We were fairly confident that under the able leadership of Charles Tracy our
search would be rewarded, and so it was.
The Bishop emerged as a powerful figure, close to Edward II, and a man of
wealth and influence. In Norwich, by the cathedral, we toured the remains of
Bishop Salmon's Camary College, now incorporated into the buildings of
Norwich School, and admired its magnificent chapel (its ossuary now
disappointingly bereft of bones). We were privileged to enter the present
bishop's garden and to explore the surviving but crumbling gateway of his
illustrious predecessor's palace. We walked through the cathedral cloisters,
the eastern range of which was Bishop Salmon's work, and zoom lenses were
soon in evidence snapping the intriguing roof-bosses.
We examined St Ethelbert's Gateway (to the cathedral) and then the
Arminghall Arch, originally the entrance to the nearby Carmelite Priory,
which following a spell as the doorway to a country house was again
displaced and is now encapsulated within the new Magistrates' Court, the
business of which swirled around us as in leisurely fashion we admired the
From the bustle of urban Norwich we journeyed to the lonely site of the
ancient Abbey of St Benet of Holme where in a wide Broadland landscape under
brooding clouds we viewed one of East Anglia's strangest sights - a fine
abbey gateway, richly carved, but now partly and incongruously incorporated
into and supporting the brickwork of a decayed 18th century windmill.
This long-gone abbey has one further claim to fame; it was never formally
dissolved by Henry VIII. Thus since the reign of King Canute there has been
an Abbot of St Benet and to this day that title is held by the Bishop of