Thorpeness

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Thorpeness
The House on Stilts - geograph.org.uk - 1467632.jpg
Thorpeness Meare
Suffolk UK location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Thorpeness
Location within Suffolk
Shire county
Region
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Leiston
Postcode district IP16
List of places
UK
England
Suffolk
52°10′46″N1°36′53″E / 52.179333°N 1.614710°E / 52.179333; 1.614710 Coordinates: 52°10′46″N1°36′53″E / 52.179333°N 1.614710°E / 52.179333; 1.614710

Thorpeness is a seaside village in East Suffolk, England. It belongs to the parish of Aldringham cum Thorpe and lies within the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB.

Contents

Development

The village was a small fishing hamlet originating in the late 19th century, with folk tales of it being a route for smugglers into East Anglia. However in 1910, Glencairn Stuart Ogilvie, a Scottish barrister who had made his money building railways around the world, increased the family's local estates to cover the entire area from north of Aldeburgh to past Sizewell, up the coast and inland to Aldringham and Leiston.

Most of this land was used for farming, but Ogilvie developed Thorpeness into a private fantasy holiday village, to which he invited his friends' and colleagues' families during the summer months. A country club with tennis courts, a swimming pool, a golf course and clubhouse, and many holiday homes, were built in Jacobean and Tudor Revival styles. Thorpeness railway station, provided by the Great Eastern Railway to serve what was expected to be an expanding resort, was opened a few days before the outbreak of World War I. It was little used, except by golfers, and closed in 1966. [1]

A notable feature of the village is a set of almshouses built in the 1920s to the design of W. G. Wilson. To hide the eyesore of having a water tower in the village, the tank built in 1923 was clad in wood to make it look like a small house on top of a five-storey tower, with a separate water-pumping mill next to it. It is known as the "House in the Clouds", and after mains water was installed in the village, the old tank was transformed into a huge games room with views over the land from Aldeburgh to Sizewell. [2]

For three generations Thorpeness remained mostly in the private ownership of the Ogilvie family, with houses only being sold from the estate to friends as holiday homes. In 1972, Alexander Stuart Ogilvie, Glencairn Stuart Ogilvie's grandson, died on the Thorpeness Golf Course. Many of the houses and the golf course and country club had to be sold to pay death duties.

The Meare

An artificial lake, "mere" or boating lake was created where there had once been an Elizabethan shipping haven that had silted up. [3] Many of the inspirations for the Meare came from a personal friend of the Ogilvies, J. M. Barrie, who wrote Peter Pan . Along with a large main pond, there are several channels with landings marked with names from the Peter Pan stories. Tiny islands on the Meare contain locations found in the novel, such as the pirates' lair, Wendy's house, and many others, where children are encouraged to play. The Meare was dug to a shallow depth for safety reasons. [3]

A variety of boats can be rented to enjoy the water, many of them originals dating from the creation of the Meare and named by the local workmen who had dug the lake.

In August, the Meare serves as the location for the Thorpeness Regatta which usually takes place around the same time as the carnival in neighbouring Aldeburgh and attracts many visitors. During the day, boat races are held, and at night, boats that have been decorated are paraded around the Meare. This is followed by a grand fireworks display.

Thorpeness today

The House in the Clouds is an unusual house, converted from a water tower in 1923. The House in the Clouds, Thorpeness.jpg
The House in the Clouds is an unusual house, converted from a water tower in 1923.

Thorpeness is a quiet village of about 400 people in the winter, increasing to over 1,600 in the summer holiday season. Apart from the events centred on the Meare at the end of August, it is also a popular destination with day trippers, for its beach, amenities, and sights such as The House in the Clouds.

The landowning Ogilvie family, who began to buy into the area in 1859, [4] still have a strong presence in the village. Many of those holidaying in the village have been doing so for generations. Many of the families of the craftsmen who helped to build the village still live there.[ citation needed ] Thorpeness was listed as the Weirdest Village in England by Bizarre magazine in 2003.[ citation needed ]

To the south of the village lies the North Warren RSPB reserve, an area of wildlife and habitat conservation and nature trails run by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. It has Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Special Protection Area (SPA) status. [5]

Like much of the East Coast, Thorpeness has a problem with coastal erosion. [6]

Notable person

Sophie Lascelles (born in 1973 in the village) is a professional photographer. She is a great-great-granddaughter of King George V. [7]

A lifeboat crew from Thorpeness rescues Tim and his friend the sea captain in the Edward Ardizzone book Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain (1936), and are awarded medals for heroism by the Lord Mayor.

The Second World War

The Archaeological Service of Suffolk County Council produced a detailed report of Second World War and other archaeological matters] in Thorpeness. [17]

Related Research Articles

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Aldeburgh Human settlement in England

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Suffolk Coast and Heaths

The Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Suffolk, England.

Leiston Human settlement in England

Leiston is an English town in the East Suffolk non-metropolitan district of Suffolk, near Saxmundham and Aldeburgh, about 2 miles (3 km) from the North Sea coast, 21 miles (34 km) north-east of Ipswich and 90 miles (145 km) north-east of London. The town had a population of 5,508 at the 2011 Census.

