The Village of Polstead in Suffolk

Polstead Suffolk Holidays

A visitors guide to the Suffolk Village of Polstead, located in South Suffolk. Despite its small size the  pretty little village of Polstead is famous for three things its cherries, its large ponds and its Victorian murder. One can almost tag on a fourth as the thriller writer Ruth Rendell used to live on the edge of the village.

Polstead lies in wooded hilly countryside between Sudbury and Ipswich in the heart of "Constable Country". Neat thatched colour washed  cottages overlook the river Box and Polstead pond, Polstead actually means 'the place of pools'.  The area is good for cycling and rambling and visiting Constable Attractions like those at East Bergholt with Flatford Mill.

Sudbury
, Hadleigh and the city of Ipswich are all within easy reach.

The famous Red Barn Muder took place in the 19th century, the murder victim was Maria Marten she was the 26 year old daughter of the local mole catcher and the murderer was William Corder.  This murder was to become one of the most famous murders of its time and more information can be found on the Yesterday Pages.  William Corder was of course eventually arrested for the murder and brought to trial and sentenced to be executed.

He was hanged at Bury St Edmunds in August 1828 in front of an audience of 10,00 people. The skin of William Corder was used to bind a copy of the trial proceedings and this together with his scalp is on display at Moyses Hall in Bury St. Edmunds. The hangmans rope was sold for a guinea an inch.

The famous "Polstead Blacks" were a variety of small sweet black cherries cultivated in orchards around the village, originally brought over by the Romans.

In the 1940s ten lorries would line up in the village to collect these cherries for sale in the surrounding towns.  Nowadays the occasional cherry tree can still be found in private gardens.  The village has a local 17th century pub The Cock Inn, with a good reputation for its food and also a community shop/post office.  

An old saying states - that the face of a Polstead man is an index of a good or bad cherry season; if productive, he may be seen with his chin in the air, his hands in his pockets, and a saucy answer on the tip of his tongue; if, on the contrary, the crop of cherries has failed, he hangs his head, folds his hands behind him, and if asked whence he comes from, replies, in a subdued tone, "From poor Poustead."

Home   Other Suffolk Towns and Villages