Roman rule. They raised what is now Colchester (the seat of Rome in Britain) with an army numbering some 100,000 men, women and children and then moved on to sack Londinium (London). They were reputed to be a fearsome lot and many Romans chose to run rather than fight. In the end Rome gathered its forces & killed almost all of them, men women & children with their more disciplined fighting style.

Back in present day Norfolk we decided to find the reconstructed Iceni village that is about 3/4 of an hour drive away from here in a place called Cockley Cley. It was a slightly cool summers day but it didn't stop us from wandering around this pretty deserted place. It seems that an eccentric private collector Sir Peter Roberts, 3rd Baronet of Cockley Cley Hall, in the late ’60s and early ’70s. had a grand idea to reconstruct this village but the use of crappy modern building materials & synthetic fabric covered shop dummies make it a little dissapointing. However, the lake & nature walk nearby are wonderful with a quiet peace disturbed only by the odd coot & it's copper headed babies.
There is also a Church nearby that claims to be from the 7th century but as I researched this on the web for this post it became clear that this was a hoax & the church is probably from the 12th century.

Nevertheless we had a really lovely day out, a million miles away from sewing & hammering.


kelly said...

even a 12th century church is pretty impressive, says the girl from the New World. :-)

JoeyJoJo said...

I know Kelly, I know. This is the girl from the even more recent world. Flabbergasted at such ancient-ness (Is that a real word?)