RSPB Minsmere RSPB nature reserve in the United Kingdom

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Sizewell Human settlement in England

Sizewell is an English fishing hamlet in the civil parish of Leiston and the East Suffolk district of Suffolk, England. It lies on the North Sea coast just north of the larger holiday village of Thorpeness and between the coastal towns of Aldeburgh and Southwold. It is 2 miles (3.2 km) east of the town of Leiston and belongs within the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB. It is the site of two nuclear power stations with tentative plans for a third station to be built at the site.

East Suffolk line

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Minsmere village in the United Kingdom

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Aldringham cum Thorpe Human settlement in England

Aldringham cum Thorpe is a civil parish in the East Suffolk district of Suffolk, England. Located south of the town of Leiston, the parish includes the villages of Aldringham and Thorpeness, which is on the coast, between Sizewell (north) and Aldeburgh (south). In 2007 it had an estimated population of 700, rising to 759 at the 2011 Census.

Knodishall Village in Suffolk, England

Knodishall is a village in Suffolk, England. The village is 3.5 miles (6 km) southeast of Saxmundham, and 1 mile (2 km) southwest of Leiston. It is 3 miles from the coast. Most of the village is now in Coldfair Green, with only a few houses remaining in the original village by the parish church of St Lawrence.

Aldringham Human settlement in England

Aldringham is a village in Suffolk, England. The village is located 1 mile south of Leiston and 3 miles northwest of Aldeburgh close to the North Sea coast. The parish includes the coastal village of Thorpeness. The mid-2005 population estimate for Aldringham cum Thorpe parish was 730.

Sizewell Hall is a Christian conference centre in Sizewell on the Suffolk coast, England. The estate is owned by the Ogilvie family. It was for some time the home of a progressive school. It has historical connections with a classic taxidermy collection.

The Aldeburgh branch line was a railway branch line linking the town of Saxmundham on the East Suffolk line and the seaside resort of Aldeburgh. There were intermediate stops at Leiston and Thorpeness. Part of the line remains in use for nuclear flask trains servicing Sizewell nuclear power station.

North Warren RSPB reserve RSPB nature reserve in the United Kingdom

North Warren RSPB reserve is a nature reserve run by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) in Suffolk, England. It lies on the Suffolk coast on the north edge of the town of Aldeburgh and to the south of Thorpeness and includes the Aldringham Walks area of heathland to the north. It is within the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and the Suffolk Heritage Coast area. Noted for its populations of Eurasian bittern, European nightjar and other bird species, it covers a range of coastal habitats and is protected with SSSI, SPA conservation status.

Aldeburgh Lifeboat Station

Aldeburgh Lifeboat Station is an RNLI station located in the town of Aldeburgh in the English county of Suffolk. the lifeboat station evolved from the Suffolk Shipwreck Association station in 1851 which was originally in Sizewell and there has been a lifeboat here since that date. The present station has two boats on station. These are the Mersey-class lifeboat RNLB Freddie Cooper (ON 1193) and the D-class (IB1) Inshore lifeboat RNLB Christine (D-673). The station covers the coast from Harwich to the south, and Southwold to the North.

A1094 road

The A1094 is an A road in the English county of Suffolk. It is around 7 miles (11 km) in length. The road runs from a junction off the A12 trunk road at Friday Street in Benhall to Aldeburgh on the North Sea coast. The road is single carriageway throughout.

RNLB <i>Abdy Beauclerk</i> (ON 751)

RNLB Abdy Beauclerk was a 41ft Watson-class lifeboat which was stationed in the town of Aldeburgh in the English county of Suffolk. She was on the No: 1 station at Aldeburgh from 1931 until she was sold out of the RNLI fleet in 1959, a total of 28 years service.

Leiston - Aldeburgh

Leiston - Aldeburgh is a 534.8 hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest which stretches from Aldeburgh to Leiston in Suffolk. Part of it is The Haven, Aldeburgh Local Nature Reserve, and another area is the North Warren RSPB nature reserve. There is also a prehistoric bowl barrow on Aldringham Common, which is a Scheduled Monument. The site is in the Sandlings Special Protection Area under the European Union Directive on the Conservation of Wild Birds, and the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

References

  1. "Thorpeness Halt". Disused Stations. Subterranea Britannica. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  2. Owners' website Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  3. 1 2 Aldeburgh holiday site Retrieved 15 February 2015.
  4. Sizewell Hall Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  5. "The RSPB: North Warren". Royal Society for the Protection of Birds . Retrieved 17 May 2010.
  6. BBC News. Retrieved 13 December 2019.
  7. The Peerage Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  8. Historic England. "Monument No. 1478352". PastScape. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
  9. WW2 Heritage website.
  10. University of York, Archaeology Data Service website.
  11. Haarr, Geirr H. The Gathering Storm: The Naval War in Northern Europe, September 1939 - April 1940 Seaforth Publishing (2013) p. 511, n.8 https://books.google.ae/books?id=v8A7BAAAQBAJ&pg=PA511&lpg=PA511&dq=thorpeness+1940&source=bl&ots=mqjTWYF9ov&sig=IVASQzn66bJ8lzAHOINKCNrTEbY&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CEMQ6AEwCDgUahUKEwjl9baP8JPGAhWI7BQKHauuAC4#v=onepage&q=thorpeness%201940&f=false
  12. BBC.
  13. National Archives.
  14. National Archives.