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Chillesford is located in Suffolk
Chillesford shown within Suffolk
Civil parish
  • Chillesford
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townWoodbridge
Postcode districtIP12
EU ParliamentEast of England
List of places
52°07′02″N 1°29′04″E / 52.117122°N 1.484518°E / 52.117122; 1.484518Coordinates: 52°07′02″N 1°29′04″E / 52.117122°N 1.484518°E / 52.117122; 1.484518

Chillesford is a village and a civil parish in the Suffolk Coastal District, in the English county of Suffolk. It is located on the B1084 road which runs east to west. Chillesford is 3 miles northwest of the small town of Orford. It is 5 miles southwest of Aldeburgh and 6 miles south of Saxmundham. Population of around 120 and 60 houses. At the 2011 Census the population is included in the civil parish of Butley

The village was recorded in Domesday as "Cesefortda".

In 1258, Thomas Weyland bought the Manor of Chillesford.

Amy Bantoff used to run the village shop, which is now closed. Mr. Pratt ran the local farm.

Chillesford has a pub, The Froize Inn (east end of B1084), which used to be two cottages.

A church (west end of B1084 – OS grid TM3852) has a tower and various other local buildings are made from local red crag bricks.

The old brickyard was where a 20m skeleton of a whale was also once found.

Pedlars Lane (heads north from the centre of the village) to Tunstall Chapel. Mill Lane (heads south and then south-west) which leads to Butley, Suffolk.

Chillesford Lodge[edit]

Chillesford Lodge in 2007

Chillesford Lodge (OS grid TM3950) lies over a mile southeast from the village close to Sudbourne Park. In 2015 the 1,200 acre[1] estate is the last remnant of the 7,650 acre[2] Sudbourne Hall estate purchased in 1918 by the Leeds soap manufacturer Joseph Watson, 1st Baron Manton (d.1922) still owned by his descendants today. His third son Alastair Joseph Watson (1901–1955) inherited that part of his father's estates, which totalled some 20,000 acres in England. Chillesford Lodge estate was the Sudbourne Hall estate's Victorian "model farm", the buildings of which were erected in 1875 by Sir Richard Wallace, 1st Baronet[3] of Sudbourne Hall, the noted art collector and illegitimate son of the 4th Marquess of Hertford. At Chillesford Lodge Farm the Red Poll breed of cattle had been developed in the 19th century.[4][5] The famous "Sudbourne" prefixed herds of Red Poll cattle and the famous "Sudbourne" stud[6] of Suffolk Punch[7] heavy horses, were retained briefly by the Watson family and won several prizes.

Chillesford Polo Ground[edit]

In 1936 Alastair Watson of Chillesford Lodge built the Chillesford Polo Ground, a private club open to family and friends where teams played by invitation only.[8] Fred Warner of Lion St, Ipswich did the work.[citation needed] It represented "country polo at its best" and used an advanced system of irrigation sprinklers, then unique in England, imported by Watson from the USA where he had seen them in use at the Santa Barbara Polo Club in California.[9] The equipment was shipped in from Kentucky, USA, on the maiden eastbound voyage of the RMS Queen Mary.[citation needed] Spectators were encouraged and were admitted free of charge, with printed programmes with colour covers provided, a further innovation for a small polo club at the time.[10] The club closed during World War II[11] and was ploughed-up[citation needed] for wartime food-production, but re-opened in 1948.[12][13] In 1955 Watson is said to have been trampled to death by ponies during a polo match, after which the polo ground was finally ploughed up.[14]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Advertised for sale as "the late Lord Manton's Suffolk estate" in the Times newspaper of 31 March 1922, in order to pay death duties. As reported in the New York Times, 7 May 1922, p.1: "Bargains in Castles"..."That taxation is causing English landlords to dispose of their realty holdings for whatever they will bring is shown by the fact that the total area of the landed properties comprised in a full-page announcement in The Times of London, England, by a single firm exceeds 79,000 acres"[1]
  3. ^ Listed building text[2]
  4. ^ Historic Landscape Appraisal Sudbourne Park, 2010"Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  6. ^ Evans, George Ewart, Horse Power and Magic[3]
  7. ^ e.g. "Sudbourne Premier", a stallion bred by Lord Manton in 1919 won a number of prizes between 1921 and 1924[4]
  8. ^ Laffaye, Horace A., Polo in Britain: A History, London, 2012, p.126[5]
  9. ^ Laffaye
  10. ^ Laffaye
  11. ^ Laffaye
  12. ^ Laffaye, Horace A., Polo in Britain: A History, London, 2012, p.126[6]
  13. ^ Springfield, Maurice, Hunting Opium and Other Scents, Halesworth, Suffolk, 1966, Chapter 8, "Searching for Game""Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 1 November 2015.: "Later came glorious Sundays as guest of the late Alastair Watson on his perfect ground at Chillesford, near Orford, in a gorgeous setting among pine trees. Before 1940 the ponies on which he mounted his guests were thoroughbred, or near thoroughbred. After the war, until his untimely death, all mounts were selected Arabs flown to England in specially chartered planes. Those were certainly the golden days of polo in East Anglia."
  14. ^ Mitchell, Laurence, Suffolk Coast and Heaths Walks, p.70[7]