Category Archives: Suffolk

The Church of St John the Baptist Stanton Suffolk

Nine and half miles north east of Bury St Edmunds on the A143 on its way to Great Yarmouth lies the village of Stanton with its two churches, All Saints which is located in the village centre and our destination, if we can find it, The Church of St John the Baptist.

I am not very optimistic, I spent years traveling past Stanton in an other life time and did not know of its existence, it is not visible from the A143 and the sat nav takes you right into the village rather than left where St John the Baptist Church sits but fortunately we found ourselves on Old Barningham Road where you can see the tower beyond the trees.

The Church of St John the Baptist is under the care of The Churches Conservation Trust

“This evocative, partially ruined flint church has a bold tower and fabulous fourteenth-century windows. The churchyard is an oasis of trees in unhedged farmland and the floor of the roofless nave and chancel is carpeted with grass. An idyllic spot to stumble across.”

As described on the web site of: The Churches Conservation Trust

Although no longer in use now for obvious reasons it still holds a spiritual quality and perhaps any prayers said in the churches roofless nave have a direct route to Heaven!

The Miser of Acton Jarndyce v Jarndyce and A Poets Grave

All Saints Church, Action, Suffolk
All Saints Church, Action, Suffolk

Heading north from Sudbury on the A134 to Bury St Edmunds you will find Long Melford on your left about ten minutes into your journey the last resting place of Edmund Blunden the first world war poet and author of Undertones of War.

Edmund Blunden’s Grave in the shadow of Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford, Suffolk
Edmund Blunden’s Grave in the shadow of Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford, Suffolk

“Cricket to us was more than play, It was a worship in the summer sun.” Edmund Blunden

Around the same time as you travel on your journey you could be forgiven for not noticing the direction on the right to the village of Acton, it has much of interest the Murder of John Foster by his wife Catherine by dumpling poisoning, ghostly horses, hidden treasure and the connection to Charles Dickens and Bleak House.

Deep in the vaults of All Saints Church, Acton, Suffolk is laid to rest beside his Mother and Father The Miser of Acton, William Jennens, when he died at the age of 96 on the 19 June 1798  he was known as the richest commoner in England., what happened next in his story some believe was one of Charles Dickens inspirations for the  Jarndyce v Jarndyce case in his novel Bleak House.

The case of Jennens v Jennens went on for over 100 years and if you would like to find out more about William Jennens, his family and connection to Charles Dickens and Bleak House, Charles Dickens and the Great Jennens Case by Laurence Ince is a good place to start.

All Saints Church, Action, Suffolk
All Saints Church, Action, Suffolk

“I will die here where I have walked. And I will walk here, though I am in my grave. I will walk here until the pride of this house is humbled.”Bleak House

Suffolk Churches All Saints Church Acton

Charles Dickens and the Great Jennens Case by Laurence Ince

WEIRD SUFFOLK: Could the Acton Miser have returned from the grave to protect his riches?

The Hanging of Catherine Foster


Once Upon A Time On A Different Universe

Once upon a time on a different universe I used to travel regularly from Bury St Edmunds to Beccles and Lowestoft on the A143.

Somewhere in my subconscious I remembered passing through the villages of Rickinghall (Rickinghall Superior, Rickinghall Inferior) and Botesdale a long time before they were bypassed, although I was unaware at the time they were two separate entities in their own historical right as they just flow one into the other as you pass them by.

When we had the opportunity to stop and stare I made the same mistake filing all the snaps taken under Botesdale.

Perhaps the lesson is Google before you go not after or pay more attention during your visit.

Botesdale Village Sign showing:

  • The Mill, there were six at one time unfortunately none of them have survived
  • The coach and horses, they used stop at The Crown Inn (closed since around 1920) when it was on a main coaching route
  • St Botolph, patron saint of wayfarers, he died in 680 and  his remains where divided in three, the head taken to Ely, the middle to Thorney, and the remainder Westminster Abbey.

St Botolph’s Chapel, Botesdale, Suffolk.

St Marys Church Rickinghall Inferior, Suffolk.

If you desire more details as always it is worth visiting Simon Knott’s web site:

Other Related Links:

Cowlinge Suffolk

Cowlinge in The County of Suffolk, a few miles south east of Newmarket and a stones throw from the Cambridgeshire border. It is blessed with a fine Public House and once upon a time there was a splendid country house and estate landscaped by Capability Brown, the manor and lands were acquired by the London Lawyer Francis Dickins in 1720 who set about building a new house and was also responsible for the tower on the church of St Margaret of Antioch.

When Francis’s died in 1747 the manor passed to his wife until her death in 1761, the estate then passed to a cousin, Ambrose Dickins who was responsible for hiring Capability Brown which was not without its controversy.

If you are looking for the house that Francis built you will be disappointment as it was demolished around 1959 but you can fined Francis and his wife in all there Scheemakers glory in the chancel of St Margaret of Antioch.

