The Town of Clare in Suffolk

Clare Suffolk Holidays

A visitors guide to Clare in Suffolk, one of the smaller inland towns of Suffolk yet despite its diminutive size it has a great deal to offer the visitor. There is a country park with riverside walks, a town museum, ruins of an ancient Norman castle and some interesting antique shops and art galleries. 

Situated at the head of the River Stour, Clare was the gateway to East Anglia and a market town of some importance in medieval times. A walk around its streets (a town trail can be obtained locally) you will see that many of its houses have fine displays of pargetry work (ornamental plasterwork applied in a layer over a part of a building) - a Suffolk speciality.

Of note is Clare's Ancient House Museum which features local history and genealogy in a lovely 14th century timbered building with exceptionally fine pargeting.

In the High Street stands the Swan Inn with its unique sign that was believed to have once belonged to the base of an oriel window at Clare Castle. The sign is ten feet long and has at its centre a swan with a crown, a crescent and star both royal devices said to date from around 1413.

Clare Castle was the seat of the earls of Clare, who are said to have taken their name from the 'clear' waters of the nearby rover Stour, the castle continued as a place of residency until the fifteenth century.

In the country park is a nature trail that takes in the River Stour and the Railway Walk, as well as other areas of the park. Walkers can also follow the Stour Valley Path, or the Bury to Clare Walk for a longer walk.

  Not far away is the Market Town of Sudbury, birth place of the English painter Thomas Gainsborough and the village of Long Melford with its attractive Georgian and Victorian houses and two Halls.

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