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Our favourite
The west of the county has its share of beautiful settlements - here are just some of them
Visit Kersey today and it’s hard to envisage it was once a prosperous and well known textile town in the Middle Ages. That’s not to say it is rundown - far from it. On either side of the main street are Tudor merchants’ houses of ancient timbers and weathered brick, a fine medieval church atop a hill and, at its heart, a pretty watersplash.
and technical innovations ended the good times for the county’s textile industry. All that was left for the residents of Monk Eleigh was to spin yarn for production centres elsewhere.
The attractive Swan Inn on the main road offers light bites, indulgences, grazing food and traditional pub favourites.
If you think our county is flat, try heading for the Essex border. Travelling from Sudbury to Bures, lowlands suddenly turn into shallow hills, then steep ones. This village, with its stately St Mary’s Church and bridge half in Essex, half in Suffolk, has a lovely cricket ground and pleasant watermeadows lying beside the slow- moving River Stour.
Situated in ‘High Suffolk’ Hartest is a village on a twisting back road between Long Melford and Bury St Edmunds.
The large stone on the green was dug out of High Field in Somerton, on 7th July 1713. It was decided to transport it, by sledge and pulled by 45 horses, to the village to commemorate the victories of the Duke of Marlborough in the war of the Spanish ‘
 The latter featured in a British Leyland car advert which made local newpaper headlines in the 1970s. The commotion of a film crew and cars driving in and out of the water annoyed some villagers.
The mighty River House stands beside the ford, a building that long ago would have witnessed the cleansing of wool by the water’s edge and the splashing of hooves of countless pack animals.
The bestselling writer Hammond Innes had a home here and the wildlife artist Terance Bond lives nearby.
Monks Eleigh
Drive through this little settlement between Lavenham and Hadleigh in the summer and the lovely colours can entrance. Cream washed cottages plus neighbouring buildings painted in Suffolk pink, primrose yellow or cornflower blue cluster close to gardens of verdant green.
Once this part of the world was the busiest and wealthiest part of England but wars, changes in fashion
Almost everyone in this part of the county must know the pink washed cottages on the green. Just behind is the imposing 14th century flint church of St Mary’s. This corner of the village is known as Hyde Park Corner, so called because visiting preachers would always choose this part of the green for their soap box sermons. In 1381 the medieval church was caught up in the aftermath of the Peasant’s Revolt when news reached the village that the son of local nobleman, Sir John Cavendish,
  Wat Tyler
had played a part in the death of Wat Tyler. An enraged mob went in search of the father who, fearing for his life, fled to the door of St Mary’s Church claiming sanctuary. It seems he wasn’t protected for long since he was later dragged to Bury St Edmunds for a mock trial and beheaded. In modern times this picturesque village boasts two pubs, The George and Five Bells, plus a shop. The Willow Tree Farm Shop and new restaurant is on the outskirts.

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