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 here annually.
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
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 of
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
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
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
Suffolk Heritage coast is just under five miles (7km) away.