Chelsworth

The Old Pottery is a medieval, timber-framed, Grade II* listed, two-bedroomed holiday home in the heart of what is considered by many to be the prettiest village in England.

 

Chelsworth:

helsworth is a very picturesque small village of about 60 houses, lying in the Brett Valley in Suffolk. The village dates to Saxon times at least. With its wealth of medieval timber-framed buildings, old bridge, water meadows and mature trees it has often been described as one of the prettiest villages in England.

Chelsworth has a remarkable church, All Saint’s, that is immediately next to The Grange. The church boasts the gothic tomb canopy of Sir John Philibert, who died in 1334. There is also the hatchment of Sir Robert Pocklington, who was knighted by Francis II, the last emperor of the Holy Roman Empire after saving him in battle.

Julian Tennyson – great grandson of Queen Victoria’s Poet Laureate – said of the village:

"I have a perfect village of my own finding, which I pride myself is quite unknown. It is Chelsworth … It lies completely hidden in a little valley. Its cottages are irregular, very well kept and finely timbered. It borders a stream, a quiet ready stream, whose banks are lined with rich and gigantic trees. I can’t tell you why I think it is perfect. Perhaps it is because Chelsworth has been left to itself."

The village is very popular with artists who come to paint by the old brick bridge or the Peacock Inn. There are several very peaceful and idyllic walks around the village, the side lanes, old footpaths, along the water-meadows and through the clay-pit.

The Peacock Inn is well known and appears in countless ‘chocolate-box’ images depicting unspoilt rural charm. All this is right outside the door of The Old Pottery, as the Grange lies in the heart of the village.

For over 40 years now the village has opened many of its gardens to the public on 'Open Gardens Day' for charity. Chelsworth is believed to be the first village in England to do so.

 

 

 

 

Eating Out

here is a wide range of local restaurants, cafes and inns. The Peacock Inn (see below) is 100 yards away but there are many other wonderful restaurants in the immediate area. A selection appears below.

The Peacock Inn - Chelsworth: Our local inn, 100 yards from our door. A classic timber-framed old Suffolk inn with loads of history and character. Beautifully situated opposite the old bridge in the centre of the village. Appears in endless postcards, paintings, books etc. Real ales and food. 
The Swan - Monks Eleigh: A beautiful timber-framed, thatched medieval inn. Has won many awards in recent years. 
The Crown - Bildeston 'The Crown is an original 15th century timber framed public house. The entire building has been completely refurbished to include a modern but still traditionally spectacular restaurant, bar and hotel. Holding the same character it has built up through its years of history.'
The Great House - Lavenham Long established restaurant with a great reputation and atmosphere. 
Hintlesham Hall The Hall is a magnificent 16th Century Grade I listed country house hotel surrounded by 175 acres of rolling Suffolk countryside. 'The best quality ingredients build a well-balanced carte which appeals to gourmet and health-conscious alike. Many dishes encompass fresh herbs from the Hall's famous garden'.
Red Rose Inn - Lindsey: 'A 15th century Suffolk hall house and one of the country's oldest pubs, this has been the village of Lindsey's local for over 500 years. A warm atmosphere welcomes all, including families, walkers, cyclists and those on a country hack in need of a refreshing drink'.
The Angel Inn - Lavenham 'Good food, comfortable rooms and a friendly atmosphere await you in the surroundings of England's finest medieval village. First licensed in 1420 and is believed to be Lavenham's oldest Inn. Retains much of its Tudor character.
The Crown Inn - Stoke-By-Nayland An historic village Inn, has a reputation for making everyone feel welcome - without pretension - simply a passion for high standards, good service, food, wine and real ale.
The Swan Inn - Lavenham 'Dates back to the 15th Century. Today it is a quintessential English country hotel and restaurant, proud of its achievement of an AA four star 81% rating and two AA Rosettes. Ancient oak beams and inglenook fireplaces blend beautifully with rich furnishings and fabrics to create the perfect ambiance for rest and relaxation. The historic Old Bar boasts a wonderful collection of memorabilia, including a wall signed by British and American airmen stationed at Lavenham Airfield during World War II.'
Maison Bleue - Bury St Edmunds 'There will come a day when our championing of this brilliant French restaurant means we will not be able to book a seat there due to it being so busy! Until that time we will simply state our great admiration for the cuisine, wine and new décor.’ East Anglia Daily Times
   

Hadleigh has a range of pubs, Indian and Chinese restaurants, fish & chip shops, a pizza take-away and an assortment of other cafes and eateries 

 

 

 

 

Local Markets

 

adleigh has a regular small market. A much larger market can be foundin Bury St Edmunds. Lavenham has an excellent french market periodically, and regular farmers markets. 

There are excellent farm shops locally, Hollow Trees is very close by and offers a  wide range of produce, a cafe, farm walks and lambs / piglets etc. to see:

Hollow Trees Farm Shop - multi award-winning in Semer - 1 mile
Hedgerows Farm Shop - Brent Eleigh - 2 miles
Bushy Ley Farm Shop
 - Elmsett - 4 miles
Alder Carr Farm Shop
 - 9 miles


Walking

The area is loaded with walking opportunities. There are a large number of ancient local footpaths, well signposted and clear shown on OS Maps. The village has a particularly scenic walks along the watermeadows - so it all starts right outside the door!

