Southwold is a lovely seaside town just 13 miles South of Lowestoft Ness, Britain’s most easterly point. Blythburgh is five miles away out on the marshes of the Blyth estuary and Westleton, near Dunwich forest, is nine miles distant. Walberswick is just minutes away by foot ferry from Southwold Harbour but about nine miles via the A1095 and A12 round the Blyth estuary.
The area is a mix of marsh, heath and forest and the special quality of the light on summer evenings draws in artists and other creative people as well as happy families on holiday. Many people come for the fresh fish on sale at Southwold harbour and in the many and varied eating places.
This majestic 15th century Suffolk church, close to the sea, is a great example of traditional East Anglian flint flushwork. Inside is a magnificent screen with medieval paintings of saints and angels and a painted Jack of the Clock. The Jack is an armour-clad figure who was originally designed to strike a bell with his sword on the hour and represents a soldier from the Wars of the Roses.
This lofty and airy church on Saxon foundations with ruined tower has been compared to a thatched tithe barn and is a glorious concert venue. It is set in a wildlife churchyard close to the coastal heath and RSPB Minsmere, and holds a wildflower festival every year.
The nave and chancel are the remains of the south aisle of a much larger 15th century wool church, mostly demolished in 1696 leaving only the tower but you can still wander among the ruins. The beautifully simple interior reveals memorials to fishermen lost at sea, a mosaic of medieval glass set in a south window and altar cross and candlesticks of beach driftwood.
An extraordinary light and spacious church with 18 clerestory windows, Holy Trinity stands aloft from the wild marshes of the Blyth estuary. See the great coloured angels with outstretched wings in the nave roof and the medieval carvings of the seven deadly sins on the bench ends.
The Angels & Pinnacles project has included workshops for schools and workshops for older people where they can learn about their local church heritage and how to take decent photographs with a digital camera.
Churches also have events throughout the year so keep an eye on these pages to find out more.
He has appeared on television with Jeremy Paxman on ‘Who do you think you are’ and with Aled Jones on Songs of Praise at St Edmundsbury Cathedral. Clive Paine’s specialism is medieval church buildings and ‘Clive Paine Let Loose’ will [...]
Church music composer and organ recitalist Alan Wilson will give an Organ Recital in the beautiful church of St Mary’s Barton Mills. Tickets cost £10 and include a refreshment in the interval. They are available from Julia Clarke firstname.lastname@example.org 01638 [...]
The Nonsuch Singers are known as ‘one of London’s best chamber choirs’ and will sing a selection of sacred and secular music. Tickets can be obtained from Geoffrey Bray at email@example.com and 0187 277731, Harris & Harris Bookshop, Clare, Compact [...]
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