Visit Aldeburgh and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Aldeburgh, Suffolk, has become famous as the centre of the Aldeburgh Festival which was started by the great English composer Benjamin Britten in 1948, and which is held each year in June. The little town was, like its northern neighbours, Dunwich, Walberswick and Southwold, at one time a prosperous port. This was in the 16th century. Then came the sea and the storms which Britten captured so unforgettably in his opera, Peter Grimes. The quaint little Moot Hall, now almost on the sea-wall, was at one time in the centre of the town, which shows just how much has been eroded in the course of four centuries.
The Church of SS. Peter and Paul stands on a hill overlooking the town and the sea. Mostly of the 16th century, it has a tower some 200 years older. There is an elaborate pulpit made in 1632 and several Elizabethan brasses. In the north aisle is a memorial by T. Thurlow to the Rev. George Crabbe (1847). Crabbe was born at Aldeburgh in 1754 and after leaving school became an errand-boy. He returned to his home town and studied medicine and in 1780 went to London to try to make a living by writing. He was ordained in Mayfair and became chaplain at Belvoir Castle. He went back to East Anglia to Great Glemham, in 1796, before finally settling in the West Country where he died in 1832 and was buried at Trowbridge. One of his most famous works is The Borough, published in 1810, which became the inspiration for Britten's opera.
The Moot Hall, c. 1520-40, is a timber-framed building, with end walls of brick, built over an arched ground floor which was at one time used as an open market. The tall chimneys to the south date from the 16th century, but most of the building was restored in 1855.
North of the Moot Hall is the White Lion Hotel, and a terrace of typical 19th-century seafront houses ending with the Sundial House of the l920s, a fanciful design by Oliver Hill.
South of the Moot Hall, two roads run parallel: one is the High Street, the other runs nearer the seafront. The High Street contains a number of excellent shops and the Union Chapel of 1822. The seafront has many quaint cottages and several houses which date from around the time of the First World War. Above the High Street along the cliff top are a number of larger houses and lodges.
Along the seafront is a look-out tower, a tall square building with a spiral iron staircase running up the outside. The Martello Tower, Slaughden, is one of those built along the East Anglian coast in 1810-12 as a defence against Napoleonic invasion. The name comes from a “Torre della Martella” in Corsica seen by the British in 1794. Nearer to the Moot Hall is the site of the famous Aldeburgh lifeboat.
Alde House was the home of two famous sisters. Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, as she became by marriage, was born in 1836. She managed to enter the medical profession, at that time closed to women, and opened the hospital in London which still bears her name. She was at one time the Mayor of Aldeburgh, the first woman mayor in England. Her younger sister, Millicent, was a pioneer of women's suffrage and married the blind professor Henry Fawcett, who became Postmaster-General.
Nearby cities: Ipswich
Nearby towns: Leiston, Saxmundham, Southwold, Wickham Market
Nearby villages: Aldringham, Badingham, Blaxhall, Bromeswell, Bruisyard, Butley, Campsey Ash, Chillesford, Darsham, Dunwich, Eyke, Great Glemham, Hollesley, Kelsale, Laxfield, Little Glenham, Marlesford, Orford, Parham, Peasenhall, Ramsholt, Rendham, Rendlesham, Shottisham, Sibton, Sudbourne, Theberton, Thorpeness, Westleton
Have you decided to visit Aldeburgh or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Aldeburgh bed and breakfast (a Aldeburgh B&B or Aldeburgh b and b)
- a Aldeburgh guesthouse
- a Aldeburgh hotel (or motel)
- a Aldeburgh self-catering establishment, or
- other Aldeburgh accommodation