Friday, July 22, 2005

22nd July Fornham Circular Run


10am 7.5 miles in 58.24. A personal best time for this course. Year to date 627 miles, July mileage 92 miles.

Weather a bit dull and overcast a hint of drizzle in the air.

The course - head out of Bury on the Beetons Way past Tollgate and through the village of Fornham St Martin. Return to Bury through Fornham All Saints along the A11101 Mildenhall Road , back to Tollgate and return up Beetons Way hill and home.

The church above is that of Fornham All Saints. In the churchyard is the grave of Henrietta Maria Cornwallis who died in 1707. It is inscribed, 'Cross she lived and cross died, cross she was carried, and cross she lies'. Research has shown that the inscription original started 'Horrible Henrietta....', but the horrible was deleted on the orders of the Bishop!

Battle of Fornham

Little is made of a local battle that took place over the Fornham area. It isn't mentioned as far as I am aware at local schools and there isn't a battle site to visit or any kind of marker to indicate exactly where it took place.

The battle took place in 1173 and is the only documented pitched battle to have been fought in Suffolk. The war seems to have been a power struggle between Henry II and his sons. It is said that 10,000 Flemings lost their lives during the battle. Some bones and arrowheads are to be seen in the Moyes Hall Museum in Bury St Edmunds. Many of those who survived the battle were starved to death in prison. Various nobles such as the Earl and Countess of Leicester and their main supporters at Fornham were taken to Normandy and imprisoned.

I think much of the battle site is on private land but it would make a good archaeological dig.

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