No, that’s not the name of this gentleman’s wife (it was Mary), but the village where this magnificent marble effigy can be found.

Myles Branthwaite effigy

Myles and Mary Branthwaite in Hethel church: 16 May 2019

Norwich born Myles Branthwaite Esq, died August 1612, aged 55. Dates are not given for his wife.

1612, I think that qualifies for the #2019picoftheweek title: A Long Time Ago

[For details of #2019picoftheweek challenge see MariaAntonia]

Despite I am impressed by the marble carving and its detail, that’s not why the tiny Norfolk village of Hethel is famous. It lays claim to two unrelated features.

Hethel Old Thorn

Hethel Old Thorn: 16 May 2019

At 0.025 hectares Hethel Old Thorn is possibly one of the smallest nature reserves in England.

Reputed meeting place for the peasants during their revolt against King John, which puts its age in excess of 700 years. In 1841, when Ninhams produced the engraving (seen on Norfolk Naturalists Trust’s signage below) the trunk then measured 12’ 1” in circumference, with a branch-spread of over 31 yards. Since then the thorn has split into several separate portions, all still very much alive.

Old Thorn Signage

Norfolk Naturalists Trust showing etching by Ninhams executed 1841: 16 May 2019

And Hethel is also HQ for the famous Lotus sports and racing cars, and home of the Formula One Team Lotus. (Sorry, no photos)

About crispina kemp

Spinner of Asaric and Mythic tales
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18 Responses to Hethel

  1. Jen Goldie says:

    A very appropriate title πŸ™‚ also an interesting prompt. 😊 Fascinating.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A famous place, even mentioned in a Genesis single, albeit they dropped their aitches to make it work, β€œI know what I like,(in your wardrobe)”

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Violet Lentz says:

    Layers and layers of long time ago. Excellent post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • crimsonprose says:

      I thank you, Violet.
      I have to say, this challenge of Maria’s does make for a more interesting walk-with-camera. I’ve always an eye turned to shots that might answer, as well as possible prompts for CCC.


  4. Wow! Nice capture of such an interesting marble effigy. I have so many questions that can probably never be answered.

    And I like the additional photos and explanations. Thanks for posting!

    Liked by 1 person

    • crimsonprose says:

      Happy you like.
      My aim that day was Hethel Thorn and Hethel Woods. But if there’s a church, and it’s open, I usually pop in. I was stunned to see this. I took several shots at it, but I deemed this best. And before you ask, no, I don’t know who Myles Branthwaite was when alive (I haven’t yet checked it out) but his wife was the daughter of one of the mayors of Norwich. So we might assume he was a high-standing merchant … and read that as wool merchant

      Liked by 3 people

  5. Dale says:

    What a great post, Crispina. You are an endless fount of information!


  6. Wow, how did that tree do that? What kind of tree is the Old Thorn (if it’s a tree at all). I’ve never seen anything go from having a distinct trunk to being crazy like that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • crimsonprose says:

      It;s hawthorn, aka May-Tree, cos it blossoms in May. I have seen hawthorn with multiple trunks, but have always assumed them to be the mother’s babies, so to speak. But I’ve never seen one with such a huge trunk. Unfortunately I couldn’t see this one’s trunk/s either, so full in leaf and flower, and ‘a-thou-shalt-not-cross’ fence around it. But it’s on my list of places to return to when autumn colours and fungi abound, so I’ll see what I can see then.

      Liked by 1 person

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