Conducted Tour of Castle Hedingham by Dickie Bird: April 9th 2013
On Tuesday, April 9th. 10 members and friends were given a conducted tour of Castle Hedingham by local historian Dickie Bird.
We started at The Bell and were treated to one of the most interesting talks we have ever had.
Dickie explained how the de Veres of the castle influenced so many of the surrounding villages right up until the death of Aubrey de Vere the 20th. Earl in 1703. He also explained about visits by royalty including Queen Elizabeth I and several kings.
It is also believed by many that Edward the 17th Earl is the true author of the Shakespeare canon.
Many other castles and larger houses in the greater area were owned by the de Veres. The Hedingham Heritage Society have published a brochure containing a map of the wider area detailing the most important towns and villages where these buildings can be seen.
After discussing many of the major properties in the town, for town it indeed is, owing to the fact that a market was granted to the town by King John. We completed the tour in the beautiful late Norman church of St Nicholas. The most amazing rood screen in the church was discussed in detail. Dickie had identified many of the carvings on the screen and submitted his findings to specialists at Cambridge. It is hoped that a booklet on the subject will be published shortly.
Dickie was roundly thanked by chairman Alan Fitch and it was agreed that a further visit would be booked next year.
Afterwards members availed themselves of refreshments at the Magnolia Tearooms.