Holy Trinity Church, Blythburgh
Blythburgh shown within Suffolk
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||East of England|
Blythburgh is a small English village in an area known as the Sandlings, part of the Suffolk heritage coast. Located close to an area of flooded marshland and mud-flats, in 2007 its population was estimated to be 300. Blythburgh is best known for its church, Holy Trinity, internationally known as the Cathedral of the Marshes, which is a regular venue for the summer Aldeburgh Festival. The church has been flood-lit since the 1960s and is a landmark for travels on the arterial road to Norfolk.
Close to the village is the site of the Battle of Bulcamp (c. 653).
Location and local landmarks
The village is noteworthy for its huge area of flooded marshes which lead to the estuary of the River Blyth, the river flows from west of Halesworth to the North Sea between Southwold and Walberswick. Originally the river joined the sea at Dunwich (one of Parliament's rotten boroughs. Southwold is reached by the A1095, which crosses a causeway near Reydon. The causeway is claimed to have been built by the family of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, passing over Wolsey Creek, using Wolsey Bridge with views over the adjacent Hen Reedbeds bird reserve.
Following the North Sea Flood of 1953 along the east coast the river banks were not repaired which created a large tidal lagoon. The surrounding reed-beds are the haunt of Bittern and Marsh Harrier, the mud-flats are feeding grounds for Shelduck, Avocet and Curlew.
Standing beside the main road to Lowestoft (England's most easterly point), the White Hart Inn owned by Adnams the local brewer, is known for its Dutch gable ends to the building and beamed interior, which is claimed to have been the court-house for this prosperous town in the middle-ages.
Bulcamp later had an infamous workhouse and lies adjacent to Henham Park, the home of the Rous family and site of the annual Latitude Festival. The majority of the land to the south of the village is owned by the Blois family from Cockfield Hall.
Approaching Blythburgh from Darsham, the nearest railway station and the only level-crossing on the A12 road, travellers pass Toby's Walks Picnic Site on the common. The site is named after a young man who was hanged nearby and is reputed to haunt the area. Adjacent to the picnic area is an attractive site of free range pigs, which are highly prized by major supermarket chains and quality restaurants.
The Battle of Bulcamp
Across the river north from Blythburgh is the hamlet of Bulcamp, site of the Battle of Bulcamp in c. 653, when Penda King of Mercia defeated Anna King of East Anglia and slew Anna and his son Jurmin (later St Jurmin).
- William Alwyn - composer
- Group Captain Kenneth Hubbard - H-bomb testing
- Dr Martin Shaw - hymn music
- Major Wood - brother Peter owned Herm, CI
- Jack Pritchard - Isokon designs
- Peter Harold Wright - World War II VC winner
- Sir John Seymour Lucas RA - portrait painter
- Ernest Crofts RA - military artist
- William Benner - Southwold Railway artist
- Sir Cyril English - educationalist
- Simon Loftus OBE - brewer and vintner
- Ralph Fiennes - actor
The Church of Holy Trinity
Blythburgh had a railway station on the narrow gauge Southwold Railway, which ran from Halesworth to the Suffolk coast at Southwold via Walberswick, but this closed, with the rest of the line, on 11 April 1929.
- Hugh Roberts, Mary Montague, & Barry Naylor. Holy Trinity, Blythburgh: Cathedral of the Marshes. Jarrold Publishing, 1999.
- History Notes — Blythburgh Society
- Holy trinity, Blythburgh — The Suffolk Churches Site
- Solebay Ministry — St Edmundsbury & Ipswich Diocese
- Blythburgh, Suffolk — photographs of the church and its scorched door
- Alan Mackley, Mary Montague. 'Blythburgh. A Suffolk Village'. Blythburgh Church and Jarrold Publishing, 2003.
- Blythburgh Village — Suffolk County Council
- The Poaching Priors of Blythburgh — Blythburgh Society, 2002, Alan Mackley (ed.)
- Map of Village — Blythburgh Net
- Jack Pritchard — The Pritchard Papers, UEA Norwich
- Peter Wright VC — Wright family website, Suffolk, England
- Martin Shaw — Musicweb International
- Kenneth Hubbard — The Daily Telegraph
- Village Sign — Blythweb, Richard Maslen
- Toby's Ghost — Fox Earth
- Blythburgh Video Tour — BBC East
- Blythburgh Hospital — (Bulcamp) Blything Union Workhouse, Suffolk Churches
- Sandlings — Suffolk Coast & Heaths
- Priors of Blythburgh — British History
- Thirty miles to Ipswich — Milestone Web
- Imogen Holst with Benajmin Britten at Blythburgh Church — Britten Pears Library 1956
- Blythburgh War Dead — Roll of Honour
- Neal's Charity — Charity Commission
- Hen Reedbeds - Suffolk Wildlife Trust
- Simon Loftus OBE — Morning Advertiser
- Joe Kennedy — Flixton Air Museum
- Thomas Neale Charity — British Isle Genealogy