Middle Earth


If you’ve passed by this way on previous occasions you’ll have perhaps read of Mr George Borrow and his assertion that “there are no countries in the world less known by the British than these self same British Islands”. As time passes this seems an increasingly accurate view and given that it was made over a century ago when the physical limitations of day to day travel were far greater than today, a particularly pertinent one. Having considered this many times over the last few years, I think there’s probably also some kind of formula that sits alongside Borrow’s words that dictates that knowledge of an area is often inversely proportional to its distance from your doorstep. Sadly I’m as guilty as anyone in this respect, which is why, whilst Mrs Weir was on her travels at the weekend, I ended up at Middleton Mount.

Middleton Mount is a motte that survives from one of Norfolk’s many castles. Given that most of the castles built in Norfolk were constructed in the 11th and 12th centuries it’s safe to assume that the motte in Middleton is of a similar heritage. However, having been mistakenly noted as a tumulus for many years it wasn’t until the 1930s that it was eventually identified as such.

Given that I only live a few miles from Middleton Mount I’m surprised that I’ve never visited before, although to be honest the main reason for that is that I’ve never heard anyone speak of it. If you make it to the top it offers extensive views in almost every direction, however its location – somewhat incongruously sat between a golf course and a housing estate – results in it being hidden from view until you’re virtually bedside it. In fact I only stumbled across it through a piece in the local paper about the Norfolk Archeological Trust’s admirable attempts to look after the site.

It’s a shame it’s not better known though because I’m sure you’d agree that out here in the flatlands it cuts quite the dash.

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