Planet Suffolk: Bringing together the Suffolks of the world

Suffolk Misc - Miscellaneous References to Suffolk from Around the World

Order of contents on this page: (Click on the links below)


Oliver Cromwell - Nursery Rhyme from Suffolk - A Nursery Rhyme & Song 

The Suffolk Harmony, consisting of Psalm Tunes, Fuges and Anthems - William Billings

The Suffolk Harvest Home Song                                                                                  The Suffolk Miracle - A Ballad 

The Politick Maid of Suffolk; or, the Lawyer Outwitted - A Ballad                    

East Suffolk Quadrilles - S. Ball                                                                                   Sweet Suffolk Owl - A Poem 

The Suffolk Tragedy - A Verse and a Ballad                                                             To Suffolk - A Poem by Cecil Lay  

Suffolk A Rambling Rhyme - Robert Hughman                                                       Suffolk Lanes - Scottish Country Dance

More Songs & Music with "Suffolk" in the Title                                                       The Suffolk Punch - A Poem by Henry Birtles

Suffolk & Rain - Rock Band from Buffalo, NY                                                         Suffolk Punch – Late 1970s Country Band

Suffolk Saint - Singer/Rapper from Boston, MA                                                      Haarlem Suffolk - Rock/Pop Band from Caen, France

Suffolkation/Suffolkated in the Names of Bands, Songs and Albums             Suffolk Song Cycle & Other Poems - Jini Fiennes (1938-1993)

Suffolk Method Ringing Compositions (Bellringing)                         

Hotels & Hostelries:

Suffolk House Bed & Breakfast, Alberta, Canada                                                   Suffolk in the Names of Public Houses, Bars & Inns

Suffolk House Hotels in Sussex (Chichester & Brighton)                            The Middy Bar


The Suffolk Pointe Shoe Company - Dance Shoes                                                   Suffolk & Turley - Coachtrimming Specialists

Companies Named Suffolk in Nigeria


Suffolciensis as pseudonym                                                                                       Early Literature about Suffolk

A Suffolk Lady - Pseudonym of Emily White

Antiquitates Suffolciensis                                                                                            Suffolk Squit

“Suffolk” Books by Lois A Fison                                                                                The Suffolk Trilogy - A Series of Novels by Norah Lofts                                 

The Suffolk Reading Scale                                                                                          The New Suffolk Hymnbook - A Novel by Ben Oswest

The Barley Bird – Notes on the Suffolk Nightingale by Richard Mabey           A Suffolk Tale; or, The Perfidious Guardian by Hamilton Roche  

Suffolk Summer by John T. Appleby                                                      Sophia of Suffolk by Jamie Michele & Madame d’Arblay

Resilience in the Face of Adversity - A Suffolkian’s Life Story by Dr Margaret Ellen Mayo Tolbert

Tales from Suffolk County and More Tales from Suffolk County by B.R.Laine    

Sammy the Suffolk Seal by Lucy Stone     

The Diary of a poor Suffolk woodman by Pip Wright, Joy Wright, & Léonie Robinson      

Nettlestead Abbey or The Fair Maid of Suffolk: A Romance by Emilia Grosett            


Names & Titles:

Suffolk as a Surname                                                                                                    Suffolk as a Title (Earl, Marquess, Duke) 

High Sheriff of Suffolk                                                                                                 Owen Hargraves Suffolk (1829- ? )


With Love From…Suffolk - A Film from an idea by Julien Mery

Food & Drink:  


Suffolk Ham & Suffolk Bacon                                                                                      Suffolk Sausage

Porkinson Suffolk Ale & Herb Banger                                                      Other Suffolk Ale and Suffolk Cyder Dishes

Suffolk Bang and Other Suffolk Cheeses                                                                  Suffolk Punch – An American Cheese 

‘Suffolk’ in the Names of Crisps (Potato Chips)                                                      Recipes named after Suffolk   




Lord Suffolk Cocktail                                                                             Duke of Suffolk Cocktail

Suffolk Rose Cocktail                                                                             Lady Suffolk Cocktail and Suffolk G&T

Lady Suffolk Cocktail                                                                            Suffolk Buck Cocktail                                                     

Beers & Cyders Named 'Suffolk'                                                                                    Suffolk Mountain Ale & the Suffolk Mountain Rescue Service            

Suffolk Bitters                                                                                                                  Suffolk Pink and Suffolk Rose (Wines)                                        

Suffolk Gin & Suffolk Vodka                                                                                         Suffolk Lights TM Yerba Mate Tea



Suffolk Wagon (Suffolk Box Wagon) & Suffolk Long Cart                                     Suffolk Drill & Suffolk Coulter

Suffolk Scythe                                                                                                                  Suffolk Wheel Plough & Suffolk Swing Plough

More Agricultural Implements named after Suffolk                                            Suffolk Punch Lawn Mowers

Suffolk Barns                                                                                                                   Suffolk Horseshoe, Suffolk Bell & Suffolk Basket - Corn Dollies

“Suffolk Punch” Steam Tractor                                                                                    Suffolk Billhook

The “Suffolk Boys”


The Suffolk Latch  & Suffolk Hinge                                                                           Suffolk Door and Suffolk Door Knob & Suffolk Rim Knob

Suffolk Puffs                                                                                                                    Suffolk Bay Cocktail Tables 

The Suffolk Chair                                                                                                            Suffolk Lantern Clock

Suffolk Kiln                                                                                                                      Suffolk White Bricks

Suffolk Sailcloth                                                                                                             Suffolk Hempen Cloth

The Suffolk Suit                                                                                                              The Suffolk Jacket & Suffolk Chef's Jacket

A. L. C. Suffolk Dress                                                                             Rag & Bone Suffolk Dresses and Suffolk Wool Peacoat

Lady Suffolk Bikini                                                                                                      Suffolk Bikini

Rhythm ‘Suffolk’ Clothwear                                                                                       Suffolk Beanie  

Duke of Suffolk Slash Panelled Pants and Duke of Suffolk Faux Leather Doublet                                                                              

Suffolk Stripe and Suffolk Check                                                           Suffolk Fields Print                                  

Suffolk Powder                                                                                                                 Suffolk as a Product Brand Name                                                

Suffolk Jaguar SS100 and Suffolk XK C-type Jaguar                                 Whitehall ‘Suffolk’ Tobacco Smoking Pipe                 

 Suffolk Maid                                                                                                                   “Suffolk” Cigarette and Tea Cards      

“Suffolk” Playing Cards


The Suffolk Dartboard                                                                                                    Suffolk Steel Quoits

Destination Suffolk - Board Game
Fauna & Flora:

Suffolk as a Scientific Name:

suffolciensis - Wasps Species                                                                                       suffolciensis and suffolkensis - As used in the Names of Extinct Species

Suffolk as used in Virus Names 


Suffolk Pigs                                                                                                                       Suffolk Dun & Red Poll Cattle

Suffolk Chocolate (Breed of Cat)                                                                                  Suffolk Chequer - Breed of Chicken                                                                    

Pied Suffolk - Breed of Chicken                                                                                   Suffolk Ant-lion                                                                                                                                                              


Suffolk Merries                                                                                                                Suffolk Osier

Suffolk Grass                                                                                       Suffolk Lungwort

Varieties/Cultivars - Introductory Note                                                                   Suffolk Pink - Variety of Apple

Suffolk Stiles Pippin - Variety of Apple                                                                  More Varieties of Apple Named ‘Suffolk’

Suffolk Thorn - Variety of Pear                                                                                  Suffolk Red Grape  & Suffolk Pink Grape                                                           

Suffolk Belle - Variety of Conifer                                                                              Suffolk - Variety of Kentucky Bluegrass

Old Suffolk Bronze & Suffolk Hero – Varieties of Primula auricula                 Suffolk Blue – Variety of Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary)

Suffolk Pink – Variety of Chrysanthemum                                                             Suffolk Guard – Variety of Hemerocallis

Duke of Suffolk – Variety of Hemerocallis                                                             Lady Suffolk – Variety of Hemerocallis

Fuchsia – Varieties Named ‘Suffolk’                                                                       Suffolk Rose - Three Varieties of Rosa                

Dianthus – Varieties named ‘Suffolk’                                                                    Dahlias – Varieties named ‘Suffolk’               

Pelargoniums – Varieties named ‘Suffolk’                                                            The Suffolk Turnip

The Suffolk Regiment and Other Militaria:                                                                                    

The Suffolk Regiment                                                                                                  The Suffolk Regiment - LNER Class B17 Steam Locomotive  

Roads in Europe named after the Suffolk Regiment                                           Cemeteries in Europe named after the Suffolk Regiment

Reserve Forces in Britain Bearing the Name Suffolk                                   Suffolk Redoubts, New Zealand        

Suffolk’s Ridge or Suffolk Ridge, Gaza                                                                     Fort Suffolk  

Suffolk Square Pillbox                                                                                                 Suffolk Lane and Ipswich Walk, Mönchengladbach 


Places Associated with the Noble Houses of Suffolk                                            Suffolk House, Ewelme, Oxfordshire, England

Suffolk Palace, Kingston Upon Hull, England                                                     Duke of Suffolk’s Palace, Dover Castle, England

Suffolk House and other Suffolks in Sevenoaks, Kent                                      Suffolk House, Old Inn Lane, Fosdyke Bridge, Lincolnshire, England       

Suffolk Street Queensway & Suffolk Works, Birmingham, England             Suffolk Works, Sheffield, England & the “Suffolk Knife”

East Suffolk Road & East Suffolk Park, Edinburgh, Scotland                          Suffolk Street – The Heart of Viking Dublin, Ireland 

Molly Malone of Suffolk Street

Suffolk Street, Kells, County Meath, Ireland                                                      Suffolk Park, El Paso, Texas, USA

Suffolk Mills, Lowell, Massachusetts, USA                                                           Suffolk Brewery, Christchurch, New Zealand

Suffolk Road, Vacoas, Mauritius                                                                            Suffolk Road (Triq Suffolk), Pembroke, Malta                  

Suffolk Hospital & Suffolk House, Rawalpindi, Pakistan                               Suffolk in South Africa

Suffolk in Zimbabwe                                                                                                 Dunkirk Drive (Formerly Suffolk Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada)

Suffolk Houses, Cardiff: A Tarnished Reputation                                                                           


Suffolk United Mine, Eaglehawk, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia                       Suffolk Mines and the Suffolk Mining Company - USA

Suffolk Porphyry                                                                                                          The Suffolk Slump

Suffolk Mine, Smithfield, Isle of Wight County, Virginia - USA


Horse Racing and Equestrianism:

Lady Suffolk                                                                                                                   Suffolk Park Race Track, West Philadelphia, USA

Suffolk Stables, Shamong, New Jersey, USA

Odds & Ends:

Suffolk Pink - Colour                                                                                                     Suffolk Shroff 

Suffolk Fair Maids                                                                                                         Silly Suffolk

Suffolk Street Fellowship (or Suffolk Street Christadelphians) 1885-1957    The Suffolk Collection - Paintings

The Suffolk Knot                                                                                                            Suffolk Stiles

"The Suffolk Abacus"                                                                                                    The Suffolk Black Dragon – Legend from Suffolk, England    

Suffolk Bitters Pig Bottles                                                                              Suffolk Haarlem Oil                             

Suffolk Soil                

Please note:

Suffolk House, Penang now has its own sub-page under the Other Suffolks page

Suffolk Place Farm & Suffolk Place Mine, Abbey Wood, London SE2  is now on the London Suffolks sub-page, under the Other Suffolks page.

Suffolk Court, The Bahamas is now on the Suffolk, Bahamas page

Oliver Cromwell – Nursery Rhyme from Suffolk - A Nursery Rhyme & Song

The title as shown above is applied to numerous renditions of a late 17th nursery rhyme set to song, the lyrics of which are as below.

Oliver Cromwell lay buried and dead,
Hee-haw buried and dead,
There grew an old apple tree over his head,
Hee-haw over his head.

The apples were ripe and ready to fall;
Hee-haw ready to fall;
There came an old woman to gather them all,
Hee-haw gather them all.

Oliver rose and gave her a drop,
Hee-haw gave her a drop,
Which made the old woman go hippety hop,
Hee-haw hippety hop.

The saddle and bridle they lie on the shelf,
Hee-haw lie on the shelf,
If you want any more you can sing it yourself,
Hee-haw sing it yourself.

The rhyme is an allusion to Oliver Cromwell’s body having been exhumed and hanged as a traitor by Royalists immediately after the restoration of the monarchy.  “Oliver rose” i.e. was dug up and “the drop” is the slang term for hanging.

A folk song bearing Oliver Cromwell’s name was edited by Benjamin Britten in 1938.  Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) is probably the most famous British composer of the 20th century, who was born and lived in Suffolk, writing many pieces for children, and supporting young musicians with the Aldeburgh Young Musicians programme. Undoubtedly, he knew the folk-song in Suffolk.  Britten composed the song for use in four versions: high voice and piano, medium voice and piano, unison voices and piano, and high voice and orchestra.  It is believed that the song’s first performance by Britten was at a concert at the Cosmopolitan Club in New York on 11 December 1940 with Peter Pears, an English tenor, and the personal and professional partner of Britten for nearly forty years. (See also Benjamin Britten on Suffolk, England page).

According to the published edition, this is a ‘Nursery Rhyme from Suffolk with a traditional text’.  Copyright restrictions prevented the song being released as part of an album by other artists until the end of the century.  Since then numerous folk-singers have added it to their repertoire, too many for us to list here. It is invariably listed as “Oliver Cromwell - Nursery Rhyme from Suffolk” and keying this on-line will produce more than enough performers of the song.  

Benjamin Britten’s composition helped to promote the idea that this was “a folk-song/nursery rhyme from Suffolk” but, as we will show below, it was far more widespread than our county.  The first notion that it was “from Suffolk” came originally from Lucy E. Broadwood and J.A. Fuller Maitland, English County Songs (1893). Miss Broadwood stated that she had learned the song “from a Suffolk boy” many years previously (Journal of the Folk-Song Society, 1916).  Forms of it have turned up all over the place; mostly in England and the USA, but also in Scotland and Ireland.

The Irish version is known as “Poor Roger” and starts “Poor Roger lay buried and dead…..” and “Roger” replaces “Oliver”. Oliver Cromwell is still today a hated figure in the Republic of Ireland, so it is no surprise that the people there would avoid using a name so reviled and, thus, an innocuous substitute was provided.

 In the USA three versions are known: “Old Crumpy” (or “Old Crummy”), “Old Humpy” and “Old Grumble” replace “Oliver”.  

“Old Crump” was a real person associated with Oliver Cromwell. In the West Country of England, “crump” is the Old English nickname for a cripple or hunchback.  John “Crump” Dutton (1594-1656/7) was a hunchback, engaging, hard living, colourful, with a passion for gambling and, more to the point, extremely wealthy.  He inherited the Sherborne Estate, near the village of that name in Gloucestershire, as well as nine other manors in Gloucestershire and Worcestershire.  He was reputedly one of the richest men in England.  During the English Civil War, “Crump” contrived to be on both sides.  At one point he offered to lend Charles I £50,000 but, when he saw which way the wind was blowing, he established friendly relations with Oliver Cromwell and even attempted to arrange a marriage between his nephew and heir with Cromwell’s daughter.  The West Country version would have been taken to America through the port of Bristol which was a departure point for many immigrants to the eastern seaboard.

Top of Page

The Suffolk Harmony, consisting of Psalm Tunes, Fuges and Anthems - William Billings

William Billings (October 7, 1746 - September 26, 1800) was born in Boston, Massachusetts and is widely regarded as the first American choral composer.  He came from a poor family, had little formal education and was a tanner by trade. He was self-taught in music apart from some lessons from John Barry, choirmaster at New South Church in Boston. Apart from brief spells teaching music in Stoughton, Massachusetts and Providence, Rhode Island, he remained in Boston, where he was involved in singing schools and training choirs in some of the most important churches, including the Brattle Street Church and the Old South Church.

He counted among his friends many prominent figures of the American Revolution, including Samuel Adams and Paul Revere. He wrote several songs for the patriot cause, one of which, Chester, was to become the hymn tune of the Revolution.  

Although he became one of the best known composers in colonial America, Billings was never able to earn his living as a musician, and died in poverty, leaving behind a widow and six children. His grave memorial can be seen at the Central Burying Ground on Boston Common.

Altogether, he wrote more than three hundred compositions, nearly all of them settings of sacred texts, most of which are in four parts for a cappella singing. His many hymns and anthems were mainly published in six book-length collections, the first of which was a collection called The New England Psalm Singer, published in 1770. This was the first publication comprising American music exclusively, and was also the first by a single American composer.

The Suffolk Harmony was his fifth published collection. The full title is The Suffolk Harmony, consisting of Psalm Tunes, Fuges and Anthems. Published in 1786, it consists of 32 works, of which 29 are metrical psalm or hymn tunes, with three pieces described as anthems.

The title page of the original edition describes Billings as AUTHOR OF THE SINGING MASTERS ASSISTAST (sic), and states that the book was Engraved and Printed by J. NORMAN, for the AUTHOR, and Sold at his House near the LIBERTY-POLE.

Top of Page

The Suffolk Harvest Home Song

The Suffolk Harvest Home Song is a traditional ballad from Suffolk, England, which celebrates the completion of the bringing in of the harvest & the ensuing “Harvest Home” festival.  The song is known to date back to at least the middle of the nineteenth century. The song’s author is unknown.  

Here's a health unto our master,
The founder of the feast!
I wish, with all my heart and soul,
In heaven he may find rest.
I hope all things may prosper,
That ever be takes in hand;
For we are all his servants,
And all at his command.

Drink, boys, drink, and see you do not spill,
For if you do, you must drink two, - it is your master's will.

Now our harvest is ended,
And supper is past;
Here's our mistress' good health,
In a full flowing glass!
She is a good woman,
She prepared us good cheer;
Come, all my brave boys,
And drink off your beer.

Drink, my boys, drink till you come unto me,
The longer we sit, my boys, the merrier shall we be!

In yon green wood there lies an old fox,
Close by his den you may catch him, or no;
Ten thousand to one you catch him, or no.
His beard and his brush are all of one colour,
I am sorry, kind sir, that your glass is no fuller.
'Tis down the red lane! 'tis down the red lane!
So merrily hunt the fox down the red lane!

Some versions of the song have an alternative final verse:

Down the red lane there lives an old fox,
There does he sit a-mumping his chops;
Catch him, boys, catch him, catch if you can;
'Tis twenty to one if you catch him or Nan.

Top of Page

The Suffolk Miracle - A Ballad

This is a Child Ballad.  The Child Ballads are a collection of 305 ballads from England and Scotland, and their American variants, collected by Francis James Child in the late nineteenth century.  The collection was published as The English and Scottish Popular Ballads between 1882 and 1898.  However, first rendering of this ballad is to be found in the Bodleian Library, published by W. Thackeray in 1689 as “The Suffolk Miracle, or a relation of a young man who a month after his death appeared to his sweetheart.”  It was sung to the tune of “My bleeding heart”.

The ballad recounts that a young maiden of noble birth comes to love a young commoner, so her father sends her away.  Whilst in exile, the maid wakes one night to find her lover at her window mounted upon a fine horse.  They go out riding together until the man complains he has a headache; the maid tends to him and ties her fine Holland handkerchief around his head.  She kisses him and notes that his lips were as “cold as clay”.  She returns to her father, who gives her the news that her young lover died of grief some nine months ago, whereupon she goes to his grave and digs up the bones, finding that her handkerchief is tied around the skull.

The moral is for parents not to stand in the way of true love, and let their children have their way, otherwise if true love is thwarted it will end in death.

It is presumed that the ballad originated in Suffolk.  In later centuries it was more widely known in North America than Britain.  There are two versions differing slightly, one found in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, the other in the Southern Appalachians.  An alternative title is “The Holland Handkerchief” after the fine linen cloth that was first imported from Holland.

The first version below is from the Southern Appalachians:

Come all you people old and young
Pray don't do as I have done;
Pray let your children have their way
For fear that love breeds a decay.

When her old father came this to know
That she did love young Villian so,
He sent her off three hundred miles or more
And swore that back home she should come no more

This young man wept, this young man cried,
In about six months for love he died;
Although he had not been twelve months dead
Until he rode a 4white steed.

He rode up to his uncle's home
And for his true love he did call.

Here's your mother's coat and your father's steed
I've come for you in great speed.
And her old uncle, as he understood,
He hoped it might be for her good.

He jumped up, and her behind,
And they rode faster than the wind ;
And when he got near her father's gate
He did complain that his head did ache.

 A handkerchief she pulled out
And around his head she tied it about,
And kissed his lips and thus did say:
My dear, you're colder than the clay.

 Get down, get down, get down, says he,
Till I go put this steed away.
While she was knocking at the door
The sight of him she saw no more.

Get up, get up, get up, says he,
You're welcome home, dear child, says he,
You're welcome home, dear child, says he,
What trusty friend did come with thee ?

Dear old father, do you know-,
The one that I once loved before.
The old man knowing he had been twelve months dead
It made the hair rise on his head.

 He summoned clerks and clergies too,
The grave was to open and him to view.
Although he had been twelve months dead
The handkerchief was around his head.

Come all of ye, both young and old,
Who love your children better than gold,
And always let them have their way
For fear that love might prey decay.

And this version below is from Nova Scotia:

 There was a squire lived in this town
He was well known by the people round;
He had a daughter of beauty bright
And she alone was his heart's delight.

There was a squire a-courting came
But none of them could her fancy gain
Until a lad of low degree
He fell in her arms and she fancied he.

It's when her father he came to hear
He separated her from her dear,
Four score miles or better he had her sent
To her uncle's house and her discontent.

This fair one unto her bed of down
She heard a deep and a deadly sound,
She heard a deep and a deadly sound
Saying, "Unloose those bandages that's lightly bound"

She looked out of her window clear
And saw her true love on her father's mare,
Saying, "Your mother's orders you must obey
And your father's anger to satisfy."

She jumped on to the mare's behind
And they rode off with contented mind,
They rode on till this sad mourn he made
Saying, "My dearest dear how my head do ache."

She had a handkerchief of holland clear
And around her true love's head she bound,
She kissed his lips and this sad mourn she made
Saying, "My dearest dear you're as cold as clay."

They rode along to her father's cot,
Loud for her father she thus did call,
Saying, "Father dear did you send for me!"
And by such a young man she nam-ed he.

Her father knowing this young man was dead
Caused every hair to stand on his head,
He wrung his hands and he wept full sore
But this young man's darling wept ten times more.

She arose, to the churchyard goes,
She riz the corpse that was lying once dead,
She riz the corpse that was nine months dead
With a holland handkerchief tied round his head

So come all young men and maidens,
It's never be persuaded by your parents dear,
For when love and virtue it is all gone
There's no recalling it back again.
Recently the song has been revived in England by folk singers, notably by John Goodluck who is a native of Suffolk and still lives in the county. Not only did he record a version of the song in 1974, but he made it the title track to his debut album (see cover, left).
The Suffolk Miracle has also been sung by the prominent folk singer, Jim Moray from Macclesfield, England, on the album Sweet England, released in 2003.

Arkansas born folk ballad singer Connie Dover has recorded a version of the song under the title The Holland Handkerchief, which appears on her 2006 album If  Ever I Return.

Other recordings, with slightly different lyrics to either of the two versions above, can be heard on  the 1957 album Ghost Ballads by Dean Gitter (1935-2018), and on the album Blood & Roses Vol I released in 1979 by husband and wife partnership Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl, where it goes under the alternative title Sweet William’s Ghost
Ewan MacColl (1915-89) was the stage name of prominent folk singer-songwriter, political activist and actor, born James Henry Miller in England to Scottish parents. His best known songs are The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, popularised by Roberta Flack in 1969, and Dirty Old Town, covered by The Dubliners, amongst others. He is the father of singer-songwriter Kirsty MacColl (1959–2000), best known for her duet with The Pogues on the Christmas song Fairytale of New York.
Peggy Seeger (born 1935) is an American folk-singer and also a left-winger who associated herself with the communist youth organisations in Moscow and China in the 1950s. Staying in London in 1956, she met Ewan MacColl and they later married in 1977. Because of their communist affiliation and somewhat unconventional lifestyles they were under surveillance from the security services of the UK and USA (MI5 and the CIA) for several years.
Please don't forget to sign the Guestbook

Top of Page

The Politick Maid of Suffolk; or, the Lawyer Outwitted - A Ballad

The Politick Maid of Suffolk; or, the Lawyer Outwitted is a comic seduction ballad.  These were popular in the 18th century and reflect the number of unwed mothers, and also the ruses that a betrayed maid would use to pressure her lover into marriage.  This one was especially popular, particularly if appropriate sound effects could be displayed when the supposed Devil appeared.  There is no known reason why it is associated with Suffolk.  It was first printed and sold in Bow Church-yard, London, 1760.

Come all ye young men and maids,
    Both of high and low degree;
Or you who love a merry jest
    Give ear awhile to me.
I’d have you give attention
    To what I have to tell,
Then hear it out, I do not doubt,
    ’Twill please you wondrous well.
’Tis of a wealthy Lawyer,
That did in Suffolk dwell,
He kept a handsome House-keeper,
    Her name was called Nell.

He kiss’d her and press’d her o’er and o’er;
    As I to you may tell,
’Till her apron grew too short before,
    Alas! Poor Nell!
It happen’d on a certain day,
    As talking they were led,
She wept, she wail’d, she wrung her hands,
    And thus to him she said;
My virgin rose you stole away,
    O wed me, Sir, said she,
Or I, like other girls, may say,
    Ah! Woe is me!
He straight gave her a loving kiss,
    And without more delay,
He took her by the lily white hand,
    And thus to her did say;
I wish Old Nick may fetch me straight,
    (A woeful tale to tell)
If ever I prove false to thee,
    My dearest Nell.

Then thus with joys and loving toys,
    They passed away the time,
’Till seven months were gone and past,
    (But two left out of nine.)
When from her place he turn’d her quite,
    As I to you may tell,
All for the sake of a Lady bright,
    Alas poor Nell!
But when she found she was deceiv’d,
    She wept and tore her hair;
And cry’d there’s no belief in man,
    It plainly doth appear.
Oh! how could he so cruel be,
    Thus to trapan my heart;
But I will be reveng’d on him,
    Before that we do part. ----

Now it happen’d to this Lady bright,
    Who liv’d a mile from town;
That this young lawyer every night
    Would walk to her from home.
Forgetting of his former vows,
    As I to you may tell,
And longing for a richer spouse,
    He left poor Nell.
As Nell was sitting all alone,
    Lamenting sad one night,
A project came into her head,
    Which made her laugh outright.
Thought she, I’ll make myself black
    As any Devil in Hell,
And watch some night for his coming home,
    Sing, O brave Nell!
She to a Chimney sweeper went,
    And there a bargain made,
For to have his sooty-cloathes,
    And furthermore she said;
If that my counsel you’ll but take,
    A guinea I’ll give to thee;
Then let your little sweeper boy
    But come along with me.
She having learned the lad his tale,
    Thus unto him did say,
If you do act your part aright,
    You half a crown I’ll pay.

She gave him squibs of gunpowder,
    And all appear’d right well,
To frighten her master the Lawyer.
    Sing, O brave Nell!
And coming to a lonesome wood,
    In ambush they did lie,
The which adjoining to a road,
    That the Lawyer must come by:
With a pair of ram’s horns on her head,
    In a lonesome place stood she;
But as for black the sweeper’s boy,
    She plac’d him on a tree.
It was just about the hour of one,
    As for a truth we hear,
The Lawyer he came trudging home
    From the courtship of his dear:
And stepping o’er to shun the dirt,
    As I to you may tell,
She quickly caught him by the skirt,
    Sing, O brave Nell!
Then with a doleful hollow voice,
    She unto him did say,
According to your wish I come,
    To fetch you hence away.
She said, you must along with me
    Down to my gloomy cell,
Except tomorrow by break of day,
    You wed poor Nell.
With that the Chimney-sweeper’s boy,
    Set fire unto the train,
Which flew and crack’d about his head,
    And made him roar amain.

Dear Mr Devil, spare me now,
    And mind but what I tell,
And I tomorrow by break of day,
    Will wed poor Nell.
Well look you do the Devil cry’d,
    Or mind what I say to thee;
Do you see that little Devil,
That sits on yonder tree:
If ever you do break your vow,
    As sure as hell is hell,
That little Devil shall fetch you,
    If you slight poor Nell.

The Lawyer he went trembling home
    In a most dreadful fright,
And early in the morning,
    As soon as it was light,
With trembling joints and staring eyes,
    With looks both wan and pale,
He came to her, with humble voice,
    Good-morrow, dear Nell.
With kisses and embraces,
    She granted her consent;
And having got a licence,
    Unto the church they went;
Where he made her his lawful wife,
    As for a truth I tell,
And now they live a happy life,
    Sing, O brave Nell!
She never told to friend or foe,
    The trick which she had play’d,
Until some months after,
    When she was brought to-bed.
She told it at a gossiping,
    Which pleased the wenches well,
He was glad, and laugh’d and said
    ’Twas well done, Nell.


East Suffolk Quadrilles - S. Ball

In 1819 this piece was published by Preston (London).  It was composed and arranged for pianoforte by S. Ball who lived in Ipswich, Suffolk.  He is known from about 1797 and in 1808 he was the organist of St Lawrence Church in Ipswich.  He is reported as performing his songs at Ranelagh Gardens in Norwich.  In 1840 he ran a music publishing company known as “Ball & Sons” in Ipswich.  (See also Ipswich Volunteers Funeral March on the Ips Misc. page of

The quadrille is a dance that was fashionable in late 18th- and 19th-century Europe.  The dance was introduced in France around 1760 and reached English high society in 1816 through Lady Jersey, after which  the quadrille became a craze.  It was performed by four couples in a rectangular formation, hence the name from Italian quadriglia, which means ‘a small square’.  Each couple faced the centre and then the couples in each corner of the square took turns, in performing the dance, where one couple danced, and the other couples rested. Lewis Carroll lampooned the dance in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland as “The Lobster Quadrille” (1865).

Top of Page

Sweet Suffolk Owl - A Poem

Sweet Suffolk owl, so trimly dight
With feathers, like a lady bright;
Thou sing
st alone, sitting by night,
Te whit! Te whoo!

Thy note that forth so freely rolls
With shrill command the mouse controls;
And sings a dirge for dying souls.
Te whit! Te whoo!

The above is an anonymous English poem dating from the late sixteenth or early seventeenth century, & as such it is impossible to tell why the name Suffolk was used, although it is tempting to suppose that the author may have been a native of the county.

It was first set to music in 1619 by madrigal composer Thomas Vautor. Very little is known about Vautor, with his year of birth being given as anywhere between 1570 & 1580, & his death between 1620 & 1630. What is known is that he first appears as a household musician in the family of Mary Beaumont of Glenfield in Leicestershire in the late 1590s, & seems to have remained in Mary’s service until at least 1619. In 1618, Mary’s son George Villiers was created Marquess of Buckingham, & in the following year Vautor dedicated a collection of madrigals to him entitled The first set: being songs of divers ayres and natures, of five and six parts: apt for viols and voices. This volume is Vautor’s only known work, & consists of twenty two pieces, the most famous of which is “Sweet Suffolke Owle”.  A recording of Vautor’s arrangement can be found on the CD Chamber Music (Renaissance) by the Musica Fresca ensemble, released in 2000 on the Divox label (CDX-79804), whilst the song has more recently appeared on the 2010 album Traditional Glees and Madrigals by Pro Cantione Antiqua & Philip Ledger.

Others to have used Sweet Suffolk Owl in musical settings include American composer Herbert Elwell (1898-1974), English composer, pianist, & writer Elizabeth Poston (1905-1987), & English composer John Linton Gardner (1917- 2011).  The most recent setting for Sweet Suffolk Owl dates from 1981 by the American composer & pianist Richard Hundley (1931-2018). The song appears on the CD Under the bluest sky....Songs of Richard Hundley (2007), performed by David Parks (tenor) & Read Gainsford (piano). Other recorded versions can be found by: Claire Jones with the NYCoS  National Girls Choir, dwsChorale, Gesualdo Consort, Cambridge Singers, Lauren Wagner & Fred Weldy, Paul Sperry, Trinity Baroque & Julian Podger, William Sharp & Steven Blier, Vasari Singers & Jeremy Backhouse, Jason Vest, Sebastian Carrington and Kerry J Beaumont, Elin Manahan Thomas, Jeremy Filsell and Rachel Evangeline Barham, University of St Andrews Madrigal Group, & the vocal duo Tryst (Michelle O’Rourke & Nora Ryan).

An instrumental version, Sweet Suffolk Owl for Flute Quintet by David Warin Solomons, from Loughborough, England, is included on his 2016 album Instrumentals 1, whilst another more modern instrumental, loosely based on Sweet Suffolk Owl, is an ambient/electronic track entitled The Suffolk Owl by Heskin Radiophonic (one of the many pseudonyms of Gordon Chapman-Fox from Lancashire, England). 

Several performances, of Sweet Suffolk Owl, both choral & solo, can be found on Youtube. These include renditions by Isobel Baillie, Rosa Hart, the Mackay Choral Society, Novem Altare, & the Sunshine Coast Oriana Choir.

Top of Page

The Suffolk Tragedy - A Verse and a Ballad

Two separate, particularly gruesome episodes that happened in the English county of Suffolk in the early 19th century were turned to verse and song with the same title.  The first one has largely been forgotten today, but the second one has entered folklore in Britain, Australia and the further world.

The image right is taken from a broadside (a ‘broadside’ is a single sheet of paper printed on one side, the early equivalent of the ‘broadsheet newspapers’ of today).  It tells the story of John Smith, aged 39, and his second wife (and thus stepmother of his children), Elizabeth, aged 27, systematically starving and assaulting their 8 year old daughter, Mary Ann.  This crime occurred in Suffolk in 1812.

Not only was Mary Ann hung up without food on three successive days in a shed, but this was also ‘in the Depth of Winter’.  She was ‘barbarously beat’ and in the end starved to death.  So cruelty and barbarism are key messages in both image and the text.  Accompanying the text was a verse about the incident, as was common at the time.  The underlying feature, then as now, was “sensationalism”.  This is what sold the broadsides, in exactly the same way as popular newspapers today.  The horror of the image represents gross parental abuse. The prominent axe and spade in the bottom right hand corner indicate the intended secret burial of the corpse of the child.  The couple admitted in court that their extreme poverty meant that they could not afford to keep their children and it was their intention to do away with some of the others as well.   

The idea of hanging a child up in this way is shocking to a modern reader, yet there is evidence that hanging children up by ropes was often used as a form of corporal punishment in this period.   The verse follows below.  Despite the horror of the crime depicted, the verse concludes with a very brief expression of ‘hope that for their crimes, sincere they did repent’.  It was essential that repentance by the criminal was required for closure of the moral tale of crime and punishment.  However, times were changing and there was no call on the broadside audience to experience pity for the criminals. Their crime was just too horrendous.   

Draw near awhile both old and young,
And listen to my tale,
To draw a tear from every eye, it slowly
Onward fall.
Barbarity of the blackest dye, to you now
Which when you hear, ’twill make your
Hearts’ blood run cold.

At Cookley in Suffolk, a guilty pair did
The husband being a labouring man, and
He respected well;
His wife, a cruel step-mother, hard-hearted
Sure was she.
As when this tale you’ve read, most plainly
You will see.

They took poor little Mary Anne, and tied
Her by the waist,
To a beam in a dreary shed, to comfort then
They also beat and starved her – oh, dreadful
To relate,
To think these cruel parents should this poor
Child so hate.

But justice soon o’ertook them, and stopt
Their dark career,
And before the judge and jury they soon did
Tho the woman seem’d so heardened to all
That pass’d around,
Yet she approach’d her awful death, she
Fainted to the ground.

’Twas when their conscience prick’d them
Sore, ’twas then they felt their crime,
When sentenc’d, and in public, to suffer in
Their prime,
These monsters well deserv’d their fate –
What else could they expect?
But let us hope that for their crimes, sincere
They did regret.

The second episode is so famous it hardly needs retelling.  It has given rise to numerous articles, plays, short stories, films and ballads.  The usual title is The Murder in the Red Barn, but The Mysterie of Maria Marten or just plain Maria Marten is also sufficient to arouse interest.  It is generally considered the most notorious murder case of the 19th century, and there is plenty of information about it on the Internet.  This was the murder committed in Polstead, Suffolk, England in 1827.  A young woman, Maria Marten, was murdered by her lover William Corder.  The two had arranged to meet at the Red Barn, a local landmark, before eloping.  Maria was never seen alive again and Corder had left the scene.  Corder sent letters to Marten’s family claiming that they were together and that she was in good health.  But her body was later discovered buried in the Red Barn.  Corder was tracked down in London, where he had married and started a new life.  He was brought back to Suffolk and found guilty of murder.  He was hanged at Bury St Edmunds in 1828.

The reason why popular interest persisted much longer than any other crime, and indeed continues today, is mainly because of the bizarre, if not supernatural, element to the story.  Although the family was getting suspicious of only getting letters from Corder because Maria could read and write, it was her stepmother who became agitated.  Apparently, she did actually have the same dream several times.  This was of Maria pointing to a spot in the Red Barn.  The wife eventually persuaded her husband to go to the Red Barn and dig in the spot.  He quickly uncovered the remains of his daughter buried in a sack.  She was badly decomposed but still identifiable.  Evidence was uncovered to implicate Corder in the crime: his green handkerchief was discovered around the body’s neck.

The incident and the trial prompted the publication of no fewer than nine different broadside ballads.  Of these, two songs were pre-eminent:  “The Murder of Maria Marten” was by far the most successful, but “The Suffolk Tragedy” followed in popularity.  The interesting fact of the latter ballad is that it was the most popular of this genre in Australia.  Although originally sung from words on a broadside, the ballad was passed on through oral transmission, subsequent folksingers relying on memory.  When these later ballads were also written down near the end of the 19th century, there were basically six variants of “The Suffolk Tragedy” circulating: two collected in England (1906 and 1972), and four in New South Wales, the latter versions sung by the prominent Australian folksingers Sally Sloane (1957 and 1976) and Carrie Milliner (1995).

The ballads run into some 24 stanzas, and there are of course variations between them.  The stories and films that have been produced also stray from the true facts a bit.  Far from being the virginal maiden of popular myth, Maria had already given birth to three illegitimate children, one of them Corder’s.  Nonetheless, there can be no way of getting away from the fact that this crime was only uncovered because of a dream.  This is its fascination.  The 19th century also had its souvenir hunters and curiosity seekers.  The Red Barn was soon dismantled by those coming to the scene and taking away pieces of the building, and the gravestone of Maria Marten has been taken so many times that one is no longer displayed at the spot. 

Top of Page

To Suffolk – A Poem by Cecil Lay

Cecil Howard Lay (1885–1956) was a poet, artist & architect who was born in Aldringham, near Leiston, Suffolk, England.  He studied painting in Belgium & Holland from 1912, then served in the First World War, before returning to Suffolk where he lived until his death. He is buried in Aldringham churchyard.

Between 1927 & 1934 several volumes of his poetry were published, such as Sparrows and Other Poems (1927), Grotesques and Arabesques (1928) & Aprils Foal (1932). The Collected Poems of Cecil Lay appeared in 1962, whilst another volume of selected poems, An Adder in June, came out in 1978. The poem To Suffolk originally appeared in 1927, in the collection Sparrows and Other Poems.

To Suffolk

When Mavises began to build,
And lilac-twigs again were filled;
When buds had thickened in the glen,
And ducks in couples sought the fen;
When sticklebacks were rosy-gilled,
And blackthorn blanchèd petals spilled;
When frogs were stirring in the mud,
And chestnuts sticky in the bud;
Said I, when night shall equal day,
From winter-quarters I’ll away.

When robins fed their spotted young,
And catkins from the hazels hung;
When warbler flaunting warbler sung,
And squirrels on the pine-trees hung;
When days were bright, and skies were blue,
And yokels ‘gan again to woo;
When thrush and blackbird early woke,
And leaves had bronzed upon the oak;
Said I, now cheerless days are done,
My pilgrimage shall be begun.

When swallows hawked in golden air,
And flowers were blooming everywhere;
When shores were gay with bathers bright,
And glowworms greenly shone at night;
When hay was mown, and cuckoos flown,
And Summer held her golden throne;
When cherries shone amidst their green,
And apples on the boughs were seen;
Said I, the time has come to start!
This home and I will shortly part.

When martlets left the cobwebbed eaves,
And russet corn was bound in sheaves;
When sunflowers bent their aureoled heads,
And spiders spun their migrant threads;
When skies were poems ready writ,
And morning mists were infinite;
When berries dazed the insect throng,
And leaves fell through the robin’s song;
Said I, the season passeth by,
My luck upon the road I’ll try.

When winds were wild, and roofs untiled,
And coloured leaves in corners piled;
When bat and dormouse went to sleep,
And bough and sky did frequent weep;
When nuts were plucked, and medlars sucked,
And pheasants shot, and furrows mucked;
When suns were dim and days were brief,
And winds re-howled their ancient grief;
Said I, the road now calleth me,
A pilgrim once again I’ll be.

When pool and stream were frozen hard,
And cattle stayed within the yard;
When elms were red, and ash-trees black,
And sparrows robbed the farmer’s stack;
When tilth and fallow changed to stone,
And hoodies fought around a bone;
When hands were numb and minds depressed,
When snow the naked trees had dressed;
Said I, I will away from here
In this hard season of the year.

Yet here I stay and years go by,
And Suffolk knows the reason why.

Top of Page

Suffolk A Rambling Rhyme – Robert Hughman (1813-1875)

This was first published in 1846.  Robert Hughman was a Yoxford schoolmaster.  Yoxford is in east Suffolk, England, 25 miles (40 km) north-east of Ipswich.  He first recited it to the Yoxford Farmers’ Club in 1846 and it rambles on (over 22 pages) about the beauties of the Suffolk landscape and is an itinerary of Suffolk villages, towns and rivers in simple verse form.  He had a few other poems published, and this one has been reprinted in recent years.

It is far too long to repeat here, but the first eight lines show where his sympathies lie:

Come, silly SUFFOLK, if the name that thou
So long hast borne, thou haply bearest now,
Though I for one respectfully disclaim
Thy sole assumption of the blockhead’s name,
Since many a county, did I care to tell,
Were fools to strive, from thee would bear the bell;
Come, silly SUFFOLK, let me sing of thee,
And to thy sons this night unfold thy history.

Top of Page

Suffolk Lanes - Scottish Country Dance

Suffolk Lanes is a Scottish country dance devised by Tim Eyres of the Oxfordshire Branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dancing Society & published in the “Silver Jubilee Oxford Book of Dances” in 1993.

So why has a Scottish dance been given the name “Suffolk Lanes”?  Tim explains:

“I used to live in the village of Cockfield, near Bury St Edmunds.  I have very fond memories of that time and the many twists and turns of the dance reminded me of being driven round the narrow lanes of Suffolk in my youth.”

Instructions for the dance can be found on:

Top of Page

More Songs & Music with "Suffolk" in the Title

Listed in this section are as many songs & pieces of music with “Suffolk” in the title that I have been able to find. There are undoubtedly others out there that have been missed. If anyone knows of any not included below, please email details to

Whatever your musical tastes, be it classical, folk, jazz, rock, pop or dance, there is something here for everyone.

See also:   The Suffolk Harvest Home Song  
                       The Suffolk Miracle - A Ballad
                       The Politick Maid of Suffolk; or, the Lawyer Outwitted - A Ballad          
                       Sweet Suffolk Owl - A Poem

Suffolk Suite - Doreen Carwithen:  The British classical composer Doreen Carwithen (1922-2003) was born in Haddenham, Buckinghamshire. From 1941 she attended the Royal Academy of Music, where she met composer & conductor William Alwyn, who began to teach her composition & would later become her husband. Her overture ODTAA (One Damn Thing After Another) was premiered at Covent Garden in 1947. She also wrote a Concerto for Piano and Strings (1948), the overture Bishop Rock (1952), plus scores for more than thirty films such as Wilderness (1948), Boys in Brown (1950) & East Anglian Holiday (1954). She also wrote the score for the official film of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

Her Suffolk Suite was written in 1964 at the request of the music master at Fr
amlingham College, Suffolk, to be performed when royalty came to open their new concert hall. The suite is in four movements:

I. Prelude: Moderato
II. Orford Ness: Allegretto grazioso
III. Suffolk Morris: Ritmico

IV. Framlingham Castle: Alla marcia

The tunes are developed from music she had originally composed for the film East Anglian Holiday.

After her husband’s death in 1985, Carwithen founded the William Alwyn Archive and William Alwyn Foundation to promote his music and facilitate musical research projects. She died in January 2003.

The Suffolk Suite can be found on the album Carwithen: Concerto for Piano and Strings/Bishop Rock/ ODTAA/Suffolk Suite which dates from 1997. The album features Howard Shelley on piano, together with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Richard Hickox.

Suffolk Air and Suffolk Punch - Humphrey Lyttlelton: Suffolk Air and Suffolk Punch are two short jazz instrumentals by Humphrey Lyttelton (1921-2008), the famous English band leader, trumpeter and clarinetist. The Humphrey Lyttelton Band were formed in the late 1940s, at first playing traditional Dixieland & Ragtime, but later moving into mainstream jazz. The band continued to perform until shortly before Lyttelton’s death in 2008.

From 1967 to 2007, Lyttelton presented The Best of Jazz on BBC Radio 2.

Suffolk Air appeared on the b-side of the 78 single The Dormouse, released in 1951 on the Parlophone label. It can also be found on a number of albums, such as Snag It, The Best of Humphrey Lyttelton, Classic Years and In The Spotlight.

Suffolk Punch was originally from the album Humphrey Lyttelton and His Band released on the Society Records label in August 1965.

These pieces were probably inspired by Lyttelton’s frequent visits to see his father, who lived in the Suffolk village of Grundisburgh from 1945-62.

The Witchbottle of Suffolk - Peter Ulrich: The 2005 album Enter the Mysterium by English songwriter & multi-instrumentalist Peter Ulrich features The Witchbottle of Suffolk. Ulrich, who is from Perivale in London, was a member of the 1980s band Dead Can Dance. His first solo album Pathways and Dawns was released in 1999.

Witch bottles or witchbottles probably came into existence during the Middle Ages. They were traditionally used to keep the hair, nails or bodily fluids of someone (i.e. a witch) that, it was thought, had put a curse on another person or property. Alternatively, the bottle would be filled with pins, needles, rosemary & red wine. It would then be concealed in the structure of a building (or buried outside), as it was thought to draw in & trap evil spirits & witches, thus preventing curses & malevolent magic spells harming the building’s occupants. One of the earliest descriptions of a witchbottle comes from Suffolk & is described in Joseph Glanvill’s Saducismus Triumphatus, or Evidence concerning Witches and Apparitions, which dates from 1681.

Ulrich’s Witchbottle of Suffolk is a seven & a half minute brooding atmospheric tale, which conjures up magic & sorcery with a dark medieval feel.

Suffolk Down Upon the Night - The Court And Spark: Taking their name from an album by Joni Mitchell, the folk rock/psychedelic band The Court & Spark were based in San Francisco, California. Suffolk Down Upon the Night first appears on the bands 2004 album Witch Season, with a live version appearing on The Court and Spark Live at Schubas 11/09/2004. Formed in 1998, the band issued five studio albums, before disbanding in 2007. The nucleus of the band revolved around Scott Hirsch, Alex Stimmel, James Kim & M.C. Taylor.

