From their rise from relative obscurity in the late Middle Ages, until their decline in the early eighteenth century, the Pastons were one of the most influential families in East Anglia. Their interests stretched across a vast swathe of the region, and yet their heartland was always the area around the prosperous port town of Great Yarmouth. Nearby Caister castle became their most prestigious residence, and the port itself played a key part in the prosperity of the Pastons and their immediate family. Whilst the family are today best known for their surviving medieval letters, which chronicle their struggle to establish themselves, when they finally joined the ranks of the aristocracy it was as the Earls of Yarmouth.
This one day symposium examines many aspects of the Pastons, their relationship with Great Yarmouth throughout the centuries, and their role in the growth of one of the regions greatest seaports. The world class speakers will explore the rise of the Pastons through their letters and documents, as well as examining the buildings, monuments, and artefacts they left behind.
University of Cambridge
Rosemary Horrox is an English historian, specialising in the political culture of late medieval England, patronage and society. She is also a Fellow and a Director of Studies in History at Fitzwilliam College at the University of Cambridge, and has written extensively on the late medieval period.
University of East Anglia
Tom Williamson is a landscape historian and landscape archaeologist with wide-ranging interests. He also researches designed landscapes, especially parks and gardens of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and is currently researching the work of the designer Humphry Repton.
University of Nottingham
Former Senior Buildings Archaeologist with Museum of London Archaeology, James Wright is currently completing his PhD at the University of Nottingham, where he is specialising in the brick-built castles of the late medieval period. James has published extensively, and is the author of Castles of Nottinghamshire (2008).
Paston Footprints Project
Rob Knee is co-director of the Paston Footprints Project, chair of the Paston Heritage Society, and has written extensively on many aspects of the Paston family and their world.
The Imperial Hotel, 13-15 North Drive,
Great Yarmouth NR30 1EQ
Overlooking the beach and sea, this family-run four-star Hotel in Great Yarmouth has been welcoming guests for generations. Located at the relaxed end of Great Yarmouth sea front, with outstanding Sea Views, and a short drive away from the stunning remains of Caister castle, the Imperial Hotel is the perfect venue for a top quality conference.
Innovation and Research