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
Of note is Clare's Ancient House Museum which features local history and
genealogy in a lovely 14th century timbered building with exceptionally
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
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
with its attractive Georgian
and Victorian houses and two Halls.