The Ballad of the Suffolk Five - The Simon Hopper Band: The Ballad of the Suffolk Five is a folk song that sympathetically explores the story of the murders of five women in Ipswich during late 2006 (see The Ipswich Murders 2006, on the Ipswich, England page of The track, by the Simon Hopper Band, appears on the album The Less Blessed, dating from 2008. This same topic is the subject of another song Girls of Ipswich Town by the folk duo Sedbuskers (see Ips Misc. page on

Simon Hopper was born in Dublin and brought to England in his first year.  He later became immersed in the London folk scene at the now defunct Bromley Acoustic Music Club where he hosted several notable folk singers as well as emerging as a singer/songwriter himself.  In 2006 he formed his four-piece band of himself on acoustic guitar, Leigh Trowbridge on electric guitar, Andee Price on electric bass and mandolin and John Fisher on drums.  All four provided vocals.  Under the name of The Simon Hopper Band they only released two albums (A Land for the Many 2007 and The Less Blessed 2008).  From 2009 the artistes went their own way.  Simon Hopper was still performing in 2017, but is now semi-retired. 

Suffolk Girl - Skelter: Skelter were a New York City based group, much influenced by British bands such as The Beatles, The Who, T-Rex and Oasis, with a hint of punk thrown in.  Suffolk Girl features on their first album, Boomstick, which dates from 2004.  The band comprised singer, guitarist and songwriter Michael Wright, bassist Greg Ross and drummer Nachie Castro.  The Suffolk in question is Suffolk County, NY.  They released only one further album in 2007 (Sip O Tea for the Devil) and performed at a few gigs until 2010.  They have not performed any gigs together since that year.   Michael Wright and Nachie Castro have concentrated on their editorial jobs (for which they are both more famous), and Greg Ross in 2020 was playing in the Epic Tantrum group.

Skelter was only formed when three New York City comic-book workers were asked to throw a one-off show for 200 of their fellow employees in late 2001. The three built a reputation over the following two years as one of the best live acts in the City.

Michael Wright is a comic book editor.  He began his career in 1996 working for Marvel Comics and by 2001 was employed by DC Comics where he met Nachie Castro.  Both eventually became part of the senior editorial staff.  DC Comics is one of the largest and oldest American comic book companies, and features numerous iconic heroic characters, most notably Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman (see entry in Wikipedia).  Michael Wright remains with DC Comics, but Nachie Castro moved to Disney Publishing in 2008 which bought Marvel Comics in 2009.  The Nachie Castro Books is part of the Disney Book Group.  Nachie is the main writer behind the Spiderman stories.  He is also a voice actor, particularly known in the video game “Batman:Dark Tomorrow”.

The name ‘Skelter’ was taken from the Beatles song Helter Skelter from their 1968 album and written by Paul McCartney to create “a sound as loud and dirty as possible”.  He frequently sings it at his concerts.  This name is derived from an older English adverb meaning “in a disorderly haste” which the group felt epitomised their beginnings.  The Beatles’ recording is considered to be a key influence in the early development of ‘heavy metal’.


Suffolk Punch - Andrew Huang: The instrumental track Suffolk Punch features on the dubstep-influenced album Droop by Andrew Huang, which was released in November 2012. Dubstep is a genre of electronic dance music that originated in London in the late 1990s. Huang, however, is from Toronto, Canada. He is described as a multi-genre multi-instrumentalist who also works in video & social media. A prolific composer, he has created over 600 songs & pieces of music since 2004, & is a well known personality on YouTube. His other albums include Summer, Console & Lip Bomb. Why this piece has been named Suffolk Punch is not known.

Suffolk - Mike & Billy Nicholls: Suffolk, by Mike & Billy Nicholls, can be found on the 2008 album Rosslyn Road. Singer, songwriter, producer & musical director Billy Nicholls is from London. His first album was Would You Believe dating from 1968. As well as recording several more albums since then, he has also written songs for many other artists such as Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey, Justin Hayward, Kiki Dee, The Chieftains & Phil Collins. He has also worked as a producer for The Who & Elton John.

The folk album Rosslyn Road was made in collaboration with Billys brother Mike, as well as featuring contributions from Paddy Moloney of the Chieftains.

The lyrics to Suffolk, which clocks in at under two minutes, are printed below. They give no clue, however, as to why this song is so named, although the fact that Mike Nicholls lives at Sudbury, Suffolk, may be relevant.


When I saw you
Twas like I’d seen your face
Long before that day
When I saw you
Twas like a love that once lost
I’d found again

I knew my search was over
Then you were gone
And left me here
Alone in the garden
But I can see you standing there
When I saw you

When I kissed you
I felt the winter chill
Cold against your cheek
When I kissed you I felt our souls entwined
Soon to be released

And it will last forever
Though you have gone
And left me here
Alone in the garden
But I can feel you standing there
When I kissed you

Suffolk’s March/Jig - Bill Smith: Suffolk’s March/Jig is a short piece that features on an album entitled Many A Good Horseman: Traditional music making from Mid-Suffolk recorded 1958-1993. This 78 track Various Artists compilation set, spread over 8 CDs, was released in 2012.  The recording begins with a spoken word introduction.  This is followed by essentially two separate tunes (Suffolk’s March followed by an unnamed jig).  The “Suffolk’s March” is actually known as “Speed the Plough” and it was the regimental quick march of The Suffolk Regiment (now part of the Royal Anglian Regiment), hence its title.  This is an old folk-song dating back to the 15th century and was sung by the ploughmen on Plough Monday (the first Monday after the twelve days of Christmas).  The Jig is a solo harmonica piece by Bill Smith (1898- ? ).  He was a renowned harmonica and accordion player of the folk music of Suffolk who lived his whole life at Walsham-le-Willows in that county.

Suffolk - Emmanuel Dunn: Also from a Various Artists compilation, but in a very different vein from the entry above, is Suffolk by Emmanuel Dunn. It appears on Jack de Molay Presents Spring Best Tek n' Tekno, released on Hollister Records in 2011. As the album title suggests, this instrumental named Suffolk is a house/techno style piece which runs for just over six minutes. Emmanuel Dunn is a DJ & record producer based in Cefalù in Sicily.

From Suffolk with Love and Suffolk Punch - The Broadside Boys: Comprising Mat Bayfield (vocals & percussion) & Eric Sedgey Sedge (vocals, guitars & percussion), the Broadside Boys were from Saxmundham in Suffolk, England. Two songs with “Suffolk” in the name can be heard on their website, Suffolk Punch & From Suffolk with Love; the latter being a live recording at the BBC. Suffolk Punch is a song celebrating a Suffolk character who likes to use his fists, whilst From Suffolk with Love is a tribute to Suffolk servicemen serving in war zones overseas.

The Broadside Boys first played together in 2012 and soon made an impact on the folk scene, releasing their first album under their stage-name in 2016 (this did not contain the ‘Suffolk’ songs).  In 2017 the pair embarked on a mammoth 100-date tour, but tragedy struck when Mat Bayfield had to stop three-quarters of the way through because of ill health.  Sadly, he was diagnosed with a rare, inoperable brain tumour to which he succumbed on 2 October 2019. Eric Sedge went on to become a successful solo performer.  However, he joined with Richard Digance to produce The Suffolk Song - see further below.

A Suffolk Memory: A Suite of Impressions for Piano - William Ferris/Justin Kolb: A Suffolk Memory: Suite of Impressions for Piano was written in 1986, by Chicago based choral conductor and composer William Ferris (1937-2000), & was inspired by his time at the Aldeburgh Festival, in Suffolk, England, at which he & his 24-voice professional choral ensemble, the William Ferris Chorale, had been invited to perform by Sir Peter Pears. A Suffolk Memory appears on the album Solo Piano Music (2004) by Justin Kolb, which features a number of Ferris’s compositions dating from the period 1962-99.

Pianist Kolb is originally from Indiana but is now based in New York. He has performed as a soloist with, amongst others, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Hamburg Philharmonic & the Amernet String Quartet. As well as Ferris, Kolb has also premiered works by Robert Starer, Peter Schickele, Paul Alan Levi, John Downey & Robert Cucinotta.

The suite A Suffolk Memory is in eight parts:

I.        The Sea, at Dusk
II.      The Parish Churchyard, at Night
III.    High Street, Noon
IV.     Sunday Morning, from the Terrace
V.       Saint Edmund’s - Southwold: Concert Day
VI.     The Maltings, Snape: Festival House Fanfares
VII.   The Red House
VIII. The Sea, by Moonlight


Suffolk Skies - Kurt Hartle: Suffolk Skies is the title track to Kurt Hartle’s debut album. Composer & producer Hartle, whose style is mainly classical but with hints of jazz, comes from Southwold in Suffolk, England. The album Suffolk Skies was released in June 2013 & consists of piano solos and ensemble pieces. The music is relaxing & romantic in character, & is described as being inspired by the fertile & beautiful East Anglia region. At just over four minutes long, the track Suffolk Skies opens the album.




Youre Gonna Love This Song About Suffolk  - The Guy Who Sings Songs About Cities & Towns: Youre Gonna Love This Song About Suffolk is a one minute forty six second song from the album Virginia Is Good and Yes, Va by The Guy Who Sings Songs About Cities & Towns. The album (released in February 2014) features 71 short songs, each about a different town or city in Virginia. Other songs include Song About Virginia Beach, Uh Huh!; Oh Yeah! Hampton, Va; You Gotta Go to Waynesboro & Woodbridge, Virginia. Such a Nice Place!

The Guy Who Sings Songs About Cities & Town, real name Matt Farley from Massachusetts, has released a number of albums in similar vein, all consisting, as his name suggests, of short, rather strange songs about towns & cities in Great Britain, Canada, Australia & various US states. These include These Songs Are About Canada Places; New York State Nice Places Ny Song Yes!; Texas City & Town Song Fun, TxThese Australia Places Deserve These Nice Songs & English England, British Britain, Uk, Great Song!

According to the song Youre Gonna Love This Song About Suffolk, Suffolk, Virginia has bike trails, railroads (“you can ride your train on them”) & a lot of bridges. North Main Street gets a mention, as does Interstate 664. Suffolk also has “a good local government”,  “a lot of nice people living in it” & is “such a nice location”.

Suffolk’s Most Wanted - Diabolic (Feat. Ra the Rugged Man): The rapper known as Diabolic (real name Sean George) is from Huntington Station, a hamlet in the town of Huntington, Suffolk County, New York. The 3 minutes 35 seconds long Suffolk’s Most Wanted is from his 2014 album Fightin’ Words, and also features fellow rapper R.A. the Rugged Man (real name R.A. Thorburn). As with many songs within the rap genre, Suffolk’s Most Wanted contains explicit lyrics that some people might find offensive. An instrumental version of the song is also available on the album Fightin Words Instrumentals.

Suffolk Song - Peregrine North: Peregrine North is the name of a band fronted by guitarist and singer Rachel Shrader. Born in Ipswich, Suffolk, England, she grew up in upstate New York.  She formed the band Peregrine North in Fort Worth, Texas in 2013 and currently resides in northeastern Pennsylvania.  The name “peregrine” means ‘coming from another country’ or ‘foreign’ and Rachel adopted this name because, as she has dual nationality and continually moves her residence, she feels she is always in transition and is never at home.

Peregrine North’s music is heavily influenced by British folk and rock music of the 1960s and 70s. Suffolk Song features on the band’s eponymous debut album, released in March 2015. Suffolk Song is a gentle, folk inspired tribute to Rachel’s county of birth. The opening lines are:

“I come from a place where the sun first awakes
I come from a place where the sea meets the sun”

Miniature III: Suffolk - Ghost-Land: Fifteen Miniatures is an experimental/electronic album by Ghost-Land. Released in 2015, as the title suggests, this is an album of fifteen very short instrumental tracks, the majority of which clock in at under one minute (Miniature III: Suffolk, at 1 minute 16 seconds, is the second longest track on the album). With names like Miniature VI: Alarm and Miniature XI: Rhododendrons, no other track on the album is named after a specific location.

This band was formed in 1998 by several backing musicians of Sinéad OConnor, built around the London-based trio of John Reynolds (record producer and drummer), Justin Adams (guitarist) and Caroline Dale (cellist).  They were all formerly studio musicians working as instrumentalists for other artists.  John Reynolds was the first husband of Sinéad OConnor; she contributed the vocals on the debut album.  They wrote their own material and enlisted the help of studio vocalists to realise their vision, the most prestigious of course is Sinéad OConnor. This Dublin born singer-songwriter has been acclaimed internationally for her music, and she is also a prominent spokesperson about her sexuality, social and political views, about her spiritual journey (she is an ordained priest), activism, as well as her trauma and mental health struggles.

Ghost-Land released two more albums: Interview with the Angel (2001) and Guide me God (2002), the latter becoming an international dance floor hit after being remixed by Junior Vasquez.  After that each of the artistes went their own way, either performing solo or joining other similar collaborationist groups. 

The Lion of Suffolk - Malcolm Williamson: The Lion of Suffolk is a piece of music for solo organ, composed by Malcolm Williamson (1931-2003).  Born in Sydney, Australia, Williamson studied at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, before moving to London in 1950. In 1975 he was appointed Master of the Queens Music, a position he held until his death. He was awarded the CBE in 1976 and was also made an honorary Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 1987. He died in Cambridge, England in March 2003.

The Lion of Suffolk is a tribute to Benjamin Britten (see Suffolk, England page) and was premiered on 10th March 1977, at the Benjamin Britten Memorial Service in Westminster Abbey. It appears on the album Malcolm Williamson: Organ Music, released in 2014 and featuring organist Tom Winpenny.

White Wash And Pig’s Blood (Suffolk Pink) - Jack The Stripper: This is a track on Black Annis, the debut EP released in 2009 by hardcore band Jack The Stripper.

Formed in Melbourne, Australia in 2007 “with a singular vision of playing the most extreme music possible”, the band comprises Luke Frizon on vocals, guitarists Julian Renzo and Adam Harris, Tim Anderson on bass and drummer Max Reps.  The band released their debut album Raw Nerve in 2013.

Reviews of the band’s live performances  state that they “have been assaulting audiences everywhere with their fierce and innovative brand of chaotic hardcore, a relentless work ethic and an atypical, ferocious on-stage prowess”, and  that “Jack the Stripper’s live show is a boundary-pushing, total sensory-inclusive, interactive extreme experience. It is one of the most incredibly intense live shows you will ever see and the band is on the road to becoming one of Australias most recognised extreme music acts.”

The name White Wash And Pig’s Blood (Suffolk Pink) obviously refers to the ancient process of mixing blood with whitewash to give the colour famously used to paint houses in Suffolk, England (see Suffolk Pink - Colour, below). Unfortunately, as with much of the music in the grindcore/hardcore/extreme metal genre, the lyrics are almost unintelligible, so what this particular song is actually about can only be guessed at. However, as many of the band’s lyrics relate to death/gore/satanic ritual, it seems likely that the reference to blood is the main attraction in using this as a title. 

Between Suffolk Pink and Essex Blue and Suffolk Winds - Richard Harker: Two songs with Suffolk in the title by folk singer/musician Richard Harker.  Between Suffolk Pink and Essex Blue is taken from the 2015 album of the same name, whilst Suffolk Winds is from the album An Englishman Ignored, also released in 2015. Suffolk Winds includes a mention of the village of Nayland, and with another of his albums being entitled Nayland a Cuckoo Crying, it would seem likely that Mr Harker is from this area along the Essex/Suffolk border.

Suffolk (Original Mix) - Paul Ritch: At nearly seven minutes long, the techno track Suffolk (Original Mix) can be found on Paul Ritch’s 2010 four track EP Canniballs. Paul Ritch is a Parisian producer and performer who has been on the techno club scene since 2007 and has now achieved global recognition, having performed on four continents. No reason for naming this instrumental piece Suffolk has yet been found.

Suffolk County 718 - Michael Mason: Suffolk County 718 appears on the 2016 album My Cactus Flower - Contemporary Piano by Michael Mason.  As the album title suggests, this is a piece for solo piano. Other pieces on the album are also named after places with three digit numbers appended to them, such as Virginia 710, Natchez Trace 712, Scotland 713 and Stratford Upon Avon 715. Michael Mason (who on some of his other albums is known as Michael H Mason) is an improvisational American pianist and composer of jazz ballads. Which Suffolk County this piece refers to is uncertain.

Suffolk on a Sunday - The Ragtown Brothers: Described as “A unique blend of baroque pop, ragtime, and blues reminiscent of old American standards, the Beach Boys, Blind Willie McTell, and Nina Simone” the Ragtown Brothers comprise Nathan Dunton and Josh Morrow from Port Arkansas, Texas, who came together in December 2010.  Suffolk on a Sunday is taken from their eponymous and only album, recorded in Texas and released in 2015.

Rather bizarrely, given the above information, the song’s lyrics make it clear that the Suffolk in question is Suffolk, England, with a range of typically English foods listed that you can get in “Ipswich, Woodbridge, Diss* or Framlingham”.

“Ragtown” was the early name for Amarillo, just 45 miles from Port Arkansas.  Although we are not sure why they adopted this name, the pair never used it again although they continued to collaborate on musical projects using their real names, and individually both worked with other artistes.  The latest recording released in November 2018 goes under the label “Nathan Dunton presents ‘The Cave Sessions’ with Leah Matthews and Josh Morrow”.

*(Diss, of course, is actually in Norfolk, not Suffolk).

Suffolk - The Traveller: The rock song Suffolk appears on the five track EP Uncensored Kingdom, Pt. III (Prelude), released in May 2016. The Traveller is actually Italian singer-songwriter Massimiliano Forleo, and the EP is part of a trilogy inspired and loosely based on the works of William Shakespeare. The Suffolk in question refers to the Earl of Suffolk, mentioned in Henry V, who dies at the battle of Agincourt.

Midnight’s Mass in Suffolk’s Breast - Blue Rose Code:  Blue Rose Code is Scottish alternative-folk singer/songwriter Ross Wilson, whose work has been said to evoke “a meeting of Van Morrison and a young John Martyn, both shipwrecked with a bunch of Motown records.” Midnight’s Mass in Suffolk’s Breast is a Christmas song that appears on the four track EP Grateful, released in 2015.

Suffolk - Joc The Producer: Hip hop producer Joc (also known as Ja’Quez) is from Suffolk, Virginia. Suffolk, released in February 2018, is a rap built around the soul classic Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart), written by Thom Bell and Linda Creed and originally recorded by the Stylistics on their 1971 eponymous debut album.  The version sampled on Suffolk is the later duet version by Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross, released in 1974 on their Diana & Marvin album.

Suffolk County Line - The Low Cards: The Low Cards are a rock band from Providence, Rhode Island, USA. The line up is Dan Baker on guitar & vocals, Brian Jablonski on upright bass & vocals, and Matt Slobogan on drums & vocals. Suffolk County Line is a blues/rock track from their debut album The Low Cards, released in November 2017. The music on the album has been described as “dissonant guitar mayhem, bombastic pigskin pounding, and slap happy upright bass debauchery”.

Suffolk Pink - The Proprietor:  Taken from the album For Nothing Is My Own, released in November 2017, Suffolk Pink weighs in at three minutes thirty two seconds of Unapologetic and straight forward Black Metal. The Proprietor are a duo from New York whose name is derived from a character played by Peter Cushing in the 1974 old Amicus horror anthology, From Beyond The Grave.  Frank Fisicaro (guitar, bass and drums) and Sean Gabler (vocals and guitar) formed the duo in 2016 while they played in other bands, but quickly realised that The Proprietor was their main focus. According to the band, Suffolk Pink is about Boleskine House, on the shores of Loch Ness in Scotland, where occultist Aleister Crowley lived, and where he performed many of his magic rituals.

Given the bands interest in horror, this title seems to have been chosen due to the fact that the house was notable for being decorated in a pale-pink stucco.  This would have appealed to Crowley who was probably aware that this colour was created by mixing pigs blood with whitewash (see White Wash And Pigs Blood (Suffolk Pink) by Jack The Stripper, above, and Suffolk Pink - Colour, below). 

Boleskine House was built on the site of an old kirk (church) which according to legend caught fire and everyone inside was burnt to death.  As well as Crowley, the house was also once owned by Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page. It suffered significant fire damage in 2015 and is now derelict.

There were no more releases after the above album, although the duo collaborated in 2019 with another Black Metal band, the Nascentum, on the album A Pact of Initiation, and then each went their own way and joined other groups.

Suffolk Summers Garden - Bryan Orwell:  Bryan Orwell is a music teacher and semi-professional pianist/keyboard player from Kent, England. Suffolk Summer’s Garden is taken from his 2017 album Really Brown (which is an anagram of his name). At one minute twenty one seconds long, Suffolk Summer’s Garden is an instrumental piece for solo piano.

To Suffolk - girl in a gale: To Suffolk is taken from the 2017 album Right as Rain and is a six minute long electronics-dominated instrumental piece. girl in a gale (always spelt in lower case) is actually Clarissa Vincent, a saxophonist from Woodbridge in Suffolk, England, who is also a travel writer. For live events she employs an established jazz quartet, whilst studio recordings are made using professional backing tracks.  girl in a gale make music “unconstrained by popular electronic dance music genres”. Other albums, which can be found on Spotify, iTunes, and many other online sites, include Suitably Lizardy, Blackcurrants and Animal Hands.

Felixstowe (Suffolk Original) - JayClectic:  JayClectic are Jay and Mr.Eclectic who are house music Dj/Producers based in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. According to their biography on Facebook, Mr.Eclectic  was born in England, another source states that it was at Ipswich, which presumably explains the reason that the name of Felixstowe in Suffolk, England has been used for this track. It can be found on the EP In This House, released in July 2015.

Suffolk - Royal Coda: Royal Coda began as a trio from Sacramento, California, consisting of Kurt Travis, Sergio Medina and Joseph Arrington. At three minutes thirty six seconds, Suffolk is the final track on the group’s eponymous album, which was released in April 2018 and produced by Mike Watts & Dominic Nastasi.

Suffolk is basically an instrumental track, with just the breathed words “Home Sweet Home” being repeated in the background.  The track begins with a sample of a recording by Amelita Galli-Curci, followed by instrumentation played over the natural sounds of a forested area where the album was being recorded in Suffolk County, New York.

The trio had experienced success with different bands before they formed Royal Coda in January 2018.  Since then they have recruited a further two experienced members (Will Swan and Steffen Gotsch) and now form a five-piece group. 

The Suffolk Song - Richard Digance and Eric Sedge: The Suffolk Song features on the album To Look For America, which was released in April 2018. To Look For America is a folk-roots musical written and performed by well known comedian and folk singer Richard Digance from Essex and Suffolk songwriter Eric Sedge (of the Broadside Boys) with additional music by Tom Leary.

According to the project’s website, “Its the story of the first English Settlers that arrived in Jamestown, America, in 1607 told through music and narration as a production for theatres, arts centres, schools, colleges, plus cruise ship entertainment for ships that sail from England to America.

A multi-mediaproject consists of live theatre, Photo Movie, DVD and CD productions, book and artworks. It tells of the plight of Bartholomew Gosnold, founder of The Virginia Company of London, who left his Suffolk home to sail on Godspeed in search of America and its potential riches. This voyage happened many years before The Pilgrims left Plymouth.

Bartholomew Gosnold was a lawyer, explorer, and privateer who was instrumental in founding the Virginia Company of London, and also establishing Jamestown in colonial America. He also led the first recorded European expedition to Cape Cod.  He was born in Grundisburgh in Suffolk, England  in 1571, and died in Jamestown, Virginia on 22 August 1607.

A Million Acres (The Suffolk Song) - Soloists, Choirs & Instrumentalists of Suffolk:  Released in May 2018, ahead of Suffolk Day (21st June), A Million Acres (The Suffolk Song) features over 1000 people from throughout Suffolk, England, including solo vocalists Christina Johnston, Polly Gibbons, Elaine Marsh and Andi Hopgood, as well as many choirs from across the county, plus instrumentalists Andrew Rayner, Jacob Woods, Mark Evans, David Scarlett, David Abbott, Hattie Bennett, Emily Bennett and Wendy Poulson. The song was written, arranged, produced and recorded by Andrew Rayner at Brook Studios in Felixstowe. A video for the song can be viewed on YouTube.

Snape Suffolk Olly - Andy McWain Ensemble: Released in September 2018, Snape Suffolk Olly is a single by the jazz ensemble put together by Boston, Massachusetts pianist/composer Andy McWain.  McWain’s albums include Nerve, Temporary, Resemblance, Starfish and Live at Audible Think.  Although it is not stated to what the title Snape Suffolk Olly refers, this is most probably the Snape Maltings Concert Hall in Suffolk, England, that has grown out of the Aldeburgh Festival, founded by Benjamin Britten in 1948.  This is now one of the leading international musical events that every August holds a series of concerts that culminates in the “Snape Proms” where folk groups, solo artists and the world of jazz meet.  “Olly” could well be a well-known local publican whose name is Oliver.  Andy McWain is currently a full-time Lecturer in Music at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth where he teaches jazz theory, improvisation, applied jazz piano, and a senior music capstone course.

Suffolk - Nicolai Dunger:  Nicolai Dunger is singer/songwriter from Piteå in Sweden. His wide-ranging musical influences encompass blues, folk, jazz and soul. The former footballer has been active in music since the mid 1990s, recording many singles, EPs and albums. Suffolk is taken from his album Terror and Tradition, released in September 2018 on the Hi-Hat label. Most of the other titles on the album are in Swedish, so why the name Suffolk has been chosen for this instrumental three and a half minute long track is unknown.

I Am Suffolk - AJ Rizzle: AJ Rizzle is a rapper from Suffolk, Virginia. I Am Suffolk is a track with explicit lyrics from his April 2019 album Last Will and Testament.

The Duke of Suffolk - Ethrel:  The Duke of Suffolk is a song by the rock band Ethrel, taken from their 2019 album Old Flames. Very little information is available about this band at the moment, except that they seem to come from Funny River, a census-designated place in Kenai Peninsula Borough, Alaska, USA.  The reason for the reference to the Duke of Suffolk is also obscure.

Suffolk Samurai - Chubs: The rap song Suffolk Samurai is from the album Young Gorgeous by Chubs, released in December 2018. Chubs is a 90s hip hop inspired artist from the Italian-American community on Long Island, New York, who has often collaborated in the past with another MC from the New York area named Blass 89.

From Suffolk to Canton - Carolino: Carolino is actually Jon Carolino, a solo ambient multi-instrumentalist  from Virginia Beach, Virginia.  The instrumental track From Suffolk to Canton features on the album Chosen, released in July 2018, which is inspired by Carolino and his wife’s journey through adoption after the pain of losing a child. Other albums by Carolino include Woven (2013), Ruins (2014) and Home (2015).

Suffolk Terrace pt 1 & 2 - Charlie Hijos Bastardos featuring Julius, Max: Released in July 2018, these two rap tracks, each clocking in at around two minutes forty five seconds, are available as downloads.  Suffolk Terrace part 1 was first released in 2009 and Part 2 in 2018.  Suffolk Terrace is sung in Spanish, German and English, although the lyrics give no clue as to the reason for the name.
For many, Hijos Bastardos has been the most relevant partnership that Spanish underground rap has seen.  It essentially comprises a duo formed in 2002 by two of the leading rap artists in Spain: Charlie (Carlos Hernández) and Nasta (Pablo Simon Hernández).  Both grew up in Madrid and first rapped together as kids in the plazas of Madrid.  They both gained a reputation as individual rap musicians, and formed Hijos Bastardos to act as a sort of collective in which other rap musicians could react, usually forming a group of four.  This gained them greater recognition and respect as part of the underground Spanish hip hop scene, with the majority of their releases coming through “loose tracks”, i.e. not yet compiled into an album.  Hijos Bastardos only come together on a sporadic basis with long spells over a number of years when nothing is heard of them.  Nasta is the most active of the two as an individual rapper whereas Charlie shuns publicity and seems to be a language teacher in his “day job”.    

Suffolk (a) and Suffolk (b) - Max Eastley, Steve Beresford, Paul Burwell, David Toop: These two tracks of electronic music by four English musicians originally appeared on the 1980 album Whirled Music, recorded live at the IKON gallery, Birmingham, the London Musician Collective, and at various outdoors venues during 1979. The album consists of performances made entirely with whirled and swung instruments and objects, such as the bullroarer, whirled whistles, hand drums, radios and microphones. Originally released on the Quartz label, the album was reissued in June 2018 on the Black Truffle label. Suffolk (b) also appears on the compilation album Black Truffle At 10, released in May 2019 to celebrates ten years of the label.

City of Suffolk - Angel Monet:  At four minutes ten seconds long, this track features on the album Jack’s World, an album of children’s music released in February 2020 on the Rossy Records label. Angel Mone’t is from Boston, Massachusetts and describes herself as a music producer, teacher, song writer, singer, playwright, radio host and childrens entertainer.

Suffolk Riviera and Suffolk Palms - Local T: Released in May 2019, the electronic instrumental track Suffolk Riviera is from the album Coastal Breeze, released on the Pen Name label, based in Felixstowe, Suffolk, England.  Local T aka Henry Homesweet has issued a number of recordings under fifteen different names, including TRUTHR and 20AX (His real name is Tom Sherlock). Other pieces on the album also have an East Anglian flavour, such as Walton Boys, Next the Sea, and Peter’s Ice Cream (A local favourite, made in Ipswich since 1890).

Two years later, in May 2021, Local T released an album entitled Suffolk Palms, which includes a three minutes twenty nine second track of the same name. Other tracks on the album include Longshore Dreams, Sealand and Old Pier.

Arriving In Suffolk - Richard G. Mitchell: Arriving in Suffolk is a short orchestral piece from the original motion picture score of the 1992 film The Bridge. The Bridge is a film based on the novel of the same name by Suffolk born author Maggie Hemingway (1946-93) and directed by Sydney Macartney. It is set in the summer of 1887 in Walberswick on the Suffolk, England coast, and stars Saskia Reeves, David OHara, Joss Ackland, Rosemary Harris, Anthony Higgins and Geraldine James. The music for the film was composed by Richard G Mitchell, an English composer working primarily in the field of films and television. He is best known for his scores to the movies To Kill a King, Grand Theft Parsons, A Good Woman and the 1996 BBC TV series The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.

Suffolk Shit (feat. VanBlocc Shorty) and King of Suffolk (feat. Yung Maar) - Henni Pesos: These two tracks appear on the 2019 hip-hop/rap album No Autotune on the Chuccblocc Music label. Henni Pesos is from Cypress Manor, approximately thirty miles from Suffolk, Virginia.

Only in Suffolk - Aids Cannon:  At less than two minutes long, Only in Suffolk is a song from the 2019 eponymously named four track EP by heavy metal band Aids Cannon.

This band was formed in the winter of 2014 comprising Nick Cordovano (guitar), Doug Perro (guitar), Brandom Adams (bass), ‘Eggie’ Mike Marsden (drums) and Peter Proto (who left the group in 2019).  They all came from County Suffolk on Long Island, hence the title of this track.  The band split up in April 2021.    

Phantoms of Suffolk, Song of Suffolk and Song of Suffolk 2000 - Jancis Harvey: Three songs written by this prolific folksinger/songwriter who was born in Linton, Cambridgeshire and, as a child growing up in her native East Anglia, loved to holiday in the Suffolk coastal towns.  This part of the world is reflected in many of her songs and stories.  Her writing and singing began in the 1960s on the BBC Radio with some short presentations in word and song for the programme ‘Five to Ten’.  This brought her TV work with late night epilogue presentations and from this followed concerts, cabaret, and the occasional summer season in the tourist towns of Britain.  Also renowned as a Christian songwriter, she has given concerts in some of the largest cathedrals in the country and some of the smallest village churches, often working with the local schoolchildren as a special project.

By far and above the most successful of her songs is Lord of the Harvest which appears in many publications and is sung in schools and concerts all over. The track Phantoms of Suffolk is a piece relating to All Saints church in Chevington, Suffolk, and appears on her album From the Darkness Came Light (released 1979).  The Song of Suffolk dates back to 1982 when Jancis was spending a quiet month by herself in her caravan at Aldeburgh in Suffolk.  In the song she compares the tourist hotspots of the Grecian islands, Italy and Spain and concludes that she will “sing her song of Suffolk as the only place to be”.  This was released in 1988 after she sang it on the ‘Five to Eleven, episode 2’ radio programme.  In 1999 she moved to Kentford in West Suffolk and wrote an additional verse about nearby Mildenhall, hence her track entitled Song of Suffolk 2000 that appears on her album People and Places (released 2000).  Jancis has several other albums to her name including Time Was  Now, Words You Left Behind and People and Places.

Suffolk Song - Ian Woods:  Born in Suffolk, England,  Ian spent the first twenty years of his life absorbing the traditional country song and music from the folk-singers of the day.  Moving to Cheshire in 1963 he was introduced to “folk clubs” and in 1967 started a club which is still running very healthily today.  Over the years he has sung in the UK and much of Europe, appearing at folk festivals singing both traditional songs and his own compositions.  After a spell in Poland, Ian moved back to England and lived in Oxford where he continued to perform where his heart really belonged - in the pubs and folk-clubs.  Sadly Ian passed away in 2017.

The Suffolk Song was written by Ian and released in 1982 on an album titled Hooks & Nets that he recorded with fellow folk-singer Charley Yarwood.  The song laments the passing of the old country ways when a ploughman worked on the land and then retired to the local pub for a well-deserved pint.  In its place the land has been swallowed up by “pylons and factories” and the pub has been replaced by a “cocktail bar”.

Suffolk Song - Matthew Olyver:
  This is a piece written by Matthew Olyver for Bass Oboe and Accordion, and is a musical portrait of Stoke by Clare, Matthew’s home village in Suffolk, England.  Stoke by Clare is a very simple, small but self contained village: some fields, a pub, some houses, a school and a village green.  This piece is made up of just a few short and simple sections, just like his home village.  It is a nostalgic expression from Matthew, who currently lives in central London, one of the most noisy places in the world in contrast to where his roots lie.

Matthew is an award winning composer (most recently, the 2019 Greater London Arts Society Composition Prize) whose music is regularly performed at music festivals by some of the leading orchestras, music ensembles and soloists in the world.  With a significant background as a violist, Matthew has co-led the viola section of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and now regularly performs his own music within the ensemble, the Olyver New Music Collective, which he founded in early 2019.  This Collective plans to perform five concerts a year, usually in unconventional settings, such as a museum, an art gallery, a church, or a warehouse.  

Matthew Olyver is also a passionate teacher of music theory, composition and viola/violin and he runs an extensive teaching practice in London.

A Suffolk Prelude - Ipswich & Norwich Co-op Band:  This is a piece written for the band by Andrew Duncan and released on a CD of the same name in November 2006.  Andrew Duncan is a Glaswegian who learned to play the trombone, euphonium and tuba, joining local brass bands before going off to study music at Napier University in Edinburgh and at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.  Andrew went on to become a professor in music at various universities in England. In 2001 Andrew and his family moved to Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland where he now works as a freelance composer/arranger and conductor.

The CD comprises 17 pieces with a playing time of 77 minutes offering a variety of styles and a mini-concert all rolled into one collection.  One of the pieces is  A Suffolk Prelude at 6΄52.  This is based around five traditional folk songs connected with Suffolk: ‘Nutting Time’, ‘Blackberry Fold’, ‘Cupid’s Garden’, ‘A Seaman’s Life’ and ‘The Bold Richard’.  The conductor of the Ipswich & Norwich Co-op Band was Robin Norman.  The recording was a celebration of the band being in existence for 25 years.

The band is based in Ipswich, Suffolk, and is a brass band.  This is a musical ensemble consisting entirely of brass instruments and generally with a percussion section.  It was originally formed in 1961 as the Ipswich Town Brass Band and, in 1982, was re-formed as the Ipswich Town Band.  In 1985 the band merged with another Ipswich band called Connells Sounding Brass whose name was adopted.  In 1992 the band was delighted to accept sponsorship from the Ipswich Co-operative Society and this entailed another name change to that of their sponsor.  This sponsorship has continued, but subject to name changes as the name of the sponsor has changed over the years: in 2002 when two co-operative societies merged it became the Ipswich and Norwich Co-operative Brass Band; in 2005 further mergers resulted in the East of England Co-operative Society.  The band changed its name a year later to the East of England Co-op Band.

For our non-British readers, the Co-operative Group, trading as the Co-op, is a British consumer co-operative with a diverse family of retail businesses including food retail and wholesale; pharmacy; insurance services; legal services and funeral care, with in excess of 3,700 locations.  The concept of a retail organisation owned by its customers arose in 1844 in Britain.  It is the largest consumer co-operative in the UK and owned by more than 4.6 million active members. 

The bands  second album, Horizons, was issued in 2016. 

You Put The Suffolk in Suffocating - Jordan Taylor Scaife:  Jordan Taylor Scaife is a singer-songwriter from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada with a bachelor’s degree in songwriting from Berklee College of Music, Boston, Massachusetts. Released in 2020,the lyrics of this two minutes fifty seven seconds  relationship ballad reference Boston, revealing that the Suffolk in question is Suffolk County, Massachusetts. (See also Suffolkation/Suffolkated in the Names of Bands, Songs and Albums section, below.)

Pray 4 Suffolk (Outro) and So Suffolk -  AJ Grant:  AJ Grant is a rap artist from Suffolk, Virginia,  who describes himself as a “Poetic lyricist, artist, writer, gamer, the most aspiring man on the planet”. Taken from the 2020 album Gallery, Pray 4 Suffolk (Outro) clocks in at two minutes fifty seconds long.  At two minutes twenty seconds, So Suffolk is from the album Freestyles.

87 Suffolk  - Xinxo Sr: Released in 2020, 87 Suffolk is a track from the album Who’s Your Slime!? by USA based Xinxo Sr.  There is very little further information available about this artist at present, and no clue as to why the name Suffolk has been used.

Suffolk - Anti-Beast: Taken from the digital album The Queen Is Sexy, Suffolk is one of fifty instrumental/ambient tracks, the majority of which are named after English counties. Anti-Beast’s output has been prolific in the past two or three years, with numerous album releases including Ice Cream Joe, The Last Shah, Dr. F and Capitalism, all of which feature fifty tracks.

Kings in Suffolk, Pt. 1 - Aye Dawg (feat. D-Train): Aye Dawg is a rapper and comedian. As you can see from the accompanying artwork (right), the Suffolk in question is Suffolk County, New York. Kings in Suffolk, Pt. 1 was released in 2020.






Suffolk County -  Body Double: Taken from the 2020 album Section 60, Suffolk County is one of eight instrumental tracks, all of which begin with the letter ‘S’ (e.g. Split Belladonna, Sunlit Extraction etc). Body Double are an electronic/synth band from New York. Other albums include Warm Life, Chapter Eleven and The Logic of Chance.

Suffolk Two Step and A Suffolk Tale - Welcome2DloLife: Suffolk Two Step by Welcome2DloLife is taken from the live EP Word to the Village, released in July 2020. Also by the same artist, but issued under the name dlo, is the A Suffolk Tale EP, released in December 2018, in honour of the artist’s grandfather’s 90th birthday. It features three versions of the same song: A Suffolk Tale, A Suffolk Tale Acapella and A Suffolk Tale Instrumental. Welcome2DloLife now resides in Atlanta and was inspired by a trip taken back to his hometown of Suffolk, Virginia.

Suffolk - Roman Lincoln: At one minute seventeen seconds, Suffolk is one of twenty seven short, classical tracks from the album Returning Home, released in May 2020. All tracks were written by Elizabeth June and most revolve around a theme of New York place names (Gowanus Creek, Prospect Park, Queens, Long Island etc).

Nassau-Suffolk - Alejandro Aznavwrian and Guillermo Marquez: Nassau-Suffolk is a four minutes two seconds long piece from the 2020 album Big City Fog by Mexican musicians Alejandro Aznavwrian and Guillermo Marquez. The music on the album is described as ‘Instrumental Psychedelic Rock’.  The fifteen tracks are all named after seemingly random places in America, such as Los Angeles, Long Beach, Chicago, Anaheim etc.  Nassau and Suffolk are, of course, the two easternmost counties on Long Island, New York.

Suffolk Shuffle - Big Top: Taken from the 2020 album Stomping Folk, this two minutes twenty seven seconds track is described as a “fast lively folk romp with playful Celtic fiddle lead & parping bass tuba.” Big Top features Greg McDonald from Suffolk, England, who has previously recorded with the bands Dawn Parade and Glymjack, as well as performing as a solo artist.

Suffolk - Jack Northover: Taken from the June 2021 album Tasman Sea, Suffolk is a song by Suffolk, England born singer-songwriter/composer Jack Northover. The track Suffolk was also released as a single. Jack’s songs draw upon folk, blues and indie rock, and feature a fusion of traditional instrumentation and electronica. He has toured extensively, and as a film composer his work has featured in a number of dramas and documentaries.

Suffolk Coast - The Sound Reserve:  The Sound Reserve, based in Banbury, Oxfordshire, create “Beautiful Music and Incredible Sounds of Nature”.  According to their website they “believe everybody should have access to incredible music to help them sleep, relax and feel better”. They therefore put out sound collages featuring natural sounds accompanied by ambient piano, guitar and electronic music.

Suffolk Coast is one of thirty tracks on the July 2021 released album Orford Ness. Each track is named after a location in Suffolk, England, such as Boyton, Butley Abbey, Friday Street, Melton, Waldringfield, Adastral Park etc.

The soundscapes heard on the album feature the natural sounds of the tidal streams of Orford Ness on the Suffolk coast. These have then been overlaid with relaxing piano music.

Suffolk Jig - Brian Russell:  Brian Russell is a songwriter/recording artist with a bias towards blues and rock guitar. At two minutes twenty two seconds long, Suffolk Jig is the final track from his album Silhouettes, released in July 2021. This is an instrumental album which, according to Brian’s website, has “a bit more techno dance thrown in” than some of his previous work “mixed with the odd blues riff lurking in the background”. His other albums include The Grey Palaces and Done With You.

Attained Suffolk - Eyes Scramble: Attained Suffolk is a track from the instrumental album Dont Be Afraid Of Anyone by the strangely named Eyes Scramble, released in April 2021. Other tracks on the album include Canine UFO, Centennial Sticky and Overlap Courier. No other information available about this band at present.

Suffolk Lo-Fi Beats - Lo-Fi Streamer:  Suffolk Lo-Fi Beats is just one of more than a hundred tracks on the March 2021 album Lo-Fi Beats Streamer Music, Vol. 7 . Each track on this album references a place in the USA beginning with the letters S-W, followed by the suffix “Lo-Fi Beats”, such as Sioux Falls Lo-Fi Beats, Tampa Lo-Fi Beats, Washington Lo-Fi Beats, etc. Other volumes in this series of at least seven other similarly themed albums follow the same pattern with different initial letters.

Suffolk/Nassau - Golden Hymns Sing Hurrah: Golden Hymns Sing Hurrahare described as a post-rock trio from Long Island, New York, comprising  Joseph Melia on drums, Thomas Gallagher on bass and Nicholas DellOrto on guitar, bass, viola, keyboard/synthesizer, drones, mandolin, banjo and percussion. At sixteen minutes, the instrumental Suffolk/ Nassau is the longest track on their 2020 album The Great Dystopian Songbook I: Songs for the Setting & Rising Sun.

Queen of Suffolk County - The Dropkick Murphys: Formed in Quincy, Massachusetts in 1996, Celtic punk band The Dropkick Murphys have become known for their energetic performances, which capture both Celtic pride and the essence of Boston. Queen Of Suffolk County is the second single taken from their tenth album, Turn Up That Dial, released in 2021.  The song was inspired by singer and bassist Ken Caseys youth and women he knew then.

Folk Song from Suffolk - Stella Dickinson, Capital Virtuosi & Paul Hart: Oboist Stella Dickinson MSc ARAM LRAM FRSA trained at the Royal Academy of Music, as a post-graduate at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and at King’s College London. She has won the Harold Craxton Chamber Music Prize along with and many other awards and, has played regularly with the BBC Symphony Orchestra including their Promenade Concerts. She has also been Principal oboist with the Lontano Contemporary Music Ensemble and the Rambert Dance Company.

Folk Song from Suffolk appears on her May 1999 album Loves Lore: 16 Folk Melodies, where her plaintive oboe and cor anglais are augmented by string septet Capital Virtuosi, with arrangements by Paul Hart.

Stella is probably more noted today as Dr Stella Compton-Dickinson and who holds an award-winning PhD for music psychotherapy research.  She is an independent researcher, consultant psychotherapist and accredited clinical supervisor with a private psychotherapy practice in London and an author of several books on the subject of music therapy.  Her recent work has been recognised in the NHS as notable for her in-depth understanding and focus on the cultural needs of ethnic and other minority groups.  Stella has presented developments in music therapy at national and international conferences.   

Kev The Krocodile (who lives on an island in Suffolk) -  Steve Loki Jordan: This electronic instrumental single was released in May 2021. The reptile in question refers to a sculpture of a crocodile which is located on an island in Thorpeness Meare on the Suffolk coast (see sleeve, left).







Suffolk Variations -  Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra, Stanislav Vavřínek & Vladimir Bukač:
From the June 2021 released compilation album Polarities Vol. 2, Suffolk Variations is a nine minutes thirty two seconds long viola concerto composed by Brian Latchem and featuring soloist Vladimír Bukač.

Born in Bath in 1948, Latchem trained to be a music teacher and started his career in Felixstowe. He still lives in Suffolk, hence the reference in this work. He is apparently currently composing a companion piece entitled Suffolk Variations 2 for Cello and Strings.

Polarities Vol. 2 is subtitled Works for Orchestra and Large Ensemble and also includes works by Kamala Sankaram, Mel Mobley and Beth Mehocic, amongst others.

Suffolk Bay - Ariana May:  Released in November 2021, this is a highly nostalgic song about a romance that never happened with a wistful tune against crashing waves.  Presumably the latter is an echo of a Suffolk bay, but we know nothing about the location that may have inspired it, nor of its composer.  This is the debut single of Ariana May, a 16-year old British singer-songwriter whose classical training in piano and singing has given her a deep love of composing and performing.  She has a wide range of influences, and her style incorporates pop, indie, rock and folk music. We are unaware of her background and wonder if she comes from this English county?

Suffolk County - YerrShawty:  Suffolk County  is taken from his album Fasho! released in Aug 2021. YerrShawty seems to be a name used by a Boston, Massachusetts born musician and rapper who also uses the names Glocko Polo and MFO Amook. No other information available about this artist as present.

Julies Got a Summer Home (In Suffolk County, New York) - Twin Pigeons:  Twin Pigeons are an indie folk duo comprising Alessandro Consuelos and Dylan Rex, from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania. Julies Got a Summer Home (In Suffolk County, New York) is an acoustic ballad clocking in at five minutes sixteen seconds, from the EP August Sun, released in Feb 2021. The other two songs on the EP are August Sun and August Moon.

Suffolk - Giacomo Patel:  This is a two minutes long solo piano piece, released in August 2021. No other information available at present.


Albums with “Suffolk” in the Title

Suffolk Sessions - Justin Tracy: Suffolk Sessions is an album by Justin Tracy, which was released in 2003. It features eight songs performed as part of a live radio session recorded in Suffolk, England. Although there are no songs with “Suffolk” in the title, the album also features three short spoken passages taken from the accompanying interview, one of which is called South Folk. Tracy is Suffolk, England born, but is now based in New York. Suffolk Sessions is his second album.

The Suffolk Explosion: The Suffolk Explosion is a 2005 album on the independent Sandwich Leg label, which features 14 tracks by different bands, each of which has at least one member from Suffolk, England within their ranks. Acts include Prego, Brick, Brunswick & Half Cut. The album is the brainchild of Woodbridge born Charlie Simpson (formerly with Busted), who features on this album as a solo artist & with his band Fightstar.   





Suffolk County - Cousin Stizz:  Rapper Cousin Stizz (real name Stephen Goss) is from Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts.  The 13 track Suffolk County is his first album, released in June 2015. Songs include Ain’t Really Much; Bonds; Shoutout; Jordan Fade and Real Life.


