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Old Moot Hall & St. Peter's






St. Peters Church, Market Place

St. Peter's Church in Market Hill

Reports of Monthly Meetings
June 2013
June 2013

Mrs. Carla Broderick, as Chairman, introduced our guest speaker Mrs Judith Blatch who delivered a most interesting and multi-layered talk on the history and future of Sudbury's oldest and largest independent shop - Winch and Blatch.

She held the attention of her audience of 125 local history buffs from the start with an update on the historic structure of the main store on the Market Hill. Although there have been many changes over the centuries, including the introduction of moulded timbers from elsewhere in the l960's, at the core are substantial remains of an important early 14th century aisled Hall with a rare crown-post supporting the roof in situ. This is of immense interest and forms a direct link with the original layout and conception of the Market Hill area for Elizabeth de Burgh, Lady of Clare, in the l320's which the Society have been studying in recent months.

Various subdivisions over the centuries have resulted in an interesting mixture of periods and styles and variations in merchandise. The first Winch shop was further down in King Street, between the Rose and Crown Hotel and Manchester House Linen Emporium, all of which were destroyed by fire in 1926. Mr. Winch immediately secured the occupancy of what is now the main store, part of which was Mauldon's Brewery shop. The subsequent history after the 1939-45 war, when the Winch and Blatch partnership was formed, is a remarkable story of private enterprise and vision against all the odds.

Two other well established shops, Stephen Baker and Joy's were taken over and their premises retained resulting in a well-stocked and pleasant independent shopping ambience, which suits a town like Sudbury admirably.

Mrs. Blatch was most informative in replying to questions from the floor about trading today and the challenges they have to face with the multiples' and the Intemet.

Mrs Broderick thanked her on behalf of the membership for a thoroughly enjoyable talk.

After the interval Mike Crome projected a series of photographs of the events earlier in the week to commemorate the centenary of the unveiling of Gainsborough's statue.

Barry Wall reported on the visit from Australia of some descendants of the Burkitt family a few days earlier. He had been able to arrange access to the two premises created from the original Burkitt House, now a restaurant and Estate Agents in Gainsborough Street. They were also taken to All Saints Church where 14 members of the Burkitt family are buried in the chancel although without a memorial stone. The visitors had been most impressed with Sudbury.
Barry Wall, Secretary 2013/14


Chairman's Report 2011
The year passes so quickly yet it seems incredible how much we manage to cram into it at the Sudbury History Society. Especially remarkable as the full membership only meets for two hours each month with ten day excursions for fifty two persons in addition. Each moment of the monthly meetings is precious time there for and we pride ourselves in making the most of it.

The talks this year have included Saxon Names and Place Names, Saxon Language and Literature (Carla's), The New Work at St. Edmundsbury Cathedral, Suffolk's Lost Houses, Crome and the Norfolk School of Painters. (Given by our Vice Chairman and descendent Mike Crome), The History of Sudbury Literary and Mechanics Institute, (by Member Walter Perry), Excavation and Discovery of a 16th century Hunting Tower at Wormingford, (Colchester Archaeological Group), Metal Detecting in the Sudbury Area and a Theory Concerning Edmunds Coronation.

After this meeting we shall have our first of a new series exploring the town street-by-street starting with Ballingdon, Sudbury's Transpontine Suburb. A short illustrated talk by member Ann Grimshaw concerning Temple Bar will round off the proceedings.

Our Excursions this year were planned to show how, even in today's economic climate, a magnificent day out need only cost you ten pounds plus what ever you decide to spend on refreshments. There was a heavy concentration on London, as we shall be steering clear of the Capital next season for various reasons. To remind you, this is where we went: -
Two Border Churches in Norfolk/Suffolk
Kenwood House and The Geffrey Museum
Southwold and Dennington Church
London Museum at The Barbican
St. Alban's Abbey
London Docklands Museum
London Aldwych (free day)
Norwich (free day)
London V and A Museum
St. Mary's Church BSE & Anglesey Abbey

The highlight for me in July was an invitation from H.M. to attend a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace. Apparently to acknowledge the work put in to promoting the history and appreciation of this town. August saw another successful Al Fresco lunch at Shrubbs Farm Lamarsh for which many thanks are due to Cynthia and her team for organising the fabulous spread.
In September our Society acted as hosts to members of the Suffolk Local History Council with a talk on the Evolution of Sudbury Town at The Quay Theatre followed by a walk-about to show off the Saxon town streets. After lunch we met at St. Gregory's for a talk on Simon of Sudbury.

Also in September Mike Crome and I met up with a direct descendent of the l7th century William Dawes who emigrated to America. The meeting was prearranged via our website and he was delighted to see so much had survived in Sudbury from that era. He returned to America a very happy man.

In October Mike and I journeyed to Ipswich to visit a group called Discovering Suffolk. We delivered a lecture on Elizabeth de Burgh's new town at Sudbury. They are making arrangements to come and see the town.
In February we set off again, this time to Bures History Society where an appreciative audience were apparently enthralled with our talk which was a revised version of The Evolution of Sudbury.
In March we manned a stall at the Sudbury On Show Exhibition and a week later some of our members enjoyed a field walk at Bures.

