Listen now 30 mins
From the Isles of Scilly to Brittany and Cardigan Bay, tales of hearing drowned bells tolling beneath the sea at certain tides are common to many of Europe's shorelines. One of the best known is of Suffolk's Dunwich bells. Once a major sea port, it was swept away by a great storm in the thirteenth century.
The Norfolk-based writer and poet Kevin Crossley-Holland meets fellow East Anglians who together bring alive his short story 'Sea Tongue' about the Dunwich bells. Among the people he speaks to are storyteller Hugh Lupton, the Bishop of Dunwich, and the bellringers and residents of the Norfolk village of Happisburgh, some of whose houses are tumbling into the North Sea. Happisburgh church has stood there like a beacon, looking out over sea and land for over 600 years, yet it's predicted that it'll be claimed by the waves in 50 years time.
After the Flood is a meditation on the sound of bells tolling through the centuries across land and sea, and man's shifting relationship with the two.
Producer: Mark Smalley.
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