Suffolk House - Vol 1-3: A series of three house/techno/breakbeat albums, released in March, May and December 2018 respectively on the Suffolk House label. This trio consists of various artists’ tracks created by a group of classmates at West Suffolk College in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England, and compiled by Larry R. The tracks were originally intended for a live event titled “Tombola”.  Artists include SpaceCatGoesMeow, Rousehouse, GMS-J, Dour, Indefinity, TwoSpeechLess and DLK. The second record in the series is entitled Now that’s what I call Suffolk House Vol 2.


Sounds of Suffolk - Eboracum Baroque & Chris Parsons: Subtitled Music from the 18th Century, this classical album was released in November 2018.  When conductor and trumpeter Chris Parsons was studying music at the University of York in 2012, he formed an ensemble of young professional singers and instrumentalists which was named Eboracum Baroque (‘Eboracum’ is the  Roman name of present-day York; ‘Baroque’ is the style of music and other artistic pursuits that flourished in the 17th and early 18th centuries).  This ensemble performs everything from chamber music, orchestral music and opera throughout different periods.  They specialise in the performance of Baroque music in a historical style and on period instruments, and have performed widely in the UK and Europe under the direction of Chris Parsons.

The Sounds of Suffolk is the ensemble’s second album, and includes violin sonatas by Joseph Gibbs and music from Ickworth House in Suffolk.  Joseph Gibbs was born in Dedham a village in Essex on the border with Suffolk.  He was a noted composer who lived in Ipswich and was the organist at the church of St Mary-le-Tower for forty years.  The album also contains music by Giovanni Bononcini (1670-1747), Gottfried Finger (1655-1730) and Charles Dieupart (1667-1740), all composers with some link to Suffolk, although this link may be somewhat tenuous.

Chris Parsons lives just outside Ely in Cambridgeshire.  He is passionate about community music and directs a number of community based ensembles in and around Suffolk e.g. Bury St Edmunds Friendly Orchestra, Thetford Singers, and Newmarket Chamber Orchestra.  In September 2022 he won the ‘Best Music Director’ Award.


Over the years, several albums have been brought out recording for posterity the old folk songs traditionally sung in Suffolk, England. Many of these are ‘field recordings’, taken from performances in pubs, church halls or the performer’s home.

One of the oldest of these records is Songs from Suffolk by Bob Hart, which was recorded at Snape in July 1972. It was released on Topic Records. Bob Hart was born in 1892 at Sotherton, near the east coast town of Southwold in Suffolk.  He settled at Snape, close to Aldeburgh, and his repertoire of traditional folk-songs, many learnt from the east coast ports of England and Scotland whilst he was working on the trawlers, kept visitors to the Aldeburgh Festival of Music enthralled.  They would visit his favourite local pubs to hear him sing, although he avoided singing songs with risqué verses on a Sunday!  He died in January 1978.


More recently, the Veteran Label have issued a series of recordings on CD featuring Suffolk residents singing or playing traditional folk songs/tunes. These include: 

Comic Songs Sung in Suffolk: Comic Songs, Music Hall Songs & Parodies

Songs Sung in Suffolk: Popular Folk Songs, Old Songs & Ballads

Many a Good Horseman: Traditional music making from Mid-Suffolk recorded 1958-1993

Top of Page

The Suffolk Punch - A Poem by Henry Birtles

Published in April 2014, The Suffolk Punch is a poem by Henry Birtles. Also known as The Racing Poet, Birtles runs Henry Birtles Associates, a media consultancy specialising in television rights for horse racing. He has been commissioned many times by jockey clubs and race horse owners, & he has recited his poems to the crowds on Cheltenham Gold Cup Day. Although his poetry is primarily concerned with horse racing, he has also written about other sports, such as the Ashes (cricket) & the 2012 London Olympics. Away from sport, he has also written The Harvest, which was commissioned by Love British Food & was read by actor Damian Lewis in Westminster Abbey at the Harvest Festival Service held on 16th October 2013.

The Suffolk Punch was written at the request of HRH the Princess Royal, to highlight the plight of the Suffolk Punch horse, which is now an endangered species (see Suffolk Punch page). It is reproduced below with the kind permission of the author.

For more of Henry’s poetry, go to

The Suffolk Punch

I may not have a Tiger’s stripe, a Panda’s eye, a Rhino’s Charge
Or pull on distant heartstrings when the hat goes round for helping hands
I may not gently fill your screens with longing looks from Nature’s deep
Where Children see a doleful gaze and into pillows sadly weep
But once upon a time long gone, I had a place high in this land
Where in your line, or by your side we formed a team of Horse and Man
And with your kin come rain or shine, we ground it out and fed your folk
Upon my back I bore the brunt, I heaved on plough and carried hope
I may not have a Tiger’s Stripe, a Leopard’s spots, an Aardvark’s snout
Or reach beyond my field, my home like others from a far flung shore
To some I’m just a tired old horse with nothing much to fuss about
A throwback to an age that’s passed, who fades behind a stable door
But if you look beyond my looks, my Chesnut hide and kindly eye
You’ll find a trust that failed you not, you’ll find an air of do or die
A Gentle Giant of honest stock, you’ll see a beast who’s just as rare
As all those creatures with appeal; without the history that we share
I may not have a Tiger’s stripe, a Bobcat’s tail, A Condor’s span
Or conjure up exotic yarns from Jungles, mountains, rivers, plains
I may not be a poster boy on City streets for Ad Campaigns
But I am proud and I am strong and I am yours from days since gone
I am a Heavy Horse of old, a stalwart, worker, humble friend
Our story’s one that should be told, a story now that shouldn’t end
This is my plight, take up my cause; with providence enact my plea
I am the Suffolk Punch you see, please do your very best for me 

Top of Page

Suffolk & Rain - Rock Band from Buffalo, NY

Suffolk & Rain were an indie rock/experimental band from Buffalo, New York, who formed in 2010. The band claimed an eclectic mix of influences, such as The Beatles, Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, Radiohead & Bjork.  

Suffolk & Rains original line-up was:

Jennifer Rivera - Vocals, percussion, acoustic guitar & keyboards
Bob Besant - Guitar
Seth Sim - Bass, keyboards, guitar, electronics & backing vocals
Dan Shultz - Drums, percussion, guitar, keyboards & backing vocals

Their eponymous five track debut EP (see cover, right) was released in January 2011, featuring the songs Whiskey Moods,Late At night,Dixie Town,Happiness & Days Waitin’

Seth Sim left in 2012 and the band continued as a trio. Their first album, The Change, was released in December 2013. It features nine tracks including Lock Me Away, Seconds on the Sun, Music at the End of the World & The Top.

Since 2014 nothing has been heard of Suffolk & Rain, and it is assumed that they have now split up. 

There is of course a Suffolk County in the state of New York, from which the band could have taken its name. However, the city of Buffalo, where the band come from, is around 400 miles away by road on the other side of the state, so why the name “Suffolk” was chosen is a mystery at present.

Top of Page

Suffolk Punch - Late 1970s Country Band


The country band Suffolk Punch were formed in 1978, in Suffolk, England. With the initial line-up of Isabel Gorsuch on guitar & vocals, David Andrews on accordion & vocals, Bernie Dolmen on bass guitar & Mike Coe on drums, their first album, Travellin’ Light, appeared on the SRT label in 1978.

The following year saw the release of a second album entitled Bartender Blues. By this time they were a trio, Andrews & Dolmen having left the group to be replaced by Lindsey Balls on bass & vocals. A third album, Baby, Ride Easy appeared in 1981. Like their debut, both subsequent albums were issued on SRT.

As far as I am aware, this is Suffolk Punch’s total recorded output. The albums do not appear to have ever been re-released & are not available on CD.

Top of Page

Suffolk Saint - Singer/Rapper from Boston, MA

Suffolk Saint (real name Regy Pierre Saintil), is a singer/rapper from Boston, Massachusetts also known as Skyscrapur”, “Scrapur” or “Re90ssance. His UPrising Mixtape EP (2013), featuring six tracks - Restarted; Uprising; She Got My Name; New Beginnings; Can’t Get Enough & Get ’em Hard - is available to download (free) from his Facebook page, as well as from other sources.

Top of Page

Haarlem Suffolk - Rock/Pop Band from Caen, France

Formed in 2014 and based in Caen, France, Haarlem Suffolk are a five piece indie/alternate rock/pop band. The band’s line up is: Bastien Boulais (Vocals), François Le Gall (Guitar), Emmanuel Piquery (Keyboards), Olivier Mette (Bass), Pascal Vigier (Drums).  The band write their own material and all the lyrics are in English.

To date, we have found no reason why the band has adopted this name.

As at late 2015, there are three unmastered demo recordings available on the band’s Facebook page: The Unspoken, Coming Soon and The West/The Quest. There are also three performances to view on YouTube, recorded live @ Le Bocal. The songs being Haiku, Too Many Troubles and Shabby Work.

Top of Page

Suffolkation/Suffolkated in the Names of Bands, Songs and Albums

As we note in the piece on the word Suffolkation in the Literature section, below, the word “Suffolkation” or “Suffolkated” has been around for a long time, and is generally used in a negative sense.

However, in the twenty first century, the words have been taken up by various people in the music business, either as the name of a group, an album or a song/piece of music. Many, but not all, of the artists involved are in the hip hop or rap genre, and come from one or other of the American Suffolks. Listed below are the details that we have been able to find, although in some instances specific details are hard to come by:

Suffolkation is the name of a band from Chicago, USA. Their cover version of the 1986 Candi Staton song You Got The Love, (later covered by, among others, Joss Stone and Florence and the Machine), dates from around 2013 and can be found on SoundCloud. No other information is available about this band at present.

Suffolkation Productions are based in the City of Suffolk, Virginia. The main character behind this organisation is Kanine Tha Rook (real name Kyra George), born in Oakland, California but now a resident of Suffolk.  Three hip hop mix tapes have been released: Suffolkation Vol 1 - Out Tha Cage by Kanine Tha Rook; Suffolkation Vol 2 - Love, Life and Lyrics by Steve Rich;  and Suffolkation Vol 3 - South Paw which is a collaboration between the two. There are also three tracks that are attributed as being copyrighted to Suffolkation Productions, available through SoundClick. These are Stupid Dumb Deep wHook ft. Steve Rich,  Fan Mail wHook ft Steve Rich, and True Hip Hop, all of which date from 2010.   


Just to confuse matters, another hip hop mixtape called Suffolkation Vol 1 also exists, attributed to Dino Spimoni & J-Ros (also sometimes billed as J-Ros & Dino Spimoni). Two tracks from this can be found on YouTube:- Like a Star and We Got Dat Fire. Apart from the fact that they come from Suffolk County, Long Island, New York, very little information is currently available about the creators of this tape.

Suburban Zombie are a punk/power pop band from Lake Grove, a village in the town of Brookhaven, Suffolk County, New York. Their song Suffolkated features on the 2016 album Where The Sun Doesnt Touch. The band on this recording consists of Daniel Labbato on vocals, guitar and drums, Andrew Sugarrr Lichtenstein on bass, Bryan Butters May on guitar and Nate Ramsey on vocals.

Another song named Suffolkated is featured on the 2013 debut album The Bunty Man by the death metal/grindcore band Necrogrinder. Formed in 2008, Necrogrinder are from Sheffield, England, and consists of bassist Lee Foster, Guitarists Matt Muir and Ben Foster, and vocalist Sam Williams. Why the song has been so named remains a mystery, as the lyrics are basically unintelligible.  

From Suffolk County, New York, The Anthill describe themselves as “a hip-hop based (not bound) collective.” The core members are listed as KB/Bernie Brown, Kampin Kyle, Jibberish Jeff, Scuba Steve, and Marv/Titan Time, although “Anyone who has musical or vocal talent is welcome to take part.”  Their album Suffolkation was released in June 2014 and features 14 tracks including Am I A Mural, The Howling Appeal, and Modern Meltdown.



See Listers are a hip hop trio from Suffolk, Virginia, which consists of Ray Major, Pappa Grande, and Prime Minister. The song Suffolkation came out in 20
14. This, along with many other of their songs, can be found on SoundCloud.

59’s Finest are a hip hop duo based in Ronkonkoma in the town of Islip in Suffolk County, New York. Formed in 2004, the group is made up of individuals calling themselves Universal and Mastermind. The ‘59’ in the name of the group is taken from “the exit off the expressway where we live”. An album entitled Suffolkation has been rumoured, although whether this has been released, or is still in the pipeline, is at present unknown.

Another hip hop crew from Suffolk County, Long Island, New York are Renegade, also known as Renegade Family or Renegade Fam. Originally formed in 2002 by Harvey Dent aka 2 Face and Da Genius aka Dezi Da Don, after splitting up for a few years they reformed in 2006 and recorded their first mixtape (album) entitled 08 The Takeover in 2008. In 2014 they produced the 10 track mixtape Suffolkation, with a line-up featuring Dezi, Harvey Dent, Complex, Reb, Smith and Tank Marly. Their gigs are sometimes billed as the “Suffolkation Showcase Series”.



Suffolkation City is an instrumental track by Tex Railer’s Doomtown and can be found on  their debut album The Battle of Bunker Hillbilly released in June 2011. Tex Railers Doomtown is described as “a high octane national touring act, delivering you the rowdiest blend of Psycho-Americana, Surf Punk, and Heavy Honky-Tonkin Rock n Roll ever to poison your local watering hole.”  Formed in 2008, the band hails from Albany, the state capital of New York. The line-up on the album is Sean Secor on guitars and vocals, Mike Allen on upright bass and Pat Fazio on drums.

Described as Pioneers of Fenland Country Rock, or ‘Crockery’, musical/comedy trio Chuck Cash & the Fenland Cowboys are from Newmarket in Suffolk, England. In May 2010 they released the song Suffolkation, about a man who is shunned by his family and becomes a Suffolk outcast because he moves in with a woman from Norfolk, or a Norfolk ‘broad’. It is said to be the true life event of Chuck Cash, the band’s frontman. A video to accompany the song can be found on YouTube.

The band has been going since 1991, originally as Chuck Cash, Rooster & Silver. Their real names are Ian Bedford (Chuck Cash), Neil Taylor and Brian Tolworthy, all local lads of Newmarket.  Probably the band’s nearest brush with mass recognition came when they were thrown off stage by Simon Cowell during an audition for ITV’s “Britain’s Got Talent” in 2008 without being able to finish their performance.  Simon Cowell said that “they were the worst kind of act ever”.  The riposte by Chuck was that “the judges didn’t understand their Fenland humour.”  On the premise that there is no such thing as “bad publicity” the Cowboys have since gone on to perform regularly at fringe festival events.

A musical with songs about the Fen Tiger has been made. Suffolkation tells the story of a group of locals and tourists who lock themselves in the village pub after discovering streets lined with mutilated sheep and hearing lots of strange incidents going on.  While inside, the group tries to work out who is behind the violence – could it be the work of the Fen Tiger?  

For the uninitiated, the “Fen Tiger” is a large black cat that has been regularly sighted since 1982.  These creatures are larger than the normal domestic cat and have been described as “panthers” or “pumas”.   The theory is that they have escaped from private zoos and are breeding in the wild fenlands of East Anglia.  There have been several instances of sheep being killed and half-eaten by some creature that must be sizeable to commit such an act. 

The musical was written in 2019 by Newmarket playwright and comedian Ian Bedford, with the songs taken from the expansive repertoire of his own country stage act Chuck Cash and the Fenland Cowboys.


Ryan Conroy is a multi-instrumentalist originally from Suffolk, Virginia, but now living in Louisville, Kentucky. He has been a professional musician since 1985. The jazz instrumental Suffolkating, dates from 2005 and can be found on SoundCloud.


Suffolkating is also the title of a single by North Londoner rapper Hurricane Hunt, released in August 2018 on the Branded Development label. It features Avelino and is taken from the mix tape Hurricane Season. The track contains the lyric “We’re from Suffolk where we’re Suffolkating”, although the reason for this Suffolk reference remains unclear at present. Hurricane Hunt is also known as Hurri and The C.O.A.T. (the latter stands for “The Coldest Of All Time”). Hurricane and Avelino both grew up together on a rough estate in Tottenham, North London, Hurricane of Jamaican descent and Avelino of Congolese and Angolan descent.  Achi Avelino was first noted as a rapper under the name AA (from his initials) in 2012 when he was nineteen. Hurricane Hunt (real name unknown to us) first comes to attention as a rapper in September 2013 when he performed with Avelino in a music video Right Now on U-Tube. Further music videos on U-Tube were made by Hurricane himself in 2014 (I Got It and Throwback Freestyle), and he also made guest appearances with the British rapper Wretch 32 on individual songs on Album releases in 2014 and 2016. Hurrican Hunt’s first release was I Don’t Pretend in July 2016 on GRM Daily, a British urban music outlet that is the platform for UK rap and its various genres. He released Covid Test in August 2022 on the Branded Development label.

Top of Page

Suffolk Song Cycle & Other Poems – Jini Fiennes (1938-1993)

Jennifer Anne Mary Alleyne Lash was an English novelist and painter.  She also sometimes used her nickname and married name which was Jini Fiennes which is the case with the Suffolk Song Cycle.  Jennifer Lash was born in Sussex, England in 1938.  In the mid-1950s, she met the lyric poet and gallery owner Iris Birtwistle.  Shortly afterwards, when Birtwistle moved to Walberswick in Suffolk, Lash went with her and, encouraged by Birtwistle, began work on her first much-acclaimed novel, The Burial, which was published when she was only 22.  Birtwistle renamed Jennifer “Jini” and introduced her to her future husband Mark Fiennes, whom she married in 1962, the year in which her second book The Climate of Belief was published.  Lash was also regarded as one of the most promising young artists in England at the time.

The Suffolk Song Cycle is a sequence of 13 poems (“songs”) written shortly after this when Jini lived as a young farmer’s wife and mother in the Suffolk countryside.  She had come from an unhappy childhood in Sussex and found in the wild coast and landscape of Suffolk an intense sense of freedom, liberation and happiness.  The Suffolk Song Cycle was released in 1995 after a public recitation at the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival of that year.  Although some of the poems are definitely about places in the county such as Aldeburgh and Blythburgh Church, there is unquestionably an atmosphere that brings the feel of the ploughed earth, shingle shores, sea and sky.  We have selected the Tenth Song as it expresses her feelings as motherhood approaches:

To be taken into heart is huge
I am standing where we have often stood
I am past church field and this side of wood
I am where corn has grown and has been gathered
I am beside those shining sides of earth, plough breasts
Bare open, and crack cold into Christmas time
I am alone wandering with this weight which stirs
And is the herdsman’s child
There are many times and many couplings,
But every infant rides his own time out
And is alone, even before his proper calling
His rights already are within me now
They spread to sky, they stare to sea
They make me cry and make it memory.

She died in 1993, aged 55, leaving behind a substantial body of paintings, poems and novels, but it is also part of her legacy that she was mother to such a talented family.  Jennifer Lash had married into a branch of the notable Fiennes family, related to royalty, and all bearing the actual surname of Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes (although they are just as famous being called Fiennes).  There were seven children of the marriage (in order of age): Ralph Fiennes (born in Ipswich, Suffolk), an actor, film producer and director, probably best known for his role as Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter film series.  Martha Fiennes, a film director, and Magnus Fiennes, a composer, both born in Suffolk; Sophie Fiennes, another film director; Jacob Fiennes, a notable conservationist; Joseph Fiennes, another actor, and foster son, Michael Emery, an archaeologist.  (And Jini still had time for her paintings, poems and novels!)  Oh, we nearly forgot.  And, of course, there is their cousin, the third baronet, better known as Sir Ranulph Fiennes, a British explorer and holder of several endurance records; been to both the North and South Poles by surface means and the first to completely cross Antarctica on foot.  In May 2009, at the age of 65, he climbed to the summit of Mount Everest.  It goes without saying that he is also a notable writer and poet.

Top of Page

Suffolk Method Ringing Compositions (Bellringing)

The background, development and meaning of the names that follow are provided more fully in the Ipswich Method Ringing Compositions (Bellringing) entry on the Ips Misc. page of

There are four compositions that follow the Suffolk Method in Bellringing.  The titles are:

Suffolk Surprise Major (8 bells) first peal on tower bells on 19 April 1921 at Leiston, East Suffolk.

Suffolk Place Doubles (5 bells) first reported in 1969.

Reverse Suffolk Place Doubles (5 bells) first peal on handbells by Southampton University on 10 November 1973 at Southampton.

Suffolk Delight Minor (6 bells) first reported in 2013.

Top of Page

Suffolk House Bed & Breakfast, Alberta, Canada

Suffolk House Bed & Breakfast was situated at Sherwood Park, Strathcona County, Alberta, Canada, located around 20 miles east of Edmonton, on the shores of Antler Lake. 

Suffolk House was owned by Sheila and Alan Smyth, both originally from Hadleigh in Suffolk, England, who immigrated to Canada in 1980. They bought the land on which the house now stands in 1999 and established a Bed & Breakfast business that operated from January 2001 until 2013. It had 3 guest bedrooms, as well as facilities for small meetings & weddings. Suffolk House offered panoramic views over Antler Lake, which is a centre for hiking, canoeing,  golf & winter sports. The couple retired that year and sold the property to a family who were not interested in keeping it as a Bed & Breakfast place, and have also changed its name.

Top of Page

Suffolk in the Names of Public Houses, Bars & Inns

Our research into this topic has (so far) shown that there have been 70 establishments that included the name “Suffolk” in their title; 14 still exist with the name*; 7 exist with a different name; 49 sadly no longer exist.  The names and locations of these establishments follow:


*  including Suffolk House/O’Donoghue’s of Suffolk Street in Dublin which is a special case; refer below to the article on this establishment.



                                                                                                                       Old Suffolk Punch, 80 Fulham Palace Road. Hammersmith

Still existing:-
Bar Le Suffolk                         Clermont-Ferrand, France (see below)
County of Suffolk                   Ipswich, Suffolk.                                                 Formerly called The County & 29 Bar & Grill (see below)
East Suffolk Tavern               Great Yarmouth, Norfolk   (see below)           Closed in 2016, up for sale as a pub.
Olde Suffolk Ale House         Ironwood, Michigan, USA on South Suffolk Street
Suffolk Arms                            Cheltenham, Gloucestershire                          on Suffolk Road
Suffolk Inn                               Belfast, Northern Ireland                                on Suffolk Road   (see below)
Super 8 by Wyndham Suffolk Tidewater    North Main Street, Suffolk, Virginia, USA   (formerly Suffolk Inn Motel) (see below)
Suffolk Park Pub                     Suffolk Park, NSW, Australia                          (part of The Park Hotel Motel; formerly Suffolk Park Motel/Hotel)
Suffolk Punch                          Leiston Road, Haverhill, Suffolk                   Closed in 2021, to be sold as a pub or community centre.
The Suffolk Hotel                    High Street,  Haverhill, Suffolk
Suffolk Punch                          Ipswich, Suffolk  (see below)
The Suffolk Punch                  Charlotte, North Carolina 28203 (see below)
Suffolk House/O’Donoghue’s of Suffolk Street     Dublin, Republic of Ireland    (formerly Thing Mote - see below)
The Suffolk                                Aldeburgh, Suffolk  (formerly East Suffolk Hotel – see below)


Existing with a different name –

Old Suffolk Punch              London. Fulham Palace Road, Hammersmith W6 9PL              To be called The Rifle (see below).
Suffolk Poacher                   Wangford, Suffolk                                Now called The Angel Inn    (see below)
Suffolk Tavern                    Gorleston, Norfolk (in Pier Plain)    Now called New Entertainer (see below)
Suffolk Grange Hotel         Ipswich, Suffolk                                    Changed name to The Courtyard, before becoming Holiday Inn, Ipswich-Orwell
Suffolk Golf & Spa Hotel   Fornham St Genevieve, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk                Now All Saints Hotel   (see below)
Suffolk Arms/Hotel/Tavern   Ponsonby, Auckland, New Zealand   Originally the Suffolk Arms, before becoming the Suffolk Hotel. Became the
                                                                                                                          Cavalier Tavern in 1990 and The Cav from 2014 (see below)
Suffolk Inn                          Holland Road, Suffolk, Virginia, USA     Now called the Quality Inn & Suites Hotel

No longer existing as a House of Refreshment -

Duke of Suffolk                   London (Poplar)                           on Suffolk Street
Duke of Suffolk                   London (Rotherhithe)                (see London Suffolks page, under Other Suffolks)
Duke of Suffolk                   London (Walworth)
Duke of Suffolk                   Ramsgate, Kent
Old Suffolk Punch              London (Finsbury)
Suffolk Arms                        Brinkworth, Wiltshire
Suffolk Arms                        Gloucester, Gloucestershire        on Suffolk Street                                                                                                                            Suffolk Arms                        London (Bloomsbury)
Suffolk Arms                        London (Islington)
Suffolk Arms                        London (Old Kent Road, Peckham)
Suffolk Arms                        London (Shoreditch)
Suffolk Arms                        London (Bethnal Green)
Suffolk Arms                        Malmesbury, Wiltshire
Suffolk Arms                        Norwich, Norfolk (in Market Place)
Suffolk Arms                        Norwich, Norfolk (in St Martin at Oak)
Suffolk Arms                        Portsmouth, Hampshire  (see below)
Suffolk Arms                        Winchester, Hampshire
Suffolk Arms                        Grahamstown, South Africa (see below)
Suffolk Arms                        New York, New York State, USA                        at 296 East Houston Street (see below)
Suffolk Barn                        Wattisfield, Suffolk
Suffolk Brewery                   London (Whitechapel)       on corner of Suffolk Street
Suffolk Ferry                        Zeebrugge, Belgium           
Suffolk Fishery                   Lowestoft, Suffolk
Suffolk Fishery Tavern    Great Yarmouth, Norfolk
Suffolk Hall Hotel             Edinburgh, Scotland            (see East Suffolk Road & East Suffolk Park, Edinburgh, below)
Suffolk Hotel                       Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk (see below)
Suffolk Hotel                       Cambridge, Cambridgeshire
Suffolk Hotel                       Lowestoft, Suffolk                 (see Suffolk Hotel,Houses and Road, Lowestoft, below.)
Suffolk Hotel                       Sheffield, Yorkshire          
Suffolk Hotel                       Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Suffolk Hotel                       Collingwood, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Suffolk Hotel                       Suffolk, Montana, USA (see Suffolk, Fergus County, Montana, USA)
Suffolk House Bar              Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, USA    on Suffolk Road
Suffolk Hunt                       Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
Suffolk Inn                          Beccles, Suffolk
Suffolk Inn/The Suffolk  Adelaide, South Australia (see below)                                                                                                                                                 Suffolk Punch                     Borehamwood, Hertfordshire
Suffolk Punch                      Lowestoft, Suffolk
Suffolk Punch                      Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire (closed 2015; demolished 2018.  Now Suffolk Punch Close)
The Suffolk Punch              Red Lodge Village, nr Bury St Edmunds , Suffolk  IP28 8GS   (became Samara Services.  Now demolished.)
Suffolk Shades                    Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk  (see below)
Suffolk Tap                          Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk  (see below)
Suffolk Tavern                    Great Yarmouth, Norfolk  (in Tolhouse Street)
Suffolk Tavern                   Main Street, Huntington, Patchogue, Suffolk County, NY 11743      (see below)
Ipswich & Suffolk               Ipswich, Suffolk
Suffolk Artillery Arms     Ipswich, Suffolk
Suffolk Hotel                       Westgate Street, Ipswich, Suffolk
The Suffolk                          (also known as The Suffolk Hotel) Commercial Road, Ipswich, Suffolk
Suffolk Bar (The Suffolk)  New York, New York State, USA          on Suffolk Street   (see below)


By location it can be seen that 23 are in Suffolk itself, 7 in counties adjacent to Suffolk, 11 in London, 4 in the West Country near to the home of the Earl of Suffolk, 5 elsewhere in southern England, and 1 in Sheffield on land owned by the Duke of Norfolk, a relative of the Earls of Suffolk.  Most of the pubs outside England are to be found in places associated with Suffolk in some way.  It is clear that pubs and inns in Suffolk, or close to its borders, would have a reason to use the name.  The three pubs on the land of the Earl of Suffolk bore the obvious Suffolk Arms (see Places Associated with the Noble Houses of Suffolk, below).  In some other cases it can be seen that the name derives from a street, road or place named Suffolk.  However, many have no connection with Suffolk whatsoever, although it was noted that there was often an association with other pubs that had been given similar thematic names, (e.g. Suffolk Arms, Norfolk Arms, Sussex Arms, and Berkshire Arms all belonging to the same brewery).  Historically, Suffolk Arms was the more popular name adopted, 16 of the 66 having this name.  Only one pub, in Cheltenham, now retains this name.  The preference today seems to be for Suffolk Punch or Old Suffolk Punch, but only 3 of the total 9 still remain open; it was also notable that this was a name favoured by the newer, modern establishments.

There may be more pubs and bars outside England bearing the name Suffolk than the 20 that we have found.  In the USA, Suffolk Bar in New York was on Suffolk Street, Olde Suffolk Ale House in Ironwood, Michigan is on South Suffolk Street, Suffolk House Bar in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware was on Suffolk Road, & maybe predictably, in Suffolk,Virginia there was a Suffolk Inn, now renamed, but there is still a Super 8 by Wyndham Suffolk Tidewater hotel (formerly Suffolk Inn Motel).  From 1 June 2018 the former Suffolk Inn Motel, now owned by an international hotel and resort chain had the words “by Wyndham” added to its name.  This is to emphasise its ultimate ownership by  Wyndham Destinations, Inc.  This organisation was founded by Trammel Crow (1914-2009) in 1981 in Dallas, Texas, who adopted the brand name from a lady called Wyndham Roberts who had written a profile of the founder for the Fortune magazine.

For a short period there were two bars with the Suffolk name within a couple of blocks of each other in Manhattan, New York City.  The earliest was The Suffolk located at 107 Suffolk Street in the heart of the Lower East Side neighborhood.  This was a bar operating within The Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural and Educational Center, a not-for-profit Puerto Rican/Latino cultural arts institution consisting of several performing and visual arts spaces, three rehearsal studios and more than 40 artists’ workshops.  The Suffolk was originally approved for a beer and wine licence in March 2003, with the understanding that it would function primarily as a café, and serve wine and beer as an amenity to the performances and productions occurring within the cultural centre.  Over time The Suffolk became an institution in its own right with its own live performances and a reputation for its burlesque show at the back of the bar.  A meeting place for independent artists of Film, Theatre, Dance, Music, Fashion and Visual Arts. Sadly, the Covid-19 Pandemic put paid to the bar being able to continue during the lockdowns and it has now permanently closed its doors.

Recently, in February 20
15, a new cocktail bar named the Suffolk Arms was opened at 296 East Houston Street, located on the border of East Village and Lower East Side neighborhoods.  It was adjacent to Suffolk Street, hence its name (see photo, left).  It soon became a popular hostelry and was described as an “English pub exterior with a distinct New York feel inside”.  Its popularity had much to do with its cocktail maestro Giuseppe González who is highly regarded in the industry.  (See also Duke of Suffolk Cocktail in Drink section, below).  However, in April 2019 the Suffolk Arms was suddenly closed because of a dispute between the bartender and the owner.  It appears that although González has made a name for himself in the cocktail world because of his unique ability to make excellent drinks, he also has a knack of falling out with every partner he has had.  Or as it has been quoted in the press: “his career up to this point has been defined by and to piss off basically everyone he works with”.

As would be expected, there was a Suffolk Hotel taking its name from that county in Massachusetts.   Suffolk House existed as a boarding house on Elm Street, Boston, in 1821 when it is advertised in the newspapers. The Suffolk Hotel Company was incorporated in March 1826, and the Suffolk House & Hotel is recorded under public houses & hotels in Bowens Picture of Boston, 1838.  It is also recorded as a stage-coach stop.  After that we can find nothing else about it except that the company was officially dissolved by statute in April 1932 because it no longer existed.  This sounds as if the Suffolk (House) Hotel had long been closed down, possibly well before 1900.

Also to be expected is the Suffolk Tavern taking its name from that county in New York State.  This was located on Main Street, Huntington, Patchogue.  It is notable for having a photograph taken of it half covered by snow in the Great Blizzard of 1888 (this can be seen on the Internet under the “Suffolk County Historical Society Photo of the Week” – they hold the copyright).  In March 1888 a storm raged over Northeast America for 72 hours bringing 5 feet of snow with drifts of up to 15 feet.  Over 400 people lost their lives.  Long Island was one of the worst affected and people were unable to reach their homes.  The police ordered saloons, such as the Suffolk Tavern, to stay open all night to shelter stranded men, women and children.

Another one that was still around in 1950 but went the same way as the town where it was located was the Suffolk Hotel in Suffolk, Montana. 

And one in the United States that is not named because it is in a place or on a road named Suffolk.  This is “The Suffolk Punch” in Griffith Street, Charlotte, North Carolina.  This opened in July 2017 and is part of Hyde Brewing.  This brings together under one roof within an 8,000 square foot facility a brewery, a central bar with 48 taps, a coffee bar counter and a restaurant, with a wide open viewing area displaying the brewery operation.  The coffee counter operates as early as 6:30am to accommodate morning commuters.  In the afternoons and evenings, the bar’s focus shifts from coffee to beer and cocktails, and in the evenings there is the culinary experience of the restaurant.  The establishment specialises in craft beers, many of which are English-style beers.  Dan Hyde had been brewing beer in tiny batches in his garage for some years with his son-in-law, when it was realised that Dan’s home brews were on a par with nationally recognised brands.  The pair explored ways to get this beer out in volume and came up with this idea of a new kind of brewery that embraced other aspects of the refreshment industry.  They acquired the site in 2015 and opened in 2017.  Dan named this new venture “Suffolk Punch” after the horses that were used in the barley fields in the county of Suffolk, England, where Dan Hyde was born before coming to America with his family when he was six years old. 

As the Suffolk Punch reputation for its culinary restaurant and quality craft beer continued to spread far and wide, a decision was made to consolidate the brands of Hyde Brewing under a more familiar name.  Hence, in November 2018, Hyde Brewing Company became Suffolk Punch Brewing.  The company will be distributing its products throughout the state of North Carolina and eventually further afield under this iconic name. 


Suffolk Park Pub is (predictably) in Suffolk Park, New South Wales, Australia (as is the non-alcoholic Bite Suffolk, a fast food & take-away outlet in the same place), whilst Suffolk Inn on Suffolk Road is the main focal point of the community of Suffolk in Belfast, Northern Ireland.  Suffolk Hall Hotel in Edinburgh, Scotland was associated with Suffolk Road and St Margaret’s School (see East Suffolk Road & East Suffolk Park, Edinburgh, below).

In Belgium the port of Zeebrugge had the Suffolk Ferry bar. This was named after the train ferry boat of the same name that ran between Harwich and Zeebrugge from 1951 to 1980.  The bar itself was closed in 2009.

In Clermont-Ferrand in France, Bar le Suffolk dates back to 1993.  This was owned by M. Robert Prunieres who also owned another establishment in Clermont-Ferrand acquired in 2003 which he named Las Vegas.  That a Frenchman should name two of his properties after foreign locations is easily explained.  He worked in the catering/restaurant trade in Las Vegas for a time and then in Suffolk, England, before returning to France to set up his own business.  Both establishments were bars and “la restauration de type rapide” (fast-food restaurants).  Robert Prunieres passed away in 2015, but the Bar le Suffolk is still operating under this name in 2018.  


The Suffolk Hotel (also given as Suffolk Tavern in some sources) in Ponsonby, an inner-city suburb of Auckland, New Zealand, dates from 1865 (see photo, right). Originally called the Suffolk Arms Hotel, it became the Suffolk Hotel before 1900. It appears that the name, given in April 1865, derives from the 12th (East Suffolk) Regiment of Foot being stationed in North Island from October 1863 to May 1867 whilst suppressing the Maori uprising at Taranaki.  General Headquarters were at Auckland, and the Suffolks were very popular with the colonial settlers at that time. It was in the Suffolk Hotel, in April 1910, that the Auckland Provincial Rugby League was formed. In 1990, the Suffolk became the Cavalier Tavern until 2014 when it shortened its name to The Cav.

The Suffolk Arms in Cross Street, Grahamstown, South Africa, existed for a short period in the early 1900s.  It was probably named in recognition of the Suffolk Regiment’s assault on the Boer positions on the hill above Colesberg in 1900 (see Suffolk Hill, South Africa page).  Grahamstown had long been a garrison town in South Africa.

The Suffolk Hotel in Collingwood, a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, in Australia, existed from 1865 to 1908.  The Rate Books describe it as “a stone hotel of 7 to 8 rooms built in 1865”.  It was located on the north side of Stanley Street between Wellington and Smith Streets, opposite to Cambridge Street.  It is known that Bridget Page held the licence until 1867.  She had been in Victoria since 1841 and came from Ireland.  The records just say that it was common at this date to give hotels and bars names that reflected the “home country”.  The place was closed in 1908 during a period when the authorities were refusing to renew licences in order to curb lawlessness brought on by the consumption of alcohol.  The hotel was later demolished. 

The Suffolk Inn in Adelaide, South Australia, was the first name for the later prestigious Oriental Hotel on Rundle Street.  This street was one of the earliest thoroughfares in the city and a centre for shopping and entertainment.  Rundle Street is still part of the nightlife of Adelaide.  A public house existed from March 1840 on the south side of Rundle Street on the corner with Gawler Place, named the Suffolk Inn.  From 1842 to 1843 it was renamed the Saracen’s Head, and from 1843 to 1846 it was The Suffolk.  In 1847 it adopted the name Hamburg Hotel  by which name it became famous for its luxurious décor, and a gathering place for the notables of the day (see photo, left, dating from 1864). In 1915 the name was changed to the Oriental Hotel because of anti-German sentiment at the time.  It closed down in December 1966.  The name “Suffolk” was given in commemoration of Colonel William Light (1786-1839) who had recently died in Adelaide.  Col. Light was a British military officer and the first Surveyor-General of the Colony of South Australia. He is famous for choosing Adelaide as the site of the colony’s capital in 1835, and designing the layout of its streets and parks in the Adelaide city centre.  Although born in Penang, William Light was the son of Francis Light (see Suffolk House, Malaysia page), and his home county was Suffolk.  He was educated at Theberton Hall in Suffolk, after which a district of Adelaide was named. 


Suffolk House on 15 Suffolk Street, Dublin (see photo, right), was going from c.1972 through to c.1990.  There has long been a drinking establishment at this location in this central part of Dublin, and Suffolk House was renowned for its traditional Irish folk nights, and as a meeting place for the cultural activists in the city.  It is now known as O’Donoghue’s of Suffolk Street, a modern Gastro pub that retains its traditional bar and a separate lounge. (See also Suffolk Street – The Heart of Viking Dublin, below)

O’Donoghue’s of Suffolk Street is said to be the second most famous pub in Dublin after the O’Donoghue’s Bar on 15 Merrion Row, famed for its traditional Irish music (an article can be found on this pub in Wikipedia).  The O’Donoghue family have been prominent publicans in Dublin since acquiring the latter bar in 1934. The family business expanded by purchasing several other bars including the Suffolk House.  This was renamed the Thing Mote as it was near to the site of the ancient meeting place of the Viking rulers of Dublin.  In 2004 it was given a facelift, and the same name and black and white façade as the original O’Donoghue’s Bar of 15 Merrion Row, but this one was at 15 Suffolk Street.  It was believed that the prestigious name would be a greater tourist attraction.  

Edward O’Donoghue fell into financial difficulties in 2009 after being ordered by the Irish courts to settle a debt.  By 2018 he owed €6 million on loans that he had been advanced against guarantees on the properties he owned, one being the former Suffolk House (now O’Donoghue’s Bar).  The receivers began proceedings to compulsorily purchase the pub, but the landlord (Des Markey) used the provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act to obtain an injunction in 2019 preventing the seizure of this property and the forfeiture of his lease.  In order to distance his bar from the other O’Donoghue properties, the name “O’Donoghue’s of Suffolk Street” has been adopted and this is how it is now properly called.  However, the locals refer to the bar as “the one that used to be the Thing Mote”.  This makes perfect sense to those of Irish descent, and the saga continues as the legal processes have a long way to go before being exhausted.


Some of the British hostelries noteworthy of comment are as follows:

The Suffolk Hotel, Suffolk Shades & Suffolk Tap, Bury St Edmunds: In a central position in the town’s Buttermarket, an inn is known to have been situated here since 1539, formerly called The Greyhound.  It was rebuilt as a three-storey building in 1830 and renamed The Suffolk Hotel.  It was renovated in 1873 and remained a popular coaching and commercial inn throughout both the 19th and most of the 20th centuries, until its closure in 1996.  It is a Grade II listed building and is now used as a retail outlet.  It is reputed to be haunted by the ghost of a woman doctor who committed suicide in Room 63 in 1981.  Behind the hotel in High Baxter Street stood two public houses associated with the hotel, the Suffolk Shades & Suffolk Tap, both now closed.

Suffolk Arms, Portsmouth (better known as Martha’s): Trading as the Suffolk Arms until 1948, this pub acquired the unusual name of “Martha’s” in tribute to the former licencee Martha Kingsbury (1840-1914).  The establishment has had an interesting history, as befits a pub in a naval port, and once housed a brothel during the 1930s.  Until the 1980s the pub was popular with the Royal Navy, but from 1985 Martha's was known far and wide primarily as one of Portsmouth’s most popular gay bars.  It finally closed in May 2011 and was left derelict for the next seven years.  It was acquired by the American restaurant chain of Taco Bell , renovated and opened in December 2018, serving a hybrid American-Mexican cuisine including tacos, burritos, nachos, etc.

Suffolk Poacher, Wangford, Suffolk (now called The Angel Inn): A former coaching inn.  It was opened in the 17th century and substantially rebuilt in the 18th; the façade is 19th century.  It is a Grade II listed building.  It was originally called The Angel Inn and was the location for the local assizes presided over by the lord of the manor.  When a bypass was built in 1977 its trade fell off and it was renamed the Suffolk Poacher in order to attract custom.  It closed temporarily in 2008 and re-opened in 2009 under its original name. It closed again in 2018 but re-opened the next year as The Angel Inn.

Suffolk Tavern, Pier Plain, Gorleston, Suffolk & Norfolk: Two different pubs within walking distance of each other have been called The Suffolk Tavern.  One was in Tolhouse Street, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, the other was in Pier Plain, Gorleston, Suffolk (see photo, left).  The spread of urban development in the 19th century brought both the towns together and from 1835 Gorleston was administered as part of Great Yarmouth, and since 1890 Gorleston, historically in Suffolk, was transferred to Norfolk.  The Tolhouse Street pub has long gone, but the Gorleston one still exists.  It has had several name changes and is renowned for its unusual narrow shape.
The pub has been going since before 1869 when it was called the Suffolk Tavern
.  By 1892 it had become the Suffolk Hotel, later shortened to The Suffolk.  In 1928 it reverted to the Suffolk Tavern until 1953 when it closed down.  However, it was revived in 1982 under a totally different name and is now known as the New Entertainer.

The Suffolk Punch on Norwich Road in Ipswich is one of several purpose built public houses that have become known as “Tolly Follies”. Built in the 1930s by the Tollemache Brewery, the architecture is loosely based on Helmingham Hall in Suffolk; the Tollemache familys home. (see the North & Central Suffolk section on the Suffolk, England page of this website, & also the “Tolly Follies” section on the Ipswich, England page of




The Suffolk (formerly East Suffolk Hotel), Aldeburgh, Suffolk: This is (since 1950) a Grade II listed building located at 152 High Street in the seaside town of Aldeburgh, Suffolk.  It is the happy story of a house of refreshment that will not pass into oblivion.

The building dates from the early 19th century, but was much altered in the 20th century.  The 1904 Woodbridge licensing records show that the licence to sell alcohol was issued in 1843.  However, the hotel dates back a good while before this.  It is recorded that Charles II stayed here in 1668 when it was an old coaching inn.  The present building was reported as being opened as “a commodious inn” with the name of New Inn by the Ipswich Journal on 29 May 1811.  By 1844, it was known as the New Inn & Commercial Hotel.  In 1860 its name was changed to the East Suffolk Hotel when the East Suffolk branch of the Great Eastern Railway was extended to Aldeburgh (see photo, right).

The licence was surrendered in April 1977 when it was transferred to a private members’ club.  However, the building, which has the address of 152 High Street, was open to the public again by the end of the 20th century when the ground floor became the home to restaurants that also included a bar.  The restaurants traded as the Curlew Bar, then Café 152, finally becoming the East Coast Café & Store from 2015.  The area was sufficiently large enough for 35 to 40 covers so it was more a proper restaurant than a café.  Nevertheless, it was described as “a cosy café and bar, literally a stone’s throw from the beach”.  It offered mostly locally sourced snacks as well as main meals.  The first and second floors were converted into office space occupied by two businesses sharing a separate entrance from the restaurant.

In 2019 the East Coast Café & Store closed down and the freehold of the building came on the market.  This was coming up to the time of the Covid-19 Pandemic and the lockdown of hospitality venues.  In London, restaurateur George Pell was the managing director of the world famous L’Escargot in the heart of Soho.  (In 1896 M. Georges Gaudin established a restaurant that became famous for his snails which he bred in the basement, and it was the first restaurant in Britain to serve this delicacy.  When in 1927 he moved to larger premises, his customers implored him to rename his restaurant L’Escargot after his most popular dish.  Subsequent owners and chefs have maintained the reputation this restaurant has as the Best French Restaurant in London.)

In early 2020 George Pell, with concern for the future of restaurants during lockdown, was keen to get away from the capital and was looking for a place to open a “pop-up restaurant” somewhere by the sea.  (A “pop-up restaurant” is a temporary establishment where famous chefs can ply their trade for a short period.)  Two of L’Escargot’s investors owned 152 High Street, Aldeburgh, and thought this site would suit George.  So he packed a Transit van with tables and chairs, and booze, and headed for Suffolk with a plan to run a seaside version of L’Escargot for a month, accompanied by eight of his staff, six of them who did not even know where Aldeburgh was.  Thus, L’Escargot Sur-Mer was born in Aldeburgh as a way of protecting staff jobs during the Pandemic, whereas restaurants in London were struggling to survive.  

This temporary measure was a success and George Pell decided to make it a permanent venture in 2022.  Along with local investors, George acquired the freehold and began a massive renovation to preserve and restore this historic building, with the end aim of opening a large restaurant and hotel with the name The Suffolk.  On 9 August 2022 The Suffolk opened.  Its restaurant retained the name of L’Escargot Sur-Mer (George Pell remains a director of the London restaurant).  The Suffolk is home to a 60-cover dining room, a rooftop terrace complete with sea views, a bar, two private dining rooms and six bedrooms.  A welcome change to have the revival of a house of refreshment to report rather than its demise.

Old Suffolk Punch, London: Located on the corner of Fulham Palace Road and Distillery Lane, Hammersmith, this well-known, traditional public house figures in many guide books of Hammersmith.  The site has a history stretching back to the 17th century, although the pub itself is not that old relatively speaking, and the name “Suffolk Punch” itself only dates back to 1996.

This was originally part of a large piece of farmland, orchards and market gardens owned by the Bishops of London who were Lords of the Manor of Fulham and whose manor house was Fulham Palace, a short distance from the River Thames southeast of today’s Hammersmith Bridge.  A house which was called ‘The Great House’, was built on part of this land in the reign of Charles I by Sir Nicholas Crispe (c.1600-1666).  The house was unusual at the time because it was not timber-framed but built entirely of brick.  In 1792 it was bought by the Margrave of Brandenburgh-Anspach and became known as ‘Brandenburgh House’.  The Margrave died in 1806 and his widow made it her home until she retired to Naples in 1819.  In 1821 it received its last and most notable resident, Queen Caroline, the wife of King George IV, who lived at Brandenburgh House for the last two years of her life.  

