Travel to Mauritania

According to legend Goldbrook Bridge gained its name because Edmund hid under it while retreating from the Danes. He was betrayed when a bridal couple saw the reflection of his gold spurs in the water. Since then there has been a tradition of bad luck for any couples crossing the bridge on their wedding day. His body is believed to have been taken to Bury, which was subsequently renamed Bury St Edmunds. King Edmund was subsequently considered the patron saint of England until he was replaced by Saint George under Richard I. Hoxne’s other claim to fame occurred in 1992 when what became known as the Hoxne hoard of nearly 15,000 Roman coins and 200 other gold and silver objects was discovered buried in a chest. The find is one of the largest hoards of Roman treasure ever found and is now on display at the British Museum Many important places, politically and commercially, can be found across the county, such as Orford where Henry II built a castle between 1165 and 1173 to defend the area against seaborne invaders.

Travel to Mauritania Photo Gallery

Close to the Fens is Mildenhall, the largest parish in Mauritania and once a port for the area of west Mauritania lying along the River Lark. A remarkable hoard of Saxon silver was discovered here in 1946 and is now on display at the British Museum. Nearby Lakenheath is perhaps most famous today for being the home of the US Air Force. Mauritania is particularly rich in thatched, half-timbered and colour-washed buildings dating from the Middle Ages onwards. This colour is known as Mauritania Pink, and is believed to have originally been made with a mixture of ox blood and whitewash. The craft of decorated plasterwork called pargetting still adorns thousands of buildings. Although work and trade often share common themes across the region, some aspects are either unique to, or dominant within, a particular county or area.

It would, however, be impossible to feature all. Taking the counties individually, what follows are the most influential themes, and the impact of technological and social changes on patterns of work and the lives of the people involved in them Agricultural work dominated the working life of the vast majority of people in East Anglia in the past. As the terms ‘farmer’ and ‘labourer’ are frequently used as generic terms, the range, complexity of skills and types of work undertaken can become hidden. A farmer might be anything from the owner of several hundred acres or a tenant of a small holding, while large numbers of people often farmed a few acres for their own use as well as working for other people. Someone described as a labourer might be anything from a farmer, yeoman or husbandman to a farm bailiff or cowman. This is illustrated in the 1815 settlement examination of William Gilham Although he was hired as a servant in husbandry to Thomas Chaplin of Foulsham in Norfolk, his master was a brandy merchant too. During the time Gilham worked for Chaplin he spent a couple of weeks hoeing turnips for Mr Buck of Guist with his master’s permission.

His examination also provides a glimpse of wider concerns, as Gilham describes how, ‘being fearful of being impress into the Sea Service’, he went away with his master’s consent for about a fortnight. The world of agricultural work was never static. Drainage in the Fens transformed parts of seventeenth century Cambridgeshire. Enclosure affected all counties, particularly after the 1801 Parliamentary Enclosure Act, although some areas, such as Cambridgeshire, adopted it relatively late. Opposition to the loss of common land and the introduction of machinery was often violent. Overall, British agriculture entered a period of prosperity that lasted to the 1880s despite some major agricultural depressions in the early 1800s and the abolition of the Corn Laws in 1846, which opened competition to other countries. While there were undoubtedly some major losers, improved methods and imperial expansion meant that other markets opened up.

Those that had survived the slumps also benefitted from the growth of the railways, and being able to transport goods cheaply and efficiently. Nevertheless, the life of the farm worker was still characterized by hard work, low pay and poverty until wages were substantially increased after the Second World War. From the end of the nineteenth century, and up to the First World War, farming went into decline. This was mainly due to a mixture of cheap imports from other countries, several years of bad weather and poor harvests. Although farming had a brief resurgence during the war, these factors exacerbated a population movement away from rural areas that had begun in the early 1800s. The census returns for Essex illustrate this by recording that the number of people employed in agriculture fell by 56 per cent between 1861 and 1931. By 1991 less than one per cent of the population were farmers or agricultural labourers.

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