Archive for the ‘Rushbrooke’ Category

Elderflower Champagne

In Elderflower, Elderflower Champagne, Rivercottage, Rushbrooke on June 5, 2009 at 6:49 pm


Folk-lore, romance and superstition centre round this English tree. Shakespeare, in Cymbeline, referring to it as a symbol of grief, speaks slightingly of it as ‘the stinking Elder,’ due to the scent of its blossom. However at this time of the year the English hedgerow is more handsome for its appearance along with dog rose and hawthorn.

The word ‘Elder’ comes from the Anglo-Saxon word aeld.

On a run from Bury St Edmunds through the village of Rushbrooke I sought out a good source of elderflowers. Last year watching the Hugh Fernley Whittingstall programme River Cottage we were taken with giving the making of some Elderflower Champagne a try.

The tv programme made it look easy to make and when Hugh and his mates came to try it the bottle lids were flipped it certainly reacted like champagne with a bang and lots of gushing fizzy drink which all seemed to enjoy.

So Elderflower Champagne was added to the to do list. The end of May / beginning of June is the perfect time in Engalnd to pick Elderflowers. I picked mine out at Rushbrooke on a quiet minor road but to be honest you can of course spot elderflower growing in the town centre. This is certainly true in Bury St Edmunds and many of the car parks which have surrounding bushes often have large elderflowers bushes.

To be on the safe side I picked elderflowers high up in the bush (well above dog height) and facing into the fields . The recipe only required around 30 heads but to be on the safe side I probably picked around 50 heads. A pair of scissors was handy to clip them into a bag.

Some say you should pick elderflowers when they are young but fully in bloom. That the best time to pick them is in the morning and they should smell fragrant and like bananas. They are past their best if they smell like cats wee.

On arriving home I choose to cut away as much of the stalk as I could. Not entirely sure if this matters but just a personal decision. Give your bag of flowers a good shake and you will have some small insect bugs that have returned home with you. These are fairly easily removed but the odd bug won’t kill you if you miss it.

There are many recipes on the internet for makng Elderflower Champagne. I followed this one below from the River Cottage site.

Makes about 6 litres


  • About 24-30 elderflower heads, in full bloom
  • 2kg sugar
  • 4 litres hot water
  • Juice and zest of four lemons
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • A pinch of dried yeast (you may not need this)

Put the hot water and sugar into a large container (a spotlessly clean bucket is good) and stir until the sugar dissolves, then top up with cold water so you have 6 litres of liquid in total.

2. Add the lemon juice and zest, the vinegar and the flower heads and stir gently.

3. Cover with clean muslin and leave to ferment in a cool, airy place for a couple of days. Take a look at the brew at this point, and if it’s not becoming a little foamy and obviously beginning to ferment, add a pinch of yeast.

4. Leave the mixture to ferment, again covered with muslin, for a further four days. Strain the liquid through a sieve lined with muslin and decant into sterilised strong glass bottles with champagne stoppers (available from home-brewing suppliers) or Grolsch-style stoppers, or sterilised screw-top plastic bottles (a good deal of pressure can build up inside as the fermenting brew produces carbon dioxide, so strong bottles and seals are essential).

5. Seal and leave to ferment in the bottles for a further eight days before serving, chilled. The champagne should keep in the bottles for several months. Store in a cool, dry place.

History of Elderflowers

Folk-lore, romance and superstition centre round this English tree. Shakespeare, in Cymbeline, referring to it as a symbol of grief, speaks slightingly of it as ‘the stinking Elder,’ yet, although many people profess a strong dislike to the scent of its blossom. However at this time of the year the English hedgerow is more handsome for its appearance along with dog rose and hawthorn.

The word ‘Elder’ comes from the Anglo-Saxon word aeld.

The 8 days is up on Friday the 12th of June so thats when I try Elderflower Champagne for the 1st time as long as the bottles don’t explode in the meantime! Then we will see if the effort has been worth it.

Rushbrooke and Rougham Suffolk

In Rougham, Rushbrooke on May 25, 2009 at 6:53 pm

This week I am on holiday from work and I have decided to put in put in some extra miles and aim to run 40 in total. This is something I haven’t done for a long time possibly years.

