After we were finished exploring Castle Rising Castle, we talked to a local couple in the parking lot, who recommended we go to Hunstanton for lunch and try one of the fish and chip places on the beach. So we bypassed Sandringham Palace, which is not open to the general public anyways, although much of the countryside nearby the grounds are, and were quite crowded with picnickers and walkers enjoying the sunshine. We passed directly by the main gates, and waved, but the royal family is usually only there between Christmas and February.
Hunstanton had a rocky beach, divided into sections, and very hardy Brits “paddling” (as they say) in the water, which must have been just a few degrees above the freezing mark. The air temperature was barely a sunny 17 degrees, and I did not remove my polar fleece jacket for the wind! But the fish and chips were very hot and very fresh, as promised.
From there we took a scenic road to Wells, stopping at Brancaster St. Mary church along the way. I loved the 13th century windows in the porch.
I also enjoyed puzzling out some of the Latin words in the brass floor inscription in the chancel (the part at the front where the altar is). This was for William Cotyng, rector of the church, who died in 1485. It contained some strange-looking numbers. They looked like Roman Numeral II’s to me at first, but by comparing them with the “C” in Cotyng’s name (top line at the right), I was able to surmise that they were actually Roman Numeral C’s, standing for the number 100. Thus four of them were 400. So, apparently we have some sort of an abbreviated word for a thousand (millennium? My latin is garbage), and then four 100’s and then – something that must stand for 85, since that’s when Cotyng died.
This lovely church also has a plain 14C baptismal font with the most fantastic wooden cover, donated in 1493. The cover is attached to a telescoping mechanism which raises the entire cover so the font can be used.
I just can’t get over the fact that this church has been in continuous use for 700 years!