See also our Maggi
sculpture page. See the photographs of the Saxmundham
to Aldeburgh branch line stations.
We know that Aldeburgh High Street boasts some fine
the smaller scale, but proclaiming age and often wealth. Opposite
Aldeburgh Cinema this painted sign is so high that it is often missed.
puzzle: 'DINING ROOMS' is certainly at the bottom, but the
in more than one layer of lettering - needs some more decoding.
171 Main Street
Here's the lettering
on the front
wall of 171 Main Street, now part of
the Regatta Restaurant:
'To the Glory of God
and dear memory of
JOHN SHAW SHELDRICK
These Headquarters were given to St John Ambulance Brigade
by his wife
Margaret Maud Sheldrick
Then, above a canine drinking
'In grateful memory of
JOHN SHAW SHELDRICK
and his doggerel'
'Drink, Doggie drink, man is your debtor
And you never present your bill,
But faithful serve, for worse, for better,
Drink, Doggie, drink your fill.'
Aldeburgh: A Gnomon*
no authentification for the use of this collective noun.]
The first is on the
Moot Hall on the sea
front. The next two splendid examples are nearby (the second,
appropriately, in Dial Lane) and the fourth, a 'lost' one in Hertford Place –
at the Slaughden
of town, the numerals rather faded. The support for the shadow-casting
gnomon is 's' shaped in number 3, straight in number 2 and serpentine
in 1 and 4. The first three are south facing, but number four is west
facing, so the gnomon rises from just to the left of the bottom of the
dial to achieve the correct reading from the sun. Roman numerals
abound, also sundial wisdom:
1. 'HORAS NON
NISI SERENAS': 'I
the bright hours only' [as a sundial works only in the sunshine, this
is 'either totally useless or utterly false'] with the date '1650'
square pillars supporting a broken scrolled pediment,
Example 2 has been
with golden sun and rays above the house name 'CORREGGIO' (after
16th century painter of Lombardy), the characters individually painted
on beach pebbles set in cement. (See Links
page for Suffolk Sundials and more sundials at Woodbridge and Guildford.)
Wm. Reade, Crabbe Street
'Wm. C. READE of ALDEBURGH
This sign survived close
to the Jubilee Hall (original home of
Britten's Aldeburgh Festival) on the wall of Reade's old workshops.
Black painted brick with white lettering. The superior 'TD' of Ltd.,
the serif caps of the upper line and the block caps of the lower
provide a varied sign readable from way past the Moot Hall. We believe
that the wall was demolished by 2012.
Beautifully dated building,
Below: close to the
promenade an unusual red brick building
(rendered and cream washed above the ground floor) with a gated area or
... AD ... 1898'
terra cotta frieze bears similar interlaced
lettering and numerals seen on Ipswich Co-op
Hall Road (1898) and Surbiton Road (1904), also Castle Hill Community Centre (1893), Morpeth
(1893), Sudbury's Masonic Hall (1886)
on the Fludyer's Arms Felixstowe (1904).
Howells and Brooks,
Chemist, Main Street
Howells and Brooks,
Chemist in Main Street has a central
blank window (where the olde worlde street lamp is casting its shadow
in the photograph above) bearing the list: 'Toiletries, Perfume [this
in cursive script], Cosmetics, Dispensing Chemist, Films'. The
'leading edges' of the building bear the vertical word: 'CHEMIST'
painted in black against snow white, see also the chemists shop in
Road, Ipswich. And a few doors away:
O. & C Butcher
Ltd, Main Street
'O. & C BUTCHER
LTD. LADIES SHOP'
Shop' in small caps] is painted, white on black, above the larger first
floor widow and is probably preserved and retouched by the white washer
the whole building. Inside the entrance is one of the few surviving
island glazed displays in the country and wonderful art deco stained
glass above the other display windows:
'Ladies Outfitting & Shoes'
Note the interlacing
of characters between the lines. We have included the sticker
in the internal display window: 'AERTEX Men's Wear / VANTELLA Shirts'
for its period resonance. The present proprietors presumably like it
Outfitting & Shoes'
milepost has a curved top and
well preserved with its use of the truncated spelling, common at one
stands close to the White Hart Inn. There is another
milestone embedded in the wall of Milestone House on the A1094. More
Cottages and The Old Custom House, Main Street
And while we're down
end of the Main Street:
Cottages' and 'The Old Custom House', the latter one of the famous
houses in Aldeburgh, its front door nearly on the first storey accessed
by a worn stone staircase.
a walk back up the shingle towards Thorpeness and discover
Maggi Hambling's sculpture
commemorating Britten, way up the beach, as
it has lettering
cut into it.
Eaton House, 17 Wentworth Road
This large Victorian building, which apprently used to be a convent school, is
tucked behind the more visible Wentworth Hotel on the north, coastal
part of Aldeburgh (not far from the Scallop sculpture on the
beach). Since narrow Wentworth Road was made one-way, even fewer people
drive past it. The house boasts a variety of styles, carved details and
material colours and, most noticeably, a wing to the south which rises
to a balustraded roof terrace at first floor level.
It was only in 2017 that we noticed the faint lettering in a cartouche
in the most vestigial of
lettering – a true ghost sign. Presumably the school had its own museum
in this wing of the house; when it ceased to be, the incised lettering
was filled in with plaster or render.
The crest high above the central front door has a scroll bearing the
(the initial letter 'P' is
difficult to make out). The Latin quotation translates as: 'By patience
you will conquer'; perhaps a suitable motto for a school.
This rather handsome, slightly run-down thatched barn is situated on
Old Homes Road, the lane leading down from Thorpeness Church (now a
dwelling). The small shop-front beneath the gable was inserted in the
brickwork at some stage and run as:
'THE FISH SHOP'
signed in vernacular
capitals )note the difference in the 'S's) under the window.
The photograph from 2010 (above) indicates that the building was in a
much poorer state and has had considerable refurbishment since. Surely
barn conversion (to a dwelling) is only a matter of time?
North End Avenue stretches along the sand
Thorpness and the side of a World War II gun emplacement has been
utilised as a public
'THE CLIFF TOP IS
As the public footpath on the beach continues northwards, one passes
the 'Ness' – today just a bend in the coast. The cliffs along this
stretch of coast are soft and prone to collapse in stormy high tides.
PUBLIC RIGHT OF WAY
AT FOOT OF CLIFF'
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