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Thorpeness is a seaside village in the East Suffolk district of Suffolk, England, which developed in the early 20th century into a holiday village. It belongs to the parish of Aldringham cum Thorpe and lies within the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB.
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.
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 mill next to it, which pumped water 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.
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.
An artificial boating lake known as the Meare was created where there had once been an Elizabethan shipping haven that had silted up.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.
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. Also in 1936 four new boats were added and these were named after the Sfatt families 4girls, Shelia, Jennifer, Joyce and Thirza. The Thurstons (who were the boatman at the time) named many of the boats after local girls and family members. In recent times some boats have been donated in memory of people, for example Valma and Martha.
In August, the Meare serves as the location for the Thorpeness Regatta, which is usually held about the same time as the carnival in neighbouring Aldeburgh and attracts many visitors. During the day, there are boat races, and at night, boats that have been decorated are paraded around the Meare. This is followed by a fireworks display.
Thorpeness is a quiet village of about 400 people in the winter, increasing to over 1,600 in the summer holiday season. Apart from events centred on the Meare at the end of August, it is also popular 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, [ citation needed ] Thorpeness was listed as the Weirdest Village in England by Bizarre magazine in 2003.[ citation needed ]still have a strong presence. Many of those holidaying in the village have been doing so for generations. Many families of craftsmen who helped to build the village still live there.
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.
Like much of the East Coast, Thorpeness has had intermittent problems with erosion. Discussions are still underway for further defences.
Sophie Lascelles, who was born in the village in 1973, is a professional photographer of note. She is a great-great-granddaughter of King George V.
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.
Aldeburgh is a North Sea coastal English town in the county of Suffolk, north of the River Alde. Its estimated population was 2,276 in 2019. It was home to the composer Benjamin Britten and has been the centre of the international Aldeburgh Festival of arts at nearby Snape Maltings, founded by Britten in 1948. It remains an arts and literary centre, with an annual poetry festival and several food festivals and other events. As a Tudor port, Aldeburgh gained borough status in 1529 under Henry VIII. Its historic buildings include a 16th-century moot hall and a Napoleonic-era Martello Tower. Second homes make up about a third of its housing. Visitors are drawn to its Blue Flag shingle beach and fisherman huts, where fresh fish are sold daily, by Aldeburgh Yacht Club, and by its cultural offerings. Two family-run fish and chip shops are listed among the best in the country.
The Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Suffolk, 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 is a nature reserve owned and managed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) at Minsmere, Suffolk. The 1,000-hectare (2,500-acre) site has been managed by the RSPB since 1947 and covers areas of reed bed, lowland heath, acid grassland, wet grassland, woodland and shingle vegetation. It lies within the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Suffolk Heritage Coast area. It is conserved as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, Special Area of Conservation, Special Protection Area and Ramsar site.
Yoxford is a village in East Suffolk, England close to the Heritage Coast, Minsmere Reserve (RSPB), Aldeburgh and Southwold. It is also known for its antique shops and for providing the setting for a Britten opera.
Sizewell is an English fishing hamlet in the East Suffolk district of Suffolk, England. It belongs to the civil parish of Leiston and lies on the North Sea coast just north of the larger holiday village of Thorpeness, 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, one of them still active. There have been tentative plans for a third station to be built at the site.
The East Suffolk line is an un-electrified 49-mile secondary railway line running between Ipswich and Lowestoft in Suffolk, England. The traffic along the route consists of passenger services operated by Greater Anglia, while nuclear flask trains for the Sizewell nuclear power stations are operated by Direct Rail Services.
Minsmere is a place in the English county of Suffolk. It is located on the North Sea coast around 3.5 miles (5.6 km) north of Leiston and 1.5 miles (2.4 km) south-east of Westleton within the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB. It is the site of the Minsmere RSPB reserve and the original site of Leiston Abbey.
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, a village in Suffolk, England, lies 3.5 miles (6 km) south-east of Saxmundham, 1 mile (2 km) south-west of Leiston, and 3 miles from the coast. Most dwellings are now at Coldfair Green; just a few remain in the original village by the parish Church of St Lawrence, which falls gently on the north side of the Hundred River valley. It is now an outlier of Knodishall Common, a settlement a mile to the south-east. The estimated parish population was 790 in 2019.
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 houses a Christian conference centre in Sizewell on the Suffolk coast, England. The estate is owned by the Ogilvie family. Back in the 1950s it housed a progressive school for 7–13s. It has historical connections with a classic taxidermy collection. The present Christian conference centre is run by Sizewell Hall Ltd, a registered charity. In 2007, 6,500 visitors stayed there, mainly local church groups from East Anglia, national bodies and a local youth organisation CYM from Ipswich. CYM has developed an activity holiday for schoolchildren in the African Village in the Hall grounds.
Cecil Howard Lay (1885–1956) was an English poet of the Georgian school, architect and artist, closely associated with his native Suffolk.
Aldeburgh railway station was a station in Aldeburgh, Suffolk. It was opened in 1860 by the East Suffolk Railway, and later came under the control of the Great Eastern Railway. The terminus of an 8.5 mile branch line to Saxmundham, the station closed in 1966 as part of the Beeching Axe as much of the British rural rail network was cut back.
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.
Thorpeness Windmill is a Grade II listed post mill at Thorpeness, Suffolk, England which was built in 1803 at Aldringham and moved to Thorpeness in 1923. Originally built as a corn mill, it was converted to a water pumping mill when it was moved to Thorpeness. It pumped water to the House in the Clouds.
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.
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 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.
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