 

Local Walks:EADT Chelsworth walk- this a long standing online article describing one of the prettiest walks around the village area.

 


Horse Riding

There are plenty of horse-riding opportunities in the area. The Essex and Suffolk Hunt operate in the area and can frequently be seen in Chelsworth Park across the river or in the village (and occasionally coming straight through the garden!)

Local Stables:

Swifts Manor Farm - Preston St Mary / Kettlebaston - 2 miles
Boyton Hall Equine Centre
 - Lindsey (1 mile)
Benton End Stables - Hadleigh
French's Farm - Hadleigh

Click here for guide to Horse Riding in Suffolk


Fishing

There are innumerable places to fish inland in Suffolk. Coastal sea fishing is popular too. Visitors to the Pottery have free access to several hundred yards of private fishing on the banks of the River Brett in the grounds of The Grange. The river has Chubb, Roach, Perch, Pike, Carp, Bream etc. The fishing is good enough for the local fishing club to hold competitions here 2-3 times per year. All subject to season / rod-license etc.

 


Sailing and Windsurfing

With a long history of sailing, Suffolk has many possiblities for sailing, windsurfing etc. There are many marinas on the Orwell / Stour rivers e.g. at Woolverstone, Levington etc. Large range of inland water activities also at Alton Water


Live Music

There are many nearby venues. Bigger venues are in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds and Colchester and Snape but many local pubs have regular music nights.

 

Jazz at the Stoke by Nayland Hotel - a popular venue with excellent visiting artists

Aldeburgh Festival / Snape Maltings: long associated with Benjamin Britten, Snape hosts the internationally famous music festival.


Cinemas

Ipswich has a large multiplex and and three multiscreen smaller cinemas. Bury and Colchester have similar. 


Drama

Wolsey Theatre - Ipswich
Theatre Royal
 - Bury St Edmunds
Quay Theatre
 - Sudbury
Regent Theatre
 - Ipswich
Regal Theatre
 - Stowmarket
Headgate Theatre
 - Colchester

The Theatre Royal in Bury St. Edmunds is a heritage site in itself. It is the sole surviving example of a Regency playhouse in this country and is particularly worth attending.


 Shopping

Hadleigh and Lavenham have many interesting small shops. Hadleigh residents particularly love Partridges which sells everything from knitting patterns to tractors! Ipswich, Colchester and Bury St Edmunds have a wide range of shops. Further afield Cambridge has an excellent range. No shortage of antique shops locally too!


Cycling

Suffolk is a relatively flat county and the driest in the UK. This combined with winding country lanes, old villages, poppy-filled fields and clear skies makes it perfect cycling country. The Suffolk cycle route A1 passed straight by the door and National Cycle Route1 / North Sea Cycle Route pass through Bildeston, 1 mile away. There are good cycle routes in Thetford Forest and around Alton Water.


Beaches

Cheslworth is not that near any beaches but the Suffolk Coast between Aldeburgh and Southwold is about 35 miles away. These two small towns and the coast between them have a lot to offer with Southwold famous for its beach huts (above).

ChLocal Pubs:

he following are easily walkable. There are, of course, hundreds more a little further afield. The ones listed below are all very characterful medieval timber-framed inns. The Bell Inn in Kersey is worth a visit - a great walk - 4 miles though.

Chelsworth: Peacock Inn - 50 yards

Monks Eleigh: Swan Inn - superb food too

Bildeston: Crown Inn, Red Lion, King's Head

Brent Eleigh: Cock Inn - tiny but cosy

Lindsey: Red Rose Inn - good food

Breweries:

There are several local breweries, some of which you can tour. Adnams in Southwold is a bit further away. The King's Head in Bildeston holds a yearly beer festival. The Peacock Inn in Chelsworth has just started doing this.

 

 

 

elsworth is a very picturesque small village of about 60 houses, lying in the Brett Valley in Suffolk. The village dates to Saxon times at least. With its wealth of medieval timber-framed buildings, old bridge, water meadows and mature trees it has often been described as one of the prettiest villages in England.

Julian Tennyson – great grandson of Queen Victoria’s Poet Laureate – said of the village:

 

"I have a perfect village of my own finding, which I pride myself is quite unknown. It is Chelsworth … It lies completely hidden in a little valley. Its cottages are irregular, very well kept and finely timbered. It borders a stream, a quiet ready stream, whose banks are lined with rich and gigantic trees. I can’t tell you why I think it is perfect. Perhaps it is because Chelsworth has been left to itself."

 
 

History of The Grange


The Grange in the 1840s

The Grange is listed Grade II* by English Heritage. The other Grade II* property in village is Forge Cottage. A great majority of the houses (and our old red phonebox are listed too). The Grange is special for several reasons, outlined in detail below. The Grange finds itself in rather exalted company, at least in one website's opinion. The buildings of the Grange date from about 1300 onwards. Most of the fabric visible now dates from 1400-1500. The Grange occupies the site of former buildings dating back to Saxon times and possibly earlier. Chelsworth, or Ceorleswyrthe, was granted by King Edgar in a charter dated 962 and was already well established as a village then. Chelsworth lies on an old Roman road and archeologists have discovered Roman remains in the village.

