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Town start winning their knight games

PUBLISHED: 18:00 17 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:11 03 March 2010

CAN Ipswich Town's early-season slump be blamed on a 900-year-old knight who lost his way in the dark?

That's the intriguing question that arose today as we reveal that the team could have been haunted by a knight disturbed by the construction of the new North Stand!

But Ipswich medium Sue Knock is convinced she has now sorted out the problem - and that the club's recent rise up the Premiership should continue.

CAN Ipswich Town's early-season slump be blamed on a 900-year-old knight who lost his way in the dark?

That's the intriguing question that arose today as we reveal that the team could have been haunted by a knight disturbed by the construction of the new North Stand!

But Ipswich medium Sue Knock is convinced she has now sorted out the problem – and that the club's recent rise up the Premiership should continue.

Sue had spotted negative feelings in the area for some time. Her daughter lives in a flat in Portman Road and she didn't like to visit her because of the bad vibes.

"There is a knight from the 12th century who has been causing the problems. I first started working with him in November," Sue said.

"Then last week I spent five hours cleansing the area with the knight, and with the nun who's my protector. I was drained at the end of that, but I feel that a weight has been lifted from me."

Sue said that the knight came from Ipswich Castle.

The club itself is sceptical about Sue's claims.

It is sure the recent revival is purely because of the hard work by George Burley and the team – but a spokesman said the club was happy to accept support from any quarters.

Looking back at the start of the season, when Town beat Derby so convincingly on August 21, work on the new North Stand had only just begun and little land had been disturbed.

Then work really took off, and Town's winless streak began – the team didn't even win any home matches in Europe, despite their successes abroad.

Sue first started working on the area in November – just before the club's historic home win over Inter Milan.

And since she has been working there, the results have turned around spectacularly.

She is hopeful that her efforts will pay off – but would like to continue the work inside the ground – a move the club is unlikely to agree to.

"It would make all the difference if I could get inside. I need to stand on the ground to see if there are any problems there," she said.

IPSWICH might be the oldest English town, but few people know that it was once home to a Norman castle.

It wasn't a grand structure and archaeologists aren't certain where it was.

There are no remains, so they think it was a simple wooden motte and bailey structure – not a major stone castle like that at Framlingham, Orford, or Norwich.

But they know from the Domesday Book and other documents that it was owned by the Bigod family – the Norman Earls of Norfolk – and it was their original power-base in the years immediately after the Battle of Hastings.

Most local historians believe the castle was in the area of the town where the Civic Centre is now.

Some believe it was in the Castle Hill area of town, but most think this was too far from the heart of Ipswich.

David Jones from Ipswich Museum said a kink in Elm Street could not easily be explained – the original road could have been built around battlements of the motte and bailey castle.

Wherever it was, it would certainly have needed to be within easy walking – or marching – distance of the river, that was even then a trading port for the continent.

The Bigods would have wanted to ensure they could easily reach the river if robber barons were coming up the Orwell in an attempt to raid them by water.

The castle certainly wasn't in the area now occupied by the football club – that was lush watermeadows used to graze the animals owned by the most important citizens of the town. They were known as the Port Men – where the name of the road comes from.

The meadows would have been flooded during the winter but there may have been paths across forming an important link between the town with its castle and the river.

The land certainly wasn't used as a burial ground either – although it is possible that the knight wandered off a path between the town and the river when the meadow was flooded one winter and was drowned in the cold water.

His body may never have been found – until it was disturbed by the new construction work.

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