The scandal of this marriage has often been reported and we briefly cover it here.  When George IV was the Prince of Wales his gambling and drinking led to debt and his father refused to aid him unless he married Princess Caroline of Brunswick and produced an heir.  In 1795 the Prince acquiesced and they were married.  However, both took an immediate dislike to each other.  Caroline was short, fat, ugly and rarely washed.  Her body odour was overwhelming.  The Prince found her so disgusting that, after he had done his duty and made her pregnant, he refused to live with her and a year after their wedding they separated.  Excluded from the court while her husband was Prince Regent (1811 1820), Caroline lived chiefly in Italy from 1814 and allegedly maintained an adulterous relationship with her Italian courier. There is no doubt that Caroline led a dissolute life style, but the British parliament was unable to get sufficient votes to arrange a divorce so she remained the estranged wife of the Prince.  In 1820 King George III died and the Prince Regent became King George IV and so Caroline became Queen. The government offered Caroline £50,000 if she would stay out of the country, but she declined and came back. George IV refused her access to his coronation so she was never crowned Queen.  

Once it was realised that neither the king nor the government had any intention of providing her with a residence, the son of the Margrave persuaded his mother to offer Caroline the use of Brandenburgh House. By this time, Caroline had become very popular with the public who considered that she had been treated appallingly whilst King George IV was extremely disliked. The public came to Caroline’s residence to show their support and her coach was escorted by the cheering mob whenever she appeared.  Caroline died at Brandenburgh House in August 1821. In 1822 the property was sold and the house (probably at the request of King George IV) was demolished.  (Note: There is a modern Brandenburgh House further along the Fulham Palace Road from the public house. It houses a number of flats (apartments).

The Haig Distillery (the southern branch of John Haig & Co Ltd, the producer of the notable Scotch whisky of that name) was built in 1857 on part of the former grounds, hence the name Distillery Lane (the corner on which the public house stands) which was the entrance to the distillery. The public house was actually the tap-room of the distillery.  It is known that by 1861 this had become a separate public house known as “The Rifle”.  “The Rifle” continued to be the name up to 1952 when the Mancini family took over ownership of the pub and renamed it “The Golden Gloves”.  This name was given because the family were known in the popular press of the day as “the boxing Mancinis”.  The family originally came from Italy but four brothers, born in London, Denny, Alf, Tony and Lenny were all professional boxers.  Their father, also called Alf, was landlord of the pub from 1952 to 1961, when Tony (the more successful of the brothers fighting as a welterweight) took over the pub as landlord, assisted by his brothers. As well as live music, the pub became known for staging boxing matches.  Needless to say, any sniff of trouble from customers in the pub was ably dealt with. 

In 1996 the pub was taken over by the Greene King brewery and it was renamed “Old Suffolk Punch”.  It is not recorded why this name was chosen, unless “punch” was an allusion to the former profession of the previous owners.  The pub continued to be a traditional British “local” with live music until about 2003 when the owners thought it may be more profitable by becoming a trendy, young people’s disco pub and renamed it “OSP” or “O.S.P.” (see photos). 


This did not go down well with the local clientele and the novelty soon worn off.  Therefore, in 2008, it reverted to “Old Suffolk Punch” and re-invented itself as a ‘gastropub’ where it specialised on the food side of the business while emphasising itself as a “traditional British pub” for the tourist industry of London.  It was very successful in the early years as a gastropub but business later declined and the emergence of the Covid-19 Pandemic was the final calamity.  In March 2020 the owners decided that the “pub business as a standalone venture at the site is no longer viable in the current economic climate” and the Old Suffolk Punch was closed down.

Although the pub closed in 2020, it was briefly brought back into use from 25 November to 1 December 2022 as the first pub to be run by Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) under the name of “The Colonel’s Arms” in acknowledgement of the founder of the fast-food restaurant chain, Colonel Sanders (see photo, right).  It was what is known as “a pop-up venue” open for one week for ticket only customers who could enjoy a few alcoholic drinks with a fried chicken meal brought to their table while watching the World Cup football in Qatar on giant screens.

In 2021 the owners submitted plans to demolish the building while retaining the existing historic front and side facades, which date back to the mid-19th century, and build a new three storey 40 bedroom hotel.  The intention is to revive the public house at ground level which may revert to the original name of “The Rifle”.  These plans were approved in January 2023.  The project is expected to take two years to complete.


 The Suffolk Inn, Belfast, Northern Ireland: Located on Suffolk Road, the original Suffolk Inn was built in 1972. It was eventually renamed The Swilly Brin (after Swilly Lake in Co. Donegal). In 2006 the old Suffolk Inn/Swilly Brin was demolished & a new Suffolk Inn built. It is now a thriving pub & restaurant, which also caters for functions.  (See also Suffolk, Belfast, NI page)






A couple of photographs are shown of two uniquely named pubs with “Suffolk”  in their title:

The East Suffolk Tavern on South Town Road in Great Yarmouth was a free house in the early 1900s and it was a “noted stout house” with “all beers drawn from the wood”.  This is a small pub with only one bar, originally founded in 1782 and named after the 12th (East Suffolk) Regiment, the regiment being given a county association that year which lasted until 1880, as the inn sign denotes.  From 2008 to 2013 it was called Cropper’s Bar, after a couple who ran the pub from 1934 to 1953 (Arthur Cropper 1934-1949, then his wife Alice Mary 1949-1953).  In 2013 it reverted to its original name.  It has been closed since July 2016 when the leasehold expired, but this establishment is for sale as a public house.    




The County of Suffolk in St Helens Street, Ipswich, also has the distinction of being opposite the former County Crown Courthouse and County Gaol.  This is a Grade II listed Georgian building that was originally named The County Hotel after the building opposite.  However, in 2004, when the local authority moved from that building, it was considered more appropriate to adopt the name The County of Suffolk.  In 2017 it was closed and, after an extensive refurbishment, re-opened in December 2017 with the unimaginative name of 29 Bar & Grill.  It is located at 29 St Helens Street. Thankfully, it reverted to the County of Suffolk in May 2019.


One of the more recent establishments to bear the name is situated in the village of Fornham St Genevieve near to Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk. As the name suggests, the Suffolk Golf & Spa Hotel boasts an 18 hole, PGA accredited championship golf course, as well as a spa which includes an indoor swimming pool, sauna, steam room, treatment rooms & fully equipped gymnasium. The River Lark meanders through the grounds of this 40 bedroom hotel, which also includes a bar, the Genevieve Restaurant, & facilities for weddings, conferences & events. In December 2016 it was completely renovated and given a name change to the All Saints Hotel.

Suffolk Hotel, Houses and Road, Lowestoft: It is not unexpected that the name ‘Suffolk’ appears in a town located in that county in England.  Three places with the Suffolk name in Lowestoft are connected to each other.  This is their story.  

Lowestoft was largely isolated from the rest of Suffolk by the North Sea to the east, the River Waveney to the north and west, Oulton Broad to the southwest and Lake Lothing to the south.  A single bridge had connected the town across the western end of Lake Lothing since before 1575.  There was a narrow, marshy wetland between the sea and Lake Lothing, often inundated by flooding by high tides.  In 1785 a turnpike road was constructed across this wetland giving the town another access route to the south.  In 1833 a man-made cut was made across this narrow piece of land to join the North Sea to Lake Lothing and the Broads.  This cut ultimately became the navigation channel enabling ships to reach inland to Norwich.  When the cut was made, it needed a bridge to take the road across.  The inevitable traffic jam that occurred, because the bridge was not wide enough to take the volume of traffic, generated a great thirst to the waiting travellers.  Hence an enterprising person established a house of refreshment located to the north of the bridge, probably soon after 1833.  This establishment was first recorded as Suffolk at South End (the then name of this area south of Lowestoft) in 1839.  It was possibly named because it was the “on the way into Suffolk”.  

In 1847 the railway came to Lowestoft and the station was built north of the cut just south of the Suffolk house of refreshment.  The station and inn were separated from the town by half a mile of fields and farmland.  With the coming of the railway, the town grew rapidly both as a fishing port and as a seaside resort.  Over the next 30 years the fields and farmland disappeared as new housing developments  expanded south.  The Suffolk was in an ideal position to satisfy the needs of the holiday tourists and commercial representatives of the maritime interests.  In 1873 a brand new building was opened on the site as the Suffolk Hotel and Suffolk Terrace, advertised as “a family and commercial hotel opposite to the station” located on the corner of the turnpike road, now named London Road, and Station Square.  

The other side of London Road opposite to the hotel remained a large garden area belonging to Grove House.  However, the fishing industry required a new harbour and so the Herring and Mackerel Market was built to the east of the hotel and garden in 1883.  Grove House was soon sold and its property developed for housing.  In 1896 three new roads came into existence connecting London Road to the road giving access to the harbour (today known as Waveney Road): Grove Road and Beach Road are predictable enough names given to two of the new roads, and the name for the road opposite to the hotel?  Naturally enough, it was named Suffolk Road

Suffolk Hotel stood for nearly 100 years, but the industries (fishing and tourism) that sustained it throughout that time declined and the hotel declined with them.  In 1973 the hotel was demolished and a new three storey office building with ground floor retail outlets was constructed to replace it.  And its name?  Suffolk House standing on the corner of London Road North and Station Square.  This soon became one of the most noticeable and popular places in the centre of Lowestoft because, stretching around the two corners on the ground floor of the building, was Macdonald’s fast food outlet (see photo, above).  

The owners of the building formally changed its name to “Opportunity House” by 2008 since it is referred by that name when there was a fire emergency at the building in that year, and companies located in the building also had this name as part of their address.  Nevertheless, the building was usually referred to as “the former Suffolk House”, as it was in the local press when it came up for sale at an auction in December 2018 as “Two retail units on ground floor with one let to McDonald’s Restaurants, self-contained offices on first and second floors with development potential, building opposite Lowestoft Railway Station”.  However, difficult times continued for the building and in April 2021 Macdonald’s pulled out, preferring to re-locate to Horn Hill, just across Lake Lothing in South Lowestoft, where they had secured a “drive-through” site just off a roundabout on the busy A12 main road.

In September 2021, with all three floors of the former Suffolk House building vacant, the owners lodged a ‘change of use’ plan from offices to dwelling houses, with proposals for “eight brand new, high spec flats/apartments across the upper two floors of the building and two ground floor commercial units”.  This plan has been approved but, as at December 2022, the building was up for sale again with the intention of converting the upper two floors into eight flats.  Meanwhile, success of sorts had occurred when the US fast food giant Taco Bell opened its doors on 21 September 2022 on the ground floor (see photo, right).  What is not clear is by what official name the building will be known; to the locals it is still “the former Suffolk House building”.  

Another “Suffolk House” was also recorded at Horn Hill nearby to where Macdonald’s has moved.  This took its name from the company Suffolk Petroleum Services Ltd (SPSL).  The address of SPSL in the UK was “Suffolk House, Horn Hill, Lowestoft, NR33 0PX”.  Kye Limited had this same address without the “Suffolk House” name from March 1996 before it was acquired by SPSL.  The building Kye occupied was on the former Crown Works shipbuilding and engineering site located between the main road (now A12) and the Lowestoft Inner Habour on Lake Lothing.  This site contained a number of buildings occupied by small companies associated with the offshore shipping and oil industries.  Kye Limited was a subsidiary company of SPSL in the UK from 2001 to 2005 and this “Suffolk House” was just a contact address used only during these years and not the real name of the building.  SPSL was a non-trading company in the UK, not registered with Companies House; it became “inactive” in 2016 (see Companies Named Suffolk in Nigeria further below).
As at 2023 the only one of the four “Suffolks” mentioned above that retains that name is Suffolk Road.



If  you have details of any other places of alcoholic refreshment that have or had “Suffolk” as part of their name, please e-mail me at

Top of Page

Suffolk House Hotels in Sussex (Chichester & Brighton)

Omitted from the section above on Public Houses, Bars & Inns are a couple of Suffolk House Hotels in Sussex; both no longer exist with that name. One was in Chichester, the other in Brighton.  These were visited during our researches, and it is apparent that they were more akin to guest houses rather than a hostelry where you would drop in for refreshment.  Neither of them has any known connection with Suffolk.  In fact, “Suffolk House” is extremely common as a building name, particularly for office blocks, residential apartments (condominiums), and retirement homes.  It seems that “Suffolk” conjures up an image of contentment, relaxation and peacefulness, possibly a subconscious reflection of the countryside paintings of the notable Suffolk artists.

Suffolk House Hotel in Chichester, West Sussex, (see photo, left) came under new management in October 2018 and was renamed the East Walls Hotel.  It is described as a “boutique hotel combining English traditions with contemporary luxury”.  It is situated on East Row, not far from the city centre. The house was built around 1736 &, according to the hotel’s own brochure, was once home to the Duke of Richmond. This presumably refers to Charles Lennox, 2nd Duke of Richmond (1701-50), who served as  Member of Parliament for Chichester from 1722-23. No other documentary evidence has yet come to light, however, that he ever owned the house.

It continued as a typical Georgian town house occupied by wealthy families.  From 1854 it was known as “The Depot House” because it was compulsorily purchased for the Sussex Militia as part of their depot.  Later in the century, it became the home of the prominent artist George Herbert Catt (1867-1920) and retained the name of “The Depot House” until his death.  We have not been able to determine when it became a hotel or why it was given the ‘Suffolk’ name.

The other Suffolk House Hotel, until fairly recently located at 4-5 Lower Rock Gardens in Brighton, East Sussex, has now been renamed The Heathers.

Top of Page

The Middy Bar

Also omitted from the section above on Public Houses, Bars & Inns is the Middy Bar.  We may be cheating a bit since this is not the name of the pub, but it is universally known by that name and it is also a rare tale of a pub revived by public demand.  Our excuse is that ‘Middy’ stands for the ‘Mid Suffolk Light Railway’.  This is a steam preservation railway in Suffolk, England, run by volunteers that opened in 1995 (see Railways section on the Suffolk, England page).  

The pub is housed in a converted wooden passenger coach built in 1896 and is located at Brockford Station on the Mid-Suffolk Light Railway (see photo, right).  It was completely refurbished by the MSLR’s volunteer staff in 2014 and opened the next year serving real ale.  The pub had to have a name so it was called the ‘Kitchener Arms’ after the First World War general who was the first passenger on the still incomplete line in 1902.  However, the locals were not having this, so whatever the official name, it immediately became known by the affectionate name for the railway - the ‘Middy Bar’.

Often with revivalist schemes there is opposition from local residents.  Here there appears not to be much opposition to what is going on as ‘The Middy’ is open for the benefit of residents in Wetheringsett which adjoins Brockford Station and, like many other villages, is now without a public house of its own.  ‘The Middy’ rapidly became a community bar hidden away in deepest Suffolk serving real ale to thirsty locals.

It soon became a social hub for
the residents and opened in the long summer evenings.  In stepped the long arm of the authorities and stated that this was in breach of the condition requiring the railway museum to close at 1700 hrs and, thus, ‘The Middy’ was forced to close.  The not so downtrodden, but certainly deprived, populace rose as one and supported the railway’s appeal to allow “their pub” to re-open and extend its opening hours.  This duly happened in July 2017 and it was “immediately overwhelmed with business”.  So much so that the area for consumption has had to be extended outside the carriage and now approaches the track itself (see photo, left).  ‘The Middy’ is allowed to be open on train operating days and extended opening hours are now permissible.  One would guess that there will be no shortage of volunteers to ensure that the railway keeps operating - now that really is something to drink to!

Top of Page

The Suffolk Pointe Shoe Company – Dance Shoes

Creating hand-made Pointe dance shoes, the Suffolk Pointe Shoe Company is based in Leicester, England & was founded in the year 2000 by Mark Suffolk. The company also has an office in Texas, USA.

Suffolk Pointe shoes come in a variety of styles, such as Solo, Instinct, Spotlight, Captivate, Solo Prequel, Ensemble & Apprentice. Their shoes are worn by many professional dancers from major ballet companies. 

Suffolk Pointe shoes are available from a number of retail outlets in the UK, USA & Canada.

A range of ballet accessories are also available, all prefixed with the trade name ‘Suffolk’, such as Suffolk Balance Board (see photo, right), Suffolk Foam Roller, Suffolk Limber Loop, Suffolk Massage Ball, Suffolk Massage Roller Stick, etc. 

The Suffolk Dance Band is not a musical group from Suffolk, but an elasticated waistband produced by the Suffolk Pointe Shoe Company, which allows the wearer to hold their keys, smart phones and other small objects while dancing or rehearsing.

Top of Page

Suffolk & Turley – Coachtrimming Specialists

Based in Nuneaton, Warwickshire in the English Midlands, Suffolk & Turley are a company that provides vehicle interiors for classic and unique vehicles such as Jaguars, Rolls Royce, Ferraris, Daimlers & Aston Martins. Their services include all aspects of the soft interior of the vehicle, such as carpets, door casings, dashboards & seating, whilst they also provide a re-roofing service for soft-top vehicles.

The Suffolk part of the name derives from Eric Suffolk who, with Mick Turley, founded the firm in 1978.  Both had worked on the production line of Jaguar cars trimming E-Types.  They set up in business together as ‘Suffolk & Turley’ but eventually parted in 2003 with Eric retaining the Suffolk & Turley name.  Mick set himself up in the same type of business with his son as ‘MCT Jaguar’ a few hundred yards away. 

Top of Page

Companies Named Suffolk in Nigeria

Suffolk Petroleum Services Limited, Suffolk Engineering & Construction Limited, and Suffolk Drilling Nigeria Limited are three companies based in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.  It seems strange that these indigenous companies should be so named, particularly since none of the other localities named Suffolk have anything to do with this part of the world.

All three are part of the Adamac Group of Companies which is one of the leading providers of engineering and construction services to the Nigerian oil and gas industry.  It is the largest indigenous contractor in Nigeria, and has over 4,500 employees.  Through its “Suffolk companies” the Group is engaged in oil exploration, offshore construction of oil rigs, and it has a marine base facility on the Bonny River where it maintains a fleet of ships (see Suffolk Petroleum Services Limited on Ships Named Suffolk page).

The Group was founded as Adamac Industries Limited in 1982, a family-run business taking its name from ADAwari MACpepple.  The first reference we can find to Suffolk Petroleum Services Limited is in 1998, when it was probably incorporated in Nigeria around about that time.  The name “Suffolk” for this and its associate companies comes from the connection with that county in England by the present Chairman and Chief Executive of Adamac, Chief Henry Adawari MacPepple, born in Nigeria in 1960.  We have not been able to find out how the connection first arose, i.e. whether he was at boarding school in Suffolk, but the major company in the UK of which Henry MacPepple was a director from 2001 to 2007 is Pipeshield Services Ltd.  This company is based at Lowestoft, Suffolk, and is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of specialised subsea pipeline protection systems to the oil and gas industry.  Henry MacPepple was also a director of Kye Limited from 2001 to 2005.  This company and its subsidiary, Kye Engineering & Construction Ltd, provide services to the oil and gas extraction industry.  They are fully-owned UK subsidiaries of Adamac, located at Lowestoft, Suffolk.  The other directors of these companies all lived in the vicinity: Lowestoft, Beccles, Yarmouth and Norwich, so it is safe to assume that this was the route by which “Suffolk” became a highly-recognised company name in Nigeria.

The MacPepple family of Nigeria are part of the Pepple dynasty of chiefs.  In 1870 a dispute within the dynasty at Bonny led to a separate kingdom being established at Opobo.  From this location, the Pepple family set up trading posts in southern Nigeria to become the local middle-men in the lucrative trade in palm oil with Europe.  However, it did not take long before some of the chiefs realised it was more profitable to ship palm-oil directly to Europe independent of the British traders.  Consequently the British authorities prohibited businessmen in Europe from dealing directly with the native people.  It is said that one particularly astute chief then adopted the surname MacPepple so that the authorities would think that they were dealing with a Scottish trader in Nigeria.

SPSL Opobo: This was a barge that has become a ‘test case’ in the law courts of the United States (SPSL OPOBO Liberia, Inc. et al v. Maritime Worldwide Services, Inc. et al). The complex background to this multiparty fight over ownership of marine barges has an element of farce about it.  

The subsidiary company SPSL Opobo Liberia alleged that it was the rightful owner of the barge SPSL Opobo.  In 2002 a couple of barges owned by SPSL subsidiaries came under the care, custody, and control of two individuals in New Orleans, Louisiana, who worked under the name of Marine Worldwide Services, Inc. (MWS) for refurbishing and repairing the barges at an agreed upon price.  Once repaired, it was stated that the parties agreed that the barges would be returned to the SPSL subsidiary.  Apparently, MWS refused to do so, claiming that they had ownership of the barges.  As a result, the SPSL subsidiaries filed suit against MWS for loss of use, loss of income, as well as other damages.  In June 2008, while litigation was still pending, MWS sold the barge SPSL Opobo to AAA Holdings for $1.3 million without disclosing the fact that ownership was being disputed.  AAA made a downpayment of $700k and requested title documentation for the barge which MWS was unable to supply.  Thus, AAA refused to make further payments.  In June 2009 SPSL and MWS reached an out of court settlement whereby the barge was to be surrendered to the SPSL subsidiary.  However, MWS could not do this because it had sold the barge to AAA.  SPSL then took action against AAA for the return of the barge and costs for loss of use.   AAA in turn filed against MWS for fraudulent conversion of property that they did not own.  The barge (now named Mid-River IV by AAA) was seized by the Court until the matter could be decided

At the initial court hearing it transpired that Henry MacPepple, the chairman and chief executive officer of SPSL, was the only person who had sufficient knowledge surrounding the ownership of the vessels involved and could possibly produce documentation to this effect.  The court ordered him to appear before it, which he refused to do.  It then ordered his appearance by telephone and video from Nigeria by a given date.  He asserted he was unable to appear because of “health reasons”, and a medical report was submitted.  Further enquiries as to the status of the doctor signing the report established that no such person was known and the address given for the hospital was inaccurate.  Henry MacPepple’s refusal to make himself available as a witness, despite the court being prepared to allow him to testify without leaving Nigeria, that the medical excuse was “highly questionable”, unverifiable, and submitted by an alleged Nigerian doctor, led the court to conclude that SPSL had shown complete disrespect for the proceedings, and as such their claims of ownership were dismissed.

Following SPSL’s dismissal, MWS sought summary judgment regarding ownership of the barge.  AAA responded by contending that it was the owner of the barge because under Louisiana law, ownership is transferred immediately upon the parties agreeing the price and AAA made an initial payment in good faith; furthermore AAA contended that MWS breached the sale contract by failing to provide merchantable title to the barge.  The court found that a seller who knowingly fails to disclose a title defect in a vessel is in “Bad Faith” and thus liable for the buyer’s damages and losses, and decided that AAA Holdings is the rightful owner of the Mid-River IV (also known as SPSL Opobo).  In 2011 the superior US courts agreed with this verdict and upheld the lower court’s decisions.

Top of Page

Suffolciensis as Pseudonym

Philalethes Suffolciensis

The name Philalethes Suffolciensis is a pseudonym or pen name used by the author of two pamphlets that appeared in the year 1736, published by J Roberts of London. These are entitled: 

Remarks on Dr. Warrens answer to a book, entitled, A plain account of the nature and end of the sacrament of the Lords Supper. 


Remarks on part II. of Dr. Warrens answer to a book, entitled, A plain account of the nature and end of the sacrament of the Lords Supper.





The first runs to 31 pages, the latter to 38. As the titles suggest, these are in response to An answer to a book, entitled, A plain account of the nature and end of the sacrament of the Lords Supper, written by Richard Warren, Rector of Cavendish in Suffolk & fellow of Jesus College in Cambridge. This was published in two parts, both of which also appeared in 1736 & were themselves a response to A plain account of the nature and end of the sacrament of the Lords Supper; published  anonymously in 1735, but known to be the work of Benjamin Hoadly (1676 -1761), at different times Bishop of Bangor, Hereford, Salisbury, and Winchester.

Hoadly maintained that the eucharist was purely a commemorative act without any divine intervention. Warren, who as well as the titles above was also archdeacon of Suffolk, was one of Hoadly’s most outspoken critics. The two pamphlets written under the name Philalethes Suffolciensis are critical of Warren & in agreement with Hoadly’s views.

The name Philalethes is Greek in origin & means “Lover of Truth”.  The name was used by alchemists & also has connotations in Freemasonry. It was used as a pseudonym by such people as seventeenth century philosopher Thomas Vaughan & eighteenth century alchemical mystic Robert Samber. Therefore Philalethes Suffolciensis translates as “Lover of Truth from Suffolk”.

The reasons
Philalethes Suffolciensis gives for not using his real name are set out at the beginning of the first pamphlet:

“There are certainly very just and commendable Reasons, why an Author may either Publish or conceal his Name. The Author of the Plain Account of the Sacrament of the Lords Supper might probably conceal his, because  he thought Truth alone sufficient to maintain itself, by being candidly and fairly represented, without any foreign Help or Support : Or, that his Book might be thereby read over with the less Prejudice, and considered with the more Impartiality -, it being common for hot-headed unthinking Men to attack a Book for the sake of its Author, and to condemn
a Doctrine purely on account of him that preachd it, Dr. Warren no doubt, had his Reasons too,
for pub
lishing his Name, but be they what they will, had I been the Author of his Pamphlet, I
should have h
ad many for concealing mine and especially, that I might not have exposed my
self to the just Censure and Contempt of all truly considerate and Impartial Persons, notwithstanding the high Commendation given by some of his Performance”.

The author then goes on to criticise Warren & uphold Hoadly’s position.  I am uncertain as to whether the tru
e identity of Philalethes Suffolciensis was ever discovered. If anyone knows, please email to

Both pamphlets hav
e been republished in 2010 by Gale Ecco as part of their Religion & Philosophy series.

Juvenis Suffolciensis

Initials & Pseudonyms; a dictionary of literary disguises 2nd Series by William Cushing  (published c.1888) states that the name Juvenis Suffolciensis was used as a pseudonym by Robert Reeve, a contributor to the ‘Gentleman’s Magazine and Historical Chronicle’ in the January 1806 edition.  This is with respect to a description of an antiquity (a ring) found at Stonham Aspal in Suffolk.

The pseudonym Suffolciensis was also used by a regular contributor to the ‘The Gardener’s Magazine and Register of Rural & Domestic Improvement’ in the late 1820s.  This was probably Robert Reeve, since his brother, James Reeve, also contributed to the same magazine under his own name.

The Reeve family were prominent botanists at this time, although Robert is better known for his antiquarian works, particularly with regard to the county of Suffolk.  The family lived at Lowestoft where the father, also named Robert, was an attorney-at-law.  Of his three surviving children, Robert (1770-1840) remained in Lowestoft where he bestowed eight volumes of his antiquarian collections to the town.  The daughter, Pleasance Reeve (1773-1877), married the botanist Sir James Edward Smith, founder and president of the Linnæan Society.  She was herself a notable botanical benefactor.  The younger brother, James (1778-1827), became a gardener and botanist under commission to Lady Carberry of Laxton Hall, Northamptonshire.


Suffolciensis (Richard ap Rice)

Richard ap Rice (or Price) is described as ‘Suffolciensis’ by Thomas Tanner (1674-1735).  Tanner was Bishop of St Asaph and an antiquary who was the author of the ‘Notitia Monastica, or a Short History of the Religious Houses in England and Wales’ published at Oxford in 1695.  It was in this history that the term was used.   

Richard ap Rice was a member of a somewhat notorious Welsh family who benefited greatly from its support for the Tudors (who were of Welsh descent), particularly at the time of the dissolution of the religious houses in England and Wales under Henry VIII.  In 1535, being a monk, Richard, who was then aged only 24, was recommended for election to the abbacy of Conway, held by the Cistercian order.  The abbot was still living and opposed Rice’s election, ‘knowing him to be a wilful and misruled person, who would utterly destroy the abbey’.   Rice, however, was unanimously elected in 1536, although he was under the canonical age limit.  In the following year Conway was dissolved, and Rice obtained good terms for himself and the brethren who had elected him.  Richard ap Rice received a pension of £20 per annum on its dissolution, and was given dispensation to abandon the religious order.  

He went on to become the author of religious tracts, but he wrote these under his real name, so why ‘Suffolciensis’?  It seems likely that this has to do with his father’s connection with King Henry VIII’s chief minister, Cardinal Wolsey from Ipswich in Suffolk.  Richard’s grandfather Rhys Fawr ap Maredudd had fought on the side of Henry VII at the Battle of Bosworth which heralded the arrival of the Tudor dynasty.  Richard’s father was Robert ap Rhys ap Maredudd of Foelas and Plas Iolyn in Denbighshire.  Robert ap Rhys prospered as chaplain and crossbearer to Cardinal Wolsey.  This ensured that he could place his sons in charge of various religious establishments in Wales.  At this particular period of history, it was a bit irrelevant whether you had a religious calling; it was more important that you knew how to make money out of your administration, and were well in with “the man from Suffolk”.  Richard’s brother (Ellis Price) was appointed visitor of monasteries in Wales and played a leading role in their subsequent destruction.  This accounts for Richard’s rapid promotion to a position of some authority.  There were frequent complaints about the immorality and arrogance of this family but, as loyal supporters of the Tudor dynasty, they prospered and expanded their estates throughout the 16th century.

Top of Page

Early Literature about Suffolk

There was little written about Suffolk that gave a description of the county in general until the 19th century.  The earliest such records are mentioned below although, as it will be seen, these were often produced for a limited readership and did not necessarily have a wide circulation until re-discovered by later antiquarians who arranged for them to be printed for a larger audience.

Breviary of Suffolk by Robert Reyce, c.1618; first print 1902

“Breviary” (from Latin ‘brevis’ for ‘brief’) was originally an ecclesiastical term for an abridged book of the psalms, prayers and other religious texts used in private and public worship.  When used in a non-religious context, it came to signify “an abridgement, compendium or brief summary”.  Robert Reyce (1555-1638) was a Suffolk clergyman and antiquarian who lived at Preston Hall, Preston St Mary in Suffolk.  He wrote three historical and genealogical works: a translation of Latin records relating to Suffolk; another without a title but referred to as “Suffolcia” because it is divided into sections, such as “Suffolcia Primaeva”, “Suffolcia Antigua” and so on, providing accounts in chronological order of past royalty, nobility and gentry of Suffolk; and the third work was the “Breviary”.  This was a general description of the county, a number of Suffolk family genealogies, descriptions of monuments and churches, and lists of Suffolk office-holders.  Reyce did not intend the Breviary for publication, but only for private circulation among his gentry friends.  It was not printed or published until 1902 when Lord Francis Hervey edited Reyce’s Breviary and brought it into the public domain, nearly 300 years after it had first been written.  The original manuscript is today in the British Museum.   

A Frenchman’s Year in Suffolk by François & Alexandre de La Rochefoucald, 1784

This is an account by two young Frenchmen who spent their first year ever away from France with their tutor in England.  The brothers (François aged 18 and Alexandre aged 16) and their tutor (Maximilien de Lazowski) based themselves at Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk.  All three were requested by the father of the boys, the duc de La Rochefoucauld-Liancourt, himself a keen author, to observe everything, implicitly contrasting French and English life, particularly noting their agricultural practices, and writing these observations in notebooks so that he could use the material for future publication.

The French Revolution came along and spoiled these plans.  The family went into exile until stability was restored by Napoleon.  The notebooks then lay forgotten in the family archives until the 20th century.  Jean Marchand collated and edited them, and they were first published in France in 1933 as a travel memoir, called “Mélanges sur l’Angleterre” (“Miscellany of England”).  This has twice been translated into English: first as “A Frenchman in England, 1784” translated by S.C. Roberts and published in 1933, and subsequently as “A Frenchman’s Year in Suffolk” by Norman Scarfe and published in 1988 by Boydell & Brewer Press, Woodbridge.  There have been several reprints of the latter.

The book gives a vivid picture of English provincial life and is easily read by having short chapters on a variety of topics.  Many of these were not only strange to the continental European of the 18th century, but are illuminating to the present English as to how our forebears conducted themselves.  The observations of the brothers range over diverse subjects such as the great landlords and their grand houses, tenant farmers, servants and labourers, local justice, horse racing at nearby Newmarket, the weather (always bad), “English cooks are not very skilful and one fares very ill at table, even in the grandest houses” (not much change there  in the French appreciation of English culinary abilities), English manners and customs (generally not held in high regard by the brothers), “is there anything in the world so boring as a Sunday in England which in every other country is a day of happiness? You are forbidden to do anything enjoyable on that day” (it only took us another 200 years to catch up), but the methods of agriculture and stockbreeding “are held in the highest regard” (which were considered far superior to what was being practised elsewhere in Europe at the time) “the ordinary farmers are not looked on, as they are in France, as an inferior class created solely to feed the rich, but are treated as an equal to the owners of the large houses who often tend the fields themselves”.  There are detailed notes on all things English, and much surprise is expressed that “the English always conduct business at a table”, “that everybody from richest to poorest drinks tea at least twice a day”, “that clergymen can marry” (which is applauded), “that the English have a passion for fox-hunting….even the women hunt the fox assiduously” (the sport is not approved of since “they leap hedges, sometimes fall off and hurt themselves badly”), and “the English, and most often the women, seem utterly graceless: and all the young people that I see in society in Bury appear badly brought up: they hum, they whistle, they sit in the largest armchairs and put their feet up on the nearest chair, they sit on the tables, and do a thousand comparable things that would be ridiculous in France but seems natural enough in England” (so what has changed since the 18th century?).

It is a thoroughly enjoyable read.  
The Suffolk Garland editor Rev. James Ford, 1818

Published at Ipswich in 1818 by the printer John Raw.  As was customary at this period, the full title of the book is rather grandiose: “The Suffolk Garland or East Country Minstrel: Or, a Collection of Poems, Songs, Tales, Ballads, Sonnets, and Elegies, Legendary and Romantic, Historical and Descriptive, Relative to That County; and Illustrative of Its Scenery, Places, Biography, Manners, Habits and Customs.”  It is largely a miscellany of poems, anecdotes, songs and short tales about Suffolk and its people, some of which have been recorded on this website.  The editor, the Reverend James Ford (1779-1850), was a noted antiquarian who graduated from Trinity College, Oxford.  Although born in Canterbury, Kent, he settled later in life in Essex and Suffolk and wrote copiously on subjects relating to these counties.  He held the perpetual curacy of St Laurence church in Ipswich and was married to the daughter of an Ipswich bookseller.

It should be noted that this theme has been repeated with more-or-less the same title, once later in the 19th century (1866) and twice during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, in 1961 and 2022 (see The Suffolk Garland (reprise) at end of this article).

Suffolk in the 19th century by John Glyde, 1851

Published by Simpkin, Marshall & Co, London, 1851.  This book is recognised as the first real general coverage of the county and its physical, social, moral, religious and industrial history.  John Glyde (1823-1905) is recognised as the foremost 19th century historian of Ipswich and Suffolk, the author of books which are still standard reference works on the social and economic aspects of the town and county.  He was involved in many organisations working for social and cultural improvements of Ipswich, including the founding of the Free Library for the town.  Glyde was born in Ipswich and his trade was a stationer and bookseller.  He lived at 9 Eagle Street until 1844 and a blue plaque on the house commemorates his life.

John Glyde was also the author of The New Suffolk Garland, published in 1866 (see next), and Folklore and Customs of Suffolk (1866).

The Suffolk Garland (reprise) 1866, 1961 & 2022

The original book with this title was published in 1818.  Its theme has since been copied at least three times.  Many of the articles in the first book have been retained in the later editions and, after 200 years, there have been many more up to-date, amusing and interesting tales, songs and facts to relate about Suffolk.

The New Suffolk Garland
by John Glyde, published by Simpkin, Marshall & Co, London, 1866.  This author (mentioned above) also retained the full, rather pretentious title, adding after Garland: “A Miscellany of Anecdotes, Romantic Ballads, Descriptive Poems and Songs, Historical and Biographical Notices, and Statistical Returns Relating to the County of Suffolk : with an Appendix, Containing the History of the Reform”.  This book has been reprinted several times since 2010.

A Suffolk Garland for the Queen editor John Hadfield, published by the East Suffolk County Council, in conjunction with the West Suffolk County Council and the Ipswich County Borough Council, 1961.  This also had a longer title, adding after Queen: “Plucked and arranged on the occasion of the Royal Progress of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II through the County of Suffolk”.  This was the first official visit of a reigning monarch to Suffolk for 400 years.

The book is a miscellany of Suffolk life and letters, scenes and sketches, arts and crafts provided by authors, artists, photographers and printers who all lived and worked in Suffolk.  Although very different to the earlier “Suffolk Garlands”, some subjects are inevitably covered again, such as “Suffolk Folklore”, “Silly Suffolk”, “The Rivers of Suffolk” and “Churches of Suffolk”.  The advent of coloured photography obviously improved the presentation of the articles.

The proceeds of the sale of the book went to King George’s Jubilee Trust, a fund for the welfare of the younger generation. 

A New Suffolk Garland edited by Elizabeth Burke, Dan Franklin, John James and Mary James, 2022.  Publisher Boydell & Brewer.  Compiled to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022, “A New Suffolk Garland” was inspired by “A Suffolk Garland for the Queen” (1961) and the earlier “Suffolk Garlands”.  When the idea for a new Suffolk anthology was discussed, Mary and John James from the Aldeburgh Bookshop were the obvious people to compile it, along with the other two editors.  Ninety authors, photographers and artists were invited to contribute new writing and illustrations about Suffolk.  The aim was to bring the 1961 edition up to date with entries on the Port of Felixstowe, the United Kingdom’s busiest container port, the UFO sightings in Rendlesham Forest, and diverse articles from the art of hedge-laying to Ed Sheeran’s songs.

All profits went to the Festival of Suffolk Charity Fund which provides grants relating to act
ivities that benefit the Suffolk environment and community.

Top of Page

A Suffolk Lady – Pseudonym of Emily White

A Suffolk Lady is the pseudonym of the author of ‘My New Zealand Garden’, a book that has gone through many editions since 1902.  In reality the author was Emily White.  She was born Emily Louisa Merielina Rogers, at Beyton, Suffolk, England, in 1839, the daughter of an Anglican clergyman.  Her ancestors included Sir William Gage of Hengrave Hall, after whom the greengage is named (See Suffolk, England page, The Brecklands & the West of Suffolk section). Emily’s earliest years were spent in various manor houses and rectories in East Anglia where she roamed through the countryside with her brothers, acquiring a great love of the natural world.  After her parents died, she lived with her aunt at Bury St Edmunds, where she began to take an interest in garden plants, encouraged by her botanically inclined relatives.

In 1863 Emily Rogers married John Marshall, a tutor at the King Edward VI Grammar School.  They were to have four sons and a daughter.  John took holy orders in 1864 and the family subsequently moved often to various parts of  East Anglia.  John’s deteriorating health from advanced tuberculosis eventually forced the Marshall family to emigrate to New Zealand in 1876.  They settled on a farm at Motueka, near Nelson on South Island.  Here Emily made her first New Zealand garden.  With five children, an ailing husband and no domestic skills her life was hard.  A neighbour, Blanco White, gave practical help.  John Marshall died in 1879 and Emily returned to England with the children, followed by Blanco White who was pressing her to marry him.  She failed to resettle in England and she decided that New Zealand held more promise for her children.  In 1881 she married White at Ixworth in Suffolk.

After returning to New Zealand in 1882, Emily purchased 13 acres of land on St John’s Hill, Wanganui, North Island.  There she built a large family home called Grove House, and began to create her dream garden.  Her second marriage was unhappy and brief.  Blanco White left for Australia after a couple of years, dying on the goldfields at Kimberley in 1888.  They had had no children.  She devoted herself to her garden which became a showplace of rare native and exotic species, becoming so famed between 1883 and 1905 that it attracted visitors from around New Zealand and overseas.  She grew an impressive number of exotic species, introducing several species into New Zealand including the scarlet gerbera, G. jamesonii, from South Africa, and the climbing buddleia, B. dysophylla.  She and her son Patrick Marshall planted the gum, Eucalyptus ficifolia, and other trees along Wanganui’s streets.  In 1902 Emily White published her reminiscences and garden story in My New Zealand Garden, by A Suffolk Lady, modesty causing her to seek anonymity.  In 1905 an English edition was published, accompanied by black and white photographs.  Her book is not only a chronicle of the making of a garden but also a commentary on contemporary colonial life.  As a member, and eventually patron, of the Wanganui Horticultural Society, Emily White exhibited and held displays at the regular shows.  She promoted women’s rights, participated in welfare work and raised funds enthusiastically for charitable causes.

She was later affected by poor health, and in 1905 she sold her Wanganui property and moved to nearby Marton to reside on her son’s farm, Greenbank.  Here she created another beautiful garden which included trees imported from Melbourne: the Queensland frangipani, Hymenosporum flavum, the firewheel tree, Stenocarpus sinuatus, and flame trees Brachychiton populneus and B. acerifolius.  After 1910 she moved homes a couple of times, and at each house she created another marvelous garden.  After the First World War, Emily settled in Wanganui East where she was known as Granny White, a familiar figure in the area, remaining active and alert in her old age.  She died at the age of 97 at Wanganui in 1936.  A woman of outstanding individuality, Emily White made a significant contribution to community and horticultural life in New Zealand, and was her adopted country’s first woman gardening author of note.

Top of Page

Antiquitates Suffolciensis

This is an account of the “Ancient Families in the County of Suffolk”.  As was the custom of the day, the titles of learned treatises were written in Latin, although the text may be in English.  This is a late 17th century work by Sir Richard Gipps in two volumes.  Sir Richard Gipps (1659-1708) was a London lawyer and Suffolk antiquarian.  He joined Gray’s Inn as a law student in 1667 and was made a master there in 1682, and a knighthood soon followed.  He later retired to his family estates in Great Whelnetham, Suffolk.  He took to studying the local history and wrote a large number of notes upon the subject.  The original copies of Gipps’ antiquarian manuscripts are located at the British Library.

Top of Page

Suffolk Squit

This dialectical word unique to Suffolk in England has almost become a new “official” word introduced to the English language since it was used in the House of Commons, and hence reported in Hansard.  It is not the kind of phrase you hear in the House of Commons every day, but they heard about it from Sandy Martin (MP for Ipswich) as he made his maiden speech in July 2017.  By convention maiden speeches refer to the MP’s constituency and should be witty and entertaining.  Mr Martin said: “We developed artificial fertiliser on the back of our initial base as the centre of the coprolite industry – making a good living out of a load of old squit!”  (See Suffolk Crag on the County of Suffolk, England, page.)

MPs were enthused with laughter.  Having never been used before (and possibly not understanding its meaning), the Speaker was unable to declare the word ‘unparliamentary language’.  “It’s a Viking derivation of an Anglo-Saxon word” explained Mr Martin.  East Anglia was a key battle area between the Saxons and the Vikings during the Dark Ages.  The Anglo-Saxons pronounced words we start with an ‘sc’ or ‘sh’ as ‘sh’. The Vikings pronounced them as ‘sk’ or ‘squ’.  The Saxons said a ship’s captain was a “shipper”, the Vikings said a ship’s captain was a “skipper”.  The word does appear in dictionaries and has two definitions: 1. an insignificant person; 2. nonsense or rubbish; whilst “the squits” is a dialectical word for ‘diarrhoea’.  The more sensitive etymological dictionaries say the word is a variant of “squirt”, but it may be better to believe us native-born Suffolk folk when we say “it is not”.

The word appeared in print when ‘Some Suffolk Squit with a helping hand to decipher it’ appeared (see right).  This is a series of humorous poems, odes and thoughts written in the Suffolk dialect and illustrated by Adrian (Adie) Copping, published in paperback in November 2010.  As the Suffolk dialect can sometimes be hard for outsiders to understand, Adie added translations to try and make the reading process a little easier.

Adie Copping was born in Suffolk, England.  He stands 6’ 4” tall and when he speaks you would definitely know he was from Suffolk.  Having had a fun childhood and lots of experience of life with many interests (off-road motorcycling/racing, fishing, golf, archery, drawing/sketching), Adie writes to entertain and put a smile on the reader’s face.

Another book Adie has written in a similar humorous vein is Finding Suffolk Sams Treasure (released February 2021).   Aimed at the holidaymaker to the county, the reader has to follow three Suffolk boys through their journey of Suffolk’s coastal towns looking for clues to help find Suffolk Sam’s treasure.  A little history, the Suffolk accent and dialect, a humorous story, and a treasure trail all wrapped up in one little book. 

Top of Page

Suffolk” Books by Lois A Fison

Lois Anne Fison (1829-1904) was a noted 19th century author on Suffolk folklore and anecdotes, which she collected directly from the Suffolk people.  She was particularly keen on using the Suffolk dialect in her writings which sometimes rendered her stories a little difficult for younger readers.  Her best known books on Suffolk are probably Merry Suffolk; Master Archie and other tales; a book of folk-lore (London: Jarrold & Sons, 1899) which includes the Tale of Tom Tit Tot (the Suffolk version of Grimm’s tale of “Rumpelstiltskin”), and Uncle Mike: an old Suffolk Fairy Tale (London: Jarrold & Sons, 1893).  The latter is a traditional story of a little fairy told in a Suffolk dialect.  It was apparently related to the children of the family by their nurse.  Spinning Days and Olden Ways: A Suffolk Story (Ipswich: Smiths Suitall, 1904) is another of her books on the traditions of the county.

Lois was born at Barningham, Suffolk, England, one of of twenty children of Thomas Fison, a prosperous landowner and farmer.  Her younger brother, the Rev. Lorimer Fison (1832-1907), emigrated to Australia where he became a Wesleyan minister in Fiji, and an eminent anthropologist and journalist.  

Top of Page

The Suffolk Trilogy - A Series of Novels by Norah Lofts

The Suffolk Trilogy is a series of novels written by Norah Lofts that begins with The Town House, published in 1959. It was followed in 1961 by The House at Old Vine, with the concluding  book, The House at Sunset, appearing in 1963. The books are set in Baildon, a fictional Suffolk town loosely based on Bury St Edmunds. Beginning with the building of the house, called Old Vine, by runaway serf Martin Reed in the fourteenth century, the three books tell the story of the different characters who occupy the house at various times over the course of the following six centuries, concluding in the 1950s.   

Just to confuse matters, a later series of books by the same author has now also been marketed  as The Suffolk Trilogy by some publishers. Knight’s Acre (1975), The Homecoming (1976) & The Lonely Furrow (1977) revolve around Sir Godfrey Tallboys, a fifteenth century knight who goes off on a crusade to fight the Moors in Spain, leaving his wife Sybilla to fend for their family at their Suffolk home, Knight’s Acre. As the name suggests, the second book concerns Sir Godfrey’s return to Suffolk, whilst the third focuses on his children, one of whom, Henry Tallboys, becomes a farmer. Whilst some early editions of these novels refer to the books as being part of a Suffolk trilogy, or The Knight’s Acre Trilogy, in 1986 the publishing firm Coronet brought the series out in one combined volume under the title of The Suffolk Trilogy

British author Norah Lofts (1904 - 83) was born Norah Robinson in Norfolk. She married her first husband Geoffrey Lofts in 1933 & lived for many years in Suffolk. She died at Bury St Edmunds. She is the author of more than fifty historical novels, many of which are set in Suffolk, as well as several volumes of short stories & children’s books. Her first published work was a collection of short stories entitled I Met a Gypsy, which appeared in 1935. This was followed by her first novel, Here Was a Man: A Romantic History of Sir Walter Raleigh, in the following year. Other novels include The Brittle Glass (1942), Bless This House (1954), The Maude Reed Tale (1972) & The Old Priory (1982).  She was also the author of several works of non-fiction including Women in the Old Testament: Twenty Psychological Portraits (1949) & Domestic Life in England (1977). Norah Lofts also wrote murder-mystery novels under the pseudonym Peter Curtis, & two novels under the name Juliet Astley.

Several of her novels were adapted into films, such as Jassy (1947), which starred Margaret Lockwood & Dennis Price,  & Youre Best Alone, a Peter Curtis book which was renamed Guilt Is My Shadow (1950) for the big screen.

