Friday, 4 April 2014

Dunwich Forest

was our destination yesterday, to avoid the cold wind and the high levels of polution. 'Twas a good move. The air was clear in the forest and we were sheltered from the stiff Northerly wind.
MWNN goes to survey fallen birch trees

The evidence of December storms was all around, with large numbers of fallen trees.

The Forestry Commission is still working hard to clear the timber and make safe those trees which have yet to be removed from the support of still-standing conifers.

We found the walk easy, apart from a steep climb back up to the car park, which brought on a bout of wheezing. MWNN loaned me his stick.

Present coastline marked in red

Dunwich Forest was once part of the Dunwich/Walberswick heaths and forest, before coastal erosion took much of it into the  North Sea. After lunch in The Ship Inn, we visited Dunwich Museum. There we saw a map showing the coastline c400AD.

The lost city of Dunwich, now under the waves.
It's amazing to think that this town was once a large 'city'. "By the 11th century it was one of the greatest ports on the east coast, the tenth largest place in England, a crusader port, a naval base, and a religious centre with many large churches, monasteries, hospitals, grand public buildings and even a mint. Its citizens grew wealthy from trade, shipbuilding and a seventy vessel fishing fleet. It had one sixth of the population of London and two seats in Parliament.  second only to London in importance." (Dunwich Museum)