Friday, 11 February 2011

Wild Wading

Ragged Society of Antiquarian Ramblers present: Mr. Many Coats; Esotericus; Mr. Gnarus

A Ragged Ramblers' eye is drawn to ancient features. And so it was that, driving along the lanes of Norfolk, we saw a raised wooded site.  Up went a collective cry of 'Huzzah!' as we pulled over to explore...

We had arrived at the ruins of Gresham Castle; where once stood a fortified manor house. Eagerly, we strode towards the site to get a close-up view...

What we found is a heavily overgrown square moated site, approximately 2378.52 square metres in area. Subsequent research tells us that Sir Edmund Bacon received royal assent to crenellate this building, making it a defencible structure in 1318. By the late 1400s however, the manor house had fallen into disrepair and was abandoned. Although, nearly completely concealed by undergrowth, round towers of some thirty five feet in diameter remain. Looking closely across the moat we could make out a low ivy-clad flint 'curtain' wall...

Intrigued, we were positively champing at the bit to cross the water and take a closer look. However, the water was too wide for us to negotiate. Imagine, then, our excitement when we saw a potential solution...

Esotericus stepped gingerly onto the narrow improvised 'bridge' which you can see on the left (above), whilst Mr. Gnarus resolved to perambulate by way of the two narrow tree trunks spanning the moat.
"I warn you now Mr. Gnarus, if you fall in I will have to laugh..."

... at which point there was a loud splash; a flash of movement; a flurry of arms, a splaying of legs - oh, what a catastrophic loss of dignity! Looking to his right, Esotericus saw poor Mr. Gnarus laying prostrate, belly down, on the logs with one leg firmly planted in the dark water (which is not at all salty!) and, true to his word, began to laugh. Meanwhile, Mr. Many Coats stood looking onwards, mouth agape, wanting to laugh but being mindful of his fellow Ramblers' feelings*.

Slowly, and with an air of world weary fortitude, Mr. Gnarus made his way back to dry land, where he was generous enough to pose his sodden boot and leg for this photograph...

Whilst Wild Swimming is already familiar to the Ragged Ramblers (in the person of Maximillion), this new phenomenon of Wild Wading is surely an innovation which other RSAR members will be emulating in the year ahead.

* Later, when asked why he didn't take a photo of Mr. Gnarus' plight, Esotericus explained that he was too gripped in an apoplexy of laughter to focus sufficiently...

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~ Esotericus ~


  1. A nice piece of research Esotericus and also a perfect example of the intrepid nature of the Ragged Rambler who is willing to risk life and limb in the pursuit of Knowledge. Mr Gnarus, we of the Learned Society salute you!

    + Many Coats+

  2. Indeed...

    Mr. Gnarus' dedication and defiance of danger is to be applauded. He is a true Ragged Rambler - and I can give no higher compliment than that!