So today Bank Holiday Monday started well as I decided to put in a long run to begin the week and I ran 12 miles on an out and back course to Rougham from Bury St Edmunds. I ran this in 1hr 44 mins 22 seconds. Still slow but happy with this for a long training run.

My route was out along Cullum Road and then Rushbrooke Lane. Up to the Little Spinney turn left along the North Hill Covert and follow the by road around the sewage treatment plant to Blackthorpe.

As a chicken keeper myself It is always interesting to see other chickens. We have six this owner clearly has more and has them well fenced in against threat of foxes.

At Blackthorpe there is a pathway through Gorse Wood past Blackthorpe Barn. By following this pathway you eventually pick up the old A45 road which is now just a concrete pathway which you can follow over the A14 and into Home farm Rougham.

With 6 miles completed I retraced my steps home.

Rushbrooke Circular Run

In Bury 10, Rushbrooke on May 20, 2007 at 5:46 pm

8am 12 miles in 1 hr 40 mins 16 secs

Week to date mileage 41 miles

Month to date mileage 77

Average weekly rate 29.5 miles

Average monthly rate 128

Year to date 591

Lifetime 10184

Another beautiful day and I decided to do a long run based on the old Bury 10. However instead of starting from the Bury end of Rushbrooke Lane my start was from home which means I actually run about 2 miles to get to this point.

I run through town, along Cullum Rd and the pick up Rushbrooke Lane. There is a large boarding kennels here and I always feel a bit guilty as I pass as it sets the dogs off barking. I am just glad that so far they have always been locked in preventing me setting a world record along Rushbrooke Lane.

At the top of the lane I turn left at the 1st North Hill Cottage.There is a more direct footpath which is straight on but instead I follow the road on to the 2nd North Hill Cottage. Sticking to the right you pass a small wood planted in 1996 called Amschels Wood.

The road is slightly uphill to take you into the village of Rushbrooke which is dominated by Home Farm and its various cottages.

You pass St Nicholas Church and then head down to the Eastlowhill which is a roman road.
At Eastlow Hill there is a tumulus which is a mound or barrow with a grave. You pass Rushbrooke Lake here which I have fished many a time but not in the last 20 years. I used to cycle out here with fishing rods and a box of maggots and even occasionally fish overnight.

The road becomes the Elderstub Lane and is a pretty lane almost enclosed with overhanging trees . Near Blackthorpe turn left and run past the sewage works and the 2nd North Hill Cottage back to !st North Hill Cottage , down back Rushbrooke Lane and into Bury and home.

Bury St Edmunds, Rougham Hill and Rushbrooke Suffolk

In Bury St Edmunds, Rougham, Rushbrooke on January 8, 2007 at 7:22 pm

1pm 9 miles in 1 hr 13 mins 56 seconds

Week to date mileage 9 miles

Month to date mileage 42

Average weekly rate 30.1 miles

Average monthly rate 131

Year to date 42

Lifetime 9635

I was quite indecisive when I set out for this run setting of in one direction and then having a complete change of mind. I ran down Beetons Way thinking I would do one of my regular runs around Fornham but on a day off from work something in my mind suggested I should do something different from the norm.

The weather was again fairly mild but the wet drizzle was persistent. This winter has been mild and it makes you wonder if we will get any snow at all.

So at the bottom of Beetons Way I turned right to follow one of the paths that leads behinds King Edwards School. Emerging near Springfield Road I decided I would head out towards Rushbrooke and look for a footpath some one had mentioned to me that runs parallel to Rushbrooke Lane.

On the way I ran past Cine World and on to the market place to see how the development works are progressing. I was half expecting the old Duke of Wellington to have been pulled down but saw it still standing there with its many tales and about to be just a memory.

I ran down Cullum Road and then out towards the A14. Instead of running down Rushbrooke Lane this time I carried on past the Recycling Centre and up Rougham Hill. I believe this used to be where cars parked in the early days of the Bury 20? I think this might be the last time I have been up Rougham Hill. Not being a lorry driver I would have no cause to venture up here for at the top there is a cafe and a lorry park. Very busy it was too as lorries retreated into the sanctuary of the Hill top cafe.

Past the cafe there is a pathway on the right hand side which I took It takes you behind a large golfing range where you can here the ping of golf balls sometimes reaching as far as the high metal fence at 250 metres. If I was a golfer I could have scooped up half a dozen balls which had some how escaped the fence and were on my path.

