Reydon shown within Suffolk
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Reydon is a village and civil parish, 1.0 mile (1.6 km) north-west from Southwold and 2.5 miles (4.0 km) south east of Wangford in Waveney District and the ceremonial county of Suffolk in England. It has a population of 2,567.
The name probably means Rye Hill, Rey meaning rye and -don being an old English word for hill or rise). The village is close to the cliffs at Easton Bavents, and like the lost village of Easton, it was established before Southwold was. The parish church is St Margaret of Antioch.
There are three main roads through Reydon, around which the village is built. These are:
- A1095 Halesworth Road heading west (Leading to Blythburgh and Halesworth)
- B1126 Wangford Road heading northwest through Reydon (Leading to Wangford)
- B1127 Lowestoft Road heading northeast (Leading to Wrentham and Lowestoft)
The village of Reydon lies to the north of the town of Southwold. The three roads from Wangford, Wrentham and Halesworth converge at Reydon corner about 100 metres from where Mights Bridge crosses over Buss Creek, which provides the only road bridge entry to Southwold.
There are only two shops in Reydon. In 2007 the Royal Mail decided to remove the post office facilities as part of a plan to reduce financial losses. This move was strongly opposed by many people living in Reydon, but the sub-post office closed on 11 February 2008, although the associated shop continues.
Reydon also has one public house (and hotel with restaurant) known as The Randolph Hotel on the Wangford Road. It was briefly renamed "The Cricketers", due to the adjacent locality of Southwold's former Eversley School cricket ground and playing fields. It reverted to its original name after a few years. The cricket ground has since been sold off, and housing built upon it.
Further along is a group of new houses which have been built on the site of the former senior school (Reydon Modern, it was renamed Reydon High after converting to a comprehensive in 1978) which closed in 1990.
Continuing along towards Wangford is St Margaret's Church (see below), then Reydon Hall, at one time the home of Agnes Strickland, a writer on history and a poet.
Reydon Wood is popular with walkers, especially in the springtime, when it is a carpet of bluebells. There is sheltered accommodation on the Lowestoft Road.
Reydon Primary School educates around 200 children aged 3 to 11 from the village and the surrounding area. At age 11 children move to Sir John Leman High School in Beccles. Reydon High School closed in 1990, with students now being bussed to other schools in the area and the land sold for housing development. The school playing fields are still in use, with the original school canteen building being used for changing rooms. Plans to extend the fields have been adopted by Waveney District Council.
Saint Felix School on the Halesworth Road is an independent school. It was founded as a girls' public school in 1897, but now takes pupils of both sexes from ages 1 to 18. The independent St George's school on the same site closed in 2004.
Development and building
Reydon has in recent years seen much new housing construction, due mainly to the rising house prices in Southwold and the popularity of Reydon as a retirement village. This is likely to continue on sites such as the former Eversley School playing field and other vacant plots earmarked throughout the village.
The resultant increase in population means that Reydon now has many more permanent inhabitants than Southwold; where once the reverse was true.
The increasing number of homes has also led to the loss of much of Reydon's previous "small village" feeling. Additionally, the inflated house prices in Southwold have led to a number of properties in Reydon being purchased for holiday homes and second homes. These are often unoccupied for long periods of time. It is claimed that this has contributed to the loss of community. However, it is unlikely that it will affect the increase in permanent population, at least in the short term.
The Church of St Margaret
The parish church is dedicated to St Margaret of Antioch. It is situated on the B1126 Wangford Road, to the north west of the village. One of the most striking features is a large, unnamed bronze angel inscribed "To Fanny my beloved wife." The present building is mainly from the early 14th century. The tower was built about 1325. The chancel was made more elaborate in the 15th century, and has many niches for saints in the window splays. The church suffered damage during the Reformation and the Civil War and was much altered in succeeding centuries.
More drastic was the restoration and re-roofing of 1875-87, which robbed the church of most of its old furnishings and architectural detail. The replacement roof is of a plain, simple design. The royal arms displayed are those of Queen Anne and date from 1713. In 1988 a large extension was built onto the north side of the nave using the original north door which was reopened when the organ was moved into the chancel to allow for the building. The building is the frequently used parish room. The rood loft stairs are open but are partly bricked up at the top.
The organ is Victorian and is in the chancel, as there is no space in the nave, but it does clutter the space and distract attention from some wonderful Victorian stained glass. Behind the organ is a blocked entrance, also apparent from the outside. The small chapel to which it led has vanished. The font, of no great age, stands at the base of the tower, having been moved there from the nave in 1988, to improve access to the new parish room. The font cover, donated in 1922, used to be suspended from the ceiling in the nave and operated by a system of weights; the wood in the roof still shows this.
The church bells
The tower originally held three bells, two of which were sold in 1792 to fund repairs to the church. In 1991 an appeal was launched for the restoration of the tower, replacement of the two missing bells, and procurement of a further three. These were dedicated at a service in December 1996. The original 15th-century bell, "Gabriel", has been joined by "Michael", "Raphael", "Peter", "Mary" and "Seraph", all cast at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in 1995 and 1996. The tenor (the largest) weighs 517 kg and the treble (the smallest) about a third of that. The bells hang in a two-tier steel frame, installed in 1995. The bells are hung for the traditional English art of change ringing. Ringing takes place from ground level with the font in the centre of the rope circle. The tower is affiliated to the Suffolk Guild of Ringers. The bells are rung regularly for practice, Sunday services, weddings and other special occasions.
- Geoffrey Munn OBE, Presenter on the BBC Antiques Roadshow, local historian and author of Southwold - an Earthly Paradise.
- Rev. John Youngs, founder of Southold, New York, born in Reydon
- Agnes Strickland - Agnes Strickland lived at Reydon Hall
- Susanna Moodie (née Strickland), younger sister of Agnes, lived at Reydon Hall
- Office for National Statistics : Census 2001 : Parish Headcounts : Waveney Retrieved 2009-12-26
- Taken from East Anglian Daily Times. 20 October 2007. Page 37
- The Suffolk Churches Site. Retrieved 2009-01-26
- "SOU2 - Former Eversley School Playing Field, Wangford Road, Reydon". Site Specific Allocations - Adopted January 2011. Waveney District Council. From 26 Jan 2011 to 31 Mar 2021. Retrieved 31 October 2011.
- Reydon Primary School, Department for Education Edubase. Retrieved 2013-01-04.
- Reydon High School, Department for Education Edubase. Retrieved 2013-01-04.
- "SOU3 - Land at Wangford Road, Reydon". Sites for future development. Waveney District Council. From 26 Jan 2011 to 31 Mar 2021. Retrieved 31 October 2011.
- Saint Felix School, Independent Schools Council. Retrieved 2013-01-04.
- St George's School, Department for Education Edubase. Retrieved 2013-01-04.
- Citation required.
- Taken from 'A photographic and historical guide to the Parish Churches of East Suffolk' compiled by Adrian S. Pye. 27 January 2009. Page 213
- Taken from The Sole Bay Team Ministry. 27 January 2009.
- Taken from The Suffolk Churches Site. 27 January 2009.
- Taken from Doves Guide. 27 January 2009.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Reydon.|
- Reydon Primary School
- St. Felix School
- The Sole Bay Team Ministry
- Hoare Lee Architects-Adnams Distribution Centre Distribution Centre aerial view
- Reydon Smear - Natural England
- Reydon Hall
- Quay Lane - access to the River Blyth
- Hen Reedbeds - nature reserve
- Reydon Wood - Suffolk Wildlife Trust
- Starlings at Reydon - BBC
- Wolsey Bridge - Cardinal Wolsey's family owned land in this area
- Photos of Reydon