Top of Page

The Suffolk Reading Scale

The Suffolk Reading Scale (SRS) or alternatively The Suffolk Reading Test is a measure of reading comprehension and ability for young children and youths.  SRS is used as a teacher’s guide to monitor the reading development of pupils from age 6 years up to 14 years 11 months, and further enhancements to SRS have extended the usage of these tests to age 17 years 4 months.  

It is a standardised reading test that consists of multiple-choice and sentence-completion questions, SRS identifies where an individual may be experiencing reading difficulties to ensure that each child receives the support needed, and ultimately raises standards as a whole.  The standardised scores and age equivalents can be used widely to monitor reading ability, and thereby assist teachers where pupils transfer schools.

The Suffolk Reading Scale takes its name from reading tests prepared by the Suffolk Education Service, England, and was compiled by Fred Hagley in 1987.  It is now used widely in the English speaking countries.

There is very little information available regarding Fred Hagley. He presumably must have worked for the Suffolk Education Service, although in exactly what capacity is unknown. If anyone can provide further details, please email

Top of Page

The New Suffolk Hymnbook – A Novel by Ben Oswest

Published by Jacana Media (Pty) Ltd, South Africa, in 2008, this first novel by Ben Oswest is set in the mythical town of Suffolk.

A general synopsis of the theme in this novel is provided as follows: “A professor contemplates the ruins of his life while delivering a passionate final lecture; a city girl suffers an unaccountably cruel twist of fate in a stranger’s apartment; a rising executive flies blindly toward his past; and a young boy haunts the lives of all who cross his path.  It is the town of Suffolk that binds them together.  Through a beautifully crafted mosaic of different voices brought to life in dazzling, original prose, this novel creates a world that breaks new ground in literary convention and leaves a mark long after its poignant end.”
Several literary critics, whilst praising the author’s experimentation with form and words given in a deliberate and weighty prose style that often bewilders the reader, have admitted to being baffled, at times, by the book because the meaning is obscured.  There are nine stories or voices, each one describing hidden truths. The final story is about Suffolk itself. On its surface are played out issues of race and place, of colonisation and consumerism, ownership and dispossession, of insiders and outcasts, and the individual versus the group. We have read a few chapters and it can be said to be “heavy going”; it certainly is not a novel with a definite beginning and a definite ending that can be read for easy amusement or relaxation.  

Ben Oswest was born in 1973 in the USA.  He was educated there and in South Africa, and now lives in Cape Town with his wife.

Top of Page

The Barley Bird – Notes on the Suffolk Nightingale by Richard Mabey

The “Suffolk Nightingale” is not a sub-species of the common nightingale to be found in that county in England, but the nightingale is colloquially known as the “Barley Bird” in Suffolk because its arrival coincides with the time for sowing the barley.  In his book Richard Mabey, described as “Britain's greatest living nature writer”, explores the nightingale’s links with Suffolk culture and landscape, and traces the nightingale through myth, lore and tradition.  Mabey takes in everything from Keats and John Clare to popular songs such as ‘A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square’ to show just how ingrained in the popular imagination is this sadly declining species.   

Richard Mabey is prize-winning author, conservationist, broadcaster, and one of the foremost writers on nature.  He is the author of some thirty books.  Between 1982 and 1986 he sat on the UK government’s advisory body, the Nature Conservancy Council.  He lives and works near Diss in Norfolk.

The book was published in March 2010 by Full Circle Editions.  Author: Richard Mabey, images by Derrick Greaves.

Why not sign the Guestbook?

Top of Page

A Suffolk Tale; or, The Perfidious Guardian by Hamilton Roche

This is a gothic novel of deception and betrayal featuring two young men, one naïve and young, the other intelligent and evil.  Marshall Duroc leaves France to settle in Ireland under the name of De Claridge.  His son Alfred goes to a military academy in Dublin where he falls under the influence of a sinister and ambitious Irish cadet, William O’Connor, who dedicates himself to the destruction of Alfred’s life in order to gain his inheritance.  O’Connor gains the confidence of Alfred’s father, who allows O’Connor to become Alfred’s guardian.  In this role O’Connor gains control of all the money allotted to Alfred by his father.  Posted to duty in New Brunswick in Canada, Alfred takes his wife, but she dies soon afterwards.  Meanwhile, O’Connor himself has married the only daughter of a wealthy Suffolk farmer and moves to the nearby village as its apothecary.  

When Alfred comes home from his Canadian duty, disheartened by the death of his wife, he should now be heir to his deceased father’s property and fortune, but O’Connor cheats Alfred out of his inheritance which gets him jailed for debt.  Alfred’s mother, who recognises what O’Connor is doing to her son, is helpless to affect events.  Eventually, the broken Alfred, on the edge of insanity, kills himself in prison.  O’Connor then assumes all the wealth and property of the De Claridge family as well as that of his wife’s father.  The humble apothecary’s cottage in Suffolk is transformed into a mansion suited to a titled owner.  

It would seem that William O’Connor has everything he desired.  However, the moral of the story is that wealth and greed does not bring happiness.  O’Connor is abandoned by his own wife and is held in contempt by the society in which he has tried to gain acceptance.  He has no friends and lives alone in his Suffolk mansion; he finds solace in the bottle and the arms of prostitutes.   

Published in 1810 in two volumes by T. & E. T. Hookham (London), ‘A Suffolk Tale’ was written by John Hamilton Roche (he did not use his first name) who lived in Sudbury, Suffolk, England.  In some ways the novel draws on Roche’s own life.  He was born in Dublin in 1784 and entered the British Army at age 15.  He was at one time based in New Brunswick, and rose to the rank of Captain in the light infantry.  He married the daughter of a wealthy Suffolk farmer at Sudbury and left the military in 1808.   He was described as a wine merchant but went bankrupt in 1810.  Roche then set himself up as an author and in 1810 published ‘A Suffolk Tale’.  He was also the author of a number of small pieces of poetry, mainly to do with military campaigns in the recent Napoleonic wars, and a book of poems called ‘The Sudburiad’, the contents of which consisted of thinly-veiled attacks on local town dignitaries.  He does seem to have been a difficult character, unpopular with many, and seems to have had a “mixed press” in literary circles where he was regularly accused of plagiarism.

A Suffolk tale; or, The perfidious guardian has been reissued by Nabu Press in 2011.

Top of Page 

Suffolk Summer by John T. Appleby

Arkansas native John (Jack) Tate Appleby (1907-1974) is best remembered in Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, England, where he served in the U.S. Army Air Force during the final months of World War II.  Born in Fayetteville, Arkansas, John Appleby came from a rural area himself and his family were farmers who owned apple orchards and canning factories.  He received his degree in English from Harvard College in 1928, then went to Paris to study at the Sorbonne while working as a reporter for the Paris Times.  He later moved to Washington DC, where he wrote book reviews for the Washington Post.  During the final months of World War II, Appleby served as a navigation trainer for pilots in the Eighth Air Force, stationed on two bases in Suffolk.  

During the seven months that he spent in Suffolk then and just after the War, he travelled the county by bicycle.  Although he admired Cambridge, Ely and Norwich, John Appleby fell in love with Suffolk and the result was a book, Suffolk Summer, which has charmed its readers and has remained in print since its publication in 1948.  It is an affectionate record of the months he had spent cycling around Suffolk, enjoying the working landscapes of the region and the people he met there.  He wrote that “The American eye is struck first of all by the dazzling greenness of the fields and by the beauty of the hedgerows.  The English landscape at its subtlest and loveliest is to be seen in the County of Suffolk”.

Appleby returned to the United States where he spent some years running one of the family’s apple orchards.  It was during this time that he completed Suffolk Summer and when it was published by the East Anglian Magazine in 1948, its profits went to the John Appleby Rose Garden in the grounds of the Abbey in his beloved Bury St Edmunds.  With its completion, Appleby began the first of several biographies of English kings of the twelfth and early thirteenth centuries and became a long-time associate editor of the American Historical Review.

Top of Page

Sophia of Suffolk by Jamie Michele & Madame d’Arblay

Sophia Bexley is an orphaned heiress, who is forced to leave her beloved Suffolk at the bidding of her guardians.  She has eight months remaining before she reaches her majority to claim her inheritance and take control of her own way of life.  But she has been thrust onto London’s social scene.  She is chased by fortune hunters, ruled by inadequate guardians, and swept up in a sea of deceit.  Will she survive with her fortune and reputation intact?  Or will the people who are supposed to protect her allow Sophia to fall into ruin?

Set in Regency London in 1795, Sophia of Suffolk deals with the life, love, and trials of Sophia Bexley over three volumes.  The first volume was published in the USA by Vintage Volumes in April 2015.  As at April 2017 only two volumes have been released.  
Jamie Michele is an American award-winning romance writer and former zookeeper.  She now lives in Maryland and concentrates on writing.  The ‘co author’ (Madame d’Arblay) is a pseudonym added to give the aura of authenticity.  Madame dArblay was the married name of Fanny Burney who was a notable English satirical novelist, diarist and playwright of the Regency period in England.

Top of Page

Resilience in the Face of Adversity - A Suffolkian’s Life Story
by Dr Margaret Ellen Mayo Tolbert

Margaret Ellen Mayo Tolbert (b. 1943) is a biochemist who worked as a professor and director of the Carver Research Foundation at Tuskegee University, an historically black university located in Tuskegee, Alabama, USA.  From 1996-2002 she served as director of the New Brunswick Laboratory south of Chicago, a United States government-owned centre in the measurement of nuclear materials, becoming the first African-American and the first woman in charge of a Department of Energy laboratory.

Margaret is proud to call herself a Suffolkian; the Suffolk in question is that in Virginia, USA, where she was born.  In this autobiography (published by Balboa Press in June 2015) she describes how she overcame the obstacles that faced many a black family in that era.  She and her five siblings lost their mother at a young age, and the family was brought up largely by her grandmother.  The family lived in humble circumstances and was faced with segregation wherever they turned.  Margaret was determined to obtain a sound education and a professional career.  Walking for two miles along dirt tracks to reach high school and having to work as a maid to supplement the family income, particularly after her father also died, she shows that hard work and diligent study can reward those who put in the effort.

In an era of tense race relations and numerous stumbling blocks for an aspiring black person and a woman, she rose to prominence as an African-American scientist, educator and administrator.  Margaret is the author of many articles and books on her specialised, scientific subjects.  This autobiography demonstrates that she is a strong role model with an inspirational message for others struggling against what appear to be overwhelming odds.

Top of Page

Tales from Suffolk County and More Tales from Suffolk County by B.R.Laine

Two books originally published by Rosedog Press, Pennsylvania, in July 2009 and June 2010 respectively.  The first book is in four parts.  The first part involves the death of an English businessman.  Whether his death is the result of natural causes or foul play is determined through a series of letters.  The second part consists of seven short stories about a fictional English character as he progresses from a teacher to a constable to a private detective.  The third part consists of three longer stories, one of which occurs in Paris and the other two in the United States. The two in America involve a murder trial and an unrelated murder investigation.  The fourth part involves a dream that takes place after the other parts. It is a very short story with a single clue to determine whether the dream was about actual or imagined events.

Although the characters are the same in both works, in the second book there are 15 tales that occur later.  With two exceptions, all take place in England and involve fictional characters.  Most tales concern a detective who gets involved in several cases, including murder investigations.

The author was born and resides in northeast Ohio.  He practised law from 1973 to 2008.  The marketing write-up states: “Inter-related short stories that involve fictional characters who reside and work in a non-metropolitan county.”  Although B.R.Laine travelled in England, the author never went to the county of Suffolk.  The books are obviously aimed at an American audience, since the author is oblivious to English usage and the actual situation that is applicable in the county of Suffolk in England.  This rather spoils the tales for the reader who is familiar with England and the English idiom.  The books are full of anachronisms, not least their titles.  The expression “Suffolk County” is only used in America; in England we always say “County of Suffolk”.  You would never hear expressions in an English context such as “Suffolk County’s Sheriff’s Office” or the “Suffolk County Courthouse”.  We do have sheriffs in England but they have quite a different role from those in America, and “courthouses” just do not exist, although “courtrooms” are possible.

Top of Page

Sammy the Suffolk Seal by Lucy Stone

A children’s book for ages 6 to 8.  Lucy and Emma and their cousins, Jon and Tom, look forward to their holidays in Suffolk, England during the school holidays, ready for exciting adventures on the coast with their friend and fellow adventurer, Sammy the Suffolk Seal.  Sammy the Suffolk Seal is written by the Australian author Lucy Stone and illustrated by Jenny Duke.  The book introduces a new generation of children to the fascinating treasures of the Suffolk coast.  Although the author now lives locally, it does beg the question why an Australian is fascinated by the Suffolk coast when that country has golden beaches and plenty of sunshine.  It stems back to her father who was from London and he used to spend his summer holidays in Suffolk.  The author’s grandparents later moved to Orford, just below the castle, and the grandchildren used to come from Australia to spend time with them.  The Suffolk coastline and happy childhood memories, particularly seeing seals in the River Deben, inspired Lucy Stone to create Sammy the Suffolk Seal, recalling the many fascinating places she visited as a curious young girl.  Publisher: Leiston Press (2014).

Top of Page

The Diary of a poor Suffolk woodman by Pip Wright, Joy Wright, & Léonie Robinson

A family contribution to “all things Suffolk” comes from Pip and Joy Wright.  They live in Stowmarket in Suffolk, England, where Pip was a school teacher.  He now writes local history books and gives talks to groups of all kinds and all ages across East Anglia.  Like us, the Wrights are inveterate collectors of anything to do with Suffolk, and some of their books obviously have “Suffolk” in the title: ‘Witches in and around Suffolk’ (2004), ‘The Watery Places of Suffolk’ (2010).  In addition, they have compiled a full text of hundreds of old newpaper items from 1720 to 1914 that can be found on the Internet site: ‘Newspapers in Suffolk’.  They have also produced a number of books on the histories and lives of ordinary Suffolk people and their families.  These include ‘The Suffolk Gipsy - The amazing story of John Heigham Steggall’ (2004) and the one that we have chosen to highlight entitled ‘The Diary of a poor Suffolk woodman’ (2004), published by Poppyland Publications.

This is a book of special social significance as it is an account of a poor man’s life in the early 19th century written by himself.  The woodman was William Scarfe who lived in Thorpe Morieux near Lavenham in Suffolk.  He had been given a Prayer Book by the local rector and he wrote in the margins of the book between the years of 1827 and 1842.  The Prayer Book was then passed down through the family.  Few of William Scarfe’s social class in the early 1800s could write well enough to provide this insight into the life of a working man in a small and out-of-the-way village.  Together with Léonie Robinson, a direct descendent of William Scarfe, Pip and Joy Wright have transcribed the words from his ‘diary’, and have researched background material for further evidence of the events he wrote about.

Top of Page

Nettlestead Abbey or The Fair Maid of Suffolk: A Romance by Emilia Grosett

Emilia Grosett was an early 19th century English chapbook novelist about whom nothing is known except for the four novels she wrote.  Chapbooks were small booklets, cheap to make and to buy.  The very word means just that since the first element of the name comes from Old English ceap - originally to barter or deal as a ‘chapman’ does in the market place offering ‘cheap’ goods.  A chapbook is an early type of popular literature that provided simple reading matter for the poor and younger members of the middle classes.  They were commonplace across Europe from the 17th to the 19th century, usually printed on a single sheet folded into books of 8 to 24 pages.

Emilia Grosett is recognised as a writer in the Gothic genre popular in the early 19th century, as the titles of her novels, written between 1819 to 1829, indicate: The Freebooter’s Wife or The Hag of Glenbourne, A Scottish Romance (1819); The Monastery of St Mary or The White Maid of Avenel, A Scottish Tale (1820); Nettlestead Abbey or The Fair Maid of Suffolk (1826); and The Spirit of the Grotto or The Castle of St George, including The Maid of the Hamlet or The Nocturnal Elopement (1829).  They allude to the darkness of ruined medieval structures, the romantic love of young maidens and the mystery of forbidden or unearthly pleasures.  Unfortunately, the author was not adept at original thinking since her stories were recognised as plagiarised and condensed versions of other author’s novels, or the fictionalised version of true-life events.  Nettlestead Abbey or The Fair Maid of Suffolk comes into the latter category.

The Fair Maid of Suffolk is based on the true life story of Henrietta Maria, 6th Baroness Wentworth of Nettlestead in the county of Suffolk in England who inherited her title and wealth at a young age.  Her story is well recorded (see Wikipedia) and her behaviour was considered scandalous even by the standards of late 17th century England.  She fell in love with the Duke of Monmouth, illegitimate son of King Charles II, and eloped with him, despite Monmouth being married.  They lived together as husband and wife and it seems that Monmouth, a renowned womaniser, mended his ways and became a devoted partner.  When Monmouth’s uncle James II became king in 1685, the duke launched a rebellion that was financed in part by Lady Wentworth’s jewellery.  After the rebellion failed, Monmouth was executed but he refused to acknowledge that his relationship with Lady Wentworth had been sinful and, therefore, he was refused the last prayers due to him before his execution.  The baroness died nine months later in 1686 at the age of 25, her death said to have been brought about by a ‘broken heart’.

The author strays from the true story to make the novel more “gothic”, but then it was not supposed to be a true historical biography.  The people in the novel were real and the locations do actually exist.  However, the very title conveys the fiction behind the reality.  There has never been an abbey at Nettlestead.  Henrietta is said to have been known as “the Fair Maid of Suffolk”.  The Wentworth family was originally from Yorkshire but a branch of the family had settled in Nettlestead, Suffolk, in the fifteenth century, where they held a vast estate.  In 1614, Thomas Wentworth inherited the estate of Toddington in Bedfordshire, and this became the principal residence of the family thereafter.  Henrietta was born in 1660 and lived at Toddington Manor.  The Wentworth family had sold off Nettlestead in 1643, so it is pure fiction that she was ever referred to in this manner.  Nevertheless, the main plot in the novel is located at the Suffolk manor.  In the novel she is unaware that her lover is the Duke of Monmouth as he uses a false name because he is already married.  Henrietta learns of this after she has eloped with him, but they conduct a bigamous marriage and they have an illegitimate child.  None of the foregoing is true.  As fitting with a Gothic novel, there is a macabre ending in which she witnesses Monmouth’s execution.  She is allowed to visit him with their infant child prior to the time of execution, but is constrained from seeing the actual execution itself.  Nevertheless, she frees herself and runs to the doorway where Henrietta spies Monmouth with his head resting on the block.  “Henrietta rents the air with a piercing scream.  The executioner struck an ineffectual blow; the wounded Monmouth heed the cry of his beloved and had still strength sufficient left to raise his head and give her a last look.  It took three strokes to sever the head from the body.”  Three days later Henrietta was found clutching their infant child, but the babe was in the arms of a lifeless corpse.

In real life Henrietta did not witness Monmouth’s execution, being in exile in the Netherlands at the time.  However, it is true that his execution was horribly performed.  The infamous executioner Jack Ketch was notorious for his botched executions, and this was no exception.  Ketch inflicted multiple blows with the axe. Sources vary, but it was at least five blows and some say as many as eight, and Monmouth actually started to get up during the execution before he was dispatched.  The final horror is that a knife had to be employed to sever the head from the twitching body.

Top of Page


A word that seems to be in vogue at the present time, invariably used in a negative sense, but has been around for a long time in one or more of its guises.  Generally speaking, the imagery of “suffocation” is being used by this play on the sound of the word to indicate something bad or unpleasant.

The first reference we can find is “Suffolkated” coined in 1812 in The Satirist or Monthly Meteor, a magazine printed in London that specialised in political satire, the exposure of impostors in high places, and often scurrilous literature.  It has a sketch on the dissolution of Parliament that it says was “already on its death-bed”, so it was a relief to its members “though not before the patient was half  Suffolkated”.  It explains by a footnote that this word gets its meaning from “Sir C. Banbury, one of the respected members for the county of Suffolk, retired from Parliament, being no longer able to support the fatigue of hearing long speeches”.  This is obviously a play on the word ‘suffocated’.

In 1835 it appears again in the Athenæum journal of literature when it refers to the performances of Lucia Vestris, a popular English actress and singer appearing at the Surrey Theatre in London: “The houses have been crowded to such an excess, that the good people of Surrey have been nearly suffolk-ated.”  We have no idea as to what this is alluding to, unless it is to do with the theatre’s close proximity to Great Suffolk Street in Southwark.

In 1867 the word appears in America with the specific meaning of when a location is swallowed by the expansion of another settlement.  This arose with the expansion of Boston and Suffolk County, first with Roxbury (September 1867) when a correspondent said that “the town was Suffolkated” (The Memorial History of Boston, incl. Suffolk County, 1881), then in 1873 when Brookline “resisted Suffolkation” by voting against amalgamation with Boston and Suffolk County.  This word was generally used in the local press at the time, and it can be seen that it is used in a negative tone.

The word lay dormant for over a hundred years, but then became an ‘in-word’ in the 2000s for something that is not particularly nice or pleasurable.  In his autobiography and memoir, The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother, published in 1995, the author James McBride says that his mother was constantly moving from place to place “at the beginning, because her life was Suffolkating in her hometown”.  She lived in Suffolk, Virginia.  “Suffolkated” was said to be a neologism in America in 2011 when it came to mean “trapped by modern conditions”.  This arose from New Yorkers being “stuck on a crowded highway on Long Island in Suffolk County” and also being “trapped in a competitive, materialistic lifestyle in Suffolk County on Long Island”.  

The American view of their Suffolks found an echo in the English view of their own Suffolk.  From about 2007 “Suffolkation” was used by the national press to reflect “backward-looking”, “not up-to-date”, “nothing ever gets done” or just “complacent”.  This seems to have started because Suffolk County Council adopted the policy of outsourcing their public services to the private sector in the belief that it would save money.  Needless to say the word “Suffolkation” was used by trades union spokespersons and those who worked in the public services in a derogatory sense, and taken up by left of centre newspapers like The Guardian (September 2010).  In a letter to The Spectator magazine in May 2012 the writer, who felt that she had been ‘exiled’ to Suffolk, wrote “We have a sense of not belonging.  Is it Suffolkation we are suffering from?”

The word has been let out of the bag and is now finding a wider provenance as recording artists have taken up the name and it has been used as the title to several songs; and if you cannot beat them, then join them – the county of Suffolk has just had a beer released named Suffolk-ation (see Beers & Cyders Named Suffolk below).

Top of Page

Suffolk as a Surname

The first recorded use of Suffolk as a surname dates from 1273 in London with a Thomas Suffauk (Source: A Dictionary of English & Welsh Surnames by Charles W. Bardsley, 1901). It means someone from Suffolk so was only given to people who had moved away from the county.

Although not rare as a surname, it is not that common.  In 2014 the Forebears website showed 945 people worldwide with the surname, distributed: 53% in the UK, 22% in Australia, 11% in the USA, 10% in South Africa and 2% in Canada.  The Office of National Statistics in 2002 had 536 people with this surname in England & Wales; in 2014 the Forebears site has 497 people.  

A family with the surname Suffolk has given the name to two places in New South Wales, Australia (see Suffolk Park, NSW & Suffolk Creek, NSW pages).  The only notable person with this surname is Owen Suffolk who was an Australian author and poet (‘Victoria’s prison poet’), but gained greater notoriety from his other activities (see Owen Hargraves Suffolk (1829- ? ) section, below).  The former mining settlement of Suffolk Lead in Victoria is said to have been named after him (see The Ones That Got Away page).

An interesting feature is the surname “Seafolk” that some sources have speculated is a corruption of Suffolk.  The surname is only found in the USA, concentrated in Minnesota and Wisconsin, particularly around Hermantown, Mn.  However, this is a perfectly respectable English translation of the German surname “Seevolk” that means exactly what it looks like, “sea people”, a name given to those families who lived by the sea or earned a living from the sea.  This area of North America was heavily populated by German immigrants in the 19th century. 

Top of Page

Suffolk as a Title (Earl, Marquess, Duke)

Until 917, East Anglia was a kingdom, & after it was absorbed into the Kingdom of England it was governed by Ealdormen of East Anglia appointed by the king.  Over time the title of Ealdormen evolved into Earl.  After the Norman Conquest, Earls of East Anglia were often referred to as Earls of Norfolk & Suffolk, the first being Ralph the Staller, or Radulf Stalre, who was given the title in 1069.  The title was forfeited, however, after the second Earl, Ralph de Gael participated in the failed Revolt of the Earls in 1075 against William the Conqueror.

For members of the peerage, the title “of Suffolk” has been granted five times.  The titles were often forfeited when the holder chose the wrong side in the civil conflicts of the middle ages, but were recovered after they or their heirs ingratiated themselves with a later king.  The titles only became extinct when the family died out in the male line.   

1. The title Earl of Suffolk was first given separately in 1337 to Robert d’Ufford who was born in Thurston, Suffolk.  It became extinct with the death of his son in 1382.

2. The second grant of Earl of Suffolk was given in 1385 to Michael de la Pole, the son of a wool merchant from Hull, who was the chief financier to King Edward III.  His association with Suffolk was twofold: from his mother who was the daughter of Sir Walter de Norwich who held estates at Mettingham in Suffolk, and his wife, who was heiress to the lands around Wingfield Castle in Suffolk.  The de la Pole family was prominent in the affairs of England for the next 125 years.  In 1444 the title was raised to Marquess of Suffolk, and in 1448 to Duke of Suffolk.  After the death of King Richard III at Bosworth Field (1485), the de la Pole family became the Yorkist claimants to the throne.  Edmund de la Pole, the 3rd Duke of Suffolk, in 1501 challenged for the throne, but failed and had to flee abroad.  His lands were confiscated.  In 1513 he fell into the hands of Henry VIII.  He was executed for treason and the title forfeited.

3. In 1514 King Henry VIII granted the title of Duke of Suffolk to his favourite, Charles Brandon, who had married the king’s sister.  The Brandon family held extensive lands around Wangford in Suffolk.  Charles Brandon died in 1545.  The title became extinct in 1551 when the two teenage sons of Charles Brandon died from the ‘sweating sickness’, an unknown and highly virulent disease that struck England that year.  The 14 year old Charles Brandon has the distinction of holding a title for the shortest ever time, succeeding his elder brother and holding the title of Duke of Suffolk for only one hour before his own death from the disease.
(See also  Suffolk Place Farm & Suffolk Place Mine, on the London Suffolks page)

4. Henry Grey was created the Duke of Suffolk in 1551 after the death of the young Charles Brandon.  Henry Grey had married Lady Frances Brandon, the older sister of Charles.  Unfortunately for this Duke of Suffolk, his attempt to make his daughter, Lady Jane Grey, the Queen of England backfired.  Lady Jane Grey ruled for nine days before Queen Mary gained the throne.  Father & daughter were executed in 1554.

5. The fifth creation of the title was in 1603 when Thomas Howard became the Earl of Suffolk.  Thomas Howard was a prominent naval commander who fought against the Spanish Armada & was renowned for harassing the Spanish; capturing Cadiz in 1596.  He became a favourite of King James I and was one of the leading members of the court of the day.  By this period there was no requirement to be linked to the county from which a title was derived, & Thomas Howard did not live in Suffolk.  He was, however, the second son of the Duke of Norfolk & the title he chose was undoubtedly related to his father’s title.  Two locations in Svalbard take their name from his title (see Suffolkpynten, Norway page).

The Neighbourhood of Suffolk Hills in Oro Valley, Arizona was named after the wife of the 19th Earl of Suffolk; the American Margaret ‘Daisy’ Leiter. (See Suffolk Hills, Arizona page)

The Suffolks in Cheltenham takes its name from land originally owned by the 15th Earl of Suffolk (see The Suffolks, Cheltenham  page).

The locations named Suffolk in Sevenoaks, Kent, take their name from land leased by the 15th Earl of Suffolk (see Suffolk House and other Suffolks in Sevenoaks, below).

The title still exists today in the same family with Alexander Howard being the 22nd Earl of Suffolk.  The family home is at Char
lton Park in Wiltshire.    

Top of Page

High Sheriff of Suffolk

The title High Sheriff is the oldest secular office under the British Crown, & is nowadays a mainly ceremonial post appointed through a warrant from the Privy Council.

Dating back to Saxon times, the name sheriff is derived from ‘shire reeve’, which itself is thought to come from the Anglo-Saxon ‘Scir-gerefa’. (A reeve was an official with local responsibilities such as magistrate & overseer of a manor or estate). Once the principal law enforcement officer in the county, the High Sheriff was the Sovereign’s judicial representative who would preside at the assizes & other important county meetings, collect taxes & levies for the Crown, & was in charge of Crown property throughout the shire. Originally the title was created as the High Sheriff of Norfolk & Suffolk, until in 1576 a separate post of High Sheriff of Suffolk was established.

High Sheriff of Norfolk & Suffolk: Although a certain Toli (died 1066) is the first name we have recorded as being  High Sheriff of Norfolk & Suffolk, the first person to hold the office for whom any details have survived is Roger Malet (died c1106), who inherited his fathers great honour (feudal barony) of Eye, Suffolk  in 1071. This made him one of the greatest landholders in England at the time; holding manors in Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Essex, Nottinghamshire, & Hampshire, as well as Suffolk. He held the post of High Sheriff from around 1070-80. Although he had been a favourite of William the Conqueror, he later fell out of favour & had all his lands seized during the reign of William II. His fortunes changed for the better again upon William’s death, & he became a close advisor at the court of Henry I.

From 1086, the High Sheriff of Norfolk & Suffolk was Sir Roger Bigod (or Bigot), who held lordships in Suffolk, Norfolk & Essex at the time of the Domesday Book (1086). He held the post twice but, like his predecessor Malet, he fell out of favour under William II, & lost not only the position of High Sheriff, but also much of his estate. He regained favour under Henry I; being granted licences to build castles at Bungay, Ipswich & Framlingham; the latter becoming the family home until 1307. He was still High Sheriff of Norfolk & Suffolk at his death in 1107. His son, Hugh Bigod, would become 1st Earl of Norfolk.

Originally, the post could be held for any number of years, until the incumbent either fell out of Royal favour or died. Gradually, however, over the years the office of High Sheriff became an annual appointment. Other notable holders of the office of High Sheriff of Norfolk & Suffolk include:

    William of Huntingdon, one of the Magna Carta sureties, who died on the fifth Crusade around 1219-21. He served as High Sheriff from 1211-12 & again in 1214.

    John Howard, 1st Duke of Norfolk (c1423 -85), who held the office of High Sheriff in 1461, & whose descendant, Thomas Howard, would become Earl of Suffolk in 1603.

   William Boleyn (1451 - 1505), elected High Sheriff in 1500, & who was the paternal grandfather of Henry VIII’s second wife Anne Boleyn.

High Sheriff of Suffolk: The first appointee to the office of High Sheriff of Suffolk, once the post had been split into separate counties, was Robert Ashfield of Stowlangtoft in 1576. Over the years, the majority of High Sheriffs of Suffolk have been either past, present or future Members of Parliament, such as:

    Sir Dudley Cullum (1657 - 1720), who was High Sheriff in 1690 & went on to serve as a Member of Parliament for Suffolk from 1702 to 1705.

   Richard Phillips (c1640 - 1720), who was the Member of Parliament for Ipswich from 1696 to 1701, & who served as High Sheriff in 1704. 

   Sir Charles Bunbury (1740-1821), who was High Sheriff in 1788, in between two spells as a Suffolk MP.

Others to have held the post include:

    Arthur Churchman, 1st Baron Woodbridge (1867 - 1949), who was High Sheriff of Suffolk in 1931, & who, with his brother William, established the tobacco firm of W. A. & A. C. Churchman.

   Air Marshal Sir John Kemball, KCB, CBE, DL (born 1939), who was Commander of British Forces on the Falkland Islands in 1985 before becoming Chief of Staff and Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Strike Command in 1989. He served his year as High Sheriff of Suffolk in 2007.

The position today is non-political, unpaid & mainly ceremonial; many of the ancient duties & responsibilities of the High Sheriff having now been transferred to Lord-Lieutenants, High Court judges, magistrates, coroners & local authorities. The duties of the High Sheriff today include supporting High Court judges on circuit, & acting as returning officer for parliamentary elections in the county constituencies, as well as supporting crime prevention agencies, the emergency services, voluntary sector agencies & local charities.

The selection of new High Sheriffs is made annually, with initial nominations being put forward in November. The final selection of a new High Sheriff is made by the Queen in March, at a meeting of the Privy Council, when the appointed name is “pricked” with a silver bodkin. This custom is thought to derive from the time of Elizabeth I, when, lacking a pen, she used her sewing bodkin to make a hole to mark each name instead.  

There are currently 55 High Sheriffs serving counties throughout England & Wales.

Top of Page

Owen Hargraves Suffolk (1829 - ? )

Owen Suffolk led a colourful life as a renowned Australian bushranger, thief, confidence trickster, bigamist, author and poet.  He was born at Finchley, Middlesex, England, the only son of a middle class family. He was well-educated and literate.  When his father suffered financial reverses he was sent to sea but could not bear the discipline required by that occupation.  On his return he became a vagabond and fell into a life of crime, becoming a successful confidence trickster, but a poor thief, the latter activity earning him a year’s detention in 1844.  Suffolk was next convicted of forgery in 1846 at the Central Criminal Court, and transported, aged 17, in 1847 in the convict ship Joseph Somes which arrived at Melbourne, Victoria, in September.

Upon his release on a “ticket of leave” in 1848 he stole a horse and was jailed for the third time.  Only a few weeks after his release from that jail term in 1851, he became a bushranger, making “robbery under arms” a way of life, using the Australian bush as a base.  He and a friend held up a mail coach the same year, but Owen Suffolk was caught and sentenced to five years in Melbourne Gaol.  His literacy enabled Suffolk to become a clerk in the prison.  This position, his skill at forgery and acquaintance with the criminal fraternity of Victoria allowed him to make money out of altering the prisoners’ records so that they were released before their time.  Unfortunately this lucrative line of business was discovered by the authorities and Suffolk was given additional years to serve.   

In December 1857 he was again given a “ticket of leave” and he went to Ballarat where, reverting to his confidence trickster role, he worked in the gullies and the mining camps.  Pretending to be a police detective, Suffolk swindled a hotel landlord out of some money and a horse, but he was caught and sentenced to seven years’ hard labour in June 1858.  By now Owen Suffolk had gained a notoriety that made him something of an anti-hero to the mining community, who did not have much liking for the authorities at the best of times.  It is said that the mining settlement of Suffolk Lead near Chiltern was named after him (see The Ones That Got Away page).  It was during this fifth period of incarceration that Owen Suffolk claims to have begun his autobiography and began writing poems.   

He was released in 1866 and immediately organised a criminal group engaged in forged notes for the Indian market.  Suffolk was astute enough to remove the primary evidence against him before the police raided the premises.  By now the authorities in Victoria were fed up with him but, by using his contacts, Owen Suffolk acquired a conditional pardon for his criminal activities on the understanding that he would leave Australia and not return.  His autobiography, called “Days of Crime and Years of Suffering”, also included six of his poems mainly about prison and bushranging.  It was bought by the Melbourne Argus in August 1866, and published in the Australasian newspaper between January and October 1867.  It is generally considered to be a well-written, racy and a powerful account of criminal life, and the behaviour and treatment of convicts during the 19th century by an insider.

In September 1866 Owen Suffolk sailed for England, a relatively wealthy man.  Nevertheless, back in England he quickly resumed his old habits as a confidence-trickster and swindler.  He also added bigamy to his curriculum vitae.  He pretended to be a wealthy squatter with a banking interest in Australia.  This gained him access to English society and, in March 1867, he married a wealthy widow, Mary Phelps, in London.  After relieving his wife of her money and selling her furniture, he faked his own death by drowning and even wrote his own obituary, and then fled to New York.

By August 1868 Owen Suffolk, described as ‘a journalist’, was back in England appearing in court at Ipswich charged with stealing a mare and carriage belonging to the landlady of the Great White Horse Hotel, and obtaining ten pounds by false pretences.  Suffolk begged for mercy on account of his wife, aged 19, and her infant.  The judge rejected the marriage as bigamous and sentenced Suffolk to 15 years penal servitude.  By 1880 he had been released from prison and in August married Eliza Shreves at St Lukes Church in St Marylebone in London.  After that his final fate is unknown.

Top of Page

With Love From…Suffolk - A Film from an idea by Julien Mery

Released in February 2016, With Love From... Suffolk is a feature film that celebrates love in all its guises.  It is a feature film consisting of 8 short stories by local writers on the theme of love and romance in the county.  Each mini-film is made by different film teams.  The film is set entirely within Suffolk, England, in about a dozen locations, including Aldeburgh, Southwold, Bury St Edmunds, Framlingham, Martlesham Creek, Sudbury and Lowestoft.  The stories are both funny and a tender exploration of the relationships and bonds between characters living in the county, together with glorious shots of the beauty of Suffolk and its coastline.

Julien Mery, who conceived the idea, and his collaborator, Matthew McGuchan, have been resident in Ipswich for over ten years and have developed a love for the Suffolk countryside.  They have directed and produced several films, and decided that since there was no local filmmaking scene they should set about creating their own.  Suffolk is ideal for filmmakers seeking to draw the benefits of shooting not too far from London, but with all the advantages of having easy access to highly skilled crew, talent and facilities in the capital.  The two established Livid Films in Ipswich in 2009 to develop and produce feature films in East Anglia.  From this beginning they also expanded into FILM Suffolk, a non-profit organisation formed in 2013 to support filmmakers in the area and to promote the region to film and media productions worldwide through networking activities.  FILM Suffolk’s aim is to advance filmmaking activity in the region and grow East Anglia as a significant contributor to the UK film economy.

Top of Page

Suffolk Ham & Suffolk Bacon

Ham and bacon curing is a traditional East Anglian industry whose fame has spread beyond the borders of the region.  Suffolk sweet-pickled hams are among the finest in the land, available in Harrods and other prestigious establishments.   The origin of Suffolk cured hams is the subject of some debate.  Some experts state that it was Emmett’s, the traditional producer based in Peasenhall, who first introduced the product in 1840, but as Suffolk Hams were famed in England before that date their claim is perhaps to the specific cure rather than the generic product. Suffolk Ham is not mentioned by a survey of foodstuffs in the county by the Board of Agriculture in 1804.  Eliza Acton in “Modern cookery for Private Families” (1845) implies that the Suffolk cure is based on the one introduced to England by ‘the celebrated French cook, Monsieur Ude’, whose “The French Cook” was published in England in 1813.

It is the quality of the pork used and the time and care taken in processing which mark out the product.  The best true Suffolk Hams are produced from free-range pigs reared in the county, and for the end product to be just right the fresh pork leg used has to have a specific fat content.

The traditional method of preparing the hams is that first the fresh pork is brined, the brine containing a little saltpetre as is traditional to help retain some of the colour of the meat after processing.  The brined leg is then pickled for at least three weeks or longer.  The pickling mix contains black treacle and sugar that gives the end product a certain sweetness, salt to continue the preserving process, and either stout, old strong ale, cider or port wine, with varied spices added according to taste.  The final active stage is the smoking, done for four to five days, traditionally using oak sawdust. And then the ham is left for at least a month before it is ready for consumption.

A real Suffolk Ham does not come cheap.  The Queen is said to have one for the Royal table every Christmas.  The flavour has sweetness and a proper ham taste, varying according to the pickling mix.  When stout and ale are used the colour of the skin is a dark hue, close to black.  If cider is the alcohol used, the skin is far lighter, but with both there is a real pinkness to the meat.

Suffolk Bacon: The cookery website “The Foods of England” mentions this as ‘a very dark cured bacon, using salt and dark sugars.  The fat is distinctly brown, with a sweet taste’.  This is generally known today as Suffolk Black Bacon and is cured with molasses (black treacle), dark beer, fennel and coriander and has a unique rich, sweet, and slightly acidic taste from the beer which offsets the sugary molasses, and traditionally is naturally smoked over a whole Suffolk oak fire.

The name Suffolk Crown is closely associated with bacon products.  This is a trade brand name and is covered in the Suffolk as a Product Brand Name section below. 

Top of Page

Suffolk Sausage

As the fame of Suffolk Ham shows, Suffolk has long had a thriving pig industry.  The county has another equally celebrated pork product to its name, the Suffolk Sausage.  This product is now being regularly seen on menus throughout the country.  However, this regional variety of sausage owes its prominence to the success of an even more local variety, the Newmarket Sausage, which in October 2012 was awarded Protected Geographical Indicator of Origin (PGI) status by the European Union.

The traditional Suffolk Sausage is described as “a fairly coarse, chopped pork sausage, heavily flavoured with herbs, usually sage, sometimes thyme, often mixed with other mild spices to set off the flavour of the pork” (Book of Sausages).  

Individual butchers would add their own preferred spices to a recipe of their own making to provide the individual taste of their own branded product.  To protect their brand, butchers would keep the mixture of ingredients secret, so it is not possible to define exactly what a “Suffolk Sausage” is, other than it comes from that county, and is mildly spicy.        

The Newmarket Sausage is a pork sausage made to a traditional recipe from the English town of Newmarket, Suffolk.  For more than 120 years, competing family firms have been making two, quite different types of Newmarket Sausage while jealously guarding each of the secret recipes.  The two varieties of Newmarket Sausage are Musk’s® and Powters®.  Both firms use hand-boned pork; both use natural casings; neither countenances artificial flavourings or colouring.  The main difference between the two recipes is that Musk’s uses a heavy bread as a filler and Powters uses rusk, but of course both the rivals have their own secret herb and spice mix.  The texture is fairly coarse; they are both well-flavoured, with perhaps the Powter’s sausage slightly spicier.  Both are sold widely throughout the United Kingdom.

Both producers claim to have created the first Newmarket Sausage.  Musk’s sausages can be dated back at least to 1884, when local widow Elizabeth Drake married a Chiswick butcher, James Musk, and brought him to the town.  It is not known whether Elizabeth Drake created the Musk’s recipe or whether her new husband brought the idea back to Newmarket.  Powters begs to differ and says that it has been making Newmarket Sausages since 1881.  

The sausages have been served to race-goers at Newmarket’s historic course for more than 100 years and are said to have been enjoyed by Queen Victoria.  Musk’s sausages were favoured by royalty and Royal Warrants have been issued for their product, the latest by Queen Elizabeth in 2005.
In 2005, the European Union and the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs tried to persuade the two companies to merge recipes and gain Protected Geographical Status, from which products such as Parma Ham and Stilton Cheese have benefited.  It would mean their use of the Newmarket label would be protected to them for the sausage market, but it would also mean only one of the two recipes could exist.  The campaign to obtain the benefit of this protection was stalled because Powters did not want to divulge the recipe for its sausages, and the two companies could not bring themselves to agree on a common recipe.  Finally, in 2012, common ingredients were agreed and a joint application for the special status was made by three companies – Powters, Eric Tenant Butchers and Musk’s Sausages.

Certain criteria had been set for anyone wanting to call their product a Newmarket Sausage.  Location is key - the sausages have to be produced in the town of Newmarket or a very specific surrounding region, which incorporates Dullingham, Woodditton and Kirtling in Cambridgeshire.  The sausages must be made from prime cuts of pork from the whole carcass, the shoulder or the belly - so no offal or mechanically recovered meat.  The minimum meat content is 70% and the seasoning can make up a maximum of 3%.  Seasoning includes combinations of black and white pepper, salt, thyme, parsley and nutmeg.  Minimum weights, lengths and diameter have also been designated.

Needless to say, manufacturers from elsewhere in the county have jumped on the bandwagon and are heavily advertising their wares as “the famous Suffolk Sausage”.  However, only the “Newmarket Sausage” is recognised as a distinct local variety, and nobody outside that specific area can claim title to that name. 

Top of Page

Porkinson Suffolk Ale & Herb Banger

A brand that embraces the fame of two of Suffolk’s best known products – its sausage and its ale.  It only had a short existence from 2009 to 2012, but the story behind the original concept is interesting.

During the 1950s and ’60s, Norman Parkinson (1913-1990) was one of the most influential portrait and fashion photographers of his time, capturing the likes of Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, the Rolling Stones, Jerry Hall, and the Queen Mother.  In 1963 he moved to the West Indian island of Tobago.
Norman Parkinson soon found that he missed the taste of the ‘British banger’.  (‘Banger’ is British slang for a sausage.)  In order to remedy this and to produce the perfect banger, Parkinson reared his own pigs on the hills below his house to provide sausages for his family.  Soon word got round about the quality of his delicacy, and he was encouraged to produce his sausages commercially.  Thus, in 1987, the Porkinson Banger Company was born, the name being an obvious play on his own name and that of his product.  Initially selling his Porkinson Banger to West London butcher shops, the sausage was soon introduced to London high society through the many contacts Norman Parkinson had with that segment of the population.  It was not long before it became a fashionable (and expensive) “luxury” foodstuff listed in upper-class outlets such as Fortnum and Mason, and Harrods.  It was also the first sausage to go supersonic - featuring on the breakfast menu of Concorde!

The iconic Porkinson Banger became part of the Irish company, Kerry Foods, in 2002.  In April 2009 the Porkinson Suffolk Ale & Herb Banger was launched as a new variety.  This was one of four flavours: the Original, Oxford, Suffolk Ale & Herb, and English Sage & Onion.  Porkinson’s sausages were marketed as the traditional British banger, made from 80% outdoor reared lean pork shoulder, carefully sourced from British farmers whose pigs roamed free with continual access to shelters.  The packaging always had an image of a banger with the characteristic moustache and bow-tie of Norman Parkinson.

In June 2012 the Kerry Group discontinued the famous sausage following a portfolio review.  The company decided to focus on mainstream, popular sausage brands that are cheaper, have a larger market base and produce higher profit margins.  Despite an outcry, the “posh banger” with its delicious flavours of herbs and spices is no longer with us.

Top of Page

Other Suffolk Ale and Suffolk Cyder Dishes

Many modern recipes are cooked in ale or cider.  Although not traditional ‘Suffolk’ dishes (see Recipes named after Suffolk, below), dishes found in Suffolk restaurants, particularly those in public houses, are labelled as being cooked in “Suffolk Ale” or “Suffolk Cyder”.  Since these places are in Suffolk, it is probably fair enough to label them as such, and we do not list all of these.  However, there are some dishes that are found elsewhere outside the county that specifically refer to the ‘Suffolk’ name when being presented, such as the Porkinson Suffolk Ale & Herb Banger above, where there is no reference to which “Suffolk Ale” is used.   In some cases a particular brand of the ale or cider is mentioned.  We presume that in these cases there is a direct trade link with the brewery concerned, either by the restaurant or pub being owned by the brewery or a contractual agreement to use only that brewer’s brand.  We list some of the better known dishes below.

Venison & Suffolk Ale Pie came to prominence when Putney Pies in the district of Putney, London, introduced it to their menu in 2011.  As the restaurant’s name indicates, this eating house specialises in traditional pies and it has a widespread reputation for its fare.  The BBC Good Food Guide has the menu for this pie.  Venison was considered a high status food in earlier centuries and this recipe specifically calls for Greene King’s Strong Suffolk Ale (ABV 6%) to be used, presumably bringing a similar high quality flavour to the venison.

M&S Lochmuir Suffolk Ale Cured Smoked Salmon - This was an offer from the major British retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) from mid-2006 until the line was discontinued in 2016.  It comprised 12 slices of specially chosen Scottish Lochmuir salmon cured and smoked with Old Pulteney 12-year-old single malt whisky, Suffolk Ale and black treacle.  “Lochmuir” is a brand name created by Marks & Spencer to help market Scottish salmon.  It is a fictional name chosen by a panel of consumers as it reinforces the fact that the salmon is sourced from salmon fish farms in various regions of Scotland.  

M&S Suffolk Ale Cured Ham Slices are also on offer.  The “Suffolk Ale” is not named, but as M&S has an exclusive contract with Adnams Brewery to produce the Suffolk Bitter and Suffolk Single Variety British Hop Jester IPA sold in its stores (see Beers & Cyders Named ‘Suffolk’, below), it is assumed that Adnams has always supplied the appropriate ale in these instances.

