The Village of Blythburgh in Suffolk

Blythburgh Suffolk Holidays

A visitors guide to the Suffolk Village of Blythburgh located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the River Blyth in the Blyth Valley, in the north east part of Suffolk.  A place that in medieval days was a thriving wool port but is now a small village with a population numbered in the hundreds. The River Blyth and the surrounding marshland attracts a variety of birds including  Marsh Harrier, Shelduck, Avocet and Curlew.

The magnificent church of the Holy Trinity at Blythburgh is known as 'the Cathedral of the Marshes' and can be seen from the A12, especially at night when it is floodlit. Founded in 1125 it is considered one of the grandest churches in Suffolk measuring 128ft long and 83ft high. Among the church's unusual features are carvings of the Seven Deadly Sins on the bench ends and another clock 'jack' like that at Southwold who strikes the bell with his axe and turns his head. Thomas Cromwell closed the church and his men desecrated the it  by using the winged angels as target practice and screwing the tethers for their horses into the churches pillars.

On Sunday 4th August 1577 the church is reputed to have been visited by huge Black Dog, a phantom hound who had already wrecked havoc at the church at Bungay.  The story goes that the congregation were assembled when a terrifying thunderstorm began and in rushed this hell hound "placing himself upon a beam, suddenly he gave a swing down through the church, and there also, as before (at Bungay Church) slew two men and a lad and burned the hand of another person among the rest of the company, of whom many were blasted. This mischief thus wrought, he flew with wonderful force, to no little fear of the assembly out of the church in a hideous and hellish likeness" This account of the event was written by a Puritan clergyman, the Reverend Abraham Fleming.

There are scorched 'paw marks' remaining on the North door of the church at Blythburgh as evidence of the Black Dog's activities. The story is one of the region's most famous legends and the Black Dog is claimed by some to still appear to this day as a portend of death and disaster.

In 1962 the acoustic of the building were discovered by Benjamin Britten, and some of the concerts of the Aldeburgh Festival are performed in the church.

The village has a local inn, The White Hart with a restaurant offering fresh daily specials.  In days past the pub used to be the local court, with beams reputedly from a dismantled Man 'O' War.  There is also a village stores and post office.  There are shops aplenty at nearby Southwold  as well as restaurants and a weekly market.

The seaside towns of Southwold (three miles), Walberswick (two miles) and the RSBP Reserve at Minsmere (two miles) are all within easy reach.

The village of Blythburgh is littered with references to Angels with Angel Marsh, Angel Lane, Angel Field and many more. So it is no surprise that the locals decided to commemorate the millennium by having a large angel built in metal which is now known as The Angel of the East. Read the tale of Tobias Gill who was hanged at Blythburgh in 1750.

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