Voyage of the Bolero 2 : Round trip to the Berney Arms

Bread and fishes for lunch with the family!   Then off to scout out Burgh Castle, the base for St. Fursey’s monastery in 7th C.

Bad news, the Broads Authority moorings at Burgh Castle are no more!  One might be able to negotiate moorings at the Fishermans  Inn  at Burgh Castle,  but we opted for a  sail-by.

Leaving Reedham, we took the he New Cut to St. Olaves.  We might have stopped there, except there were no moorings free,  otherwise we might have visited St. Edmund, Fritton and the remains of St. Olave’s Priory. We continued on our way down the River Waveney.

The Ven. Bede,  describing the site of St. Fursey’s monastery  at Cnobheresburgh, writes of “a wooded site, by the sea.”  Nobody knows for certain where Cnobheresburgh actually was! But Burgh Castle seems to have the best claim.  From  up-river, Burgh Castle certainly looks the  part!




When  Fursey arrived the Saxon Shore fort had been long abandoned and grazing marshes around the inter-tidal mudflats of  Breydon Water were  open water – the  Great Estuary


The tumble down walls of the Roman fort are evidence that the fast running tides have scoured into the land. The north wall has completely disappeared!  The same scouring action of the tide has made the maintenance of safe moorings difficult.

Emerging into Bredon Water, we turned up the River Yare and, soon after, moored at the  Berney Arms (now, sadly closed!) Moorings.  There was no land here in the 7th C.,  halfway between st. Fursey’s  St. Felix’s Broadland bases . Burgh Castle to the south!imgp7529.jpg

Reedham, west, across grazing marsh where the towers of wind pumps line the riverbanks and  a line of church towers mark the higher land. Reedham church can be seen on the horizon beyond  Pokey’s Mill.

And to the east,  is the tower of St. Nicholas, Great Yarmouth!  Great Yarmouth was just a sandbank where fishermen dried their nets in the 7th C.

The trip from Reedham to the Berney Arms Moorings takes the pilgrim through The Breydon Water Nature Reserve.  There was plenty of time to consider the birds – Avocets, Redshanks, Lapwing,  Marsh Harriers, Oyster Catchers!  A walk from the mooring along the Wherryman’s or Weavers Ways will be rewarding.


Author: norfolkpilgrim

Retired CofE clergyperson. Thinking globally acting locally. Here we have no abiding city.

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