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Peter Scheemakers Memoral of Francis Dickins and His Wife Rachel

The Church of St Margaret of Antioch, Cowlinge, Suffolk

The Church of St Margaret of Antioch, Cowlinge, Suffolk

The Church of St Margaret of Antioch, Cowlinge, Suffolk

The Church of St Margaret of Antioch, Cowlinge, Suffolk

The Church of St Margaret of Antioch, Cowlinge, Suffolk
The Church of St Margaret of Antioch, Cowlinge, Suffolk in the foreground the graves of two Cowlinge soldiers who lost their live in the Great War 

The Church of St Margaret of Antioch, Cowlinge, Suffolk

The Church of St Margaret of Antioch, Cowlinge, Suffolk

The Church of St Margaret of Antioch, Cowlinge, Suffolk

The Church of St Margaret of Antioch, Cowlinge, Suffolk

Interesting Web Links:

Cowlinge One Suffolk

The Three Ways Pub

Lost Heritage Branches Park

Parks and Gardens Branches

Peter Scheemakers

Suffolk Churches Cowlinge

The Golden Earring of Sir John Weller-Poley

This is Sir John Weller-Poley’s monument in The Church of the Holy Trinity, Boxted, Suffolk. As you can see he is sporting a splendid gold frog earring in his left ear.

Now if you think men wearing earrings only dates back to the sixties and seventies you will have to think again as this fine gentleman was born in 1558 and died in 1638. There is also a reference in The Bible referring to “their SONS and daughters earrings.” so it would appear that the custom is older than time itself, and it is probably more than likely that someone somewhere has taken it as a PHD subject: The origins of why the male of the species wears earrings.

The Church of the Holy Trinity, Boxted, Suffolk is well worth a visit for more reasons than an aristocrat’s fine ear decoration so if you are passing this way stop and enjoy you will not be disappointed.


Holy Trinity Church, Boxted, Suffolk

Weller-Poley's Monument

Weller-Poley’s Monument, Boxted, Suffolk

Boxted Hall, Boxted, Suffolk

Boxted Hall, Boxted, Suffolk

Holy Trinity, Boxted, Suffolk

Holy Trinity, Boxted, Suffolk

Dalham, Suffolk

Dalham village is in the county of Suffolk, it lies to the east of the racing town of Newmarket and the west of Bury St Edmunds.

It has all the quality and elements that influence the design of a luxury chocolate box and if you are worried about all the calories that evokes I can ease your conscience by adding that Dalham is blest with an abundance of footpaths, but if that is not to your taste a visit to the church will be sufficient as you will have to climb up Church Lane to reach The Church of St Mary the Virgin and Dalham Hall.

One of the unusual features in the village is the Malt Kiln which sits at the junction of the steep incline (East Anglian Standard) to the village church.

The River Kennet runs through the village passing past the village Inn of The Affleck Arms. it carries on to the Packhorse Bridge in Moulton.

Packhorse Bridge, Moulton, Suffolk

Packhorse Bridge, Moulton, Suffolk

In Pursuit Of The Origin Of The English Sonnet. Framlingham

There are many reasons why you would wish to pay a visit to the Suffolk Market town of Framlingham.

St Michael the Archangel Church, Framlingham, Suffolk, England

St Michael the Archangel Church, Framlingham, Suffolk, England

There is the Norman Castle, The Church of St Michael the Archangel the final resting place of The Dukes of Norfolk not to mention the town with all its irresistible picturesque charm, but if you are a devotee of the English Sonnet you may be visiting on another type of pilgrimage.

Earl of Surrey, Henry Howard, St Michael the Archangel, Framlingham, Suffolk,

Earl of Surrey, Henry Howard, St Michael the Archangel, Framlingham, Suffolk,

In The Church of St Michael the Archangel lies Henry Howard,  The Earl of Surrey, he lost his head at the Tower of London on January 19, 1547 and was buried in the church of  All Hallows Barking, he was later reinterred in the church in Framlingham by his second son Henry, Earl of Northampton, who erected the magnificent monument for him in 1614.

St Michael the Archangel Church, Framlingham, Suffolk, England

St Michael the Archangel Church, Framlingham, Suffolk, England

Henry Howard is often affectionately known as the Earl Poet and along with Sir Thomas Wyatt, are often referred to as the Father of The English Sonnet, they are credited with introducing the sonnet into English poetry which Shakespeare used to such great effect in later years.

“Set Me Whereas The Sun Doth Parch The Green”

By Henry Howard, The Earl of Surrey
Set me whereas the sun doth parch the green
Or where his beams do not dissolve the ice,
In temperate heat where he is felt and seen;
In presence prest of people, mad or wise;
Set me in high or yet in low degree,
In longest night or in the shortest day,
In clearest sky or where clouds thickest be,
In lusty youth or when my hairs are gray.
Set me in heaven, in earth, or else in hell;
In hill, or dale, or in the foaming flood;
Thrall or at large, alive whereso I dwell,
Sick or in health, in evil fame or good:
Hers will I be, and only with this thought
Content myself although my chance be nought.