The going along this pathway is a little wet in places especially when the path emerges into open fields. There were great waves of black crows feeding on something on the ploughed fields and they rose into flight as I got closer before ignoring me and carrying on feeding.

At the end of the footpath there is a new diversion to the original path and being unsure where the pathway leads I returned back into Bury. Before running home I decided to take a peek at the now disbanded Travellers Site. This was a purpose built set of homes and I don’t recall the history as to why they are now all destroyed, each property has had its roof cut off like the top of an egg.

Rushbrooke Circular Run

In Abbey Gardens, Bury St Edmunds, pigs, Rushbrooke on November 18, 2006 at 8:07 pm

8am 9.8 miles in 1 hour 21 mins .11 secs

Week to date mileage 29 miles

Month to date mileage 80

Average weekly rate 30.3

Average monthly rate 132

Year to date 1394

Lifetime 9414

A bright sunny cold morning as I set out in two minds as to whether I needed gloves. I decided against and soon regretted as I had to pull down my sweatshirt over my hands to keep them warm.

I set out through the water meadows which after the rain had flooded the nearby paths as they are apt to do. Very beautiful, it is a pity to see what appears to be a constant development at the margins of the meadows which then leads to further housing and roads.

I headed out on the A134 past the old Bury Gaol look as imposing as ever, this would be a view familiar to many a prisoner as they were sentenced to transportation to Australia or death.

I continued along the A134 turning left at the signs for Rushbrooke, along here you pass over the old railway line between Bury and Sudbury and the River Lark. After passing Bridge Farm you reach a cross roads at North Hill Cottage and I decided to carry straight on.

You soon reach another North Hill Cottage after running alongside a small wood called North Hill Covert. Here I turned left and followed the road around to the right past a Sewage Works. Here you are entering what can only be described as Pig World. There are pigs for miles to be seen all provided with their 5 star metal sheds. After the recent rains mud was plentiful and these Pigs seemed to be happy and content in a field of mud.

I turned left at the Philis Hole Plantation up what used to be a slip road on to the A14. This was always a dangerous slip road road and cars had to get their timing just right to enter the A14 an a bend so I am glad it has now closed and has been converted to a walk and cycle path.

It runs up to and under the A14 and their is a pathway that I have never been on before which is besides the A14 near a small lake. This part of the continued expansion of Moreton Hall and a number of light industrial outlets. A more established path which is signposted and is part of the National Cycle Network took me into Moreton Hall emerging near Greene King offices.

I ran through Moreton Hall and back into Bury via the Abbey Gardens. I ran up Abbeygate Street already busy with shoppers before heading along Risbygate St and home.

Rushbrooke Rougham and Hessett Suffolk

In Hessett, Rougham, Rushbrooke, St Nicholas, suffolk on September 14, 2005 at 5:15 pm

2pm 8.4 miles

in 1hour 10min 46 seconds.

Year to date mileage 892

Month to date 83 miles

Average miles per month 106

Average weekly rate 24.3

Weather: Sunny bright blue sky.

Course: From Rushbrooke Home Farm I ran down to Eastlowhill Road which is an old Roman Road and the site of a Tumulus and a roman building. I ran through the woods around Rushbrooke Lake and then on to footpaths over fields which took me to Rougham Green out on to fields over Kingshall Street and along to Nether Street and Hessett. I returned on the same path.

This was a very enjoyable run I think I only saw 3 farmers and a lady on a bike during the whole run. The farmers were using the good dry weather to plough over the corn stubble.

The pictures using my very cheap digital camera less than a megapixel don’t do the scenery justice though I hope show the big Suffolk skies. As Suffolk is flat it has always been famed for its big skies and many landscape artists have lived and painted here for this reason.

The photo of the church is that of St Nicholas at Rushbrooke. It is said to be one of the most unusual church interiors in Suffolk. When I first went inside I was surprised to see the seats face inwards a bit like the seats at the houses of parliament.

The thatched houses are seemingly farmworkers houses on the Home Farm. This seems to be a thatched ‘model ‘ farm and also organic. It is a beautiful site and well worth a visit for the peace and quietness.

The photo on the bottom right shows St Nicholas Church in the distance over the fields. If anything this picture captures the very essence of Suffolk for me.