In photos: a walk around Needham Market, Suffolk

In photos: a walk around Needham Market, Suffolk

On a breezy April afternoon, I paid a visit to the small and picturesque town of Needham Market, located some nine miles north of Ipswich in south east England.

In photos: a walk around Needham Market, Suffolk

Arriving at the Grade II listed station is a real pleasure. Although it’s no longer used by the railway, it’s a wonderful survivor of the Victorian steam age, constructed in the grand Jacobean style with decorative brickwork.

Built in 1846 to the designs of architect Frederick Barnes, the station has been described as “one of the best in East Anglia” and survived closure in 1967 after reopening in 1971. []

In photos: a walk around Needham Market, Suffolk

The building was restored in 2000, and won an award in the 2002 National Railway Heritage Awards.

In photos: a walk around Needham Market, Suffolk

Needham Market Wongs caters to a wide range of tastes.

In photos: a walk around Needham Market, Suffolk

Needham grew up around the wool combing industry until the onset of the plague, which swept the town from 1663 to 1665.

Wikipedia recalls the town’s macabre past:

To prevent the spread of the disease, the town was chained at either end, which succeeded in its task but at the cost of two-thirds of the populace.

The town did not recover for nearly two hundred years, with the canalisation of the River Gipping in the late 18th Century and the introduction of the railway.

Modern Needham Market contains two road names that are linked to the plague. Chainhouse Road, named after the chains that ran across the East end of the town.

The Causeway, is a modern variation of ‘the corpseway’ so called because of the route that plague victims were transported out of town, to neighbouring Barking church for interment.

In photos: a walk around Needham Market, Suffolk

There’s plenty of attractive architecture to be found around the small town (pop: 4,574).

In photos: a walk around Needham Market, Suffolk

A look along the High Street.

In photos: a walk around Needham Market, Suffolk

The Grade II listed Bugs Bar is part of the mediaeval Limes Hotel.

In photos: a walk around Needham Market, Suffolk

The Former Tolly Cobbold Pub in Needham Market.

In photos: a walk around Needham Market, Suffolk

Tolly Cobbold is a former brewing company, with strong roots in Suffolk. The original Cobbold brewery was founded in Harwich, Essex in 1723 and in 1746 the Cobbold Cliff Brewery was founded, at Cliff Lane, Ipswich.

In photos: a walk around Needham Market, Suffolk

A long sequence of acquisitions eventually saw the company being swallowed up by Greene King []

In photos: a walk around Needham Market, Suffolk

The 15th century parish church, the church of St. John the Baptist, originally a chapel of ease for the parish of Barking, which features a unique double-hammerbeam roof. Read about its history here.

In photos: a walk around Needham Market, Suffolk

Half timbered building on the High Street.

In photos: a walk around Needham Market, Suffolk

In photos: a walk around Needham Market, Suffolk

Pretty architecture.

In photos: a walk around Needham Market, Suffolk

The ‘pride’ at stake refers to Needham Market FC’s last game of the season against Dulwich Hamlet.

In photos: a walk around Needham Market, Suffolk

The stone inscription on the first floor reads, “National School, erected 1864.”

In photos: a walk around Needham Market, Suffolk

This building dates from 1480.

In photos: a walk around Needham Market, Suffolk

Alms House dating from 1836.

In photos: a walk around Needham Market, Suffolk

The old Town Hall, now an antiques shop.

In photos: a walk around Needham Market, Suffolk

In photos: a walk around Needham Market, Suffolk

Unusual door knocker.

In photos: a walk around Needham Market, Suffolk

The Swan near the station dates back t0 1544, with the public house formerly known as the King’s Head.

In photos: a walk around Needham Market, Suffolk

Bus stop notice board.

In photos: a walk around Needham Market, Suffolk

Stone tablet inside the bus stop.

In photos: a walk around Needham Market, Suffolk

Charity shop.

In photos: a walk around Needham Market, Suffolk

Amusing broken seat on the train back to Ipswich.