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Framingham Earl

Framingham Earl is a village which lies approximately five miles south of Norwich.

W.G. Sebald (1944-2001) - the novelist, translator and academic - is buried in St. Andrew's churchyard. He died in a car accident on the Lowestoft Road only a mile or so from the church. His daughter was in the car with him at the time but survived the crash. Sebald is remembered for his hybrid novel/travel/history books such as The Rings of Saturn and The Emigrants.

St. Andrew's Church, Framingham Earl

St. Andrew's Church

Grave of WG Sebald

Grave of W.G. Sebald

Sebald, who was a German lecturer at the University of East Anglia, lived for many years in the Old Rectory in the neighbouring village of Poringland.

W.G. Sebald


My sister was married in St. Andrew's Church in 1987 and I wrote the following poem - entitled An Old Start - to commemorate the day.
 
Tomorrow you will arrive in the lane by car, step down
To wrestle with hats and dresses and pictures by the door,
But I will see you as though you were older—part of a chain
Of couples blinking out the sunlight on the cool porch floor.

I will see the families among the stones in old-style clothes
And in the lane a cart will wait to take you on
With children from the parish there to wave; only the words I suppose,
The swapping of the rings and the church won’t have gone.

And finally, I will see you walk up the lane before you go
To cut a flower from the hedgerow—some quiet bloom
That no collector would remark upon, no gardener grow
Place it inside a book and keep it always for your room.


One of the tombs in the churchyard - belonging to the surgeon Dr Edward Rigby - bears a fine epitaph. (Rigby once lived at Framingham Earl Hall and was renowned locally as a tree planter.)

'A monument to Rigby do you seek?
On every side the whisp'ring woodlands speak.'
 
Links:

More W.G. Sebald Location Photographs

 

 

 

 

 

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