In the charming - and very ancient - Halesworth main
street next to Bay Tree Bistro, formerly Warners
Wine Bar (with its ornate and suspiciously charred) carved overbeam,
a passageway. The shop to the right (out of shot in the
below) used to belong to the grandfather of broadcaster, David Frost:
can still be read inside the arch (the last word nearly
The passage probably once led to a bustling back
yard, with horses,
carts, metalwork and hardware supplies in abundance. It now leads to a
A commemorative plaque now adorns the passage wall:
Perhaps it is fitting for these photographs to be added at this
time, as Sir David Frost died 31 August 2013. David Paradine Frost was
born in Tenterden in Kent on 7 April 1939, the son of a Methodist
Bay Tree Bistro, 6 The Thoroughfare
At the time that these photographs were taken in summer 2013,
the Bay Tree Bistro was no more. The 15th century, timber-framed,
jettied frontage features a carved bressummer beam with two lions
holding a shield. It is thought that this shield once had the Argentein
coat of arms painted on it. The building is rumoured to have once been
the home of Margaret de Argentein. Sir
William de Argentein was cupbearer to Henry IV in 1399;
he resided in and probably owned most of Halesworth.
fish/dolphins on the uprights at each side. Below:
a spread eagle (with the body of a mammal) with its prey. This is said
to be Ganymede, cupbearer to the gods. To the right, figures from one
of the stories about Reynard, the fox: a fable which was popular
throughout medieval Europe.
The building is thought to date from the 1440s, so it seems
likely that the timbers were reused from an earlier structure, probably
belonging to the Argentein family who may have been trying to assert
their rights over the town of Halesworth.
To refer to Wikipedia: 'The block of four shops next to the former
Frost & Son ironmongery was originally built in 1474 as the
Guildhall. This was the home of the Guild of St John the Baptist and
Guild of St Love and St Anthony. The original line of the building can
be seen.' So, both or neither may be true.
This ghost sign/palimpsest had escaped our attention until
Mark Beesley (to whom our thanks) sent these photographs in November
images courtesy Mark Beesley
The location photograph (taken in the winter sunshine) shows the
location of the sign, indcated by the red arrow.
This sloping gable-end sign is above nos. 59A and 59
Thoroughfare on the opposite side of the road to the 'FROST & SON'
sign on no. 8 (no. 9, next door, is directly opposite this sign). In
the absence of Kelly's or
local trade directories, we are assuming that the largest word is
'GOODMAN' (or similar).
We speculate that the whole sloping sign once read:
Below this and written on the horizontal is:
characters, fugitive though they may be, could be present.
At the other end of Halesworth's Thoroughfare,
opposite the junction with Angel Link stands an attractive former 'BANK'
building, now used as a shop. For another former
bank see our Bungay page.
2 Quay Street
Near to the railway
station, an unassuming house carries the sign:
The enhancement (inset) shows the lettering more
clearly. As it was up for sale when this
picture was taken in 2007, we assume it no longer performs this
Return to Historic Lettering from outside
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