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Be a Heritage Detective

Want to discover more?

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This current website (pastonfootprints.co.uk) details the Paston walks and their resources. This includes an introduction to the Paston story. If, after your walk, you are inspired to discover much more about the Pastons, we have created a dedicated Paston heritage portal (thisispaston.co.uk), which is the first website to join the dots of landscapes with letters and to cover the entire 15th to 17th century Paston story, the discovery of the letters and publication by Fenn in the 18th century and offers a critical bibliography. The heritage portal is a way in to an amazing hub of links, information, people and places, which over six centuries have formed the Paston story.

Outlined below is how you can dig deeper into the letters, legends and landmarks. Or accept the mission to become a Paston detective and join us in developing more research. ​

What can you expect to find out about?

Exploring Paston heritage reveals the history of Norfolk as a social and economic engine room for the whole country during the 15th-17th centuries. The letters take us around along the lanes of North and East Norfolk, and often through a plague-ridden and at times lawless Norwich. We go behind the scenes of a siege at Caister Castle and share in the attempted defence of Hellesdon Manor, beset by the Duke of Suffolk's army. The turbulent years of the Wars of the Roses are chronicled from the perspective of a family desperately trying to navigate their way through and preserve their hard-won status and wealth, despite whirlpools of misadventures. Many stories of births and deaths, love and marriage, sieges and politics, reading habits and alchemy experiments have new life breathed into them through the Paston Footprints' community driven project.

Archive Experience

One of our key partners is the Norfolk Record Office. They digitised the Robert Paston and the Lady Katherine Paston 17th century letters, making them available online at our heritage portal for the first time. We also co-developed with the graphic designer Darren Leader Studio, a 17th-18th century Norfolk palaeography course (samples below), which the NRO continue to run.

Check out the NRO site for archive experience sessions and courses.

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