Whispering Walls at Dragon Hall

I am named after a dragon
carved on one of my rafters
in fourteen twenty seven.

I started life proud and tall,
born from a thousand English oaks
as a medieval trading hall.

I was a shop, warehouse and meeting place
for wealthy traders of wines and spices, worsted cloth and pottery,
conjuring money in their finery.

I’ve been a residence
and a slum of tenements,
a pub, butcher’s shop and rectory.

I’ve witnessed births and deaths,
feasted festivals and weddings in my halls,
and the past still whispers in my crumbling walls.

Now I listen to the trading of words,
watch as stories and poems take wing
and roost with my dragon as fantastic birds.

© Kim M. Russell, 2016

Images found on Trip Advisor

My response to dVerse Poets Pub Poetics – If walls could talk, also linked to imaginary garden with real toads’ Tuesday Platform

Mish is our host for today’s Poetics and she has shared with us a brief history and photos of her visit to the ruins of the Corran Mansion, near Wiarton, Ontario, originally the residence of Alexander McNeill, a wealthy Canadian politician from 1892-1901.

Mish would like us to take the phrase, “If these walls could talk” and do just that by giving walls a voice through our poetry. We can write a poem from the perspective of our own or someone else’s home, a hospital, school, concert hall, museum, a bus station, a church, library or a medieval castle. What have these walls witnessed? It could be a mood, (cheery or dreary), an event or an on-going situation observed over the years. It can be fiction or non-fiction.

I chose to write about Dragon Hall, where I listened to ghost stories last night. It is currently leased to Writer’s Centre Norwich, an organisation for writers, publishers and anyone who loves books. The Hall is used for literary events, workshops and writing courses, and is open to the public one day a month and for Heritage Open Days every September.

39 thoughts on “Whispering Walls at Dragon Hall

    1. Thanks, Mish! As soon as we got there, I knew I would have to write about it. The Writers’ Centre only moved there quite recently, so it was my first visit. I’ll definitely be going back again. I think another day at Norwich Castle is in order too!


  1. This is wonderful, Kim 😀 I love how you have captured its rich history and culture especially; “I’ve witnessed births and deaths, feasted festivals and weddings in my halls, and the past still whispers in my crumbling walls” Sigh.. Beautifully penned.

    Lots of love,


  2. Very rich in detail, drama, & spectacle; like others I love the lines about crumbling whispering walls. Hw lucky you are too have such an environment to meet with other writers; so historically romantic, as if Chaucer & Shakespeare whisper there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love this building. It’s one of many historical buildings in Norwich. We have a beautiful old cathedral, a castle, Strangers’ Hall and Fye Bridge, to name a few. Norwich is supposed to be up there among the most haunted cities in England!


  3. What a gorgeous building – the dragon detail, the wood – and what a history. If walls could talk indeed. I think it has quite a sweet place in time right now. (and I LOVE ghost stories and walks – I can imagine it wasn’t hard to imagine (or believe) they reside in this place.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love how history is absorbed into the walls. I sometimes think of the passage of time sitting here where I am, in this very spot, wondering what has happened in the past…
    Anna :o]

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Every wall actually says so much, doesn’t it? You’ve weaved in all the details so beautifully. The history of the Dragon Hal sounds extremely fascinating and I hope someday I get to visit the place too.

    Liked by 1 person

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