The group plans to run a long-term community project to fully investigate the site of Sir Thomas’ Manor House and provide local people, and especially local children, with the opportunity to join in and ‘get their hands dirty’.
As well as archaeology, the dig will look at many other aspects of medieval history, such as building types and techniques, weaponry, warfare, and social history.
The Manor House site will also be used for regular events such as medieval re-enactments and encampments, open days exhibiting archaeological finds, and talks to mark and celebrate the memory and heroism of Sir Thomas Erpingham.
‘It is extremely important for the children to learn about the history of Sir Thomas. It is their local heritage. The dig is a tangible link to something’ (Simon East, former Headteacher of Erpingham Primary School).
‘It’s really bonded the community, and long may that continue. Sir Thomas is our hero’ (Helen Burrell, Church Warden and Chairman of the Medieval Spectacular Committee).
‘Sir Thomas, for Norfolk, is at least the equivalent of Nelson’ (Rev Canon Paul Thomas O.B.E., former priest-in-charge at Erpingham).
‘It is nice to keep history alive’ (Sir Anthony Rawlinson, whose descendants fought in the Battle of Agincourt).
‘We want to bring Sir Thomas to the forefront because he was an important man. He was adviser to King Henry V and played a massive part of what happened in the country’ (Alan Witham, B.E.M.)