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

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   The village is the largest on the southern tip of the peninsula.  Like other Sandlings villages, Hollesley 
   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, 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.
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. 

   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, 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.  
  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.  Off-
   shore, 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 
   smokehouses 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.

  PLACES TO VISIT (photos to be added)
   Like most towns in Suffolk, what you see at Woodbridge today is an intriguing ghost from the past: a memory deeply rooted 
   in centuries of growth, commercial wealth, political influence and flourishing trade.  It is a fine town, much loved by its people 
   and by visitors who return year after year to wander the waterfront and explore the narrow lanes and alleys.  People have lived 
   here at the head of the tidal reach of the Deben for 1200 years.  Nine miles of the Deben river separate Woodbridge from the sea, 
   and yet somehow the waterfront has kept alive echoes of its maritime port tradition with its salty atmosphere  and yodelling gulls, 
   long after shipbuilding ceased and the wharves and docks were converted to recreational and residential uses.  Famous landmarks
   in the town include St. Mary's church, the Guild Hall in Market Square, the Olde Bell and Steelyard pub, The Tide Mill and 
   Buttrum's Wind Mill.  An open-top bus service runs two days per week in summer that takes in these highlights: it terminates at the 
   National Trust's world-famous Sutton Hoo site.  From the riverside railway station, you can take a train up the coast to Lowestoft, 
   or head the other way to Ipswich and Colchester.

   The people of Aldeburgh are only too aware of changing times, and the way their town has become highly popular- fashionable even 
   - with visitors who keep the shops busy and go away praising the fish and chips.  Somehow Aldeburgh has kept its identity, and it is 
   one that delights the visitors who return time and again to the salty, windswept town that Suffolk poet George Crabbe found a bit 
   disagreeable.  Stand on the shingle beach with the crashing North Sea at your back, and gaze at one of the iconic views of Suffolk, 
   complete with the Lifeboat Station, the two historic pilot company watchtowers and the ever-hungry gulls.  Colourful nets, pots, 
   floats and boats stand beside rusting winches on the shingle ridge, behind which the houses of Aldeburgh face the wind and waves 
   as they have for centuries.  The town has a rich musical heritage, and hosts Benjamin Britten's world-renowned Aldeburgh Festival 
   of Music and the Arts each June.  There are award- winning restaurants and bistros in the town, and you can buy fresh fish from 
   the huts on the beach.  The ancient Moot Hall near the beach is a fine sight, and it is sobering to learn that it once stood in the 
   centre of the town: the sea has swallowed half of Aldeburgh. 

   Shifting shingle has always been the nemesis of villages and towns on the East Anglian coast.  Harbours have been blocked and rivers 
   diverted by shingle banks thrown up almost overnight by great storms in the past.  The Normans built a large castle on the shore at 
   Orford in the 12th century.  By the 14th century Orford was an important port, but by the end of the 16th century it was all over: the 
   ever-growing shingle mass of Orford Ness had cut the port off from the sea, and large ships were unable to reach the town.  Today, 
   the surviving Keep of the castle lies hundreds of metres from the sea and is in the safe hands of English Heritage.  Fishing boats still 
   work from Orford, and from the quay you can take the National Trust ferry across to Orford Ness, or the RSPB boat to their famous 
   nature reserve at Havergate Island.  The village square and the handsome church mark the original heart of Orford, which was 
   apparently larger than it is today.  You eat well in Orford, and the pubs are good.  From the quay you can walk miles along the sea 
   wall following the Ore to the sea. 

   Everybody loves Southwold, which is why the cost of its beach huts is so famously high.  It is a truly beautiful, unspoiled town, 
   dominated by a magnificent church, the Adnams brewery and of course its lighthouse, rearing high above the narrow streets.  Unusual 
   for Suffolk, it has a sandy beach, ensuring the town is a Mecca for young families on holiday.  The main road through the town has a 
   good variety of shops, and several good pubs and places to eat.  There are grassy greens scattered throughout Southwold, giving the 
   town a nice, open feel.  This is the Amber Coast: you may be lucky enough to find a piece on the beach, but if you don't, head for the 
   Amber Museum in the town square.  The seafaring history of this coastline makes a fascinating study in the Sailor's Reading Room on 
   the cliff top path above the beach.  A visit to the new pier is another 'must': it is the first new pier built for 100 years.  The saucy 
   Water Clock is brilliant!