TOWNS & VILLAGES
DUNWICH - 34 miles
By the eleventh century Dunwich was one of the greatest ports on the east coast, a naval base, a religious centre with many large churches and even a mint. All of it has been lost to the North Sea except for the ruins of the thirteenth-century Franciscan friary on the edge of the cliff and Leper Hospital chapel in the present churchyard. Now a tiny village of barely more than 120 people, Dunwich retains an air of charm and character, with a few offshore fishing boats, a friendly pub http://www.shipatdunwich.co.uk
, a beach café http://www.restaurant-guide.com/flora-tearooms.htm
and a museum devoted to its fascinating history.
LAVENHAM - 22 miles
“England's finest medieval village” nestles in the heart of Suffolk countryside between Bury St Edmunds and Sudbury. The splendid Guildhall of Corpus Christi, the charming Little Hall and the Church of St Peter and St Paul are all open to the public but just walking among the ancient buildings takes you back in time. A Heritage Walk around Lavenham http://www.visitsuffolk.com/threads/heritage-walks/lavenham.aspx
has been devised as part of Suffolk Threads, an initiative exploring the history of Suffolk's “wool towns”.
LONG MELFORD - 26.5 miles
Melford is indeed long, and its wide main street is flanked by a medley of houses, restaurants and shops that nevertheless produce a harmonious effect. People were living in this spot as long ago as the Stone Age and much later two Roman roads ran though the village. By the time of the Domesday Book, the place was pretty prosperous. Both Melford Hall http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/melford-hall
and Kentwell http://www.kentwell.co.uk
get a mention there. In the Middle Ages, Melford became rich thanks to weaving, wealth that showed itself in the construction of impressive “hall houses” and of Holy Trinity Church http://longmelfordchurch.com/building.htm
, one of the great Suffolk wool churches, which was completed in 1484. Much of the stained glass is medieval, and the rare Rabbit (Hare) window above the North door symbolizes the Trinity.
PLACES OF HISTORIC INTEREST
CHRISTCHURCH MANSION Ipswich - IP4 2BE/3.6 m
In this substantial Tudor mansion set in parkland 500 years of history are depicted in a series of period rooms, including a Tudor kitchen and Victorian scullery. The Wolsey Gallery is devoted to Suffolk painters including Constable and Gainsborough as well as beautiful Lowestoft porcelain and enchanting toys and historic games.
ICKWORTH HOUSE nr Bury St Edmunds - IP29 5QE/33.2 m
Central to this magnificent house is the Rotunda, built by the 4th Earl of Bristol to house priceless treasures collected during eighteenth-century European tours. Spectacular paintings include works by Velasquez, Titian and Gainsborough. Magnificent silver collection. Exhibition depicting life upstairs & downstairs. Set in a fine Italianate garden.
SUTTON HOO Woodbridge - IP12 3DJ/10.2 m
The treasure at Sutton Hoo had lain undisturbed for 1,300 years before its discovery in 1939. Archaelogists found the ship-burial of an Anglo-Saxon warrior king and his most prized possessions. Displays in the Exhibition Hall show how Anglo-Saxon nobles lived and founded a new kingdom in East Anglia and include a full-size replica of the burial chamber. Tours, talks, shop, restaurant.
CASTLES, CATHEDRALS & CHURCHES
BLYTHBURGH CHURCH Blythburgh - IP19 9LQ/29 m
If you are driving north to Southwold you cannot fail to notice to the west of the road the glorious roof-line of Holy Trinity Church in Blythburgh, known as The Cathedral of the Marshes. Park next to it and go inside to gaze at the astounding “angel roof”, reflecting on the fact that a church building has stood in Blythburgh for a thousand years.
ST EDMUNDSBURY CATHEDRAL Bury St Edmunds - IP33 1LS/28 m
Established as a Benedictine foundation in 1020 by King Canute, the Abbey at Bury St Edmunds housed the body of the martyred King Edmund. At the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII the Abbey was dismantled and fell into ruin. The present Cathedral, St Mary’s Church, the Abbeygate and Norman Tower are all that remain of the mighty complex of church buildings that once stood alongside Angel Hill. St James’s Church was built within the precincts of the Abbey, becoming a Cathedral in 1914. Of particular note among the Cathedral's treasures are the sculpture of the Crucified Christ by Dame Elisabeth Frink, the tapestry depicting the visit of King Henry VI to the Shrine of St Edmund and the gold and silver candlesticks and cross on the High Altar.
ORFORD CASTLE Orford - IP12 2ND/19 m
The unique polygonal tower keep of Orford Castle, built between 1165 and 1173, stands beside the pretty town and former port which Henry II also developed here. The castle is remarkably intact, allowing visitors to explore from the basement, through the lower and upper halls to the roof where there are magnificent views seaward to Orford Ness. Around the rooms is a maze of passages leading to the chapel, kitchen and other chambers in the turrets. Excellent audio-tour.
FRAMLINGHAM CASTLE Framlingham - IP13 9BP/15.3 m
A magnificent twelfth-century fortress with a long and colourful past. The castle was once the refuge of Mary Tudor before she became Queen in 1553. Visitors can now explore over 800 years of life at Framlingham Castle in the ‘From Powerhouse to Poorhouse’ exhibition.
Themed trails, audio-tour, wall-walk with spectacular views over the surrounding landscape. Younger audiences will enjoy a variety of themed games and interactive activities.
WOODBRIDGE TIDE MILL Woodbridge - IP12 1BY/8.37 m
The mill is one of only five of its kind left in the UK and offers a fascinating insight into the town's industrial history. The first mill was recorded on this site in 1170 when tidal power from the River Deben was used to grind corn. The present building dates from 1793 and worked for 160 years until falling into disuse. Bought by Jean Gardner in 1968, a programme of restoration began which enabled the machinery to rotate again.
ST PETER'S HALL St Peter South Elmham, Bungay - NR35 1NQ/32.5 m
Home of St Peter's Brewery, St Peter’s Hall dates from around 1280 but was extended in 1539 using fourteenth- and fifteenth-century “architectural salvage” taken from Flixton Priory, a monastic establishment dissolved by Cardinal Wolsey in the 1520s. The building materials were particularly valuable as they consisted of Caen stone from Normandy, an immensely valuable material in a region where no stone, only brick and flint exists. Special architectural features of St Peter’s Hall include carved work on the front façade including the wheel of St Catherine, a tombstone in the entrance porch and the lovely "chapel" above the front porch.