The Town of Thorpeness in Suffolk

Thorpeness Suffolk Holidays

A visitors guide to the seaside coastal resort of Thorpeness located on the renowned Suffolk Heritage Coast. The village of Thorpeness was created in the early 1900s, yes I did say created. The old fishing hamlet of Thorpe was inherited along with the family estate by the Scottish playwright and barrister Glencairn Stuart Ogilvie in the early 1900s.

He decided to build a model seaside village of mock-Tudor buildings from the old fishing hamlet, inspired and based upon the writings of J.M. Barrie who wrote Peter Pan. So it was that the village of Thorpeness emerged and the resort became very popular with the middle classes as a holiday destination.

At the centre of the village he placed an artificial lake 'the Meare', made by flooding open fields in 1910. The Meare with its islands and surrounds covers some sixty acres and has over forty acres of water and is around 3ft (one metre) deep. On the Meare you can hire canoes and dinghies and traverse the shallow waters or feed the local ducks and swans. During the month of August there is a regatta held on the Meare, after which a huge firework display is performed.

The village itself is made up of a number different style houses, amongst them Jacobean and Tudor. Off the main village street is a strange building known as the 'House in the Clouds'. The tower was built because the village had no mains water supply, but Ogilvie did not want an eye sore, so he disguised the water tank as a house with the water tank on the top floor, a genuine house was constructed underneath. Ogilvie had used the same idea to disguise another water tower back at his main home in Sizewell Court, a mile up the coast. He made that tank look like a dovecote.

It was Mrs Mason who first lived in this five storey house with its 30,000 gallon water tank on top, known as the Gazebo. Mrs Mason a writer of children's poems started to refer to her home as the 'House in the Clouds' and the name stuck. Nowadays the house is rented out as a holiday accommodation and as you can imagine, it proves very popular. As the village grew a second water tower was needed, this one was disguised as a Norman tower over an arch with mock Tudor houses around it. Eventually, over time, all the cottages in Thorpeness fell into private ownership.

There is also a nice post mill in the village, built in 1824, which was originally the corn mill for the nearby village of Aldringham but was moved to Thorpeness.

Thorpeness has an eighteen hole golf course laid out by James Braid in 1922. The Thorpeness Hotel situated at the edge of Thorpeness Meare, has a bright and spacious restaurant overlooking the renowned Thorpeness golf course with marvellous views over the 3rd tee.  The Suffolk locations of Snape and Aldeburgh are both closeby.
For Norfolk or Suffolk Weather - Click the Weather Link. The Ogilvies family were well known for killing birds and in Ipswich Museum there is a large collection of the families birds - stuffed.
For Norfolk or Suffolk B and B - Click the Bed and Breakfast or Accommodations Link.s. Mrs Mason is said to have recited a poem to Ogilvie at a dinner she and he attended "The House in the Clouds" - "The fairies really own this house - or so the children say - In fact, they all of them moved in upon the self same day". Ogilvie loved the poem and immediately changed the name of the water tower house from Gazebo to House in the Clouds.

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