Under the Good News banner, it has been decided not to increase the membership fee which we consider to be extremely good value for money at £7 .50
We continue to monitor the well being of our rich historic heritage in Sudbury and are pleased at last to see that the Anchor/White Hart complex has at last been sold and the steel shutters have been removed. We have a particular interest in the building as we uncovered its fascinating story from the Mattingly documents. We will watch closely and communicate with the new owners as soon as it is made known who they are.

The very bad and distressing news was of the destruction of St. Bartholomew's magnificent 14th century barn early this year by arson. Nobody has been charged with the offence to date. Knowing that we have for ten years been in constant contact with English Heritage and Babergh District Council voicing our concern for the vulnerability of this unprotected and uninhabited historic site the former did at least contact me the next day to commiserate and promised to try and settle the long going dispute about the Priory's future with the minimum of delay. So far nothing except that talks are on going.

Finally it would be impossible to do all that we do without the support of your hard working committee. We really do work as a team. I also have to thank Coralie Berg and Barbara Rawlins for organising our coffees and teas so efficiently. Cynthia and Wally Perry for all their work at the summer and winter bashes and a special thank you for those members who turn up early and help to set up the chairs for our meetings.
And a big thank you to all of you for your support and encouragement!
Chairman - Barry Wall
April 2011

January 2009

This first half of this months meeting was dominated by the funding plans for the Sudbury relief road to be discussed with 34 other projects by the East of England Regional Assembly (EERA) around the end of January (exact date is unknown). The meeting is to discuss the priority of all these projects and our objective is to have our 'Relief Road' moved up the list.

In attendance at our meeting was Sudbury Society chairman Nick Hallidie who briefed the meeting with the latest position.

"There is to be a meeting on the 16th January of Suffolk County Council to agree their priorities before the EERA meeting. This is to be followed by a Sudbury Town public meeting chaired by Andrew Phillips, both Guy McGregor (Portfolio holder for Roads and Transport) and Peter Grimm have said they will attend and give a presentation of the current situation and all the factors on Thursday 22nd January in the Town Hall at 7 pm. Our two local County Councillors, Jack Owen and Colin Spence have both said they will attend. Nick then highlighted two issues he raised with Guy McGregor at a meeting on the 13th January as significant to why the priority should be escalated. Firstly, there is a significant pollution problem in Cross Street, which is way above the recommended European levels, and secondly the basis used for traffic counts made in 2003 was flawed".

Barry Wall presented a 'walkthrough' of the proposed route (see map) of the relief road, stressing how the road will be screened from view (mostly by being in a cutting) and that it does not go anywhere near or across the water meadows (contrary to many peoples perceptions). Barry also advised that the history society is preparing a document that will explain the damage done by traffic and the fact that the design & heritage of a uniquely laid out town is slowly being eroded by not taking a significant amount of traffic out of Sudbury. A letter is to be sent to the meeting on the 16th January highlighting the History Society's views and calling for more attention to the historical aspects of Sudbury that are being destroyed by heavy volumes of traffic, a problem that can only be resolved by implementing a relief road.

Barry Wall asked for as many members as possible to attend the Town Hall meeting on the 22nd January at 7pm and advised members to be constructive & positive with their views.


July 2008

In the second halfof the meeting Barry Wall gave a presentation on extracts from a recently republished book 'The buildings of England - ESSEX by Nikolaus Pevsner". This describes a significant number of important buildings, their history in and around most of the towns & villages in Essex. Many of the buildings & places ignored in the previous edition have now been included. A highly recommended book for all historians of Essex.

The trip later this month to Boughton Hall was fully booked, a reminder that there was £8 entrance fee to be paid on the day to the house. Bookings are being taken today for Bottisham Church & Cambridge (£8) which is only half full. Chatham & Rochester trip (26th Sept.), bookings will be taken at the summer bash.

The summer bash on Wed. 13th August 12noon at Shrub's Farm - Lamarsh was now fully booked, don't forget there is to be a book stall for holiday reading and a bric-a-brac stall. All donations will be gratefully accepted. Remember to bring your cutlery, plate & bowl etc.

This months speaker was Pip Wright, who gave an excellent & entertaining talk on his experiences in exploring Suffolk & Norfolk with a newly obtained free bus pass. A book containing all his trips 'Exploring Suffolk by Bus-Pass' is available from
Some of the highlights were the phrases he learnt on his journeys, such as arriving at the bus stop, am I 'twerly' (to early?) or a passenger leaving the bus and says "on y're way back, if I'm not 'ere, don't wait for me!". One of his many tips was to start outside town centres, its easier and cheaper to park your car. To finish Pip sang a song he had written about his trips.

This months recommended reading by Carla Broderick:
Power and Glory: Jacobean England and the Making of the King James Bible by Adam Nicholson. This was at the time of Queen Elizabeth I death (1603), when there were 3,000 deaths per week in London.