At the back of the Grange lies an island formed between the River Brett and an old moat. The island was named 'The Snayle' from at least 1599 and is the site of the areas named 'The Mote' and 'Hall Garden'.

King Edgar's charter of 962 mentions a Saxon mill (called the 'Upper Mill' that was situated on our island described as 'Mill Hill'. Court records from 1599 and 'Chorography of Suffolk' published in 1602 mention ' a most ancient house' with moats to the west of the church, (in our orchard) which was taken down by Howard, Duke of Norfolk and rebuilt at Stoke Parke.

The Grange as seen today mainly dates from 1400-1500. It is thought to be a rebuild (in 1400 approx) of an older hall house, attached to a long gabled crosswing of the earlier structure. Part of the crosswing was rebuilt again around 1650, so that all that remains of the earlier structure is the kitchen. This subject can be read of in great detail in the Historical Survey of The Grange by Leigh Alston.

The following paragraphs are in developement as research proceeds. What we know at present of the ownership of The Grange is as follows.

The original builder / owner of The Grange as we see it now was a rich wool merchant who redeveloped the property in about 1400.

The Grange was owned by William Lynsley in 1632. He was Rector of Chelsworth from 1610-1630. He is buried in the churchyard. He left it in his will to Annabella his wife.

The Grange, its land and attached cottages passed into the ownership of the Green family some time just prior to 1640. It was acquired by Hugh Green for his family. His early death led to his father John leaving the house to his grandson (also Hugh) in his will of 1653. Hugh Green junior left the Grange in his will of 1660 to John Green and his wife Abigail who owned the Grange until 1707. It was they who added the porch in 1689 and it may well have been them who installed the current metal casement windows that date from the same period. John Lamb took over the house in 1707 after the Greens failed to pay a debt. He sold it immediately to John Cuthbert (or Cutbert) who is described as a 'maulster' or maltster.

The Malthouse section of the Grange dates from about 1550 and is constructed from oak timbers that were originally from another building of unknown date and location. There is clear evidence of the building being used as a maltings and is considered to be one of the earliest purpose made maltings in Britain. There are numerous referances to 'domus brasiliatorum' and 'malting offices' in the 'backards' of the Grange in English Court Rolls.

Sir Henry Austen, in his history of the village, alleges that Killigrew the 'celebrated jester' of Charles II's reign, was banished to this house and died here. This title originates with Samuel Pepys and is a nickname for Thomas Killigrew the Elder (1612-1683), who was at one point the English Ambassador to the Court of Venice and later became a prolific and popular playwright, built the first Drury Lane Theatre and is buried in Westminster Abbey. Sir Henry does not cite any evidence for his claim.

 

The Grange was in the ownership of the Cuthbert family for aboutCaptain Robert Cuthbert
100 years. The ownership of the Grange passed from John Cutbert and his wife Ann to their second son John (born 1716) and his wife Sarah. Their third son was the naval hero Robert Cuthbert (born 1755) whose actions at the Battle Of The Nile brought him to the attention of Nelson. 

The Grange was probably inherited by Robert's older brother John (b. 1746) and later by his younger brother Thomas who died in 1816. The estate was sold in 1814 to Sir Robert Pocklington. Sir Robert was a knight of the military order of Maria Theresa, created as such in the late 18th century by Francis II, the last emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. Legend has it that Pocklington saved the emperor in person from the attentions of the French in battle.

Sir Robert Died in 1840. His widow Lady Catherine Frances Pocklington married Sir Henry Austen and it was he who wrote the first history of the village and commissioned the drawing of The Grange in 1850.


The Grange in 1870

In the village survey of 1870 the main resident of The Grange was Ellen K Pocklington aged 39 (1830 - 1907), with a female servant called 'Smith'. In 1871 she has 15 year old Agnes 'Annie' Herbert whose parents lived in Church View. By 1881 she has 57 year old cook Eliza Smith and 16 year old servant Jane E Lister. In 1896 she moved to The Red House and is listed in 1901 as having Alice Mary Burgess (aged 37, Housekeeper) and Amelia Jane Hammond (age 18, housemaid). William A Saunders was listed as living at The Grange on electoral registers from 1899 to 1900

The estate passed through the Pocklington family line ending with Arthur Guy Pykarell Powell (whose mother Frances Emily (1869-1929) was a Pocklington) who lived in The Grange from 1926 to 1974.


The Grange in the 1930s

After Guy Powell's death in 1974 the Estate (with The Grange and the other two cottages elsewhere in the village that were still part of it), was sold to the Pemberton family from Buchan in Scotland (but who had roots in the area). The last sale was in 2002 to the present owners.


The Grange in the mid 1970s

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  • The Old Pottery

    Sleeps 4
    Chelsworth
    4 star rating

    A delightful secluded annex to a Medieval clutter of buildings known as The Gran...

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