There’s a clause in the ‘Moving To Norwich’ contract that states that new residents must visit Mousehold Heath within the first twelve months and take a photograph over the city. Obviously I did this, I just can’t put my hands on the pictures at this moment.
An optional extra is to revisit Mousehold Heath and explore more of the area at your leisure. Which is exactly what I’ve done. Well part of it. I found myself walking round in circles. Big circles. I didn’t have a map.
I didn’t realise how big the heath is or its history.
According to Wikipedia, “In 1144 the body of a boy, William of Norwich, was found on the heath. The story was circulated that his death was the result of ritual murder carried out by Jews and he attained the status of saint and martyr… A chapel was erected on the site where the body was found, and its remains can still be seen on the northern edge of the present heath.”
I didn’t know that and I did’t see the remains of the chapel, mainly because I didn’t know it was there and wasn’t looking for it.
Wikipedia goes on to say, “In 1381 the final battle of the Peasants’ Revolt took place a few days after a huge meeting of people on the heath occurred on 17 June. There Geoffrey Litster, later to be defeated at the Battle of North Walsham, was proclaimed “King of the Commons”.
What I do know is that there are sparrow hawks there. I know this because I saw one. I was sat on a bench getting my camera out of my bag. When I looked up there it was on the ground just ahead of me with a small mammal gasping its last. The sparrow hawk turned it’s head and saw me sitting there with my mouth wide open and it quietly took flight.
I’ve also just read that Household Heath is the breeding ground for some rare butterflies.
I’m going to do little more research and then go back with a plan. And a map. There’s only so many times a man can walk past the same tree stump.
Here’s a little teaser on what you are missing if you only go for the view over Norwich.