Long Melford, England

Long Melford, where Dick and Marilyn live, is a fascinating village, dating back to 100 BC. It is mentioned in the Doomsday Book as part of a manor belonging to the Abbey of St. Edmudsbury (at Bury St Edmunds). The manor house from that time was the beginning of what is now Melford Hall, one of the two great houses in the village. The other is Kentwell Hall; also mentioned in the Doomsday Book.

Long Melford is so-called because of its 3 mile-long village street, originally a Roman road. It is a very pretty village and very prosperous-looking with a wide range of shops and businesses, including an amazing number of very high quality restaurants and pubs. Many of the buildings date from the fifteenth century and have been lovingly restored.

Melford Hall

This was the original manor house and has been the home of the Hyde Parker family since 1786. It looks much as it did when Queen Elizabeth I was entertained there. It is now managed by the National Trust and is open to visitors.

Kentwell Hall

This is privately owned and is world famous for its re-creations of history, especially of Tudor Life in 1535, when King Henry was still at the height of his powers. In 1970 Kentwell was neglected and in bad condition. Patrick Phillips took on the enormous task of restoring it back to life; a remarkable achievement.

Holy Trinity Church

At 250 feet (76.2 metres), Holy Trinity Church is the longest church in Suffolk. It was built in the fifteenth century by wealthy wool merchants and has the most stunning stained glass windows. One of the windows is very interesting as it was donated to the church by the local Freemasons’ Lodge.

I found the colours of this window to be wonderfully luminous as it was back-lit by the sun.

This is the window donated by the Freemasons. Note the masonic symbols in the 6 small windows at the top.

As I stayed such a short time, I only managed a fleeting glimpse of all there is to see in and around Long Melford. I hope to be returning in July (this time with David) so that we can spend more time with Dick and Marilyn and get to know the area better.

Long Melford also has top-of-the-range cars! Here Dick is conferring with the owner of this Aston Martin!

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