Sunday, 28 August 2011

HOLME-NEXT-THE-SEA

Moving along the coast towards Holme-Next-The-Sea, we come to Titchwell Marsh, an area of salt and freshwater marshes and reed beds rich in bird life such as water rails, reed warblers and bearded tits. There are hides available for viewing the birds and an information centre.

By the time we reach Holme-Next-The-Sea, we are on the outer reaches of The Wash, that curious square ‘nick’ on the east coast of Britain. In the late 1990s this remote corner of the North Norfolk coast got into the news headlines when a circle of wooden posts was found, together with the upturned stump of an oak tree in the middle, on the beach at Holme, having been exposed following heavy winter storms. The county Archaeological Unit identfied the find as dating from the Bronze Age, from around 2,000 BC, which is roughly the same age as Stonehenge, hence the nickname which was given to it: Seahenge. The find was thought to be the best preserved example in Europe. Normally, the timbers in such sites crumble away, but here the waterlogged ground led to them being preserved. The oak stump in the middle is thought to have been used as some kind of altar. Theories about the purpose of the circle range from it having some sort of astronomical significance to being a place of ‘excarnation’, where bodies were laid out after death to hasten the process of decomposition.


Map
of the area.

'Bittern 3' photo (c) 2010, Andy  Vernon - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

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