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Archive for the ‘Thorpe Morieux’ Category

Thorpe Morieux & Brettenham Suffolk

In Brettenham, Thorpe Morieux on March 31, 2007 at 6:58 pm

8am 9.2 miles in 1 hr 16 mins 22 seconds

Week to date mileage 32 miles

Month to date mileage 154

Average weekly rate 30.4 miles

Average monthly rate 132

Year to date 391

Lifetime 9984

A bit of a drive this morning to a place I can’t recall I have ever visited before Thorpe Morieux. It is a little awkward to get to being in the middle of a corridor of Suffolk farming country which probably doesn’t get much visited except for those on business.

I came of the A134 at Cockfield and eventually got to Thorpe Morieux and parked at what I took for the village centre but was in fact Birds Farm at Blacksmith Lane.
I spoke to a springy athletic looking lady who must have been well into her 70’s to see if it was alright to park and ask for directions to the church. She looked at me oddly (as people do anyway!) but pointed out that I was in the village of Thorpe Mr’o and church was down and around and up the hill and I could park as they didn’t get many visitors.

Although Bury St Edmunds is only about 11 miles away I felt like a bit of a foreigner to these parts and indeed I was not even being able to converse or fully understand a real Suffolk accent. Living in Bury few people now appear to have a Suffolk accent this is partly do the population explosions in the towns which has seen huge numbers move to East Anglia from London. We all have a hybrid Suffolk/London Estuary accent with the later dominating.

Visiting Thorpe was a deliberate choice as I am currently reading a book called the Diary of a Poor Suffolk Woodman. The book is fairly unique as most historical diaries from the early 19th century tend to be written by wealthy folk who had both the time and the ability to write a record of their life. William Scarfe kept a dairy for 15 years in the margins of a prayer book and it is a fascinating incite into the hard life lived by the majority of people trying to make ends meet.

I ran a circular route to reach the Church in Thorpe which is on a hill close to the River Brett. St Mary’s sits beside the site of the Morieux Hall and a large lake.

I remembered from the map that there should have been a track to take me past the lake and beyond but the pathway seems to falter out quite quickly and I gave up and returned past the church and decided to take the road to Brettenham. There was a fairly steep climb up Chapel Hill but little in the way of traffic or any people. There were however some good sized hares in the fields almost the size of small dogs and they ran helter skelter in my wake.

I eventually arrived at Brettenham at the site of a grand looking school called Old Buckenham Hall. It takes full boarders at a cost of £5,600 per term. This is the site of the old Brettenham Hall which was once the residence of Joseph Bonaparte in 1830.
Running directly into Brettenham Park seemed to be out of bounds so I turned left into the village. At the village hall there is an old AA road sign which would appear to have been there since perhaps the 1950’s.

At this point I picked up on a pathway called Dux Street and more by curiosity about the name decided to follow it.

I haven’t managed to find any reason for the name as of yet but assume perhaps a roman road significance perhaps. It is shown on the OS map as a road but is no more than a rough field track. At Ryece Hall I retraced my steps back to Thorpe.

I took the green road at Thorpe and with my time running out had a hurried look for some of the cottages mentioned by William Scarfe in his book. I didn’t go far enough I think to find where he lived but did come across the Wheelwrights house which is often mentioned and must have been similar.

I returned back to Hill Farm but before going home just visited the Manor Farm which has the appearance of an old school. I returned back to the car thinking another visit will be needed here to uncover some of the secrets of this secluded part of Suffolk.