 “I Find No Peace, and All My War is Done”

Sonnet 12 By Sir Thomas Wyatt
I find no peace, and all my war is done:
I fear, and hope; I burn, and freeze like ice;
I fly above the wind, yet can I not arise;
And nought I have, and all the world I seize on;
That locketh nor loseth holdeth me in prison,
And holdeth me not, yet can I ‘scape nowise:
Nor letteth me live, nor die at my devise,
And yet of death it giveth me occasion.
Without eyen I see, and without tongue I ‘plain;
I desire to perish, and yet I ask health;
I love another, and thus I hate myself;
I feed me in sorrow, and laugh in all my pain.
Likewise displeaseth me both death and life,
And my delight is causer of this strife.

 Sonnet XII

By  William Shakespeare
When I do count the clock that tells the time,
And see the brave day sunk in hideous night;
When I behold the violet past prime,
And sable curls, all silvered o’er with white;
When lofty trees I see barren of leaves,
Which erst from heat did canopy the herd,
And summer’s green all girded up in sheaves,
Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard,
Then of thy beauty do I question make,
That thou among the wastes of time must go,
Since sweets and beauties do themselves forsake
And die as fast as they see others grow;
And nothing ‘gainst Time’s scythe can make defence
Save breed, to brave him when he takes thee hence.

Web Links:


Wikipedia Framlingham

Framlingham Church Tombs

Framlingham Castle

The Dukes of Norfolk Thetford Priory


It was one of those days that seem to be more prevalent in recent years, when making a decision is a challenge to say the least. It was not a matter of earth shattering proportions but only where to go on a excursion for the day.

After much deliberation not to say sole searching I remembered many years of travelling up the A11 from Newmarket on my way to Thetford and Norwich and passing through the village of Elveden with its church, country estate and it associations to an Indian Prince with a Scottish nickname and a pint of The Black Stuff.

On this day we arrived from Brandon in the west, passing The Center Parcs entrance before crossing over the newly opened A11 bypass taking the traffic traveling between London and Norwich away from the village Elveden at last after many years of ever increasing volumes of the motor vehicle.


St Andrew and St Patrick Church


The Cloisters leading to the Bell Tower

Although the church was locked it was a pleasure to wander around the church yard which was blessed with a profusion of snowdrops. Now that it no longer sits on the A11 it would have been a tranquil visit apart from the RAF Jets performing their manoeuvres in the clouded skies above.


The Plague to The Memory of Maharaja Duleep Singh


The Cloisters Looking from The Bell Tower to The Old Priest’s Door St Andrew and St Patrick Church


The last resting place of The Maharaja Duleep Singh, his wife Maharani Bamba

and one of his sons, Albert Edward Alexander Dalip Singh, who died at the age of thirteen

In the shadow of St Andrew and St Patrick Church Elveden, Suffolk.

The Guinness Family Plot

The Guinness Family Plot Here lies Edward Cecil Guinness 1st Earl of Iveagh and Viscount Elveden,

His wife Adelaide Maria Guinness,Baroness Iveagh and later Viscountess of Iveagh

and their descendants.

Useful Web Links: 

Maharaja Duleep Singh

The First Wife of Maharaja Duleep Singh

Edward Guinness, 1st Earl of Iveagh

Elveden Hall

Elveden Estate and Farm Shop

Honington and Sapiston: In Search of Robert Bloomfield

If you mention the name of Honington in Suffolk I would imagine that it is the RAF base that springs to mind and not the birthplace of a sadly neglected Romantic poet.

Honington lies to the North East of Bury St Edmunds and the South East of Thetford the birth place of Thomas Paine the author of the Rights of Man.

Although it is Honington Raf base which is most famous, the village which it takes it name from lies about a mile to the west of The RAF Base.

Robert Bloomfield the author of A Farmers Boy which was a publishing sensation was born here on the 3rd December 1766 he was educated by his mother who run the village school until he was a eleven when he was sent to work on his Uncle William Austen’s farm across the river Blackbourn in Sapiston.

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NEGLECTED now the early daisy lies:

Nor thou, pale primrose, bloom’st the only prize:

Advancing SPRING profusely spreads abroad

Flow’rs of all hues, with sweetest fragrance stor’d;

Where’er she treads, LOVE gladdens every plain,

Delight on tiptoe bears her lucid train;

Sweet Hope with conscious brow before her flies,

Anticipating wealth from Summer skies;

All Nature feels her renovating sway;

The sheep-fed pasture, and the meadow gay;

And trees, and shrubs, no longer budding seen,

Display the new-grown branch of lighter green;

On airy downs the shepherd idling lies,

And sees to-morrow in the marbled skies.

From A Farmers Boy, Spring by Robert Bloomfield