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Suffolk house removals
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Moving to Suffolk?
Suffolk has been inhabited since prehistoric times and is renowned for the wealth
of Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age archaeological finds that have been made in
the area. Largely ignored by the Romans, it was an important part of the Kingdom
of East Anglia, settled by the Angles in the late 5th century. The Anglo-Saxons
built large settlements at Ipswich and Sudbury, and strong fortifications were raised
at Framlingham, Eye, Clare and Walton to defend against Danish incursions. The attempts
were in vain: the area became part of the Danelagh in the 9th century.
The peasants of Suffolk were far more pugnacious than their counterparts in other
regions and they rose up in arms in 1317 to defend Thomas of Lancaster, again in
1330 to suppress the Earl of Kent’s rebellion, and in one of the first peasants’
revolts in 1381. Meanwhile, they were growing their wealth: from the 14th to the
17th centuries Suffolk was one of the chief manufacturing counties, owing to its
cloth-weaving industry, and the county’s fishermen brought back vast hauls from
the North Sea. In the 18th century the farmers began to supply most of London’s
food requirements, laying the foundations of the strong agricultural sector that
Today, Suffolk is shrinking rapidly, not because of any human intervention but because
of coastal erosion. The climate is relatively warm for England, with lows of around
2°C in January rising to 23°C in summer, but the effects of the sea winds on the
soft clay are such that several cliff top houses have already been lost and the
Suffolk Coast and Heaths, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, need urgent protection.
The time to visit is now – head for The Sandlings, a strip of heath land that is
home to numerous bird and plant species, or the Suffolk Broads, a popular area for
sailing where you can also hire motorboats. The main Marina is in Lowestoft, the
second biggest town in the county and a popular seaside resort with excellent beaches.
The most easterly point in the British Isles is here, at Ness Point, where there
is a compass showing distances to various European cities. The South Pier has an
excellent entertainment centre and a stage for concerts. The Suffolk Coast and Heaths
Path starts at Lowestoft and ends at Felixstowe, running along river and sea walls,
across marsh, heath, foreshore and cliffs.
Ipswich claims to be one of the oldest towns in the UK, established in Anglo-Saxon
times as the main centre between York and London. St Lawrence Church houses the
world’s oldest circle of church bells. Christchuch Mansion has an excellent art
gallery and lovely grounds, and Ancient House has very fine pargeting. Trinity Park
is the home of the annual Suffolk Show, where you can see Red Poll cattle, the powerful
Suffolk Punch horse and the black faced Suffolk Sheep. Norman Foster designed his
first important building for Ipswich: the Willis-Building dates from 1974 and is
one of the youngest Grade I listed buildings in the UK. In the town centre there
is a bronze statue of the cartoonist Carl Giles’s character Grandma, one of his
most famous creations.
Nine kilometres away, Sutton Hoo is the site of two Anglo-Saxon cemeteries, one
of which contains an intact ship burial dating from the 7th century – one of the
most important archaeological finds ever in Britain – and a wealth of artefacts.
Dotted across the countryside are flint-decorated Anglo-Saxon churches with round
towers, a design unique to East Anglia. The ruins of the Benedictine Monastery at
Bury St Edmunds are magnificent, as is the decorated gateway at the Augustinian
order priory of Butley. Finally, if you’ve had too much antiquity, head to Newmarket,
home of British racing, where you can see incomparable horses exercising on the
Heath any day of the week…