News

Crabs, lobsters and Pastons

Admiral Clement Paston called in at the Cromer Crab and Lobster fair last weekend, and made himself available to chat to passers-by about the Paston family's connections with Cromer. He is better known to most of Cromer as Peter Stibbons, who had much to do with organising the event. Other Cromer names were on hand, including Keith Skipper and his wife Diane, and the PHS re-enactors also made themselves available to demonstrate various medieval skills. The weather was sunny enough to tempt many to attend, but with a cool enough wind to keep them moving. A great success all round.

Students planning theatre event

Rob Knee reports a successful event at Paston College in North Walsham, supporting their seven Year 12 BTec Drama group students who are devising a 30-minute piece of community theatre for performance this June.

The group have been studying the Paston Letters, and re-enactors from the Paston Heritage Society helped them to focus on the everyday life of the Letters through calligraphy, textiles and medieval games.

New project manager

The project manager for the 600 Paston Footprints project has been appointed and will meet hub representatives on Saturday, March 24 at a launch event at the Norfolk Record Office. His name is Matthew Champion. Watch this space for further news following that event.

Great news! Footprints project wins £374,000 Lottery award

The 600 Paston Footprints project, which has been in a development stage for two years, has got a huge boost from the Heritage Lottery Fund – and it will enable people across the county and beyond to join up the dots in the Pastons' 300-year history.

A National Lottery grant of £374,400 has just been confirmed by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), which means that doors will be opened to a new understanding of what made the Pastons tick, and the people they influenced.

Large-scale project wins Heritage Lottery Fund support: volunteers needed

HLF

The Paston Heritage Society and Dr Karen Smyth, Senior Lecturer in Medieval and Early Modern Literature at UEA, have received a £13,000 grant  from the Heritage Lottery Fund, representing initial support for the development of a community research project on the Pastons.

Paston Footprints 600 will be the first ever large-scale community project to uncover specific local links with the vibrant heritage of the Pastons, who as Norfolk’s most prominent family from 1380-1750 rose from medieval peasants to become lawyers and enter the dangerous European battlefields and Tudor courts. 

Paston letters available to view online – thanks to British Library

For the first time, part of the British Library’s large collection of Paston family correspondence and documents has been digitised and is available to view in full.

Five volumes containing some of the most studied items have now been published on its Digitised Manuscripts website: four volumes from 1440-1489 and a volume that contains further material from the second half of the 15th century, together with later correspondence. One of the most famous items being made available is the oldest Valentine letter, written by Margery Brews to John Paston III.

Costumed talks – and other opportunities to meet the Pastons

An opportunity to meet the most significant figures in the Paston family and hear their stories is being offered by PHS chair Dr Rob Knee through a series of costumed talks. He has already done a number of these talks and they have been much appreciated. He has created a website through which you can get a look at the kinds of figures he portrays at https://meetthepastonscostumedtalks.wordpress.com.

Rare wall painting to be reconstructed digitally

A rare medieval wall painting of the Last Judgement in Paston Church will be digitally reconstructed in an exciting new project for which funding has been obtained from the Norfolk Coast Partnership. 

We intend to use expert advice and use the reconstructed image to support a community workshop where artistic responses, in ceramics and textiles, will be produced. Local crafts people will be involved.

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