Another widely distributed item is Brakes Steak & Suffolk Ale Pie Fillings comprising an individual portion of diced British beef cooked slowly in Suffolk Ale with onions in a reheatable pouch.  Like the Porkinson Suffolk Ale & Herb Banger above, there is no reference to which “Suffolk Ale” is used.  Brakes are Britains largest distributor of frozen food to the catering industry.  The company was started in 1958 by three brothers, based in Ashford, Kent, in the UK.  In 2002 this family owned organisation was sold to an American company and has remained under American ownership since.
At the renowned Jimmy’s Farm at Wherstead, Ipswich (see Food & Drink on Misc. page of Planet Ipswich for more information), Pork & Suffolk Beer Sausages are on offer.  There is no indication of which Suffolk beer is preferred.  The same outlet has Pork, Apple & Suffolk Cyder Sausages, stating that these are a classic combination of local apples and Aspall Suffolk Cyder.

The brand “Suffolk Mud” (see Suffolk as a Product Brand Name, below) also markets relishes made with Suffolk beer and cider, namely Aspall Suffolk Cyder and the beer is from St Peter’s Brewery (see Beers & Cyders Named ‘Suffolk’, below ).

Suffolk Cyder Pie - Several Suffolk pub restaurants advertise this as the additional ingredient in the pie dish on offer.  Since the cider is spelt with a ‘y’ it is presumably Aspall Suffolk Cyder that is used.  Some of them do actually state: ‘Aspall Suffolk Cyder’  (see Beers & Cyders Named ‘Suffolk’, below).  Although claims are made that these dishes are traditional, they do not seem to be specific to Suffolk.  A recipe given for Pulled Ham Hock, Leek and Aspall Suffolk Cyder Pie is almost identical to one seen in Devon that uses the cider found in that county.  Chicken, Aspall Suffolk Cyder, Sage & Red Onion Pie is an individual hand crafted pie baked to order by Country Pies at Capel St Mary in Suffolk.  In 2009 for a period of six months Aspall developed a speciality pie for Fullers Ale & Pie pubs in London.  This was the Chicken, Apple & Aspall Suffolk Cyder Pie.  However, the line was not continued after the six months.  It seems that Aspall Suffolk Draught Cyder is the product that is usually used in these recipes.
An interesting take on the above is the item on the menu of Ye Olde Two Brewers Inn, Shaftesbury, Dorset: “Suffolk Cyder battered fish of the day with chips, smashed peas & tartar sauce”.

Top of Page

Suffolk Bang and Other Suffolk Cheeses

Also known as Trip, Wonmil or Thump, Suffolk Bang cheese was a ‘Flet’ cheese,  meaning that it was made from skimmed cow’s milk.

During Tudor times Suffolk had a reputation for producing good quality cheeses; with six of them being sent as a present to Henry VIII in 1563.  

However, when Suffolk butter became highly esteemed, & therefore much in demand, Suffolk farmers concentrated on this at the expense of full fat cheese making. Butter production requires cream, which involves skimming milk over & over again to get as much fat out of it as possible. To avoid wasting anything, however, a by-product of very hard cheese was made from the thin, several-times skimmed milk. Low-fat cheese had a longer life than the full fat variety & so this cheese was sold to the Navy from the early seventeenth century, & 12 ounces of it were issued per week to each sailor.  Although durable it was virtually inedible & was given the name “Suffolk Bang”; probably because it was hard enough to use to bang nails into wood.

Suffolk Bang cheese became a bit of a joke, with sayings such as  “Hunger will break through stone walls, or anything except Suffolk cheese” & “Mocks the weak effort of the bending blade, Or in the hog-trough rests in perfect spite, Too big to swallow, and too hard to bite.” Diarist Samuel Pepys (1633 – 1703) complained that his servants would not eat it, & writer Daniel Defoe (c1660 – 1731) remarked that Suffolk had the best butter, but the worst cheese, in England.  It was said that pigs grunt at it, dogs bark at it, but neither of them dare bite it. Legend has it that it was so hard that it was used as wheels for wheelbarrows, or even cannons.

After the sailors complained about the quality of the cheese, the Admiralty relented in 1758 & replaced it with rations of Cheshire or Gloucester, even though these were more costly & didn’t keep as long.

On the 16th June 1759, the Ipswich Journal reported:
“To Suffolk Farmers - The Suffolk Cheese being so badly made for some years past, the Lords of the Admiralty have thought it fit to exclude it from the Royal Navy for one year.  It is hoped the dairymen will desist from making cheese from November till the beginning of May as it is of bad quality and has brought great odium to the country cheese.”

After this, cheese making in Suffolk all but ceased, with Suffolk farmers prioritising their quality butter instead.

Today cheese making has been revived in Suffolk, with several fine cheeses being made by small producers from around the county, such as Buxlow Wonmil, Hawkston, Shipcord, Suffolk Gold & Suffolk Blue.

Suffolk Gold is a creamy semi-hard farmhouse cheese, described as a flavoursome, creamy soft cheddar and is produced from the milk of Guernsey cows.

Suffolk Blue also comes from the milk of Guernsey cows.  It is a blue-veined cheese with a soft, creamy texture, and it is traditionally made with vegetarian rennet.

In addition to the above, since 2013 it has become common for conventional cheeses named after other localities to be given also the name of the county in which the cheese is produced.  So we now have cheeses that are actually called Suffolk Brie, Suffolk Cheddar, and Suffolk Camembert.  These are, in reality, a cheese of that type produced by a Suffolk farm and cannot be considered a “local” or “traditional” cheese specific to the county.  The names of these specialist cheeses are not protected.  The practice arose because farmers resented being trapped by supermarket contracts which deflated the price of dairy products below the price of bottled water.  The farmers turned to making cheese with unpasteurised milk and selling direct to the public from their farms.  

Although the first farmer to adopt this practice is accepted to be Jonathan Crickmore of Fen Farm Dairy near Bungay in Suffolk, he called his cheese “Baron Bigod”, first introduced in January 2013.  This is a Brie type of soft cheese produced from raw milk from his herd of French Montbéliarde cows.  Other farmers who followed his example also gave their cheese a distinctive name, but soon found that sales increased massively when they switched to selling it as “Suffolk Brie”, “Suffolk Cheddar”, etc.

Novelty variations have also appeared such as Suffolk Cheese Rarebit, Truffled Suffolk Brie and Suffolk Cheddar & Marmite Straws at the renowned Jimmy’s Farm at Wherstead, Ipswich (also see Food & Drink on Misc. page of Planet Ipswich).  Suffolk Cheddar & Chives flavoured potato crisps are also marketed (see ‘Suffolk’ in the Names of Crisps (Potato Chips), below).

Top of Page

Suffolk Punch – An American Cheese

Suffolk Punch is a buttery, nutty, aged caciocavallo style cheese, made at Parish Hill Creamery at Westminster West, southern Vermont, USA.

Local, traditional cheesemaking came over with the Pilgrim Fathers, but from the late 19th century cheese became a factory-made commodity.  By 1950 there were only 39 small cheesemakers operating in the USA.  In the 1980s, farmers began to return to the tradition, hoping to find customers willing to escape the mass-produced cheese products that had taken over the American table, and thus provide an additional income for the farmer.  Peter Dixon’s father saw cheesemaking as a way of saving their farm, and thus stimulated Peter’s interest in the product.    

Over the next thirty years, Peter Dixon travelled the world learning traditional cheesemaking recipes and came back to teach countless farmers how it was done. He became an internationally in-demand consultant and a teacher whose influence helped revive cheesemaking in Vermont.  In 2013 Dixon started Parish Hill Creamery, a small seasonal cheese business where he produces handmade, raw milk cheeses with his wife Rachel and her sister Alex Schaal. 

Gourd-shaped, whole milk caciocavallo style cheese is a classic pasta filata (Italian “spun paste”).  This is a technique in the manufacture of some Italian cheeses also known in English as stretched-curd, pulled-curd, and plastic-curd cheeses.  They are made by hand stretching fermented curd in hot water to form the traditional gourd shape.  This is known as caciocavallo and is produced throughout Southern Italy. The Italian name literally means “horse cheese”, which refers to the way two cheeses are tied at the ends of a long rope and then hung over a rod to age, like saddlebags thrown over the back of a horse.  The cheese was named Suffolk Punch in allusion to a strong horse carrying the cheese (see photo, left).

Suffolk Punch is aged for at least 3 months, during which it is rubbed and polished with olive oil that gives an edible rind.  It weighs from 1½ to 2½ pounds.  The interior is firm and smooth when young and becomes flaky and drier with age. The flavour is buttery, tangy, and even peppery, particularly when aged over 6 months.

Top of Page

‘Suffolk’ in the Names of Crisps (Potato Chips)

Potato crisps (in North America and generally elsewhere outside the British Isles they are known as “Potato Chips”) were not flavoured until 1957.  Joe Murphy (1923-2001) was an Irish entrepreneur who established his own crisp company, known as Tayto Crisps, in Dublin, Republic of Ireland, in 1954.  He and his employee Seamus Burke experimented with adding seasoning to the manufacturing process.  Finally, in 1957 they produced the world’s first flavoured crisps (potato chips): Cheese & Onion which was soon followed by Salt & Vinegar flavour.

‘Suffolk’ first appears associated with crisps in the flavour: Sea Salt & Suffolk Cider Vinegar.  Many different brands have now used this name. The first was Red Sky, which was a brand name used by Walkers from 2009 as their premium priced product in response to Kettle Chips. 

Walkers founded in Leicester, England, in 1948 was acquired by PepsiCo in 1989.  It has by far the largest market share of potato crisps in the UK.  The American-based company, Kettle Foods, Inc., was then making a determined effort to break into this market.  In 2009 four flavours were launched by Walkers: Anglesey Sea Salt, West Country Bacon and Cream Cheese, Sour Cream & Green Herbs, and Roasted Red Pepper & Lime.  In April 2010 ‘Sea Salt & Suffolk Cider Vinegar’ flavour was introduced.  However, the Red Sky line did not prove popular and was phased out over 2014.  Although the packaging emphasised that the crisps were “British Made”, it is believed that the lack of the Walkers logo on the packaging was instrumental in its failure.






The supermarket chain, Sainsbury’s, also used ‘Sea Salt & Suffolk Cider Vinegar Crisps’ as part of its ‘Taste the Difference’ promotion in 2014.  They advertised them as “Hand Cooked British Potato Crisps”.  New packaging in 2016 has dropped “Suffolk” from the name although the marketing write-up still says the product is made with ‘Suffolk Cider’.  It is noticeable that none of the brands say which Suffolk producer supplies the cider.

The third brand with the same seasoning was introduced in February 2016.  This was also advertised as “hand cooked potato crisps” produced by Jonathan Crisp.  The Jonathan Crisp brand sells itself as an “up-market” product founded by “a true British gentleman”.  In reality it was the trading name of Natural Crisps Ltd, a Staffordshire company incorporated in 1992.  In January 2009 the Northern Ireland based Tayto Group acquired the Jonathan Crisp brand to add to its snack manufacturing empire.  However, this is not the same Tayto Crisps who started off the flavoured crisp revolution in 1957.  

Tayto (Northern Ireland) was formed in 1956 by the Hutchinson family at Tandragee Castle in County Armagh, Northern Ireland.  They bought the rights to use the name and recipes of Tayto Crisps (Republic of Ireland) in the United Kingdom.  The two companies operated entirely separately, but had a similar range of products.  Joe Murphy of the original Tayto Crisps became a rich man, sold his company and retired in 1983.  Meanwhile, the Northern Ireland company became the Tayto Group, expanded elsewhere in the United Kingdom where the parent name of the group of companies owned by the family is the Manderley Group.  It is the third largest snack manufacturer in the UK.  






A number of other companies have since made this a crowded market place and realised that Suffolk Cider (or Cyder) must be a good thing.  We now have the following:

•    Morrisons The Best Sea Salt & Suffolk Cider Vinegar Crisps.  (Morrisons are a leading supermarket chain in the UK.)
•    Fairfields Farm Sea Salt & Aspall Cyder Vinegar Potato Crisps.  (Fairfields Farm is in Essex just north of Colchester; well, it is nearly in Suffolk !)
•    Deluxe Ridge Cut Salt & Suffolk Cider Vinegar Crisps by Low Price Foods Ltd, a company in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire.  (In the UK so must be near to Suffolk!)
•    Peter’s Yard Suffolk Cyder Vinegar & Sea Salt Soughdough Bites.  A Swedish company founded by Peter Ljungquist based at Ystad in southern Sweden.  One of its aims is “to introduce Swedish-inspired bakery to the UK”.  Presumably this is why they chose the name ‘Suffolk’ which, everybody knows, is just a few miles across the North Sea from Sweden, so practically related!!


Market Grounds GmbH & Co. KG was founded in Hamburg in 1998 and its line of business is the wholesale distribution of groceries and related products.  This German company launched the English Crisp brand “John & John” in October 2011.  As far as we can see, the range has six numbered products, No 3 being Aspall Cyder Vinegar, whilst No 4 is named Suffolk Cheddar & Chives.  The packaging says that the brand is “made in Britain”, and it also states on the packet that it is “imported”.  According to the marketing write-up, “John & John” are two English friends from a small village in southern England who are the purported creators of this brand.  They wished to make the best handmade crisp, always using English sourced potato varieties, with seasoning from Oriental spices and also regional specialties such as Aspall Suffolk Cyder and cheddar cheese from “a small English family business in Suffolk”.  The potato producer’s name is John Farmer and his friend travels the world looking for special flavours – his name is John Sailor.  A good story we think.  It seems that the intention is to introduce these crisps to German consumers as a British product since the best quality crisps come from England.  We have no idea where this product is actually made.  “Suffolk Cheddar” could well be a type of cheddar produced by a Suffolk farm.

Tyrrells British Beef & Suffolk Ale flavoured crisps were launched in January 2018 as the “Official Crisp of England Rugby”.  Farmer and entrepreneur William Chase founded the brand in 2002, named after his Tyrrells Court Farm in Leominster, Herefordshire, where he cultivated the humble potato.  Within several years of its creation, Tyrrells had expanded its market into Europe and later into the U.S.A.  In 2008, Chase sold out his majority stake and in August 2016 US-based Amplify Snacks, maker of Skinny Pop popcorn, bought Tyrrells as part of its global brand.  The company continues to be based in Herefordshire.  


Top of Page

Recipes named after Suffolk

Listed below are recipes that are named after Suffolk, England; some of which date back at least two centuries. Also included is a recipe for Suffolk Waldorf Salad which originates in New England. If anyone knows of any other recipes containing the name, please email details to

A basic description of the preparation method for each is given, but more detailed instructions, measurements & cooking times can be found on various internet sites & in cookery books.

Suffolk Pie: Several food outlets in the county advertise “Suffolk Pie” as a “traditional dish” usually made in accordance with a “long-held family recipe”.  The constituent ingredients of these pies vary considerably and it has to be said that there is no such recognised standard recipe.
However, there has certainly been a “Suffolk Pie” eaten since the 19th century since it accompanied Lord Kitchener on his Sudan campaign in 1898/99.  In March 2016 a personal narrative by a newspaper correspondent of the time was re-issued in which he states that after the Battle of Omdurman in 1898: “On a central packing-case, which served as a buffet, stood several tins of “Suffolk Pie” and ox tongue, and for every man a biscuit or two” (The Downfall of the Dervishes, by Ernest N. Bennett).  We have no idea what this “Suffolk Pie” contained, but it could have been the “Suffolk Medley Pie” (see below).    

Suffolk Medley Pie:  The “medley pie” is probably a very old dish.  As its name implies, it had a combination of ingredients.  It was held in some disrepute by the better social classes since it was based on leftovers.  A correspondent in ‘Lloyds Weekly Newspaper’ (April 1845) refers to it as ‘a certain detestable piece of cookery, which in the north of England is called “a medley pie”, of which the ingredients are everything, the flavour nothing, … find beef, and rabbit, and bacon, and apples, and onions, and turnips, and carrots - a bit, in fact, of everything that has passed through the larder in the last fortnight.’

By the mid-19th century there were three versions recognised: the Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Suffolk.  The Leicestershire and Derbyshire were very similar, being based on boiled bacon and roast pork, differing only in their fillings and seasoning.  The Suffolk used a mixture of pork and pig’s kidney instead.  The original Suffolk recipe was printed in ‘The Tamworth Herald’ in May 1936, and is also found on ‘The Foods of England’ website.  Ingredients: ½ to ¾ lb. lean pork (remains of a cold joint may be used), 1 pig’s kidney, 2 large apples, 2 onions, 4 potatoes, teaspoonful powdered sage, 1 pint white stock, salt and pepper to taste.  Cut the pork and kidney in neat pieces, arrange in a greased pie-dish, season, sprinkle with the sage and add stock or water.  Peel and slice the apples, onions and potatoes, season and mix together, then pile in the dish on top of the meat.  Cover and cook in a moderate oven for one-and-a-half hours, removing the cover for the last half-hour. 

Suffolk Buns:  Suffolk Buns have been made since at least the nineteenth century, & were originally made to be consumed on St Edmund’s Day (20th November).

Flour, ground rice & baking powder are placed in a mixing bowl, to which butter is rubbed in until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Caraway seeds & sugar are then added, after which eggs & milk are stirred in to make a paste. Once rolled out, the dough is cut into 2 inch rounds, approximately 1 inch thick. They are then baked in the oven until golden brown.  Honey can be drizzled over when cooled. Currants are sometimes substituted for the caraway seeds, & honey can also be added to the mixture, if desired.

Suffolk Apple Cake:  Lard or margarine is rubbed into a mixture of flour, salt & baking powder. When the mix resembles breadcrumbs, the sugar can be added & stirred in. Grated or chopped apples are then added, along with milk to make a firm dough. This should then be moulded into a round cake about ¾ of an inch thick, then baked until it rises & turns golden brown. Cut into wedges & serve with butter. Can be served hot or cold.

Suffolk Cakes: This recipe was collected during the nineteenth century by a Mrs Anstey, who was a cook for several Suffolk families.  

Egg yolks are placed in a bowl & beaten, before sugar & lemon rind are added. Whisked egg whites are then stirred in, followed by flour & melted butter. The mixture is then beaten, before being put into bun cases or bun tins & baked in the oven until they turn golden & are springy to the touch.

Suffolk ‘Fourses’ Cake/Suffolk Beavers Currant Bread: Known in other parts of Britain as Lardy Cake, Lardy Bread, Lardy Johns or Dough Cake. Suffolk ‘Fourses’ Cake (sometimes called Suffolk Beavers Currant Bread) was traditionally eaten in the afternoon (at four o’clock) by farm workers in the fields, accompanied with beer.

Flour, salt & mixed spice are sifted together in a bowl, into which lard is then rubbed. Yeast, sugar & water are mixed & allowed to sponge, before being added to the flour with a bit more water to create a smooth dough, which is then kneaded & left to rise. Once doubled in size, currants are added & the dough is kneaded again, before being put into a loaf tin & covered. Once risen to above the height of the tin, it is baked for around 45 minutes. While still warm, it can be glazed with milk or water. Can be eaten plain or with butter.

Suffolk Harvest Cake:  Flour, cornflour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, nutmeg & cinnamon are sifted together in a bowl, then crumbled yeast & sugar are added. Butter or lard is then rubbed into this, followed by a mixture of milk & beaten egg. Lastly, currants or sultanas & candied lemon or orange peel are introduced & the mixture should then be well stirred. It is then placed into a cake tin, covered & left to rise, before being baked for around two hours.  When removed from the oven, a milk glaze can be applied while still hot. Can be served with butter.

Suffolk Raisin Roly-Poly:  Flour, baking powder & salt are mixed together in a bowl, then suet & water are added to form a soft dough. It can then be rolled out to around ¼ inch thick, with raisins & sugar being added, before being rolled up in the manner of a Swiss Roll. After sprinkling with flour, it should be wrapped in greaseproof paper & rolled up in a lightly floured pudding cloth. It is then boiled in a saucepan of water for three hours. Once removed from the pan, it can be sprinkled with granulated sugar. It is then cut into slices & served with custard.

Suffolk Rusks: Butter is rubbed into sifted self raising flour & salt, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Milk & beaten egg are stirred in before the dough is rolled out & cut into 2 ½ inch rounds. After baking for ten minutes, the rusks should be removed from the oven & split in half; then returned to the oven with cut sides upwards until golden brown. Once cooled, they can either be served with butter & jam or with cheese.

In other versions, sugar is substituted for salt, & yeast is also added. In this instance, they should be left to rise before being put in the oven.

Suffolk Trifle: Macaroons are soaked in wine or brandy. To make the custard, eggs, egg yolk & cornflour are beaten together, before warmed single cream is poured on & whisked lightly. This is then heated in a saucepan, stirring continuously until the custard thickens, then sugar is stirred in. After being allowed to cool, the custard is poured over the soaked macaroons. When cold, jam should be smoothed onto the custard & blanched almonds & chopped, candied peel added. Whipped up double cream can now be spread onto the trifle. More almonds & candied peel can be added as decoration.

Suffolk Rabbit Pie: Rabbit joints, belly of pork & onion, together with fresh parsley, thyme, sage, bay leaves & salt & pepper are placed in a casserole dish with water or stock & cooked until the meat is tender (around one to one & a half hours).  A shortcrust pastry base is then placed in a pie dish, to which the meat is added, before being topped with a pastry lid. It is then glazed with milk or beaten egg & cooked for around 50 minutes. Although this can be served hot with potatoes & vegetables, Suffolk Rabbit Pie was traditionally served cold on Christmas day morning.

Suffolk Carrot Pie:  Egg yolks, salt & pepper are beaten in a bowl, with flour gradually being stirred in to make a smooth paste, after which grated carrots & potatoes are added. Beaten egg whites are then folded in, before the mixture is put into a greased dish & baked in the oven until golden brown.

Suffolk Red Cabbage: This recipe is very similar to Blaukraut or German Braised Red Cabbage.  
Lard or butter are heated in a saucepan, into which thin strips of ham or diced pork are added, followed, a little at a time, by the sliced red cabbage. Once wilted, red wine vinegar, sugar & water or stock are added, together with cloves, bay leaves & seasoning if required.  It is then placed in the oven on a low heat for around two hours. Variations include adding onions, diced carrot, juniper berries, caraway seeds, sliced apple or grated potato.

Suffolk Stew:  This is a recipe traditionally served at weekends on Suffolk farms during the cold months of winter.

Lentils & haricot beans are left to soak in water overnight.  Chopped potatoes, turnip, carrot & onion are placed in a saucepan, together with either best end or breast of lamb, which has been chopped into pieces. The drained beans & lentils, together with pearl barley are then added, along with parsley, thyme, bay leaves & seasoning. Water is added, brought to the boil, then covered & simmered for approximately three hours. Best served with.........

Suffolk Dumplings:  Suffolk Dumplings are also known as Suffolk Swimmers, Suffolk Floaters or Hard Dumplings, due to being traditionally made from bread dough, rather than suet, which causes them to float rather than sink. They should be eaten hot, with two forks to pull them apart, thus releasing the steam. The recipe was first introduced in “The Cook and Housekeeper’s Dictionary” by Mary Eaton (1822).

Plain flour, baking powder & a pinch of salt are mixed together, then either milk or water is added & kneaded into a firm dough. It is then rolled into balls & extra flour added. It should then be placed in a saucepan of boiling water & allowed to boil for around 20 minutes. As well as an accompaniment to Suffolk Stew, Suffolk Swimmers can be served as a dessert with golden syrup. If this is the intention, currants can be added to the dough before rolling & boiling.

Suffolk Fish Pie:  Cod or haddock are cooked in a saucepan with milk & seasoning. The fish is then taken out of the milk ( which should be kept) & flaked into a pie dish, with sliced hard boiled eggs placed on top. Meanwhile, butter is melted in a saucepan, to which flour & the milk used earlier are added & stirred until it thickens, after which parsley & capers are added. This is then added to the fish & eggs, with optional sliced tomatoes on top if desired. Mashed potatoes are spread on top & cooked in the oven until lightly browned.

Suffolk Trout: A whole trout with the head removed & a bay leaf inserted inside is placed in a frying pan with melted butter. Lemon juice & seasoning can now be added, before being covered & left to cook on a low heat for 20 minutes, turning halfway through. Serve garnished with lemon.

Suffolk Boiled Herring:  Cleaned & gutted herrings are simply placed in salted water & boiled for around ten minutes, before being drained & served. Originally sea water would have been used.
Lowestoft was especially famous for its herrings during the nineteenth & early twentieth centuries.  

Suffolk Bread & Onion Pudding: Slices of bread are baked in the oven until they are crisp & dry, at which point they are crushed into crumbs. They are then mixed in a bowl with finely chopped onions, sage, milk, beaten eggs & seasoning, before being returned to the oven in a baking tin for half an hour.

Suffolk Trencher Bread: The Suffolk Trencher loaf of today is said to be based on recipes for bread made in East Anglia during Anglo-Saxon times. Today’s Suffolk Trencher is made with four types of flour, seven varieties of seeds and a dash of honey. (Many recipes simply for “Trencher” bread, without the Suffolk prefix, exclude the honey & the seeds).

The name trencher dates from medieval times, & was a thick slice of bread served at a feast or banquet, with a hollow or trench scooped out to make an edible bowl onto which meat & sauce could be poured; in other words, a makeshift plate. At the end of the meal, the trencher could be eaten, or otherwise it would be given to the poor as alms or fed to the dogs. The name derives from the Old French word “tranchier” meaning to cut. This practice continued until at least the sixteenth century, at which time wooden bowls began to be used.

Suffolk Oxtail Brawn: Pieces of oxtail are dusted with flour which has been seasoned with salt & black pepper. This is then fried in butter until browned. An onion studded with cloves, together with a bouquet garni consisting of parsley, sage, thyme, bay leaves & allspice berries wrapped in a leek leaf, are then added to the pot, along with vinegar & enough cold water to cover the contents. This is brought to the boil, then allowed to simmer until the meat falls off the bone. The herbs are then discarded & the meat stripped from the bone, before being returned to the stock & brought to the boil until most of the liquid is reduced. A sliced hard boiled egg is now placed in a bowl, with the meat & a small amount of the remaining stock on top. It is then covered with a plate or heavy object & left overnight in the refrigerator or cool place to set. It is usually served sliced with boiled potatoes & vegetables.

Suffolk Cured Pressed Tongue: This recipe can be found in Eliza Actons Modern Cookery for Private Families (1845). Beef tongue is rubbed with salt then left covered in a refrigerator or cool larder for twelve hours. The salt is then washed off & the meat dried, before being placed in a bowl & rubbed with more salt, peppercorns, brown sugar, coriander, bay leaves, juniper berries, ginger, mace, saltpetre & crushed cloves. It is then refrigerated for between three & five weeks to pickle; being basted each day with brine & any juice that is produced. At the end if this period, the meat is washed & dried, then simmered in a pan of water for four hours. Once drained, the bone, gristle & skin are removed & the meat is then placed on a plate & covered in aspic jelly. A heavy weight is then pressed down on top, & left until set. It is then served thinly sliced.

Suffolk Perch: Oil is heated in a casserole dish, to which tomatoes, onions, thyme, salt & pepper are added & allowed to simmer. Meanwhile, herring roes & breadcrumbs are mixed together, along with a spoonful of the tomatoes & onions.  The cleaned & gutted perch is then stuffed with the breadcrumb mixture, before being placed on top of the remaining tomatoes & onions in the casserole dish. Cyder (Suffolk spelling of cider) is then poured on top. The dish is then baked in the oven. Fresh parsley can be sprinkled on top after cooking.

Suffolk Pork with Apples & Cyder Sauce: Butter is heated in a frying pan, into which small pieces of either fillet or tenderloin of pork are added. Once browned, the meat is removed from the pan, into which whole onions are now cooked until soft, before lemon rind, Suffolk cyder & stock are added & allowed to boil. The pork is now returned to the pan & allowed to cook until tender, at which time apples are added. After a few more minutes of cooking, the pork, apples & onions are removed, & are replaced in the pan by whipping cream & parsley, which are allowed to thicken with the lemon & cyder into a sauce. This is then poured over the meat & served hot.

Suffolk Fraze: Fraze is an old traditional English dish, which is a combination of omelette and pancake and can be served for either breakfast or a light lunch.  It is thicker than an ordinary pancake and is made with “stiffer” batter.  The OED cites its use as a food item dating back to 1338, when it was then spelt “froise” and by the 17th century as “fraise”.  The word and food are undoubtedly of French origin, ultimately derived from Latin “frigere” meaning “to fry”.  In 1686 it is recorded as a dish made with slices of bacon.  

The recipe for Suffolk Fraze is to slice asparagus stalks in half lengthwise, wash and chop a green onion into 1/2 inch (1 cm) pieces, and dice ham, then set aside.  Place flour, salt and pepper in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Crack in the eggs and whisk in cream to form a batter. Melt the butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the asparagus, chopped green onion and ham, and sauté for about 3 minutes.  Then tip these out into the batter in the bowl and stir well.  In the now-empty frying pan, heat a small amount of oil, then pour in 1/4 of the batter.  Allow to fry for about 2 minutes, then flip and cook the other side for another 2 minutes.  Repeat until all the batter is used.  This should be enough to serve four people. 

Suffolk Salad: This recipe is taken from a nineteenth century cookbook entitled Modern Cookery for Private Families by Suffolk, England resident Eliza Acton (1799 - 1859), first published in 1845. She was also a poet & published Poems in 1826.

A bowl is filled in alternate layers of shredded tender lettuce, minced lean ham, & sliced or minced hard boiled eggs (or just their yokes). English salad sauce is then added just prior to serving, together with thin slices of cold chicken or veal.

Suffolk Waldorf Salad: This variation on the classic Waldorf Salad is a New England dish, so presumably named after Suffolk, Massachusetts. It uses dried cherries and spinach in place of raisins and lettuce.

Mayonnaise, peanut butter & lemon juice are whisked together, before apples, celery & cherries are mixed in. It is then chilled for thirty minutes, before being served on spinach leaves with chopped pecan nuts sprinkled on top.

Suffolk Savouries: Listed on the “The Foods of England” website on traditional dishes of England, Suffolk Savouries are made from paste of butter, flaked bloater (herring), Worcester Sauce & cayenne pepper, & sometimes an egg or egg yolk. They can be served hot on Suffolk Rusks (see above)

Suffolk Spinach Soup:  This is a cream soup of spinach & root vegetables, which is listed on “The Foods of England” website.

Spinach, turnip, onions, celery, carrots, parsley & thyme are added to a pot containing a broth, or the liquid in which meat has been boiled, together with a small amount of butter. This is then stewed until the vegetables are tender, then worked through a coarse cloth or sieve with a spoon.  Fresh water, salt & pepper are then added & brought to the boil. It is served poured over small suet dumplings.

Suffolk Frumenty:  Another listed on “The Foods of England” website is an historic dish dating from medieval days.  Frumenty (or Furmety) was a popular, traditional dish in European medieval cuisine.  In England it is first recorded in c.1390 in the manuscript “The Forme of Cury”, i.e. The Method of Cooking, ‘cury’ being from Middle French ‘cuire’: to cook.  The authors are given as “the chief Master Cooks of King Richard II”.

Frumenty was served with meat as a pottage, traditionally with venison or mutton, and during Lent, with fish.  For several centuries, frumenty was part of the traditional Christmas meal and in England it was particularly eaten on Mothering Sunday, the fourth Sunday of Lent, because live-in servants were allowed part of that day off to visit their mothers.
Frumenty is made primarily from boiled, cracked wheat (grains of wheat that have been crushed into small pieces), hence its name, which derives from the Latin word frumentum, ‘grain’.  Milk or stock is added, and sometimes it is thickened with egg.  Different recipes flavour it with saffron, spices, etc.  

Suffolk Frumenty had the cracked wheat cooked with milk, honey, sugar and cinnamon.  Recorded in “Good Things in England” by Florence White, 1932.

Suffolk Kitchel:  This traditional dried fruit and almond filled pastry was eaten all over Suffolk and parts of Essex adjacent to Suffolk in the Middle Ages.  A dictionary of Suffolk Words and Phrases (Edward Moor, 1823) describes it as:

“Kichel: A flat Christmas cake of a triangular shape, with sugar and a few currants strow’d over the top.  Cocker says ‘Kichel’ is Saxon, a kind of cake also known as  God’s Kichel, a cake given to godchildren when they ask blessing of their godfather.”  The kitchel is mentioned in Chaucer’s Summoner’s Tale (c. 1386):

                                                                  Give us a bushell whete, malte, or rice,
                                                                     A God’s kichel, or a trippe of cheese.

It has been suggested that the kitchel’s original triangular shape was a reference to the Holy Trinity, as are the three cuts across the top.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines kitchel as a small cake, but claims that the origin of the word is obscure, and dates it and its variations from the 11th century.  The Anglo-Saxon word cicel is related and means ‘a morsel, a little mouthful’.

It is believed that the kitchel may have originated from Suffolk since there are strong traditions in this county where a specific day was set aside in winter when food (of which the kitchel was one) was handed or thrown to the poorer people by the mayor of the town to symbolise the showering of God’s blessings upon the town.  Aldeburgh, Bury St Edmunds and Harwich (just over the boundary in Essex) had such a custom, believed to date back to before the Norman Conquest.  It was a way of getting through the lean period between November and March when little fresh fruit was on the market.

Ingredients: 50g unsalted butter; 500g of your favourite dried fruit; 200g ground almonds; 2 tsp mixed spice; some sugar; puff pastry; a little egg wash or milk if you prefer.  Warm the butter in a thick bottomed pan or melt in a bowl, take off the heat and add the fruit, the almonds and the mixed spice.  Mix well then cover with cling film and allow to cool.  Roll the puff pastry into squares, the size is up to you.  Put a generous amount of the filling on one half of the puff pastry but leave a gap around the outside; brush the gap with egg wash and fold the pastry over to make a triangle.
Seal the edges by pressing with your fingers; egg wash the top of the kitchel and then with a sharp knife score three lines across the top.  Sprinkle the top with sugar and bake in an oven at 200 degrees C until golden brown.

Suffolk Grumbly: This is a dish that has been popularised in recent years, but it does not seem to be a traditional recipe, and we do not know why it should be particularly associated with Suffolk.  

It seems to have first arisen in the 1980s on the menu of The Green Man in Wraysbury, Middlesex, a pub that specialised in regional English dishes. The dish was one of the most popular, and after the pub closed several regular diners asked if anybody knew the recipe. The author Biff Raven-Hill, who had worked at the pub, published the recipe in 2009 in her “The Wartime Housewife” series.  Biff likes to live frugally, and is always thinking of how to get her money’s worth.  She likes to go back to wartime to learn and apply the old-fashioned skills that the housewives had to employ during those years of shortages and scarcity of food.

The name “grumbly” seems to be a portmanteau word deriving from two other food dishes, combining “grumble” from ‘grumble pie’, and “crumbly” from ‘crumble’. This in itself indicates a recent origin. A crumble is a fruit-based dessert with a topping in the form of crumbs, plus optional flavourings like cinnamon, lemon zest or nuts, that is baked until crisp.  The ‘crumble’ is said to have been invented in Britain during World War II, when food rationing made pie crusts an impossibility; it was first met in print as a food item in 1947. Americans sometimes call the crumble a ‘crisp’. ‘Grumble pie’ is a dish of American origin, a pie with a cinnamon-flavoured crumble topping, a favourite with children, and said to be named because it was “to stop their tummies from grumbling”. This became known in Britain when American servicemen and their families were based in this country. The county name may have become attached because of the number of American bases located there.

Butter is melted in a pan, then flour is stirred in to make a thick paste. Milk is then gradually stirred in & the mixture is simmered until it thickens, before cheese & mustard are added to create a cheese sauce. Meanwhile, sausage meat, onion, breadcrumbs & mixed herbs are mixed together in a bowl, half of which is placed into a lightly greased ovenproof dish. Half the cheese sauce is then poured into the dish, followed by  the rest of the sausage mixture, then the remainder of the sauce. Paprika is then sprinkled over the top. It is baked in the oven for one hour & served with vegetables & chips (French fries).

Suffolk Beer Puffs: This is a recent addition to the list of foods named Suffolk.  The dish was created by Paul Foster.  Keen to further his own style of cooking Paul became head chef at the Tuddenham Mill Hotel, located at Newmarket, Suffolk, in 2010.  Paul raised the restaurant from one to three AA rosettes (the AA’s supreme accolade) within 18 months.  After four years, he moved to The Dining Room at Mallory Court in Bishops Tachbrook, based 3 miles south of Leamington Spa.  It marked a return to the chef’s Warwickshire roots, but by then he had given the Suffolk name to a distinctive bar food bite.  In 2016 Paul was runner-up as Britain’s National Chef of the Year.  

There are a variety of snacks referred to as “puffs”, all of which are basically different shapes of dough tossed in a deep fryer for several minutes until they puff up.  It is debatable who started what when, but modern deep frying as a fast-food snack became popular in America in the 20th century.  Novelty deep-fried foods were introduced at American fairs, and puffs flavoured with beer are thought to have originated in the 1950s as snacks at American sports events.

Paul Foster created this crispy, beer-flavoured bar snack to nibble before the main meal.  Its ingredients to serve 8 people comprises 50g of lemon thyme, 50g of St Lorenzo Sea Salt, 150g of 00 flour, 50g of brown rice flour, 90ml of bitter beer (pale ale), and 2g of salt.  Pick the leaves off the lemon thyme and dehydrate for one hour; once dry, grind in a pestle and mortar until fine, add the sea salt and grind lightly until they are both well mixed.  Mix all of the other ingredients for the dough in a food processor until they come together.  Remove from the food processor and knead by hand until smooth.  Wrap in cling film and rest for 1 hour.  Gradually work the dough through a pasta machine until it reaches its thinnest setting.  Cut the dough into 1cm wide strips and deep fry at 170°C (340°F) turning constantly until they are puffed up and golden.  Once they are fried, remove the puffs and season with the lemon thyme salt. 

Suffolk Baked Custard: This recipe has appeared in recent cookery books and articles.  Credit for this is given to the “Bangers nMash Cookbook”.  This recipe is said to have originated in Ipswich, Suffolk, England in the 1920s.  It is very easy to make.  The ingredients are 2 large eggs, 2 ounces of white sugar, 1⁄4 pint low-fat milk, warmed, and grated nutmeg.  Beat the eggs and sugar together, stir in the warm milk and pour into individual dishes.  Grate a little nutmeg on top of the mix and bake for one hour at 250 degrees F.  Serves two. 

(See also New Suffolk, New York page for details on New Suffolk Clam Chowder)


A recent creation is the Suffolk Punch Pie, served at the Piebald Inn in Hunmanby near Filey in North Yorkshire, England. The pub is famous for its range of around fifty pies, each named after a breed or type of horse. Suffolk Punch Pie is described on the menu as “Chicken tikka - chicken breast marinated in tikka spices and cooked gently in tomatoes and cream”. Presumably, the spicy nature of the ingredients is the Punch.


There are two other recipes that are commonly quoted on the internet as Suffolk dishes, but these are really alternative names for other existing recipes. They are:

Suffolk Almond Pudding: An alternative for the Ipswich Almond Pudding (see
Ips Misc. page on

Suffolk Pond Pudding: This name for a suet pudding recipe has recently become widespread.  However, there is a general consensus by cooking experts that this has arisen from a printers error in a cookery book and should be properly referred to as the Sussex Pond Pudding.  This is a much older dish and the recipes are exactly the same.

Top of Page


“Somillo” was a brand name for edible peanut oil manufactured by Suffolk Oil Mill, Inc. of Virginia, USA, as a salad dressing.  The name was derived from the initial letters of the first two words and ‘Mill’ with the final letter ‘o’ for ‘operations’.  Peanut oil is a mild-tasting vegetable oil derived from crushed peanut meal.  It was often used for added flavour in Chinese and Southeast Asian cuisine, and became a popular alternative source during the war years in the USA when there was a shortage of other oils.  The idea for selling it as a salad dressing came from Luther Wellons Caulk, Jnr (1899-1983).  Born in the city of Suffolk, Virginia, he spent his whole career from 1917 in the peanut oil production business with the Suffolk Oil Mill company.  Luther quickly rose to executive level and by 1945 had become the major shareholder of the company.  The name “Somillo” was first introduced in August 1948 and registered as a trade name in July 1951.  The company was bought by J. Lewis Rawls, Jnr in 1968 (who championed the merger of Suffolk and Nansemond County), and was closed down in 1976, when the name “Somillo” was allowed to lapse.  In 2004 the vacant Suffolk Oil Mill factory in East Suffolk still advertised the product (see photograph, right).  

Top of Page

Lord Suffolk Cocktail

This recipe for the Lord Suffolk Cocktail is found in the original “The Savoy Cocktail Book” (1930).  It is said that whichever Lord Suffolk this cocktail refers to, he certainly had a sweet tooth!

1/8 Italian Vermouth. (½ oz Carpano Antica)
1/8 Cointreau. (½ oz Cointreau)
5/8 Gin. (2 oz Plymouth Gin)
1/8 Maraschino. (½ oz Luxardo Maraschino)
Shake well with ice and strain (lemon peel)
Serve in a cocktail glass (4.5 oz).

Top of Page

Duke of Suffolk Cocktail

This is the signature drink in the Suffolk Arms bar on East Houston Street, Manhattan (see  Suffolk in the Names of Public Houses, Bars & Inns section, above) .  It was created by the bartender Giuseppe Gonzalez when the bar opened in 2015, as the bar’s version of Irish Coffee.  It is served hot and replaces the coffee by English Breakfast and Earl Grey teas.  The recipe is:

•    1½ ounces Hendrick’s or Ford’s Gin
•    Brew Hot Sweet Tea (an equal blend of English Breakfast and Earl Grey sweetened with ¾ ounce
      simple syrup)
•    Pour into a coffee mug or glass
•    Add the gin
•    And a  dollop of heavy cream as a float

Top of Page

Suffolk Rose Cocktail

Created in 2011 by Ereich Empey, a cocktail historian (Musings on Cocktails website).  He wanted to combine two classic cocktails, Kir Royal and Jack Rose, into a new hybrid.  The Kir Royal is a classic French champagne cocktail and the Jack Rose contains applejack, grenadine and lemon or lime juice which was very popular in the 1920s and 1930s.  The name he gave to this creation came from ‘Jack Rose’ combined with the English county that he thought was very reminiscent of the champagne country in France, emphasised further by the Aspall cyder produced in Suffolk that was used instead of champagne.  The recipe is:   

•    5 ounces sparkling demi-sec cider
•    ½ ounce pomegranate grenadine
•    ½ ounce lime juice

Add the grenadine and lime juice to a chilled glass and top up with about 5 ounces of Aspall’s dry cyder.  Garnish with a lemon twist.

Top of Page

Lady Suffolk Cocktail and Suffolk G&T

Two other drinks whose recipes are not known, but it is known why they are named.  The Gray Mare pub (formerly Dempsey’s Pub) at 61 Second Avenue, East Village, New York, takes its name by reference to the famous trotting champion horse (see Lady Suffolk below).  It is fitting that she should have a cocktail named after her and the Lady Suffolk Cocktail is said to be an “effervescent mix of Monopolowa vodka, prosecco, cucumber and green tea”.

In London, the Haymarket Hotel has a Suffolk G&T which “is a secret blend of botanicals (the various seeds, berries, roots,  fruits and herbs used to flavour gin) used to infuse our own Indian tonic essence, stirred with premium juniper-led Tanqueray gin and a lime twist”.  The name comes from the location of the hotel which is in a Regency building tucked away on Suffolk Place, just off Haymarket (see Suffolk Street & Suffolk Place, City of Westminster SW1 on London Suffolks page).

Top of Page

Lady Suffolk Cocktail

The recipe for this one is known and it is not named after a horse.  This cocktail is the invention of Joann Spiegel from Cork in Ireland and can be found at The Dead Rabbit in New York City.  This is a multi award-winning Irish bar, renowned for its exceptional cocktails, Guinness and legendary Irish Coffee.  This sweet drink is enhanced with a little kick by the black pepper and a touch of egg white, giving a beautiful smooth feel to the mouth.

•    Black pepper
•    1⁄4 oz. merlet creme de peche
•    1 oz. peach juice
•    3⁄4 oz. lemon juice
•    1⁄2 oz. simple syrup
•    1 1⁄4 oz. Everclear®
•    3⁄4 oz. Egg whites
Combine all the ingredients including a pinch of pepper and dry shake with egg whites.  Add ice and reshake.  Double strain into ice filled old fashioned glass. Garnish with a slight dust of black pepper.

Top of Page

Suffolk Buck Cocktail

When ginger ale or ginger beer is mixed with citrus juice and any of a number of base liquors in a drink, it is known as a “Buck”.  Early cocktail books list recipes for the gin buck or London buck cocktail, and variations of rum bucks were called the Shanghai buck, Jamaica buck, etc.  The origin of the name and cocktail is obscure.  It is believed to be a derivation from “Buck’s Fizz”, traditionally made by mixing two parts champagne and one part orange juice.  This drink was first served in 1921 at London’s Buck’s Club.  The Americans have a theory that the drink evolved from the Horse’s Neck, a non-alcoholic mixture of ginger ale, ice and lemon peel that had been around since 1895.  In the 1910s a brandy or bourbon would be added to give it “a kick” just like that of a horse or a buck.

The Suffolk Buck Cocktail was created in 2016 by John McCarthy, the Master Distiller for Adnams in Southwold, Suffolk.  It comprises:

•    50 ml Adnams Rye Hill Malt Vodka
•    25 ml Ginger Syrup
•    Juice of one fresh lime
•    Shake over ice
•    Add crystallised ginger and the lime zest.

Top of Page

Beers & Cyders Named ‘Suffolk’


Several breweries in Suffolk, England, have used the name of the county for their beer products.  In addition, four breweries just across the Suffolk boundary have used the name, two in Essex (one that moved across the border from Suffolk to Essex from 2005 to 2017 before returning to its native county), one in Norfolk and one in Cambridgeshire.  A special case is a brewery in Gloucestershire who has also used the county name (see separate article below on Suffolk Mountain Ale). Overseas, in the USA the name has been used by five breweries, one each in New York State, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Colorado and Michigan. In addition, two breweries in Canada use the name ‘Suffolk’, one in British Columbia while the other in Ontario uses a street of that name for one of its brews. 

We would acknowledge the use made by us of the excellent Beermad web-site.  This site is recognised as an authoritative source for Real Ales produced by the brewers of the British Isles.  The database contains details of cask beers known to have been produced since 1976.  This has enabled us to check our records of the Suffolk (and Ipswich, see Beers Named ‘Ipswich’ section on beer names; where the only reference we have to a name is from this database we have shown the reference in italics: Beermad.

Greene King, based in Bury St Edmunds, was established in 1799.  Since 2015 they have been the largest British owned brewery in the country with over 3,100 managed, tenanted, leased and franchised pubs, restaurants and hotels, including Chef & Brewer, the Hungry Horse and Old English Inns chains, as well as Loch Fyne restaurants.  The brewery was founded in Bury St Edmunds in 1799 by Benjamin Greene, from a Northamptonshire family.  In 1806 he acquired the present Westgate Brewery site.  In the early years Benjamin Greene was in partnership with others, but it was only when Greene inherited a West Indian plantation in 1823 that his financial future was secured, and the family soon became sole owners of the business.  In 1887 it merged with the adjacent St Edmund’s Brewery of Frederick William King (founded in 1868) to create Greene King.

They currently make five ales with ‘Suffolk’ in the name as covered below.  However, as is common with many of the larger breweries, the same brew is marketed under different labels (names) to suit the preferences of drinkers in other countries and various parts of Britain, so our first one is known by three names.    

