James Marston: Wolf Hall has revived interest in Ipswich’s most famous son, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey

Wolf Hall

Wolf Hall - Credit: PA

Let’s start this week with two of my favourite Suffolk places - Framlingham castle and Sutton Hoo.

I’m a “Fram’’ boy, and such is my love for the beautiful little town that there’s a joke in the office that we have to print at least one picture of the castle every day. Not true - every other day will suffice!

Anyway, we dropped a clanger in a report involving the iconic building the other day, as spotted by Eddy Alcock. In a story about a school visit to the castle, we said: “Pupils said their highlights included the walk around the castle battlements, the amazing views and walking across the portcullis.’’

As Eddy says: “I think we all know that the portcullis is a relatively slim, heavy iron grating that slides in vertical grooves to seal the entrance, acting as a gate. Something of a dangerous balancing act, one would imagine, for the pupils to ‘walk across it!’” Indeed, Eddy. Apologies.

Not a million miles away from Framlingham castle is another historic site, Sutton Hoo. We all know the story about Mrs Pretty, Basil Brown and the fabulous treasures discovered there in 1939. However, in a photo caption this week, our geography went all awry. We said the picture was OF Sutton Hoo, when it was clearly a view of Woodbridge, taken FROM Sutton Hoo. A number of people pointed out that gaffe, including Richard Goss and Roy Barker.


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Staying with history, and Cardinal Wolsey, the most famous son of Ipswich. Interest in Wolsey has been revived by the TV series Wolf Hall. All that Tudor plotting and scheming is fascinating.

Regular contributor Peter Brockett spotted that we got our Thomases muddled in a review last week. He says: “One of your contributors has written ‘Cromwell’s plan builds quietly but relentlessly until those who revelled in Cardinal Wolsey’s disgrace are brought down by Wolsey’s torrent of vengeance.’”

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Mr Brocket rightly says: “Now, unless the Cardinal was operating from beyond the grave, I think the ‘vengeance’ was that effected by Cromwell?’’ Of course.

Finally, a brickbat heading in my direction, from James G.D. Wearne. He writes: “I was surprised to see a very clear error in your column on Saturday, February 28, especially as the theme of the column was about errors. May I politely ask what a LIBARY is?” Dunce’s corner for me, then.

Have a good week.

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