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  • Suffolk

    Suffolk Heritage Coast


    The county of Suffolk shares a similar history to that of its neighbour Norfolk, in that its history and origins are closely linked to Scandinavian invasion and settlements, Suffolk became part of the Danelagh.

    The county of Suffolk (Sudfole, Suthfolc, meaning 'southern folk') was formed from the south part of the kingdom of East Anglia, which had been settled by the Angles in the latter half of the 5th century. Important Anglo-Saxon settlements where made at Sudbury and Ipswich.

    After the Norman invasion, large settlements grew in Eye, Clare, Walton and Framlingham. Landowners who had large lands in the county were the lords of the honor of Clare, earls of Gloucester and Hereford and the lords of the honor of Eye, held successively by the Bigods, the Uffords and the De la Poles, earls of Suffolk. The Wingfields, Bacons and Herveys have also been closely connected with the county.

    During the war of the Roses, the county was Yorkist although no major battles took place here. During the English civil war, it was Parliamentarian in its allegiance.
    This pretty and picturesque county has an interesting history as well as a lovely coastline with quaint villages like southwold nestling on the shore.

    Like it neighbour Suffolk has little flint built villages this building technique is used in many of East Anglia’s churches and in the round church towers, a theme common in Norfolk and Suffolk churches. Fishing and cloth weaving flourished here and later various textile industries developed including silk weaving, during the 14th to the 17th century Suffolk was reputedly one of the largest manufacturing counties of England.

    For the history buff, Interesting buildings worth a visit are the great Benedictine abbey of Bury St Edmunds; the college of Clare, the Decorated gateway of the Augustinian order priory of Butley; and the ruins of the Grey Friars monastery at Dunwich. The churches of Little Saxham and Herringfleet , Blyburgh and Lavenham, are also well worth including in this list as is the church of Long Melford, on account of its remarkable lady chapel.

    Remains of old castles include part of the walls of Bungay, the ancient stronghold of the Bigods; the picturesque ruins of Mettingham, built by John de Norwich in the reign of Edward III; Wingfield, surrounded by a deep moat, with the turret walls and the drawbridge still existing
    Framlingham, castle is very impressive with high and massive walls, originally founded in the 6th century, but restored in the 12th; the ruined fortress of Clare Castle, the residence of the earls of Clare; and the fine Norman keep of Orford Castle, on an eminence overlooking the sea are also worth visiting.
    Among the many fine residences within the county, there are several interesting examples of domestic architecture of the reigns of Henry VIII and Elizabeth. Hengrave Hall (c. 1530), near Bury St Edmunds, is another fine example an exceedingly picturesque building of brick and stone, enclosing a courtyard.

    Another is Helmingham Hall, a moated Tudor mansion of brick, complete with a drawbridge.
    The fine gatehouse of West Stow Manor is also Tudor; the mansion has now been adapted into a farmhouse.


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