Strong Suffolk Vintage Ale: Introduced in 2000, this is a dark, full bodied bottled beer, almost ruby in colour with a spicy fruit cake aroma and flavours that hint at caramel, burnt toffee and oak.  It has an ABV (alcohol by volume) of 6%.  Strong Suffolk Vintage Ale is unique in that it is Britain’s last example of an ale made by the blending of old and young beers.  The two brews from which it is blended are not sold as products in their own right.  The technique of ageing and blending to achieve an equilibrium of malty sweetness and acidity was typical in the late 1700s and 1800s, but had vanished by the 1900s.  The “old” component is aged in wooden barrels, and is the only beer in Britain still to employ that method.  ‘Old 5X’, which is brewed to the maximum strength possible (around 12% ABV) and left to mature in oak barrels for a minimum of two years, and ‘BPA’ (said to stand for Burton Pale Ale), a dark, full-bodied freshly brewed beer with a 5% ABV is then added just before bottling.  In Britain, where everyday ales are quite low in alcohol this entitles the beer to be known as “Strong Suffolk”.  However, this beer has been sold in the North American market since 2002 as Olde Suffolk English Ale.  This is because the term “Strong” would confuse the Americans who think of a 6% ABV beer as normal strength.  In 2013 it had a slight name change to Strong Suffolk Dark Ale.  However, it also continues to be sold under the Strong Suffolk Vintage Ale label, particularly in Europe (see images of the three brands below).  Note the similar name (without the ‘e’ in Olde) of Old Suffolk Strong Ale a home brewing kit marketed since 2012 by Ritchie’s Festival Premium Real Ale Kits (see entry further below).














As an additional marketing promotion for American tastes, this brew later came out with the words “aged in oak vats” on the label (see photo, right) and was sold as Olde Suffolk Oak Aged Old Ale 2004. 






Suffolk Porter: Introduced in 2014, a bottled stout with an ABV of 5.4%, Suffolk Porter is described as a rich full bodied stout with intensity & depth, chocolate & liquorice flavours & a smoky aroma.



Suffolk Springer: This premium dark ale celebrates Suffolk’s Newmarket Racecourse & the National Horseracing Museum. According to the bottle’s label: The term ‘springer’ refers to a racehorse whose odds dramatically shorten. A rare but rewarding moment for those ‘in the know’. The bottle version (6% ABV) came on the scene in 2009, and a year later the cask version appeared with a slightly lower ABV of 5.5%.





Suffolk Explorer: This was released in the summer of 2017 as a ‘pale ale bottle’ (4.8% ABV).  At present it only seems available in Australia, where it is advertised as “crafted in Suffolk with our British brewing excellence, creating a crisp, easy-drinking English Pale Ale”.   






Heritage Suffolk Pale Ale: Two limited edition premium beers, Heritage Suffolk Pale Ale (5%) and Heritage Vintage Fine Ale (6.5%) have been released in bottle and cask in January 2018.  Using just five barley seeds and ancient recipes from the brewery archives, the Heritage Series beers date back to 1825 and are typical of the taste of ales consumed in rural Suffolk at that time.

There are several versions of how Chevallier barley came into existence, but the one believed to be most authentic comes from the History of Debenham (1845) and is as follows.  About the year 1820, John Andrews, a labourer, had been threshing barley and on his return home on taking off his shoes he discovered in one of them part of a very fine ear of barley.  He planted the few grains from it in his garden which next year gave three or four ears of barley.  These were noted by his landlord, the Rev. John Chevallier, who requested that they be allowed to ripen.  John Chevallier then obtained and sowed the seeds produced, and over the next few years gradually extended the acreage until in 1825 he had grown a viable crop.  The seed became known as the “Chevallier”.  It became very popular and for a century was the most widely-grown type of malting barley.  In the 20th century the Chevallier seed fell out of favour to new seeds with their improved yield per acre.
However, in the early 21st century, maltsters were investigating the characteristics of barley varieties that are no longer grown.  With only a handful of seeds preserved in seed banks the process used by John Chevallier was repeated until enough barley was being harvested that a proportion could be malted.  Greene King state that they took five preserved Chevallier seeds from their seed bank and resowed them to create three fields of barley, and then made the brews to see how they tasted.  These were obviously thought good enough for today’s palate.  The bottles of Suffolk Pale Ale and Vintage Fine Ale have been designed to look as they would have back in the 19th century.


Five Greene King brews no longer produced are:

Suffolk Punch: Brought out in 1997 with an ABV of 4.3%, but appears to have been short-lived.

Suffolk Summer: Brought out in 2003 and lasted until about 2012. Said to be similar to an American Pale.  It had an ABV of 4.3%.  A light orange hue with an aroma of apple juice, strong malt and a bit of mint.  A refreshing bitter finish.   

Suffolk Swift: A bitter brewed from 2010 with an ABV of 3%.  This has a gold to copper colour and medium bitterness. The aroma is light nuts, some fruit and light hops, but the flavour is said to be non-existent to mild.


Suffolk Warmer: Our only source of information for this beer is Beermad.  It had an ABV of 4.3%. 

Greene King also brewed Tolly Cobbold Suffolk Ale to keep alive the great tradition of these two former breweries whose names are synonomous with Suffolk brewing.  In 1989 the Tolly Cobbold brewery on Cliff Quay in Ipswich was closed down by its new owners after 256 years of brewing at the site.  However, a management buyout in 1990 saved the brewery.  It was then acquired by Ridley’s Brewery of Chelmsford, Essex, in 2002, but this company finally closed it that year.  (However, see information below under Suffolk Pride, the Earl Soham Brewery.)  Three years later, Ridley’s Brewery was taken over by Suffolk-based Greene King.  Both Ridley’s and Greene King continued to brew the old Tolly Cobbold brands under their original name, usually, on an occasional basis. 

Tolly Cobbold Suffolk Ale was mainly brewed for the American market.  In America, the name ‘Suffolk’ seems to have a resonance of idyllic country life where beer is always drunk under a glorious sun.  Under American legislation you are not allowed to give a geographical name to food or beverage unless it comes from the place so named.  This gives an advantage to our county breweries.

Tolly Cobbold Suffolk Ale (4.6% ABV) was marketed in the USA by the original brewery in Ipswich from 1996 since the Liquor Control Board then registered it for sale in Pennsylvania.  It was a bottled beer described as “an English Pale Ale with a smooth, nutty flavour, pretty thick texture and a nice sweetness.  A little flowery, tastes maltier when it warms”.  Although gradually phased out in Britain, Greene King continued production of this brand for America, retaining the name and all the familiar features down to the famous Suffolk Punch horse on the label (see picture, right). Production stopped in about 2011 and, other than old stock, this beer is no longer available.          




Strange as it may seem, although there are many references to “Suffolk Ale”, there is only one brewery other than Tolly Cobbold that we have found that has actually named one of its brews with this name.  This is the Suffolk Ale (7.0% ABV) brewed by Propolis Brewing.  It is an Old Ale style beer in the tradition of Oud Bruin (Old Brown) also known as ‘Flanders Brown’.  This style of beer originated from the Flemish region of Belgium.  The name refers to the long aging process, up to a year.  It undergoes a secondary fermentation which takes several weeks and is followed by bottle aging for several more months.  There is no clue as to why this particular brew is called Suffolk Ale.

This brewery is in Port Townsend, Washington State, USA.  There is quite a lot of information about this brewery on the Internet because of the unique approach taken by its owners, Robert Horner and Piper Corbett.  This couple established Propolis in June 2012 and describe their products as “Seasonal Herbal Farmhouse Ales inspired by old world tradition and new world ingenuity”.  The ales are brewed with various concoctions of wild foraged flowers, herbs, heather and cherries and are seasonally based.  Their beers are often barrel-aged and wild fermented, bringing an added complexity that has earned numerous awards and accolades. The name “Propolis” is a metaphor.  It is a reference to a time long past, coming from two Greek words: ‘pro’ which means ‘before’, and ‘polis’ which means ‘city’.  This is also the term applied to a sticky resin that honey bees produce by mixing saliva and beeswax with sap and other substances exuded by trees.  The bees use the propolis (also called ‘bee glue’) to seal the opening into their ‘cities’ or hives to keep out unwelcome intruders.  The logo of the brewery is predictably a honeybee.



Mauldons Brewery was established as a family business in the south Suffolk town of Sudbury in 1795 when Anna Maria Mauldon began brewing at the Bull Hotel.  It claims to be the oldest brewery in Suffolk.  It was bought by Greene King in 1958 which closed the brewery in 1960.  It was not until 1981 that the brewery was re established by Peter Mauldon, the great grandson of Anna Maria, who had been the former chief brewer at Watney’s.  In December 1982 the first barrels of beer were being brewed again by Mauldons in Sudbury.  On the retirement of Peter and Jane Mauldon in 2000, the brewery was sold, but the family name was retained for its brews.  The brewery uses only traditional methods and materials, and it was felt that the business is at its best when in the hands of a family.  Thus, in 2019 it was bought by a local farmer who has continued the tradition of a family-run brewery.

Today, as well as making, amongst others, several beers that make reference to Charles Dickens’ books & characters, they produce Suffolk Pride. At 4.8% ABV, this is a full bodied strong bitter, light in colour with a deep dry finish. It is available as both a cask & bottled ale. Suffolk Pride is sometimes sold as Suffolk Punch.

Since 2013 Mauldons has also brewed Suffolk Comfort (6.6% ABV), a ruby coloured, strong peppery ale with a rich balance of malt and hops and some fruitiness, living up to its name for smooth and easy drinking.
Another brew which was discontinued in 2008 was Mauldons Suffolk Pale Ale 3.6% ABV, also known as “Mauldons Bitter”.  This was a traditional session bitter with a strong floral nose and a lingering bitter finish. 



St Peter’s Brewery was established in 1996 by real ale enthusiast John Murphy who purchased the somewhat derelict St Peter’s Hall, dating from 1280, at St Peter South Elmham near Bungay in the north of the county.  The modern brewery is adjacent to the moated medieval hall. The distinctive oval shape of the 500ml bottle is based on an eighteenth century gin bottle.

Suffolk Gold is a 4.9% ABV premium bottled beer brewed with Suffolk grown First Gold hops & Suffolk malt, producing a full bodied beer with a lasting hop aroma. In November 2019 the brewery launched St Peter’s Suffolk Gold Gluten Free (4.9% ABV) bottled beer.

Other ales from St Peter’s Brewery with ‘Suffolk’ in the name are Suffolk Extra Gold (4.2% ABV) which is described as ‘a rarely brewed crisp golden ale’, & Suffolk Smokey (4.8% ABV), a peated beer with a sweet, malty & smoked aroma.

St Peter’s Brewery also brew Sainsbury’s Suffolk Blonde Ale (4.7 % ABV) for Sainsbury’s supermarkets as part of their “Taste The Difference” marketing range.  A traditional ale brewed with Hallertau hops and a proportion of East Anglian wheat to give yeasty flavours typical of German wheat beers. 

A Suffolk Weiss (4.8% ABV) is also included in the beer list for 2019, but must have been a short-lived brew because it does not appear again.  A weissbier (German for ‘white beer’) uses 50% wheat to barley to make a light-coloured top-fermenting beer; also called ‘wheat beer’ in English-speaking countries.

In January 2021 the founder of St Peter’s Brewery, John Murphy, retired and sold the company for an undisclosed sum to three private investors ‘who share a passion for good beer’.  The group was led by Derek Jones who is the new chief executive officer and has over 20 years global experience in the brewing industry.


Also in Suffolk, England is the Briarbank Brewing Company, situated close to the Waterfront in Fore Street, Ipswich. This is a microbrewery associated with the Isaacs-on-the-Quay complex in Ipswich.  It started production in an old 1960s Lloyds Bank building in April 2013.  It takes its name from the house of Aidan Coughlan, an Irish businessman who lives in Ipswich.  He established himself in the telecommunications business in 1984 and later expanded into the leisure and restaurant/refreshments industry.  Isaac Lord was a local businessman who bought this Ipswich waterfront site from the Cobbold brewing family in 1900.  Some buildings date from the early 15th century to late 18th century, reflecting the site’s commercial and industrial use over four centuries.  The whole complex was eventually purchased by Aiden Coughlan in 2003, who has taken the sympathetic restoration and refurbishment of Isaac Lord’s as a bar and restaurant business to its present success.

Among their first brews in May 2013 was Briarbank SPA (3.6% ABV). SPA stands for Suffolk Pale Ale.  This is described as “a hoppy chestnut ale with a lovely citrus aroma from the choicest cascade and WGV (Whitbread Goldings Variety) hops”.  This same brew also goes under the name of Ipswich Pale Ale (see Beers Named ‘Ipswich’ on 

Amongst a wide variety of ales brewed here are Suffolk Pride (4.8% ABV), which is described as a malty beer with a copper colour & slight toasty flavour; & Suffolk Brown Ale (3.3% ABV) which is a traditional brown ale with a sweet malty body.  In April 2021 Suffolk Haze (5.0% ABV) was released.  This is a New England IPA and, as its name implies, it is a creamy, hazy beer to look at, but apparently one of the best to drink.

Other beers produced by Briarbank include Briar Bitter, Cardinale Wolsey & Briar Lager.


Adnams, one of Suffolk’s best known brewers was established in 1872 when George and Ernest Adnams bought the Sole Bay Brewery in Southwold.

Although today none of their regular products bear the name ‘Suffolk’, since 2015 they do brew Suffolk Bitter exclusively for Marks and Spencer.  At 5.2% ABV, this bottled beer is described as having a full aroma, refreshing taste and long finish. The label features the famous Southwold beach huts (see picture, right). 



Also in 2015, Adnams came out with Suffolk Single Variety British Hop Jester IPA, again exclusively for Marks & Spencer (see picture, left).  British hop production had been in decline with the introduction of new flavours and aromas brought in from the USA and Australia.  In 2012, UK hop merchant Charles Faram & Co, along with Liberty Beer and Moor Beer Co launched a brand new British variety called Jester.  (Jester is a registered trademark of Charles Faram.)  Jester hops were bred with the intention of replicating the bold, punchy citrus flavours that are so predominant in the US and New World hops.  This beer is brewed in Adnam’s Suffolk brewery with Jester hops, grown on Stocks farm in Worcestershire. Made with a new hop, this IPA is a sort of gooseberry, lychee and grapefruit punch. 5.2% ABV.


 Adnams also used to brew a sweet ale from about 1964 to around 2000 with an ABV of 4.8% called Suffolk Punch (see label, right).







Brewers often market the same or near-same product by more than one name. This can be the result of a brewer simply changing the name, but not the recipe at different points in time, or the brewer distributing this beer under different names in different countries.  Adnams was one of the Suffolk breweries that took advantage of the county name to market their beer in America (see comments under Greene King, above).

Adnams regular and most iconic beer is that known as Southwold Bitter (3.7% ABV in cask, 4.1% in bottle and can), a session bitter brewed with the finest East Anglian Pale Ale malt barley, sourced locally to the brewery, combined with crystal malt and a pinch of black malt to provide substantial support for the English Fuggle and Golding hops.  It was first brewed in 1967 and was originally called “Adnams Best Bitter”; by 2000 had been renamed “Southwold Bitter” when it became “Adnams Bitter”; in 2005 it became “The Bitter”, but returned to “Southwold Bitter” in 2011.  However, from 1994 the packaged version in bottle and cans at 4.1% ABV was known as “Suffolk Strong Ale”  and depicted a scene of the brewery on the label (see photo, right).  This was marketed in America under this name from 1996 when the Liquor Control Board registered it for sale in Pennsylvania.  It was retired in 2011 when Adnams Southwold Bitter became the generic name for both cask and bottle/cans.

Adnams Suffolk Extra Ale was a regular ESB (Extra Strong Bitter) (4.5% ABV) introduced about 1997.  It was described as “a dry, crisp, refreshing, and distinctly hoppy example of its style, with a fair amount of sweetness ”.  The brew was retired under this name in 2002.  It then became known as Adnams SSB.  It was exported to America where it was also marketed under its full name of Adnams Suffolk Special Bitter.  This was also phased out from 2011, being largely replaced in 2014 by Adnams American IPA both cask (4.8%) and bottle (6.8% ABV). 


Now we have Admans Suffolk Clone (7.0% ABV) produced by the Wunderbrau Brewery.  Although this undoubtedly existed and is described as a “Strong English Ale” introduced in 2015, this looks very much like a ‘send-up’ of Adnams Suffolk Special Bitter recorded immediately above for the American market.  The latter beer was replaced in 2014 by an American IPA by Adnams that did not contain the name ‘Suffolk’.  The clue may be in the ‘Suffolk Clone’ and the ‘Wunderbrau Brewery’ that could have come from a disgruntled customer who preferred the discontinued article.  The brew is also described as a “homebrew” in the USA.  There is a Wunderbrau Brewery in Cincinnati, Ohio, but this is a regular brewery with no record of this brew.  Wherever the brewery was, it did not survive for a second brew. 



Hoxne Brewery was a micro-brewery creating hand-crafted real ales established in this Suffolk village in 2013 by Dan Steggles, who progressed from making his own home brews.  His brew named The Suffolk Punch was a traditional English bitter with an ABV of 4.5%.  It prided itself as: “Just like the draught horse who inspired this real ale, Suffolk Punch is all British, a beer that any stiff upper lip would be proud to taste.”  The brewery moved five miles to the adjacent Suffolk village of Palgrave in 2016 and then moved back to Hoxne in 2017.  Late in 2018, it was reported that the brewery had closed.





Suffolk Punch was also a beer brewed by Fenland Brewery in Little Downham, near Ely, Cambridgeshire.  The beer had a strength (ABV) of 4.6%.  It was described as a smooth amber bitter, slightly sweet and medium hopped. The brewery only lasted ten years, being founded in 1997 in Chatteris, Cambridgeshire, by husband and wife team Rob and Liz Thomas.  It was bought in 2003 by businessman David Griffiths and moved to new premises in Little Downham the next year, where it became the Fenland (Isle of Ely) Brewery.  It went into administration in November 2008, finally being dissolved in January 2010.  (It should be noted that the Isle of Ely Brewery, founded in 2014, is not related.) 

A Suffolk Punch IPA (4.9% ABV) was brewed by Muirhouse Brewery in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, England in 2019 and 2020.  It is no longer produced.  The Muirhouse brewery is a micro-brewery that began in 2011 as a 100 litre plant in the family garage with brewing taking place every week on a Sunday.  It was named the Muirhouse Brewery because the owner Richard’s surname is Muir and the beer was produced in his house’s garage.  There is no particular reason known why this brew should be given this name. 


The Nethergate Brewery was born in 1986 in the small Suffolk town of Clare.  Like many great ideas it was conceived in a pub by former Head Brewer, Ian Hornsey, and his business partner Dick Burge.  In 2005 the brewery was moved across the county border to Pentlow in Essex.  The brewery acquired a reputation for brewing consistently high quality distinctive beers. In 2011 the brewery was acquired by the newly-formed Clare Brewing Company, who changed the name in 2012 to Growler Brewery.  However, the new owners were unable to continue the success. In March 2014 the brewery went into administration and its future looked bleak.  However, a consortium led by founder Dick Burge purchased the ailing brewery and brewing has continued since, with a return to the ‘Nethergate Brewery’ name and a primary focus on selling beer to local free houses. Nethergate have had notable success in winning many awards for champion beers, one of which is Suffolk County (4.0% ABV).  Described as a best bitter with a chestnut colour.  A biscuity malt dominates with a punching bitterness.  It has a flavour of fruits, citrus, caramel, honey and nuts.

In January 2017 Nethergate Brewery announced that it had acquired a new site near Long Melford in Suffolk.  In November 2017 it returned to its Suffolk roots, and moved into a new purpose-built brewery with a brewery shop and tap-room at the hamlet of Rodbridge Corner, half way between Long Melford and Sudbury.

Porter’s Suffolk Bitter (3.5% ABV) is recorded by Beermad as being brewed by Nethergate on behalf of the now closed brewing house Porter’s.  We can find no information on the last-named.   


Marc Bartram started Bartrams Brewery in 1999 in a small industrial unit in the village of Thurston, Suffolk, using a five barrel plant purchased from Buffys Brewery.  After early successes, demand grew and this micro-brewery had to share the facilities of other breweries from 2003.  However, in 2005 Marc Bartram moved the original brewery plant to a building on the Rougham Airfield, Bury St Edmunds.  From 2005, he brewed Suffolk ‘N’ Strong (5.0% ABV). This is an amber-brown colour, described as a strong, light bitter with well balanced malt and hops, having a mild caramel sweetness. (See also IP(30)A on the, Misc. page - Beers Named Ipswich.)


Previous regular beers that are no longer brewed are Bartram’s Suffolk Spring (4.5% ABV), an ESB (Extra Special Bitter), Suffolk Trinity (3.8% ABV), a best bitter named after the three Suffolk breeds, the Suffolk Punch horse, Red Poll cattle and Black Faced sheep, and two specials; Suffolk Hopped (4.4% ABV) and Suffolk Lite (4.8%). Details of  these four are provided by Beermad

Marc Bartram decided that “the market for real ales is ‘saturated’” and closed his business in March 2018. 

Suffolk Pale Ale (4% ABV) is a brew by Watts & Co.  This micro-brewery is in the house of Oliver Watts, a part-time brewer.  He started it in January 2016 originally in Colchester, Essex, but moved later that year to Debenham in Suffolk.  Only small batches are brewed and it is sold as a regular beer, mostly at the Victoria Inn at Colchester.

Suffolk Pale Ale (7.0% ABV) was also produced by another micro-brewery: Newrybar Brewery in New South Wales, Australia.  You may well ask why does this small town outfit name a brew thus.  Simple, Newrybar is only 10.4 km (6½ miles) from Suffolk Park, New South Wales.  This and another beer were the only two brews produced in this home brewery in 2016 by a guy called Luke.

Harwich Town Brewing Company was established by Paul Mellor in 2007, reviving a centuries-old tradition of brewing in Harwich, Essex, which had died out in 1876.  This micro-brewery was based in an old bus depot adjacent to the railway station shunting yard, but has now moved to shared brewery accommodation at the inland Essex village of Coggeshall. Introduced as a Special in 2011, The Suffolk (4.5% ABV) was a cask porter, and was named after the train ferry of that name (see Ships Named Suffolk page).  It was a traditional porter, very dark brown in colour, the black malts giving a toffee flavour, with a slight sour tartness in the hoppy finish.

Another micro-brewery named Lidstone’s Brewery operated out of a garden shed at Wickhambrook, near Newmarket, Suffolk from 1998 to 2003.  This was established by Peter Fairhall who gained a reputation for brewing some wonderful beers, among them were two named Suffolk Draught (4.3% ABV) and Suffolk Pride (4.3%).  In 2000 he and his sister bought the Kingston Arms, a somewhat run-down pub in Cambridge with the intention of moving the brewery plant into the cellar of the pub.  Within a year they had turned the pub round and it became the tap for Lidstone’s Brewery, getting into The Good Beer Guide.  However, in 2003 Peter decided to move to Wensleydale in North Yorkshire and Lidstone’s Brewery ceased operations, becoming instead Wensleydale Brewery.      

Suffolk n See and Suffolk n Good (both 4.6% ABV) were two beers once brewed by Tindall Ale Brewery.  The irony is that the brewery has always been located in Norfolk, although its postal address is Bungay in Suffolk.  This micro-brewery was founded in October 1998 by Alan and Angela Green at their house in the tiny hamlet of Thwaite St Mary just north of Ditchingham, Norfolk, across the River Waveney from Suffolk.  The brewery took its name from nearby Tindall Hall, a listed building.  Suffolk n See (only source for this is Beermad) soon disappeared, but Suffolk n Good was a commercial success.  It was a bottled ESB (Extra Strong Bitter), a premium orange beer; its flavours were sweet toffee malts with juicy, fruity hops, and some yeast.  In 2001 the brewery moved to Seething, even further north into Norfolk.  The anachronism of a beer named Suffolk being brewed in Norfolk led to its demise in 2004, to be replaced by Norfolk n Good.  At the end of September 2006 Alan and Angela retired and the brewery ceased operations.  However, they will produce the occasional brew for special events on request.

Suffolk ’N Good (4.5%) is also the name of a brew by Millest’s Mediocre Microbrewery.  This microbrewery says that it supplies the heart of Essex and the palettes of the Millest clan and friends.  This brew, made in 2020, was given its name because it was based on the ‘Geordie Winter Warmer’ beer making kit bought at Suffolk Food Hall, a farm shop located just outside Ipswich in Suffolk.  This is described as “a very smooth, well-hopped dark ale with a rich flavour and full head” enough for making 40 pints.  For the uninitiated, a ‘Geordie’ is a person from Tyneside in the north-east of England.       

Suffolk Poacher or is it Norfolk Poacher?  And now we have a bitter (4.1% ABV) that is trying to keep quiet about where it is actually brewed.  Not surprising, since it comes from Brandon Brewery. The market town of Brandon is actually located in Suffolk but extends over the border into Norfolk.  In 2012 the brewery launched a bronze coloured bitter with a rich berry fruit flavour.  And it offers whichever label is preferred: either it is “Suffolk Poacher” or it is “Norfolk Poacher”.  The brewery was opened in 2005 by Dennis Cooper and is housed in an old dairy of a 15th century cottage.  It is now under different management, but its location remains unchanged.  If we just say it is adjacent to the High Street, I think the reader will deduce the county in which it is brewed.

Suffolk Blue Punch (3.9% ABV) was a fruit beer brewed only to order by St Jude’s Brewery in Ipswich, England.  This was a micro-brewery that lasted from 2006 to 2012.  (For more information, see, Misc. page - Beers  Named ‘Ipswich’.)  This punch was blue in colour with a fresh blueberry taste; made with ale and brewed in the traditional manner.  

Men of Suffolk (6.1% ABV) was an English Strong Ale brewed occasionally from 2007 at Elveden Brewery, Suffolk.  It was a bottle beer, dark with the aroma of lemon, peach and pine.  This small brewery was set up in 2003 on the Elveden Estate by Brendan Moore of the nearby Iceni Brewery for his daughter Frances.  It brewed only occasionally with most production being bottled, mainly for sale on the estate farm shop.  A small amount of cask beer was also occasionally produced.  The brewery ceased production in 2015.    




Suffolk Thatch (4.0% ABV) is a British bitter brewed by Iceni Brewery, mentioned above.  Brendan Moore established this brewery at Ickburgh in Norfolk in 1995 and moved its operations to the Elveden Estate in 2018.  It ceased production in May 2019 but revived brewing in mid-2021.  In August 2022 Suffolk Thatch was released.      

Mill Green Brewery was a micro-brewery situated behind the traditional White Horse Inn at the hamlet of Mill Green, Edwardstone, near Sudbury, Suffolk.  Both establishments are owned by local farmer and cider producer, John Norton.  The brewery was designed to be as energy-efficient as possible and was built with environmentally friendly and sustainable materials.  Production started in 2008.  An early brew was Suffolk Pale Ale #1 (Topaz and Simcoe) (4.3% ABV).  This was an Indian Pale Ale brewed using Suffolk barley and the world’s best hops, in this case Topaz and Simcoe.  In 2015 Suffolk Saison (6.0% ABV) was created.  This was a strong hazy pale farmhouse ale brewed with Suffolk barley and hops then fermented with Saison yeast. 

In 2016 Mill Green Brewery ceased production but re-opened shortly afterwards as Little Earth Project, now specialising in wild-fermented sour ales. In February 2017 the new brewery released its Stupid Sexy Suffolk (7% ABV).  By all accounts this will have no trouble in winning the “Best Named Beer of the Year” (see image right).

It is a sour red beer of the Oud Bruin (Old Brown) or Flanders Brown type.  This is a style of beer originating from the Flemish region of Belgium.  The name refers to the long aging process, up to a year.  It undergoes a secondary fermentation, which takes several weeks to a month, and is followed by bottle aging for several more months. Stupid Sexy Suffolk has been aged in French red wine barrels  for six months, brewed by using local hops, Suffolk barley and rye malt.  It pours a hazy, reddish amber with an off-white head.  The taste is said to be crisp, balanced and tangy with a subtle, red wine presence.      

This has been followed by Stupid Sexy Suffolk (Blend 2) with a 6.5% ABV, released in January 2019.  The aim of the brewers is to create a beer that is most like a wine, in this case a Burgundy.  Like the wine, this beer is a very dark red.

Stupid Sexy Suffolk (Blend III) is the third blend in the sour Flanders red ale style with a 5.5% ABV.  Released in 2021, it is a deep ruby red in colour and was brewed by combining 10 barrels of varying aged beer, from 4 to 14 months.  In the boil, aged hops were added to give the beer a note of tannins. Finally, the beer was aged in barrels, with the brewery’s own mixed culture of wild yeast and bacteria.  It is said to be the most wine-like of these three ends. 

The trend continues.  The Stupid Sexy Suffolk IV (5.4% ABV) released in 2021 is the fourth blend and contains four different barrels with the oldest dating from November 2018 and the newest brewed in September 2020.  The older barrel brings more wood character to the blend, while the newer barrels add a cleaner, crisp acidity.  Stupid Sexy Suffolk V10 (5.5% ABV) seems to have been released out of sequence since there is a review of this beer in 2020.  We presume the letter V stands for the fifth of this trend of sour red ales, but what the number 10 signifies is anybody’s guess.

The Norton family have long been prominent as farmers, publicans, cider-makers and, since 2008, brewers with the Mill Green Brewery, now the Little Earth Project.  Father, John Norton, still owns the properties but today, much of the brewing is done by his son Tom Norton.  Dry Hopped Suffolk Cider is one of the products of the cider-making side of the family’s businesses and is covered further below in the cider section.

Another Suffolk Bitter (3.5% ABV) was sometimes advertised as a regular brew of Oulton Ales Brewery between 2002 and 2008.  It was generally referred to as just Oulton Bitter (info. from Beermad).  Oulton Broad, a suburb of Lowestoft, Suffolk, had a brewery of that name on an industrial estate close to Lake Lothing prior to 1988, but not much is known about it.  Charles Forbes bought the plant and premises that year and Forbes Brewery started brewing, opening up a small area of the building named The Brewery Tap to be used as an outlet for their beers.  At the beginning of 1993 the brewery was taken over by Green Jack Brewing Co. but after a split between partners in 2002 that site became Oulton Ales, and Green Jack moved to Lowestoft.  Production of Oulton Ales ceased and The Brewery Tap closed in late 2008.

Initially Tim Dunford and Dave Bird started brewing as the Green Jack Brewing Company in 1993 at Oulton Broad on the same site as the Forbes Brewery.  The two companies went into a partnership later that year.  Tim Dunford took full control of the Green Jack business in 1994.  The name of the brewery stems from ‘Jack in the Green’, also known as ‘Green Jack’, an old English folk custom associated with the celebration of May Day.  It involves a person wearing a conical wicker or wooden framework that is decorated with foliage.

In 1996 the Green Jack Brewery took over the historic, traditional public house The Triangle Tavern in Lowestoft, which had always been a ‘real ale’ haven.  Since taking over the pub, it has become increasingly popular because of the large range of quality real ales on offer.  After the partnership with Forbes ended in 2002, Tim Dunford and Green Jack Brewing began brewing behind The Triangle Tavern.  In 2005, brewing awards were won at Leicester, Peterborough, Ipswich and Norwich CAMRA beer festivals.  In 2008 a new much larger brewery was established in an old Victorian fish smokery and processing shed in Love Road, Lowestoft.  Most production was moved there, with short runs of stronger beers remaining at The Triangle Tavern.  In 2011 the small brewery behind The Triangle Tavern was closed with all production moved to the main plant in Love Road.

In August 2021 a new Green Jack brew was produced called Suffolk Blonde Lager (5.2% ABV).  Although staff at The Triangle Tavern claim this as a new brew, lager connoisseurs say that it is “nothing more than the Suffolk Blonde by the Chevalier Brewing Company”.  Whether it is the same recipe being used under licence from that company is unclear at present.  (See also Chevallier Brewing Company further below.)

Another name which appears several times is Suffolk Pride.  This is shown as a beer of 4.1% ABV by Beermad for the Earl Soham Brewery in north Suffolk.  This brewery is better known because of its later connection to the famous Tolly Cobbold brewery at Ipswich.  It began at Earl Soham in 1983 as a micro-brewery run by John Bjornson in an old chicken shed behind The Victoria pub that he owned.  It moved to new premises nearby in Earl Soham in 2003.  Jeremy Moss, a local Suffolk man who had previously worked for the big breweries, joined as a partner in 2008 and, in 2009, they re-opened part of the old Tolly Cobbold Cliff Quay brewery (see Tolly Cobbold Suffolk Ale  under Greene King, above) with The Brewery Tap as its main sales outlet, run as a separate enterprise by Jeremy Moss.  As the joint enterprise of these sister breweries successfully grew, it became increasingly likely that the two operations would effectively merge.  This happened in 2012 when production at Cliff Quay ceased because the loading bay was demolished for redevelopment, and for a time production was temporarily contracted out.  Finally, in 2013 the Cliff Quay plant was moved from Ipswich to new premises at Debenham, 12 miles north of Ipswich, but only 5 miles west of Earl Soham.  Although a brewing site remains in Earl Soham, near to The Victoria pub, most production for the Earl Soham Brewery is now at Debenham.



Old Suffolk Strong Ale: This is a brewing kit produced as part of the Festival Premium Ale Homebrewing range. This beer is a strong dark ale & is said to be based on a ‘well known pub beer’. The ingredients include Boadicea hops, & the finished product is a strong dark ale with a woody character, an aroma that hints at wood & vanilla, & a good balance between dryness & sweetness. It has an ABV of 6%. Each kit contains malt, yeast, sugar & hops, makes 40 pints, & is ready to drink in four weeks.

The Festival Premium Ale Homebrewing range is marketed by Ritchie Products who are based at Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire, a traditional brewing town in the English Midlands.  This company was founded by John Ritchie in the early 1960s and began selling wholesale wine home-making kits in 1967.  In 2001 they expanded into beer making kits. 

A half owner of Ritchie Products, Richard Blackwell, who has been involved in the UK home brew market for over 30 years, left to set up his own company called Love Brewing in 2010 in Chesterfield, Derbyshire.  Under the trade name Beerworks Craft Brewery Series, beer kits are marketed, including one named Sheepdog’s Pride Suffolk Bitter.  This is described as having a “Heady aroma of spicy cedar and pine followed by rich honey and uplifting lemon with the palate tempering the malt sweetness, giving an aftertaste of verdant berries and pears in abundance”.



Calvors Brewery started brewing in early 2008.  It specialises in high-quality, traditional bottom-fermented lager.  It is a micro-brewery on Home Farm at Coddenham Green, 8 miles north of Ipswich.  Alec Williamson’s great-grandfather purchased the farm in 1922. The farm was previously known as Calver’s Farm from which is derived the name for the brewing business, with a slight change of spelling.  Calver was the surname of a 19th century farmer.  With his brother destined to take on the farm from their father, Alec decided to look for an opportunity of his own.  With the ale market being very competitive, he decided to concentrate on lager.  Alec ordered some brewing kit and set it up at the rear of a storage shed.  The first product in 2008 was Calvors Premium, with a strength of 5.2% ABV.  In February 2009 a second lager, Calvors 3.8, was added to the range, the name reflecting its lower alcohol content.  This was launched in bottled and draught form from the start.  This brew was also marketed under the alternative names of Calvors Suffolk Lager and sometimes as Coddenham Suffolk Lager.  However, these names and the brew were soon replaced by the familiar brands that Calvors produce today.  These do not have the name Suffolk, except for the following brew.

On 1 August 2016 the University of Suffolk, formerly known as University Campus Suffolk (UCS), became an educational institution with the fully-fledged status of a university.  To mark this event the University has joined with Calvors Brewery to launch a specially brewed beer called Suffolk Graduate (3.8% ABV) in April 2017 on Ipswich’s Waterfront, the location of the University.  The name and branding for this beer was designed by James Tye of Achieve Creative who graduated from the University in 2011.   





In April 2021 an English IPA was released by Calvors with the exotic name of Hoax Suffolk Sheep IPA (4.2% ABV).  That this is not a hoax, we offer an illustration of the can (left).  There is really nothing further on which to comment other than to say a lot of breweries seem to be entering “the silliest beer names” competition.

 In June 2022 Calvors closed down its operations as a consequence of the financial difficulties brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.  The same month the product lines were acquired by Lacons Brewery of Great Yarmouth.  This brewery was originally founded in 1760 and shut down in 1968, but was revived in 2013.


Suffolk Leopard’s Head (4.2% ABV) is a beer that did not exist brewed by a company that was in the imagination.  There are still references to be found to this beer and the Vintage Ale Company.  It was in fact part of a fraudulent scheme set up in England under the auspices of Vintage Hallmark plc.  Equity in Vintage Hallmark turned out to be worthless when the company collapsed in January 2003 owing just under £80 million, mainly to American investors.  This led to an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office.  It turned out to be the largest UK drinks investment scam to date, resulting in the imprisonment and disqualification from holding office or conducting business by its main perpetrators when it finally came to trial in 2011.  The fraud was operated by sales staff in Peterborough and Luton though the business used a prestigious registered address in Mayfair, adding a veneer of respectability.  The fraud involved persuading American and Canadian clients from 1995 to invest in a range of alcoholic drinks and wine with the promise of a 50% return over 10 months from their investment when the brewing company was established.  The Vintage Ale Company was set up (on paper) in February 2002 and three brews were said to have been made, one of which was Suffolk Leopard’s Head.  The beers were supposed to be contract-brewed to the company’s own recipes, one of the contract breweries being Tolly Cobbold.  The whole thing collapsed in less than a year in January 2003 without a drop being brewed, let alone drunk.



In America, the Mystic Brewery of Chelsea, Suffolk County, Massachusetts produced Descendant Suffolk Dark Ale. Mystic Brewery, founded in 2011 by Bryan Greenhagen who majored in biochemistry, specialised in Belgian-style farmhouse beers known as ‘Saison ales’. With an ABV of 7%, Descendant Suffolk Dark Ale is described as a cross between a dry Irish stout & an English porter, which is then fermented with saison yeast with a touch of molasses. This creates a rich cherrywood flavour & aromatic finish. To quote the  brewery’s own website “We thus dubbed our recipe a Suffolk Dark Ale, as an homage to our immigrant ancestors”.

A special release in 2011 was Bourbon-Barrel Aged Descendant Suffolk Dark Ale (ABV 7%) which had been immersed in a single premium bourbon barrel from Gordon’s Fine Wine and Liquors, the bourbon characteristics from the barrel complementing the beer’s dark malts and molasses.

In October 2019 Mystic Brewery closed down. 


In Boulder, Colorado, the Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery since 2012 has produced a Suffolk Punch with an ABV of 6.9%.  The brewery states that “this is our British inspired version of the American Imperial IPA style.  It is brewed with English malts and is dry-hopped with East Kent Golding hops to provide an aggressive English hop character.”  Reviews say that it is “very much English with just enough hops to make it more bitter than ‘bitter’.” The brewery was opened in October 1993 by Kevin Daly, an inspiring lawyer who had a greater taste for brewing.

Founded in 2010 by David Manson and Andy Langlois, Blackrocks Brewery in Marquette, Michigan, is among the top craft breweries in the state.  Soon after they began operation, Blackrocks Suffolk Pub Ale (4.7% ABV) was a special release by guest brewer Chris Chutte.  The idea was to produce a beer similar to what you would find in an English pub, and what better than a Suffolk pub?  This brown bitter ale was served with moderate carbonation.  The balanced barley malt and slight fruity flavour made for a notable session beer.


The Royal City Brewing Co. was founded by Russell Bateman and Cameron Fryer, and opened in June 2014 on Victoria Road South, Guelph, Ontario, Canada.  Along with its three flagship brands - Smoked Honey, Dry Hopped Pale Ale and Morning Stout - it produces Suffolk St Session Ale (4.2% ABV). Guelph was named in honour of the homeland of the British royal family, the Hanoverians, hence its nickname of “The Royal City”, adopted by the brewing company.  The “Session” in the name refers to this being a lower-alcohol beer, akin to an English Pale Ale.  “Suffolk St” is one of the oldest roads in the city, but is not otherwise of any significance to this particular brew that we know of.  Suffolk St Session Ale is described as a full-bodied, light bitter with a clear flavour of bready malts, and a faint touch of citrus orchard fruits, such as apple and apricot.  It is said to be similar to Arkell’s Best Bitter.

In early 2018 the brewery launched an Imperial March Suffolk Street IPA (8.5% ABV) described as having the flavour of malt and spicy caramel with some hop elements (see photo, left).










The Main Street Brewing Company is another craft brewery opened in May 2014 by Nigel Pike and Cameron Forsyth in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  It is located in a 1913 heritage building originally used by the Vancouver Brewery complex in the heart of the old Brewery district of Vancouver, which used to take its water from the Brewery Creek (now built over).  In early 2018 the brewery released a cask special English-style India Pale Ale (IPA) named Suffolk Punch (7.0% ABV).  It is described as a dark amber colour with a strong bitter and piney resin taste, and the aroma is mildly earthy and bretty.  This latter term is used in the alcohol industry to indicate the flavour of spoilage yeast called brettanomyces or “brett”, generally considered in a negative connotation with most brews, but can be regarded as adding a spicy flavour to others.    


Back in England again, two more beers that we include have ‘Suffolk’ as the descriptive addition to their name to indicate the type of beer concerned.  These are from Mr Bees Brewery based in Trimley St Mary, near Felixstowe, in Suffolk, England.  This is a micro-brewery established by beekeeper Tim Berni, to add to his business selling bee products.  Tim started production in early 2017 and brews twice a week. 

The beer is brewed using Suffolk malted barley, English hops and a subtle hint of honey from Tim’s 200 beehives.  Three brews were produced in 2017 and all are named with a play on the word ‘bee’: Bee Lightful Suffolk Honey Beer (4.3% ABV), Best Bee-R Suffolk Best Bitter (4.0% ABV), and Bee Clipse Fall Back Beer (4.5%).  The latter is a ‘Schwarzbier’ or ‘black beer’, a dark German lager similar to stout in that it is made from roasted malt, which gives its dark colour.  It is described as “Fall Back Beer” after the American custom of producing a new beer in the Fall on Halloween (31 October), the weekend that they turn back their clocks, giving them an extra hour to party.




In May 2017 an English Bitter named Suffolk-ation (4.1% ABV) was produced by Moodie Brews, a home brewery in Bury St Edmunds.  We know nothing regarding this brewer, but the in-word at the moment is ‘Suffolkation’, usually used in a derogatory manner (see Suffolkation in Literature section, above).

Back overseas to the United States, a new pub/brewery has a new beer.  In January 2018 Hyde Brewing who opened “The Suffolk Punch” in Charlotte, North Carolina, in July 2017 (see Suffolk in the Names of Public Houses, Bars & Inns, above) released their Suffolk Brunch (6.0% ABV) and next year The Suffolk Brunch 2018 (6.0% ABV). It is a sweet stout described as having “the aroma of milk chocolate complemented by the character of roasted malts and Mountain Air coffee”.  “Brunch” is a portmanteau word made from ‘breakfast’ and ‘lunch’ and is a meal (or in this case a drink) that combines elements of both, particularly when breakfast has been missed. The brewery (now renamed Suffolk Punch Brewing) released a traditional Indian pale ale named Suffolk Session IPA (4.0% ABV) in February 2019.

In July 2022 the Suffolk Seltzer (6.0% ABV) was released.  Seltzers are typically made with just three ingredients: sparkling water, alcohol and flavourings.  Both beer and seltzer are brewed and fermented from a sugar source that when paired with yeast creates alcohol.  The basic concept is that a little sugar is added to carbonated water (seltzer), which is then fermented by introducing yeast so that the sugars are converted into alcohol.  This produces a low calorie drink with fruity flavour combinations compared to the calories contained in a light beer.  Seltzers taste like fizzy sugar water and are not as filling as beer or other drinks.  The Suffolk Seltzer combination contains Mango, Pineapple and Passion Fruit.

 And one that is actually brewed in a Suffolk, USA - Pride of Suffolk (6.1% ABV), a pilsner lager that was brewed as a special edition by the Blue Point Brewing Company on 29 October 2017 for the annual Suffolk County Marathon.  This brewery is located in Patchogue, Suffolk County, Long Island, in New York State.  It is the largest “craft” brewery on Long Island.  The brewery was founded in 1998 by Mark Burford and Pete Cotter after the two friends noticed a lack of fresh beer on Long Island at that time.  The brewery takes its name from the nearby South Shore hamlet of Blue Point.  Their first beer brewed was the now famous Toasted Lager, an American amber lager that has a unique flavour gained from the fire brick kettle used to toast the malts.  In  2014, Blue Point was acquired by Anheuser-Busch InBev SA, a multinational brewing holdings company based in Leuven, Belgium, for nearly $24 million.


In May 2019 a Suffolk Golden Mild Ale (3.5% ABV) was released by the Houndstooth Brewing Company, a microbrewery in Greenfield, New Hampshire, USA.  This venture into the brewing business by Richard Stadnik began in 1999 when he established Pup’s Cider Company.  However, he did not start fermenting cider at his house until 2003, supplying the local restaurants and shops with his produce.  From this beginning he later branched out about 2015 into beer making, forming the Houndstooth Brewing Company in 2017.  We have no idea why he named his companies as they are, nor why a brew in New Hampshire has been given the name Suffolk.

Surprisingly, after the many glowing commendations of the “wonderful golden ales of Suffolk”, we reach one that is actually named thus and is brewed in England, but confusingly not in Suffolk.  Suffolk Golden Ale (4% ABV) has been brewed by Hepworth & Co. of Pulborough, Sussex, England, since at least 2011.  Andy Hepworth started brewing after leaving university and moved to Horsham’s King & Barnes brewery in 1980 where, within five years, he was the youngest Head Brewer in the country, winning many awards.  In 2000 with the sale of the Horsham brewery, Andy and others were determined to maintain the traditional brewing techniques.  The new independent brewery was established that year and began production in 2001 and has never looked back. 

Suffolk County Stout (14.3% ABV) is an English-style stout brewed and released in April 2021 by the Chicago-based Goose Island Beer Company.  Goose Island is a 160-acre (65-hectare) artificial island in Chicago, Illinois, created in 1857 when the North Branch Canal was cut across the meandering path of the North Branch of the Chicago River.  Some Irish factory workers took up residence on the island which took its name from the geese they kept.  

The founder of the brewery was John Hall, who toured Europe and decided that “America deserves some damn fine beer like this” that he had experienced the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.  He settled down in his hometown, Chicago, and in 1988 began making his own brews modelled on those he had tasted in Europe.  By 1995 John’s beer had become so popular that he had to open a larger brewery on Goose Island and, from there, business just kept expanding.  It was only a matter of time before the ‘big boys’ of the brewing industry would sit up and take notice.  This happened in 2011 when the Anheuser-Busch Companies, one of the largest American brewing enterprises, headquartered in St Louis, Missouri, bought the Goose Island Beer Company for $38.8 million.

And why should a brewery based in Chicago name a beer after Suffolk County when it is nowhere near any of these places?  Well, it is an Imperial stout brewed with English hops and English malts then aged in Adnams’ single malt whisky barrels from Suffolk County, England.  A profitable collaboration with the Southwold company deserves recognition of its origins.  As for the beer it “pours pitch black, shiny, thick, and completely opaque.  A thin, weak head forms on the beer momentarily before dissipating, leaving no residual head.”

Greetings from Suffolk (4.0% ABV) is an English Oat Pale Ale produced by Hilden Brewing Company, a craft brewery in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, established in 1981.  They state that “they are Ireland’s oldest family-run, independent brewery”.  Ann and Seamus Scullion re-introduced into the island of Ireland the tradition of a local brewery making beers of distinctive character and taste when they founded their brewery in the courtyard of Hilden House, the former home of the Barbour linen barons.  This family-owned affair has now passed from founders Seamus and Ann Scullion to the next generation: Owen, Francis, and Siobhan.

In 2021 Hilden decided to brew limited editions of beer that paid homage to the history and place behind a different beer style, each label beginning with the words “Greetings from…..”.  Greetings from Suffolk was the second edition to be produced.      



