Tag Archives: Eye Suffolk

Eye – a historic village in Suffolk

The timber framed guildhall in Eye Suffolk England built in the 15th century
Timber framed Guildhall Eye Suffolk

 

It is a few years since we were in Suffolk but one of the places that we visited remains in my mind. with the unusual name of Eye, this is one of the smallest towns in Suffolk, and was once the smallest burough  England. The name of the town comes for the Saxon for island and once that is what Eye was, surronded by march and water, that has long since been drained. There is an hour and half tour that you can do that takes you around the town and where you can see most of the local highlights. Or you can head up to the Eye castle above the town for a lovely view. The original mound is thought to have been from the 11th century, and then a stone keep was later added. Restoration has given some inkling of what it was like and a modern ladder takes you to the ramparts and a view worth photographing. Another point of interest here is the guildhall, which is a timber framed building dating back to the 15th century. There are also a pair of tombs from the same time period in the local parish church of St Mary, which itself boasts of a lovely  medieval painted screen. What caught my interest though was the crinkle crankle wall that you can see if you take the town tour. Yes that is a real word (s) its lovely isn’t it, crnkle crankle – sounds more like the name for a packet of crisps but it is actually a garden wall with a sinuous configuration that is only one brick thick, making it more economical. The design of the walls is attributed to dutch engineers who came over in the mid 1600’s to drain the marches, they called them, slange muur which translates as snaking wall. The actual name is though to derive from Old English meaning zig zag.

Crinkle crankle wall in Eye, that dates back to 1600's often called serpentine walls
Crinkle crankle wall in Eye

If you ever have the opportunity to visit Eye, do so, it is an pleasent interesting town packed with history and unusual things, like the carved head below. It is not a big town but certainly worth a days visit and soem lovely B& B’s in the neighbourhood.

 

Carved Head, Eye, Suffolk another unusual find in this pretty town
Carved Head, Eye, Suffolk

 

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