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A History of Norfolk book to launch in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 13:47 16 May 2019 | UPDATED: 14:12 16 May 2019

A History of Norfolk by Chris Barringer, published by Carnegie Publishing

A History of Norfolk by Chris Barringer, published by Carnegie Publishing

Carnegie Publishing

A fascinating new history of Norfolk is a fitting tribute to author Chris Barringer, and the county he loved

The late Chris Barringer with one of his books, Exploring the Norfolk Village. 
 Photo: IAN BURTThe late Chris Barringer with one of his books, Exploring the Norfolk Village. Photo: IAN BURT

From Stone Age burial mounds to our particularly complex road network, from Boudicca to Edith Cavell, and from Celtic saints to Victorian tourism, the fascinating history of Norfolk is traced and celebrated in a new book.

A History of Norfolk by Chris Barringer will be launched at Jarrold on May 23.

It is being called the last, and greatest, work of historian Chris Barringer.

Chris lost his heart to Norfolk when he moved to the county with his wife and two children in 1965, to work in adult education, first for Cambridge University and then the University of East Anglia.

As he explored the towns and villages, fields and woodland, rivers and coast of Norfolk he learned to read the landscape - what is that hummock, why does the lane curve there, where did a farm or village name come from? Chris researched in the open air, as well as the archives, and the results are an impressively authoritative yet beautifully accessible book.

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The sheer wealth of archaeological finds in Norfolk reveals how long people have lived here. As they settled - hunter-gatherers, the first farmers, Celts, Romans, Vikings, Normans and beyond - they shaped the landscape and culture. Chris charts this process and alongside this journey from the distant past to the 21st century, he introduces some of the Norfolk people who have had a national and international impact - Horatio Nelson, Charles "Turnip" Townshend, Elizabeth Fry and many more.

Maps and pictures illustrate each page and point, as chapters range from Roman Norfolk to 21st century housing estates and nature conservation.

From his home in Hethersett, near Norwich, Chris, who died, aged 82, in 2013, was a champion of adult education and lifelong learning and set up many local history groups across Norfolk. He served as president of the Norfolk Archaeological and Historical Research Group, chairman of the Norfolk and Norwich Heritage Trust and vice president of the Norfolk and Norwich Archaeological Society. He helped save medieval Dragon Hall in Norwich, ran classes at Wensum Lodge and was the first director of extramural studies at the University of East Anglia.

This comprehensive, readable, celebration of Norfolk is a tribute to him and to his adopted county.

A History of Norfolk by Chris Barringer is published by Carnegie Publishing for £25.

It will be launched at Jarrold on Thursday, May 23. Tickets are available from www.jarrold.co.uk

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