|South Burlingham is a small village which lies just
to the east of Lingwood. The poet Peter Scupham (1933 - )
lives at the Old Hall (an Elizabethan manor
house) - which he lovingly restored with Margaret
Steward. The work was carried out by the Perry-Lithgow
partnership as part of a grant aided programme.
Old Hall, South
Burlingham (Photograph by Jim Rowe)
Peter Scupham with Pipe
Scupham moved into the hall in 1990 and in his 1994
collection The Ark - there are a number of poems
which deal directly with the work he undertook. In particular, he discovered a
number of fascinating paintings on the hall's lime
mortar - including some hunting scenes.
Skin upon skin of lime,
nine skins to the long unmaking
for hunters lost in the snow.
Hammocks of dirt and frost
rock from the ghosts of trees
in cold Broceliande.
The room is a dark lantern
and something bays at the moon.
|Peter Scupham's partner is a drama teacher and the
grounds of the hall are sometimes used to host
productions of Shakespeare.
In his sonnet sequence
Fields the Hungarian-born poet and translator
George Szirtes (see
Wymondham) also describes the revelation of finding
murals in the hall.
A fifteen-eighties mural. A hunting scene
runs right around the room. A trace of Rubens,
Jordaens, a touch, even, of Chinese
in the calligraphic line. Experts clean
the powdery limewash, two PhD students
from the university, anxious to please.
A strange dome appears, out of period
somewhere near the top. Even here
there's something far flung in the code
of a different language, another God
extolling other virtues, a pioneer
morality just waiting to explode.
Flemish brickwork. Devastation. Riders
exploring hidden walls with snails and spiders.