Discover: 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.



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