the website for Hollesley,
Boyton, Capel St Andrew
and Shingle Street

Home Page
     1.   Hollesley 
     2.   Boyton
     3.   Capel St Andrew
     4.   Shingle Street.

   Hollesley is the largest village on the southern tip of the peninsula.  Like other Sandlings villages, it has 
   seen centuries of uncertain but tenacious growth, reflecting the ups and downs of the surrounding 
   arable and livestock farms.  It has a thriving shop/post office, a small car-service and sales garage, the
   Shepherd and Dog pub, a primary school, a pre-school, a Village Hall, a recreation ground, and the 15th 
   century All Saints Church (pictured right) which has one of the best peal of bells in Suffolk.  The
   Poplar Park Equestrian Centre is also located in the village, near the village hall.
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All Saints Church
   White's Suffolk Directory (1844) lists many trades and a few professions: a cooper/basket maker, mariner, publican of The Old 
   Fox, corn miller, curate, shopkeeper, surgeon, schoolmaster, a dozen farmers, many farm workers, a bricklayer, grocer/draper/tailor, 
   three blacksmiths, three bootmakers, three carpenters, a wheelwright and a post carrier.  The Street runs through the centre of the 
   village starting near the church.  Houses are loosely scattered along its length, and in small side roads.  At the far end of the village, 
   The Street makes a crossroads with a road to Shingle Street, and the main road to Woodbridge eight miles away. 
   The other half of Hollesley is 1km north east along the main road to Boyton.  This area is called Oak Hill, and is close to the group 
   of HM prisons and corrective establishments known as the Hollesley Bay Colony - a modern link to the Colonial College and Training 
   Farms venture established in 1887 that trained colonists in the skills of farming and agriculture, prior to their leaving Britain to 
   work in far-flung corners of the Empire.
   Walks from the village will take you in various directions, depending upon your wish to see heathland, pine forest or the sea. 
     Hollesley Primary School
  2.  BOYTON
   The village is small, quiet and attractive, with houses and cottages scattered along the single road.  Two fine buildings enhance 
   Boyton: the imposing 18th century Mary Warner Almshouses, and the adjacent St. Andrew's Church (photo left), which has a handsome 
   Norman doorway.  The village has a fine Village Hall, but lost its Post Office and shop in 1970, and The Bell pub is also gone.  In 
   White's Suffolk Directory for 1844, Boyton is listed as having a population of 247, several farmers, and a butcher, cattle dealer, 
   miller, bootmaker, joiner, publican, blacksmith, grocer and postmaster.  An important piece of Boyton's history juts out into the tidal 
   Butley River in the form of the old, disused Boyton Dock.  From here, barges carried away cargoes of bricks from Boyton's 
   brickworks, as well as white clay dug locally for high quality pottery, and also coprolite, which is a natural phosphate fertiliser found 
   in brown nodules that were also dug locally.  These industries brought employment and some wealth to Boyton, but were short-lived. 
St Andrew's Church
   Coal from Durham was also landed at Boyton Dock, and return cargoes included hay to feed the pit ponies in
   the Durham mines. The watery marshland close to the dock is rich in wildfowl and other birds.  During World
   War 2 this area was a tank range, and the remains of a military building are still visible.   Today, Boyton
   Marshes nature reserve is owned by the RSPB.  The Tang River flows through the sandy farmland that 
   surrounds the village and enters the River Ore through the reclaimed marshes just east of the village.  A 
   handsome village sign outside the Village Hall depicts scenes from the history of Boyton (see photo right).
   Capel St Andrew is an attractive small community of cottages, houses and barns, surrounded by Sandlings farmland, with one foot in 
   Rendlesham Forest.  Capel means chapel, and although the chapel of St. Andrew was the vicarage of the powerful and wealthy Butley 
   Priory in 1529, it was demolished soon after.  In 1844 the Parish held 222 residents, and 30 children attended the school.  Travellers 
   passing through the hamlet today enjoy the steel sculpture of St Andrew the Fisherman at the crossroads (see photo left).  It was 
   created by Paul Richardson for the Millennium.  The hamlet may be small and with no public facilities, but the Parish is large.  It 
   stretches down the runway of the nearby airbase, and includes the Rendlesham Forest area where the famed UFO sighting was 
   claimed in 1980. 
'Steel Man'

   At first glance, there is no reason at all to visit Shingle Street.  The tiny beach hamlet has absolutely nothing to offer, unless you love 
   wild solitude, the crash of waves, the sight of wheeling seabirds, and the sound of the wind.  With marshland behind them and the 
   beach in front, the cottages confront the North Sea across great tracts of stones. It is one of the iconic views of Suffolk.  Offshore, 
   a welter of white water shows where the outgoing River Ore collides with the incoming breakers.  It's a dangerous place, where the 
   submerged tip of Orford Ness is marked by the clanging North Weir bell buoy.  The wastes of shingle look barren, but in summer they 
   are a riot of wild flowers.  

   Shingle Street was very different 100 years ago, when a fishing community lived amongst the stones in a long row of small wood 
   houses and huts.  Nets, pots, boats and other fishing gear were strewn along the beach, and winches and cables stood ready to pull 
   the boats up the steep shingle out of the sea.  The houses were built clinker-style, like the boats, and the men made wooden smoke-
   houses and small workshops - often, from the hulls of old boats.  Hollesley Bay was full of fish, and the hardy Shinglestreeters 
   caught what they needed within yards of the shore.  They ate the fish themselves, carted it to nearby Hollesley and Alderton, or sold 
   it to the coastguards who lived in the cottages.  Some of the catch would have been eagerly snapped up by summer visitors to the 
   German Mansion (the North Sea was named the German Ocean at the time).  The long, low Mansion is still there, but the pub - a 
   charismatic, two-storey timber building called The Lifeboat - was blown to splinters in an RAF bomb experiment in World War 2.  
   Shingle Street is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), dominated by its fine Martello Tower - one of four spaced around the 
   curve of Hollesley Bay.
          Shingle Street
Coastguard Cottages