A visitors guide to the Suffolk village of Snape located
on the River Alde. With its Maltings and Granary
buildings, Snape is home to the Aldeburgh Festival held
The Snape Maltings Concert Hall first opened its doors
in 1967 to the music by the composer Benjamin
Britten. In addition to the concert hall, which
hosts a year round programme of musical events, the
complex now contains a variety of shops galleries,
eating places and places to stay.
Snape is sometimes called the boggy place and it is hard
to imagine that once 100 ton sailing barges were able to
sail right up the River Alde to Snape, to be loaded with
malt made from Suffolk barley.
Snape remained a busy port until 1859
doing considerable trade in grain to the ports of London
and other markets.
It was Newson Garrett who started the
malting business back in the mid 1800s. His daughter was
Elizabeth Garrett Anderson who was the first woman to
qualify as a doctor, she was also the first female mayor
There are some lovely walks starting
from here and the Snape marshes are home to many species
of birds. It is also well worth taking one of the boat
trips up the River Alde, departure times are dependent
on the tidal river.
One of the local inns used to be the haunt of smugglers
and had peepholes so that a watch could be kept over the
river and countryside from upstairs.
It was in 1948 that Benjamin Britten and the tenor Peter
Pears first established the Aldeburgh Music Festival.
There used to be three windmills in Snape in the 19th
century and Benjamin Britten stayed in one of them
Hudson mill. He composed his opera Peter Grimes inspired
by the spectacular views from this mill.
In the mid 19th century a 48 foot clinker-built saxon
burial ship was found in the churchyard at Snape.
The seaside town of Aldeburgh
on the Suffolk Heritage coast is just under five miles