This ruined remnant of ages past is known as the Anglian Tower.
We called it the summerhouse.
One sunny day – in 1983 or 1984 – I was out in town, probably on a Saturday, with two friends from school. We had various places we would hang around, perhaps where we’d smoke cigarettes surreptitiously. One of them was near to here, we called it the tunnel. More on that later perhaps. We were probably in the tunnel when my friends mentioned this place just around the corner, that it was amazing, and was somewhere no one else knew about. I’m paraphrasing of course – it was about thirty years ago.
Though I can’t remember the conversation well, I can remember the feeling of the place, as we stepped into the roofed ruin with sunlight slanting on stones outside and these ancient stones around us. I felt connected to something bigger than myself, had one of those moments which if it had occurred in a church I might think had a profound religious meaning. A spiritual moment, if you like.
Moving forward to 2004, when I came here with a camera, at the end of January, on one of the early wanders for this website. I looked at the place differently, framed by the camera and thinking about my imagined website visitors. I didn’t expect to recapture the sense of connection, and didn’t, but did notice the bronze plaques on the exterior, which I don’t remember noticing before.
And litter on the floor. Clearly it was still a hiding place for residents, maybe younger ones, looking for a den or a secret corner, just as we had, though I don’t think the floor was covered with litter then.
Moving forward again, to 2012, and the summerhouse is sealed up, its openings blocked with wire mesh guards. In my visits in the intervening years I noticed more litter, more beer cans.
Whatever magic there had been here seems long gone.