We have three brews produced from 2019 to 2021 from the Grey Ghost Brewery.  This is a home brewery owned by a ‘David F.’ at Carlton Colville, a suburb of Lowestoft in England.  He named his brewery after the breed of his dog Alfie – the logo of the brewery is that of a dog.  This was a Weimaraner, originally hunting dogs from the city of Weimar in Germany.  This breed is referred to as “the grey ghost”.  The coat of the Weimaraner is a ghostly grey that makes it easily recognisable.  

Suffolk Chap (2.9% ABV), an English Mild Ale, and Huge Suffolk Chap (12.0% ABV), an English Barleywine, are two of the brews.  The same image of a “Suffolk Chap” is on both brews.  We are not sure whether he is supposed to put the fear of God into the viewer or whether he is
intimating that something distasteful has just happened.  Maybe they got a Norfolk Chap to be the model and only told him at the last moment he was “doing it for Suffolk”.

Suffolk Kriek (7.0% ABV) is a lambic fruit beer by the same brewer.  Traditionally, a ‘lambic’ is a sour and dry Belgian beer, fermented spontaneously with wild airborne yeast as opposed to the carefully controlled fermentation of conventional ales.  It is often flavoured with fruit, such as cherries or raspberries.  “Kriek” is the Flemish word for the sour Morello cherries from the area around Brussels that were originally used in the fermentation process.  As this type of cherry has become more difficult to find, some brewers have replaced these with other varieties of sour cherries.  The presence of cherries predates the almost universal use of hops as a flavouring in beer.  Once the fermentation process begins, the beer is stored in barrels and left to age for up to three years.  Typically no sugar will be left so there will be a fruit flavour without sweetness.  The result is a distinctly sour beer.

Several home brewers have used names that are familiar as shown in the next two entries.  Suffolk Best Bitter 2o16 (6.3% ABV), an ESB (Extra Strong Bitter), and Suffolk Strong 2016 (6.1% ABV) have the year produced as part of their title.  These were brewed by Barry Stuart Homebrewing, described as an “English brewer”.  As most of these two beers were consumed in the vicinity of Preston, Lancashire, England, particularly at Penwortham, we have no trouble in confirming the statement that this is “an English brewer”.

Suffolk Strong Ale (8.0% ABV), a Belgian-style strong dark ale, and JB’s Suffolk Special (5.3% ABV), an American IPA, were two beers brewed between 2013 and 2019 in Suffolk, Virginia, USA, by Brunelle Brewery.  This brewery is otherwise known as Dr Justin F. Brunelle.  Justin is a native of Virginia, living and working in Hampton Roads.  His day-time job is to research and apply emerging technologies in order to assist government and individual companies.  He also brews beer in his garage at home. The JB’s Suffolk Special was an annual brew that came out in different strengths and contained the year in its name, as follows:  JB’s Suffolk Special (2014) 6.5%; (2015) 6.7%; (2016) 6.8%; (2017) 6.5%; (2018) 6.5%; and (2019) 6.9%.

Suffolk Summer Ale (4.6% ABV) was a blonde ale brewed in 2015 by Phen Dog Home Brew.  This is described as an ‘American Home Brewery’ but does not indicate where this is.  However, as some of the brews produced by this brewery are consumed in Bennett’s Creek Park which is in Suffolk, Virginia, we hazard a guess that the brewer lives in the city which gave its name to the beer.  A medication used to treat urinary incontinence in cats and dogs is phenylpropanolamine, and this may relate to the name of the Phen Dog “brewery”.  It would not be beyond the imagination that the brewer has a connection with the notable Bennetts Creek Veterinary Care in Suffolk.

Suffoktoberfest (5.2% ABV), a Märzenbier or Octoberfest Bier, produced in 2018 and Suffolking Hazy IPA (6.9% ABV), an American IPA released in early 2019, are two brews from the Brick & Mortar Brewing Company, located in Suffolk, Virginia.  The Märzenbier or Octoberfest Bier is a German style amber lager.  This originated in Bavaria before the 16th century.  At that time beer was forbidden to be brewed in the months from April to September, so the Märzen was brewed in March to a special recipe that would allow the beer to last during the months when brewing was forbidden.  The beer was kept in the cellar until late summer, and came out to be served at the Oktoberfest.
The Brick & Mortar Brewing Company claimed to be the first brewing company in Suffolk, Virginia, when it opened in an historic 1915 downtown building in March 2018.  Due to increasing operational and financial complications, the original husband and wife co-owners, Dave and Rachel Stacknick, sold out in 2019 to a group of local investors.  The latter were organised by another husband and wife team, Scott and Jennifer Siebert, who had been with the brewery since its inception.  The ownership group decided collectively that the best way forward was to rebrand and a decision was taken to rename the brewery.  This name is Nansemond Brewing Station (see next entry).
The renamed Nansemond Brewing Station opened in September 2019 in downtown Suffolk in the same building as the former Brick & Mortar Brewing Company.  The brewery’s new name hearkens back to Nansemond County, which became part of modern-day Suffolk after a 1974 merger, and the nearby Seaboard Railway Station, which dates to the late 1800s and now operates as a museum.  Scott and Jennifer Siebert now direct day-to-day functions.  As they are Suffolk residents, it is probably appropriate that they came up with It’s Always Sunny in Suffolk (6.3% ABV), a sour IPA released in 2021.  The local press described it as a “sour IPA with ‘Wildbrew Philly Sour Yeast’ raspberries, and blueberries, a tasty tart but balanced beer that made our hearts feel sunny”. In May 2022 this was followed up with It’s Always Sunny in Suffolk Season 2 (7.0% ABV), described as “tart & fruity”.

Suffolk Saison (6.7% ABV) and Suffolk Saison W/Brett (6.0% ABV) are two of the only three brews by The DMV produced between 2014 and 2018.  Both are described as Farmhouse Ales.  We only know that The DMV is in the United States and is a home brewer.  DMV in America stands for the metropolitan area of the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.  

Suffolk and Grate (ABV unknown) was a homebrew by Coadinghaylor’s at Coadingham Hops, a micro-brewery in Saint Peters, Pennsylvania, USA.  This beer seems to have had only one brew about which nothing much is known.  It was described as a “Blackstrap Bourbon Stout”.  ‘Blackstrap’ is a dark, very thick molasses, a residual by-product of sugar refining.  ‘Bourbon’ is a protected name in the United States; it must be produced in the country and from at least 51% corn and stored in a container of charred oak.  The micro-brewery has several brews to its name and went into production in 2009.  Coadingham Hops can be found in various local craft beers brewed in the locality.  However, there is little else on record about this product or its name. (There is obviously a connection with the Suffolk & Gratest 2025 noted below as a recipe in the Homebrew section.  Whether they are one and the same brew, we cannot tell).

The Sage of Suffolk Downs (5.0% ABV) is an experimental saison brewed with sage in 2012 by the Noddle’s Island Brewing Company.  This is a home brewer in East Boston who has been selling brews since 2010; Suffolk Downs was the name of the racecourse at Boston.

Summers in Suffolk (6.0% ABV) is a Farmhouse Ale brewed at home by Empty Pitcher Homebrewing.  This brewer has been going since 2020 and has produced numerous brews.  By what is revealed in exchanges on the website he seems to live in Ajax, Ontario, Canada, in the eastern part of the Greater Toronto Area, and may be the guy called “Jeff P.”  Perhaps he enjoyed many happy summer holidays in one of the Suffolks.

Suffolk Wheat Doppelbock (7.7% ABV) by the Suffolk Brewing Company.  “Doppel” means ‘double’.  A ‘doppelbock’ is a bigger and stronger version of the lower-gravity German-style bock beers.  A ‘wheat doppelbock’ uses 40 to 60% wheat.  The beer is very copper to dark brown in colour, full-bodied and the alcoholic strength is at the higher end.  This brew was produced between 2015 to 2019 by a home brewery in the United States.  It is presumed that the brewer lives in one of the Suffolk Counties in the USA, but otherwise we know nothing of this Suffolk Brewing Company.  The original Suffolk Brewing Company was located in Boston and lasted from 1861 to 1918.

Suffolk Strong Old Ale (6% ABV) was a Porter homebrew by Brewed To Be Wild produced between 2016 and 2020.  Nothing is known about this brewer other than he/she is located in England.

Suffolk Swill (5.2% ABV) is a Brown Ale homebrew produced in 2012 by somebody living in the United States who called himself English Andy.

Western Suffolk Pale Ale (ABV not known) is one of only two homebrews produced in 2012 and 2013 in the United States by The Cottage Meadery.  As all the drinking of the beers from this brewery takes place in Bayport, Islip, Suffolk County, New York State, it can be assumed that the name of this brew also indicates that the Cottage Meadery is indeed in the west of Suffolk County, as is Bayport.

Another Suffolk IPA (9.2% ABV) has been available since April 2021 from Altitude Brewing & Supply in Denver, Colorado, USA.  This claims to be Denver’s oldest homebrew supply store and nano-brewery, run by Steve Wigginton since 2014.  

Old Suffolk Punch (5.5% ABV), a traditional dark, English strong ale home brew by Devlin Brewery, released in July 2022.  This is a very small nano-brewery specialising in gluten-reduced brews.  It is located in Poringland, a village in Norfolk, just south of Norwich, in England.  The “brewery” would seem to be based in a house in Devlin Drive, a road in that village. 

1890 Suffolk XXXX (6.0% ABV) is an English Pale Ale released in July 2022 by Machine House Brewery in the Georgetown neighborhood of Seattle, Washington State.  This is an historical, mild recipe based on a recipe from Southwold, Suffolk, England, and brewed in collaboration with beer historian Ron Pattinson.  It pours a medium to dark golden amber with a small white head and has an aroma of biscuit and lightly caramel malt, grassy hops, apple juice and hints of toffee.  It is described as medium bodied with light to moderate creaminess and a satisfying bitterness. 

Machine House Brewery has been producing authentic cask-conditioned ales since 2013.  The co-founders Bill Arnott and Alex Brenner began brewing high-quality beers of all styles within the British tradition, including English style beers brewed from historical recipes, specialising in cask ales, which are naturally re-fermented in the serving vessel and therefore do not carry the artificial fizz of most modern beers.  The cool “cellar temperature” they are served at also means that these beers are not ice-cold, like most American beers, but resemble the traditional warmer beers brewed in Britain. 

Homebrew Recipes

In addition to the beers and ciders that are produced for sale to the public or sold as home brewing kits, there is a web-based community known as the “Brewers Friend” where brewers can share, criticise and discuss recipes.  The senders of the recipes can remain anonymous or use a pseudonym.  The team behind this website is a group of highly dedicated and experienced brewers and technologists who disseminate the detailed information of how to make their own individual brews, each of which is given a specific name.  Those with “Suffolk” in the name are given below.

Suffolk & Gratest 2025 (10.0% ABV), a Russian Imperial Stout, recipe listed from July 2015 by Coadinghaylor Creations located in North Coventry Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania, USA.  Essentially, this is a beer with a larger volume of alcohol, several percentages higher on the ABV scale than usual.  After a failed attempt to send Porter to Russia (it spoiled on the long journey), a beer was brewed with a higher alcohol content and greater bitterness, what we now know as Russian Imperial Stout.  Stronger versions of stout were made in order to withstand the boat trip to St Petersburg without spoiling. (See also Suffolk and Grate above).

B&W’s Suffolk Country Pumpkin (4.4% ABV), an Autumn Seasonal beer, recipe listed from October 2017.  This is an amber to copper coloured, spiced beer with the ingredients associated with Autumn: nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and ginger.  The brewer uses the pseudonym Wazza and is from Sudbury in Suffolk, England.

Suffolk Strong Ale
(4.2% ABV), as its name implies, a “British Strong Ale”, i.e. a best bitter.  The recipe was sent by a brewer whose pseudonym is Marcos-1 and is from Featherston, North Island, New Zealand.  The recipe is listed from September 2018.

Adnam’s Suffolk Ale 1918 XX (2.6% ABV), an historic English Mild Brown Ale brewed by Kinglucky of Tonbridge, Kent, England, in October 2019 from information of the  historic recipe of Adnam’s Brewery provided by the beer historian Ron Pattinson.

Suffolk Ruby Ale (5.5% ABV), a British Brown Ale.  The recipe is by Colin Churchward from Rudgwick, West Sussex, England, June 2020.  It is a tribute to Adnam’s Broadside (Ruby) Brown Ale, hence ‘Suffolk’ in its name after that brewery’s location.  This beer has a ruby colour and a nice hoppy aroma, brewed with two yeast strains (like Adnam’s Broadside).

DAM Sunny Suffolk (4.8% ABV), a British Golden Ale from a recipe of July 2020.  The brewer has the pseudonym of DAM, otherwise Paul DT from Stratford, England.

7 Suffolk Bitter (4.9% ABV), a moderately strong British Bitter from a recipe by J Evans from Elmswell in Suffolk, England, in October 2020.

Suffolk Punch Drunk (5.9% ABV).  An anonymous brewer posted this recipe in November 2021 but no description of the type of beer is given.

A Peculier Suffolk Dark IPA (4.9% ABV), an English IPA, the recipe from a brewer in East Yorkshire, England, in September 2022.  It is a simple English IPA with a dark hue, using some wild hops picked in a Suffolk garden in 2021, hence the ‘Suffolk’ in the name.  It reminded the brewer of Theakston’s Old Peculier, malty and a little sweetness.  Theakston’s Old Peculier (often misspelt as “Peculiar”) is one of Britain’s oldest and most famous beers, brewed by Theakston Brewery located in the Yorkshire Dales market town of Masham, North Yorkshire.  A ‘Peculier’ is an ecclesiastical district, parish, chapel or church outside the jurisdiction of the bishop of the diocese in which it is situated.  The word means Particular, not odd as in the word Peculiar.  The ecclesiastical territory was distant from its archbishopric at York and the church’s tax collectors were in danger of being mugged on the long route between the two places, so the Archbishop granted the town of Masham the right to keep the tax and govern its own affairs, and it thus became the “Peculier of Masham”.  


Between November 2010 & April 2013 the Chevallier Brewing Company produced a lager named Suffolk Blonde (5.2% ABV). In April 2013, however, it was relaunched as Outlier English Craft Lager. It is brewed underlicence by Shepherd Neame, who are based in Faversham, Kent. There may also be a connection with the Suffolk Blonde Lager produced by the Green Jack Brewery (see above).

The Chevallier Brewing Company was set up as a separate business by Henry Chevallier-Guild, a partner in the Aspall company, more famous as makers of Suffolk cyder. Which leads us nicely on to....




Cyder is the common alternative spelling of cider in Suffolk, England. Three producers in the county are known to use the name ‘Suffolk’ in the title of their beverages.

Aspall was founded by Clement Chevallier in 1728, at the fifteenth century Aspall Hall near Debenham in central Suffolk.  The business was still run by the Chevallier family up until January 2018.  That month the US brewing giant Molson Coors bought Aspall and will undoubtedly retain such a prestigious name. The Aspall company produce cyder, apple juice & vinegar. Many of their cyders are branded as ‘Suffolk Cyder’ as below. These are available in bottles and keg unless otherwise stated:

Aspall Premier Cru Suffolk Cyder is Aspall’s flagship cyder & has an ABV of 7%. It is a dry cyder described as having a clean, light aroma of dessert apples, a good acid balance, soft tannins & an elegant, long finish. Only available in 330mml and 500ml bottles.  Previously known as Aspall Dry Premier Cru Suffolk Cyder, and has been packaged for Export as Aspall Dry Suffolk Cider and as Dry English Draft Cider (both ‘draft’ and ‘cider’ are spelt this way on the labels).

Aspall Suffolk Draught Cyder, at 5.5% ABV, is a medium dry cyder, with a crisp & delicate flavour of fresh pressed apples.  This cyder was launched in 2003 to celebrate Aspall’s 275th anniversary & is available in bottles & on tap. It was previously known as Aspall Draught Suffolk Cyder.

Perronelle’s Blush Suffolk Cyder is a 4% ABV cyder that has a dash of blackberry juice added to give it a salmon pink colour. It has a sweetish palate, a floral, apple & fruit aroma, & combines a mix of apple &  blackberry flavours. The name derives from Perronelle Guild (nee Chevallier - 1902-2004) who ran the business for 40 years as well as being a founder member of the Soil Association.

Aspall Suffolk Organic Cyder has a rich, full and slightly sweet palate, with an aroma of traditional bittersweet cyder apples, supplemented with floral & spicy overtones. It is golden in colour with an ABV of 7%. Only available in 500ml bottles.  Previously known as Aspall Organic Suffolk Cyder, then Aspall Classic Organic Suffolk Cyder to the present Aspall Suffolk Organic Cyder in 2015.

Isabel’s Berry Suffolk Cyder is a 3.8% ABV sweet cyder named after Isabel Chevallier (1869-1931), the wife of Aspall owner & manager JB Chevallier. It is described as having a good acid balance & a lingering aftertaste of redcurrants & raspberries.

Harry Sparrow Suffolk Cyder (4.6% ABV) is described as medium dry with a floral aroma & cedar overtones of apples. It is named after George Henry (Harry) Sparrow (1891-1979) who began working for Aspall at the age of fifteen & went on to become the company’s head cyder maker. He served with the Suffolk Regiment during World War I.

Clement’s Four Suffolk Cyder is named after Aspall founder Clement Chevallier (1697-1762). As the name suggests it has an ABV of 4%. It is described as having a gentle fruit flavour with fragrant wood overtones & the aroma of spring flowers.

Clement’s Delight Suffolk Cyder was also named after Clement Chevallier.  First produced in 1999 with an ABV of 7%, it is no longer available.

Imperial Vintage Suffolk Cyder is named in honour of JB Chevallier’s success at the Imperial Fruit Show in 1921. At 8.2% ABV it is described as having a fudgy flavour enhanced by bitter-sweet apples, with notes of raisins, dates & prunes. The No. 285 on the label (see photo, right) refers to the fact that this is the 285th year that Aspall have crafted a special vintage cyder. Only available in 500ml bottles.

Cyderkin Traditional Suffolk Cyder is sold in 20 litre boxes and is said to be a recreation of the style of still cyder commonly found in English ale houses of the 17th, 18th & 19th centuries. At 3.8% ABV it is slightly sweet with a dry finish, & has a clean aroma of fresh green apples & toffee.

Temple Moon Still Suffolk Cyder (5.8% ABV) is a crisp still keg cyder with a floral aroma & a fresh apple finish. The name derives from the Reverend Temple Chevallier (1794 - 1873), the great grandson of Aspall’s founder, who was a prestigious scientist & academic, & who identified a crater on the moon known as the Chevallier Crater. Available only in draught 50 litre kegs.

Aspall Mulled Suffolk Cyder (4.7% ABV) can be served warm or chilled, & is described as having the aroma of sweet spices with cinnamon, clove & ginger notes, with a long spicy aftertaste.

Aspall Crisp Draught Suffolk Cyder (5.5% ABV).  Available in 500ml and 750ml bottles only.  This cider seems to be aimed mainly at the overseas market, being very popular in Germany and Australia.  Described as “clean and crisp with an incredible fresh apple aroma”.  

Aspall Medium Suffolk Cyder at 6.8% ABV is also labelled by Aspall as Medium English Draft Cider and as English Demi-Sec Draft Cider (both ‘draft’ and ‘cider’ are spelt this way on the labels).  Available in bottles and on draught; it is for Export only.  Described as a sweet, semi-dry and lightly tart apple cider with hints of yeast.

Aspall Medium Dry Suffolk Cyder is no longer brewed, but had a 4.7% ABV.  Available in 330ml bottles and for Export only.  Described as having a full fruity aroma of fresh pressed apples.  Ideal as an aperitif and as a partner for white meats and spicy food.

Aspall Festival of Britten Still Suffolk Cyder (8.4% ABV) was a limited edition launched on 8 June 2013 at the opening of the Aldeburgh Festival, the music and art event Benjamin Britten founded in Suffolk in June 1948 (see his biography on the Suffolk, England, page).  This cyder was also unveiled at the Royal Albert Hall and international venues, including Carnegie Hall in New York and venues in Berlin and Munich where they were celebrating the anniversary of Britten’s birth in 1913.  He was one of Britain’s foremost composers who was born, lived and worked in Aspall’s Suffolk heartland.  Britten was a regular visitor to Aspall Hall through the 1950s and 1960s, and he bought his cider directly from the family.  The label features a picture of artist Maggi Hambling’s sculpture “Scallop” on Aldeburgh Beach which is dedicated to Britten. 

From 2016 a similar name arrived on the scene with the Aspall Six Still Suffolk Cyder (6.0% ABV) as shown left.  We have no idea what the ‘six’ signifies, but we assume that the brewery wished to remind their customers how ‘cyder’ should be spelt.






The supermarket Sainsbury’s ‘Taste the Difference’ marketing range was relaunched in 2011 with two ciders under their name brewed by Aspall. These are Sainsbury’s Suffolk Cyder (4.6% ABV) in 550mml bottles.  Described as “light in colour and delicate in flavour.  This cider has a slightly farmy aroma and taste, with red apple flavour”.  The second one is Sainsbury’s Elderflower Suffolk Cyder (5.4% ABV) in 330mml bottles (see photo, right).  Predictably, cider with an elderflower extract.









Using the more usual spelling of  ‘cider’, is Giggler Suffolk Sparkling Cider, which is produced by Tim Chapman at Grove Farm in the village of Bramfield, between Yoxford & Halesworth. It is described as a medium sweet, slightly sparkling cider with a champagne-like fruitiness and dry finish. Giggler cider is grown, pressed and bottled on the Suffolk coast in four different ABVs: 5.9%, 6.2%, 6.5% and 7.0%.


The Suffolk Apple Juice & Cider Place on Cherry Tree Farm at Ilketshall St Lawrence in Suffolk produces two ciders named JC’s Medium-Sweet Suffolk Cider (see image, left) and JC’s Medium-Dry Suffolk Cider, both now 5.0% ABV, originally 6.4% ABV (in 2005).  Hand pressed at the farm in a traditional manner using a blend of Suffolk apples and matured for two years in old port barrels.  This small family firm has revived the traditional way of cider making.  JC stands for the owner, Jonathan Coules.




David and Rebecca Upson, husband and wife owners of Stoke Farm Orchards at Battisford, near Stowmarket in Suffolk, England, make bottles of their freshly pressed apple juice available to the local community and supermarket shop.  The apple juice is made entirely from fruit grown at their orchards, which has become renowned for growing juicy varieties.  They originally started out as pig farmers in 1984 and it was not until 1993, when a BBC Radio presenter tasted the apples in the orchard and suggested that they turn them into apple juice, that the cider business began.

Their Dograpper Suffolk Russet Cyder (6.5% ABV) produced in May 2019 is a dry cider made from the delicious Suffolk Russet apples grown in their orchards.  The bottle has a picture of a “dograpper”.  This is a dialectical name used in parts of England for a “beadle”.  He was originally an official of a church who would usher, keep order, and assist in religious functions.  A beadle used to have a short staff with a thong and, if a member o
f the congregation had fallen asleep and was snoring, the beadle would give the culprit a sharp tap with the thong as if he was ‘rapping a dog’.  Whether this is an allusion to the effect that the cider has on the drinker, we can only guess.

Dry Hopped Suffolk Cider (7.0% ABV) has been produced since 2015 by Castlings Heath Cottage Cider.  John and Margaret Norton have been making cider since 1983 on their farm in Groton, a village in Suffolk, England.  Castlings Heath Cottage is a small scale cider maker producing cider in the traditional way using local organic apples.  The cider is in its simplest form, with nothing added and nothing taken away, it has a classic East Anglian dry, tart flavour.  Castlings Heath ciders turn up at beer festivals from time to time, but usually are only available locally and particularly at the establishments owned by or linked with the family.  John Norton owns the Little Earth Project which is run by his son Tom (see under Mill Green Brewery above).

Scrumped Suffolk Cyder (5.5% ABV) produced by Eh Boy’s Homebrew.  Made from scrumped Suffolk hedgerow apples with a bunch of garden crab apples thrown in.  Described as “nice, sharp, dry and sour” after two years in the bottle.  (In case the terms in British English may not be known elsewhere by English speakers, “scrumped” is slang for ‘stolen’ or ‘taken from somebody else’s property’ and crab apples are essentially small, sour apples.)  Since all consumption of the various brews produced by this home brewery since 2016 is in Clare in Suffolk, England, we assume that is where the brewery is located and the reason why the brew can be called “Suffolk Cyder”.  “Eh Boy!” is a way of calling somebody’s attention in the East Anglian dialect.

Top of Page

Suffolk Mountain Ale & the Suffolk Mountain Rescue Service

In 1997 Whitbreads stopped producing West Country pale ale in their Cheltenham brewery.  Tolly Cobbold, the Ipswich brewers, spotted an opening for their pale ale and in June 1997 launched their “Cotswold’s PA” in the west of England through a Cheltenham wholesaler, with the inference that it had been brewed there “specifically for the Cotswolds”.  Incensed that the Ipswich brewers had not done their homework and did not realise that the Cotswolds never has an apostrophe ‘s’, as well as encroaching on his patch, Charles Wright of the Uley Brewery (a notable Cotswolds’ brewery), retaliated in kind.

Charles soon discovered that the new brew was nothing more than Tolly Cobbold’s normal bitter with a different label, so he complained to the Trading Standards Office.  They forced Tolly Cobbold to change their labels to make it clear that the brew came from Ipswich.  To further emphasise the point, Charles then rebranded his Hogshead Cotswolds pale ale and launched it on East Anglia as Suffolk Mountain Ale.  The highest point in Suffolk is 446 feet, whereas the Cotswolds reach to 1083 feet.  The point was duly recognised and both brews were only short-lived.* 

* Without the ‘s’ ending, there is currently a “Cotswold Pale Ale” with an ABV of 4.7% brewed by Hook Norton Brewery in Oxfordshire.  

However, this was not before the Suffolk Mountain Rescue team had consumed their fair share of Suffolk Mountain Ale.  This rescue service was formed in 1990 and, since there are very few mountains in Suffolk, they used to exercise their skill by climbing a net hung from the 12 foot high ceiling of a pub in Bildeston in Suffolk.  This was presumably to whet their appetite for the main pursuit of consuming alcohol. The Suffolk Mountain Rescue Service is a charitable organisation that raises money by its various activities as far away from mountains as possible.  In 2016 it recruited the services of Prince William (who was then with the East Anglian Air Ambulance) as its first helicopter pilot.

Top of Page

Suffolk Bitters

For our non-British readers, “Bitter” is an English term for pale ale, and it is probably the most popular type of beer in the UK, so this item will cause some confusion for our British readers expecting to acquaint themselves as to where this alcoholic beverage can be found in Suffolk.  They are referred instead to the preceding article on the Beers & Cyders Named ‘Suffolk’.

Elsewhere, “Bitters” are a form of patent or proprietary medicine made by steeping herbs, roots, and other spices in alcohol, such that the end result is characterised by a bitter or bittersweet flavour.  The earliest origins of bitters can be traced back as far as the ancient Egyptians.  This practice was further developed by medieval apothecaries and bitters were first patented for sale in 18th-century England, where so-called physicians claimed the bitters were remedies for digestive and circulatory disorders.  These bitters could be anywhere from 30 to 50 percent alcohol, so they were also a convenient excuse to drink, particularly at times when indulging in alcoholic beverages was frowned on; an adult could take regular swigs from a bitters bottle “for the sake of his or her good health”.  People believed that bitters worked, because the effects of the alcohol made them feel better, at least temporarily.
Bitters reached their height of popularity in the United States between 1860 and 1910, around the time the Temperance Movement was gaining steam.  “Suffolk Bitters” was a brand-name manufactured from 1865 to 1874 in Boston, taking its name from the county in which that city was located.  The company that manufactured this medicinal drink was ‘Philbrook & Tucker’ on Blackstone Street, Boston, and the full title of their medicine was “Suffolk Bitters Life Preserver”.  It was advertised for ‘the dyspeptic, the bilious and debilitated… an appetizer the invigorating properties of this tonic are unsurpassed’.  Since traces of opium and cocaine were mixed in with the alcohol, it is not too surprising that the medicine had ‘invigorating qualities’.  

The founder of the company, Joseph W Philbrook (1836-1875), began his career as a grocer before going into partnership with Herman Tucker in 1860.  Philbrook bought out the latter’s share in 1874, but died soon after.  The family then sold the business to others, although the name was retained until about 1890 by which time the market for this particular product had declined.

In 19th-century United States, bitters tended to be pricey, and come in fancy, colourful figural glass bottles.  Once the contents were emptied, bitters bottles were often kept as decorative objects, instead of being thrown away.  Suffolk Bitters came in a pig-shaped bottle and today they are very much collectors’ items (see Suffolk Bitters Pig Bottles, in Odds & Ends section below).

Top of Page

Suffolk Pink and Suffolk Rose (Wines)

A few hundred yards south west of Ickworth House, an 18th Century mansion, lies what was once the estate’s walled kitchen garden.  Table Grapes were grown here in Victorian times.  In 1995 the walled garden returned to the cultivation of grapevines when Charles and Jillian Macready planted 2.5 acres of vines, this time with the emphasis on the production of fine English wine.  The south facing slope of the walled garden provides a sheltered and idyllic setting for the Ickworth Vineyard at Horringer, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England.

The Pinot Noir is an internationally renowned red skinned grape used in the production of Champagne and this is also used to produce a rosé called Suffolk Pink.  It is a sparkling wine, bottle fermented in the ‘Méthode Traditionelle’ as is Champagne.  The ‘Suffolk Pink 2002’ won the silver medal in the 2006 English and Welsh Wine of the Year competition.

It should be noted that this wine is not produced from the Suffolk Pink Grape (see Fauna and Flora section, below.)

In 2013 a sparkling white wine was produced by Valley Farm Vineyards at Wissett, near Halesworth in northern Suffolk, and named Suffolk Rose.  The major component is a Pinot gris, bottle-fermented in the traditional manner.  The vineyard was first planted in 1987 and specialises in producing quality grapes. 

Top of Page

Suffolk Gin & Suffolk Vodka

A family run, Suffolk-based craft distillery, making premium quality, small batch Suffolk Dry Gin the traditional way.  Gary Wilkinson was a chemist working in the alcohol industry, specialising in distillery products such as gin and vodka.  The constant travelling was affecting his health, so Gary made a life-changing decision to quit and start his own business.  He invested in setting up a distillery in his home village of Glemsford, just south of Bury St Edmunds in England.  Gary and his wife wanted to create a brand for this new gin distillery that was synonymous with Suffolk, so it was named the “Suffolk Distillery” and began operations in 2016.  The traditional bottle carries the logo of the distillery, a coronet and a wolf’s head (above, left), reflecting the legend of the wolf that guarded the decapitated head of King Edmund after he was killed in 869.

In July 2017 they launched their first brand, Suffolk Dry Gin (right).  This earned them an enviable reputation for the quality and taste of their new gin. 

Marketed under the Suffolk Distillery label they now have several gins to try at their standard alcohol content of 43% ABV and one at an eye-watering 57% ABV (Navy Strength).  As well as the traditional Suffolk Dry Gin and the Suffolk Dry Gin Navy Strength version, there is Suffolk Distilled Rhubarb Gin and two limited editions named Suffolk Dry Gin Mandarin & Cranberry and Suffolk Dry Gin Strawberry & Cucumber.

In 2018 the Distillery ventured into a new line with the release of their Suffolk Vodka Rhubarb & Honey also at 43% ABV.

Traditional gin obtains its predominant flavour from juniper berries.  Another version known as ‘Sloe Gin’ is made from ripe sloes, also called the blackthorn. This is a small flowering shrub (Prunus spinosa) with a fruit similar to a small plum (the sloe).  An earlier product bearing the Suffolk name was Suffolk Hunt Sloe Gin (28% ABV).  This was produced in the 1950s by the Bury St Edmunds’ distillers Hunter & Oliver Ltd (see photo, left).  The product name was a play on the surname Hunter and, of course, it was made in the county which did indeed have a ‘Suffolk Hunt’ that chased foxes.  A ‘sloe gin’ possibly helped the pursuers go a little bit faster!  

Hunter & Oliver Ltd was founded in January 1927 in Bury St Edmunds and continued as an active distillery into the 1970s.  It is now a dormant company within the Whitbread Group.  Its stoneware and bottles have become collectables, some being auctioned still contain the liquid in them.


Top of Page

Suffolk LightsTM Yerba Mate Tea

The indigenous communities of present-day Paraguay first cultivated and used yerba mate prior to the European colonisation of the Americas.  Its consumption was exclusive to the natives of only two regions of the territory that today is Paraguay.  Only after the Spanish discovered its potential did it become widespread throughout the other possessions of the Spanish Crown in South America.  Mate or maté is a Quechua word that means ‘container for a drink’ or ‘gourd’; yerba is a variant spelling of hierba Spanish for ‘herb’.  Hence, yerba mate translates as the “gourd herb”, i.e. the herb one drinks from a gourd.  This is a traditional caffeine-rich infused drink.  It is made by soaking dried leaves of the holly species Ilex paraguariensis in hot water to make the beverage known as mate which is served with a straw in a container typically made from a calabash gourd.  (The calabash, also known as the bottle gourd, is the fruit of a vine cultivated in tropical areas of the world, grown not primarily for food, but for use as containers.)

The promotional piece states: “This 100% organic mate simply enhances Argentine mate with ginger and Manuka honey, making for a light body, but surprisingly complex blend.  Mate connoisseurs will appreciate the unfolding of layers of flavors and textures.  Our premium granulated honey has a long list of health benefits.  Sweet, with just a bit of zest, Suffolk Lights is one of our most elegant blends”.  The product can be sold loose but is mainly produced in tea bags.

There you have part of its name.  It has a “light body” and may make you ‘light-headed’ if another part of its promotional advert is to be believed: “when consumed, it introduces a lifestyle that promotes peace, togetherness, and equality beyond race, class, and gender”.  And why ‘Suffolk’?  Simple, the manufacturer resides in Patchogue, Suffolk County, New York State.  

The company concerned is Circle of Drink Inc., formed in 2013 which started commercial production in 2017.  It is a small organisation with around 10 employees.  Its founder, Dave Askaripour, was raised on Long Island, New York. Starting with a visit to Buenos Aires in 2009 which led to a two year move to South America, Dave was introduced to yerba mate and began researching and learning all about the beverage and the best type of gourd in which it can be brewed.  Returning to New York in 2011 he established the Circle of Drink community of mate drinkers and from there the idea of “spreading the word” to the wider world came to fruition in 2017.

Top of Page

Suffolk Wagon (Suffolk Box Wagon) & Suffolk Long Cart

Suffolk Wagon or Suffolk Box Wagon (occasionally called the Suffolk Farmer's Cart): The three counties of Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex are great wheat-growing areas and, being in close proximity to the Netherlands, the high-sided style of wagon common in that country was introduced to eastern England in order to hold and carry far bulkier loads than hitherto had been possible.  The flat terrain made it possible for wagons of a much larger size to be employed that would have been unworkable on the hilly countryside elsewhere in England.  According to “The Cyclopedia of Arts, Sciences & Literature” (Abraham Rees, 1819) the “Suffolk Farmer’s Cart” had only just recently been introduced, so its manufacture probably dates from the end of the 18th century. The entry states: “In agriculture a convenient and useful sort of cart for farm purposes which has lately been introduced into Suffolk with great benefit and advantage.”

East Anglian wheelwrights developed a large open wagon with a box-shaped body, the typical “box-wagon” or “box-cart” of the farm.  This was an improvement over the “bow-wagon” which was a simple wagon with laths (thin narrow strips of wood) bowed over the wheels, similar to mudguards, to prevent the straw from contact with them.  Another feature that distinguished the East Anglian type, other than its larger size, was that the headboard could be adjusted since it was made in two parts and held in place by small keys fixed to short chains.  Another unusual feature was the habit of East Anglian wheelwrights to make the fore wheels smaller in diameter than those to the rear.  Each county had its own style although there was much intermingling with one another, and they did not conform to precise county boundaries.  The Suffolk Wagon can only really be distinguished from the Norfolk Wagon by the Suffolk having a larger wheelbase. 

Suffolk Long Cart: Another farm cart, probably dating back to medieval times, is the Suffolk Long Cart; a two wheeled non tipping cart used for harvesting.



Top of Page

Suffolk Drill & Suffolk Coulter

Being farming country, it is not surprising that Suffolk, England has given its name to a former pre-eminent agricultural machine invented in that county. 

Scattering (or broadcasting) seed by hand is wasteful, since it leads to a poor distribution of seeds and low productivity.  Farmers realised early on that they needed a method to increase the ratio of crop yield to the quantity of seeds sown.  All crops grow best at a certain density, which varies depending on the soil and weather conditions.  Additional seeding above this limit will actually reduce crop yields, in spite of more seeds being sown, as there will be competition among them for the minerals, water and soil available.  Drilling is a method of improving this ratio and the drill plough was invented by both the ancient Chinese and Babylonians.  Drilling is making a shallow furrow in as straight a line as possible, funnelling seeds into it at a constant rate, and then closing the furrow.  Straight lines were necessary so that neat rows were spaced out making hoeing (weeding) easier to perform.  This whole process was labour-intensive, and by the 18th century the requirement was how to mechanise this process in an efficient manner.
The first successful mechanisation was by Jethro Tull in England in 1701.  It was a machine with a box (a hopper) filled with seed that had pipes leading from it to the ground.  A rotating cylinder with grooves cut into it allowed the seed to pass at a constant rate from the hopper into the pipes set at regular distances from each other.  Arranged in front of the pipes was a set of knife blades known as coulters. In operation, the seed drill was dragged forward to allow the coulters to cut open the soil, and the seed was deposited along grooves in the coulters to direct the seed into the freshly cut soil at regular intervals. The seeds could then be covered by a harrow that followed from behind.  This sowed the seeds in three neat rows, limited the wastage and made the crop easier to weed.  This basic design was improved with the use of levers to adjust the height, and more pipes and coulters being attached to allow more rows to be dug in what became known as the Norfolk Block Drill.  

By 1800 the old Norfolk Block Drill was the only one in use, where all the coulters were fixed in one transverse wooden beam, but could not be moved independently from each other.  This had the disadvantage of not being able to plant the seeds at a uniform depth on uneven or sloping ground.  What was needed was a mechanical device that allowed the coulter system to ride over uneven ground, with pressure being applied to the coulter to deliver the seed continuously at a specified depth, thus preventing gaps where the seeds had not fallen that resulted in bare patches in the cropfields.

In 1800 James Smyth, a wh
eelwright at Peasenhall in Suffolk, his brother Jonathan and a local farmer, Robert Wardley, produced the first seed drill in which each coulter was fixed to an independent lever for ready adjustment to different widths, and devised a method using springs where pressure could be exerted to ensure that the seeds would be planted at a uniform depth.  A further improvement was a steerage method by which the ploughman, walking behind the moving drill, could hold the transverse line of coulters steady, and thus preserve the parallel straight lines of planting when the horse or wheels of the drill strayed from a straight line.  James Smyth later also introduced a feature that enabled the machine to deliver manure and seed at the same time.  It was now possible to plant the correct amount of seed at the right depth.  This greater control meant that seeds germinated consistently and it resulted in a much-improved crop yield.  

These and other improvements Smyth made set the pattern for one of the principal types of seed drill used in Britain.  It became known as the Suffolk Drill.  Smyth’s firm (The Suffolk Seed Drill Company) became the leading specialist manufacturer of seed drills.  Soon, Suffolk Drills were being sold all across Britain and into export markets. James Smyth died in 1843. His son, James, carried on the business, which remained in family control, and the reputation of their drills was so good that Smyths were able to remain and expand in this rather isolated village in Suffolk.   However, the family was bought out in the 1960s and the factory was closed down in 1967, after 167 years of production.

Although the original Suffolk Drill has been superseded by better modern seed-drill machines, and the delivery of seed is now under computer control, the original design for the coulter still survives today and is known throughout the world as the Suffolk Coulter.



Top of Page                                                                                                                                                                 Suffolk Coulter

Suffolk Scythe

The scythe as a reaping implement is first recorded as being used around 500 BC, & is probably named after the Scythians; a nomadic pastoralist people who lived in the area around the Caspian Sea & eastwards into modern day Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan & Kazakhstan, who used a similar tool to the modern day scythe to harvest hemp. The Romans are known to have used them, & it was probably they who first brought the scythe to Britain.

According to East Anglian Crafts by Norman Smedley (1977), the Suffolk Scythe was the favoured scythe in the eastern counties of England prior to the introduction of the American Scythe. Usually made from ash, birch or alder, the “snaith” or shaft of the Suffolk Scythe is curved in an ‘s’ shape, & is, at around 5 ft 10 in, shorter than the English Scythe, which usually measures around 6 ft.  The last foot or of the Suffolk Scythe shaft is hexagonal in section & ends in a point.  At around 4 ft, the “chine” or blade is longer than the 3 ft blade of the American Scythe.

Top of Page

Suffolk Wheel Plough & Suffolk Swing Plough

Many counties & regions of England had their own particular type of wooden framed plough prior to the nineteenth century; most of which had remained unchanged for centuries & were suited to the terrain & soil of the area concerned.

By the 1830s, J.R. & A. Ransome of Ipswich (later Ransomes, Sims & Jefferies) were making more than eighty different types of plough, many bearing the names of counties such as Essex, Kent, Hertfordshire & Bedfordshire. Two bearing the name Suffolk were also being produced at this time. They are described in The Farmer’s Magazine of February 1835: 


The Suffolk Wheel Plough: This plough is described as having a single handle, two wheels & a high, rather cumbersome carriage. It was ideally suited to the lighter soils of Suffolk & elsewhere in East Anglia.

The Suffolk Swing Plough: The Suffolk Swing Plough is described as having a single handle &, apart from the beam & draught irons, being similar in structure to the Suffolk Wheel Plough. It was very popular in East Anglia at that time.

Top of Page

More Agricultural Implements named after Suffolk

The Suffolk Heavy Harrow, Suffolk Horse Drag Rake, Suffolk Portable Thrashing Machine & Suffolk Crusher: These were all recognised makes of agricultural implements that were advertised for sale in the farming journals of the 19th century.  They are referred to with illustrations in The Implements of Agriculture (1843) by James Allen Ransome.  In each case a modification to the basic design and dimensions had been made by Ransomes of Ipswich for suitability in the use of these implements on the soils of Suffolk & elsewhere in East Anglia.

Top of Page

Suffolk Punch Lawn Mowers

Named after Suffolk’s famous heavy horse, the Suffolk Punch lawn mower was first produced in 1954, manufactured by Suffolk Iron Founders Ltd at Stowmarket, England.  This company had been going since 1913 making castings for various local businesses and subsequently cast-iron consumer goods such as mangles, mincers and simple lawn mowers. The Suffolk Punch is seen as the first modern motor lawn mower due to its compact but powerful four stroke petrol engine; many of its design features being later adopted by other manufacturers & with most domestic cylinder mowers still having a similar layout and appearance today. Many thousands were sold, not just in the UK, but also overseas. In 1958, Qualcast acquired Suffolk Iron Founders and continued to manufacture in Stowmarket, and in 1991, moving their entire lawn mower operations there, they renamed the company Suffolk Lawn Mowers. Other mowers with the Suffolk name were also produced over the years, from the 1950s through to the 1980s. These included the Suffolk Colt, Suffolk Pony, Suffolk Squire, Suffolk Corporation, Suffolk Auto-Swift & Suffolk Super Colt. In 2006 a new range of Suffolk Punch lawn mowers, both electric & petrol, was launched. These include:                                                                       

Suffolk Punch SP 12E Electric Cylinder Lawn Mower

Suffolk Punch 14SK 14 inch Self Propelled Petrol Cylinder Lawn mower                                                                                                               14SK

Suffolk Punch 17SK 17 inch Self Propelled Petrol Cylinder Lawn mower

The mower works were subject to a management buyout in 1992; this in turn was sold to the German group Robert Bosch GmbH in 1995.  Bosch then licensed the Suffolk Punch brand name to be used by major retailers and other lawnmower manufacturers and the name passed into obscurity for a number of years.

 In May 2011 Bosch sold the design and manufacturing rights to the Suffolk Punch petrol and electric cylinder mowers to Allett Mowers.  However, the acquisition did not include the Suffolk Punch brand name nor the individual mower model names which were retained by Bosch Lawn and Garden.  As a result, the former Suffolk Punch mowers were now manufactured at Allett’s production centre in Hixon, Staffordshire, to the same design and specification as their forerunners, but sold under a different brand name and new model designations by Allett.  In the same year Bosch licensed the Suffolk Punch brand name to Global Garden Products Italy S.p.A. (now STIGA S.p.A.), and mowers with this name were made for the European market.  

The Suffolk Punch was among the most reliable domestic motor mowers ever produced in the UK and it gathered a growing band of loyal and dedicated devotees whose demand for spare parts ensured that some limited production continued at the Stowmarket factory.  However, Bosch closed the factory in 2019.  In 2021 Allett Mowers revived the Suffolk Punch name for the company’s range of cylinder mowers, thus the Suffolk Punch purchased today may be made in the Allett factory in Staffordshire, England, or it may be made in a Global Garden Products factory in Italy.

Top of Page

Suffolk Barns

Many areas of Britain have their own distinctive style of local architecture, and in an agricultural region such as Suffolk there are traditional farm buildings.  The Suffolk Barn is such a building.  Modern barns are typically steel buildings.  However, prior to the 1900s, most barns were timber framed forming very strong structures to withstand storms and heavy loads of animal feed.  The typical structure is common to most eastern counties and comprises a large double wagon door on its lateral side rather than at the end of the barn.  The barns are normally without a basement and stand on level ground.  The interior has a central open area that acted as a threshing floor in previous days, and also divided the building into two separate areas, one for hay and grain storage and the other for livestock.  In the USA this design is known as the English Barn, and was most popular in the northeast region of the United States, where the early American pioneers brought a design familiar to them as most of these colonists came from eastern England.

Suffolk Barns are noted for using material and colours that are specific to the landscape of East Anglia.  Oak is grown locally and is used as the main timber framework and support.  Suffolk Barns are tiled with traditional red and pink pantiles that create the familiar ridge and furrow profile distinctive to the whole of the east side of England and Scotland.  This is a geographical feature that is a legacy of the days when the main trade contacts for the eastern counties were with Holland and Belgium, and clay pantiles were brought back from those countries as ballast in the ships. 

Top of Page

Suffolk Horseshoe, Suffolk Bell & Suffolk Basket - Corn Dollies

Corn dollies are intricately woven straw shapes, usually constructed from wheat, oats, rye or barley. Prior to the advent of the combine harvester, they were made as part of the ritual that accompanied the cutting of the last sheath of corn; symbolising the capturing of the corn spirit. They would then be hung in the farmhouse until the following spring, when they would be returned to the field, thus releasing the spirit to be reborn in that year’s crop. As a symbol of fertility, they are also sometimes given as wedding gifts. 


Many counties throughout Britain came to have special “trademark” designs. Suffolk has the Suffolk Basket (see photo, right), the Suffolk Bell & the Suffolk Horseshoe; the latter also having a variant called the Suffolk Horseshoe & Whip (see photo, left).

Top of Page

“Suffolk Punch” Steam Tractor

In October 1917 the engineering company Richard Garrett and Sons Ltd of Leiston, Suffolk, launched the “Suffolk Punch” steam tractor intended to compete directly with internal combustion-powered alternatives. The company had long been associated with steam-driven equipment for use on both road and farm. As its promotion campaign proclaimed:  ‘the “Suffolk Punch” is a most apt name.  It fully merits this appellation on account of its sound and robust construction, its hauling power and the ease with which it can he handled’.

One of the chief advantages claimed for this new steam-driven tractor, was that it could do duty all the year round.  It could be employed on both farm and road.  It was stated to be equally suitable for ploughing and threshing, drawing reapers and binders, cultivators, harrows, etc., as well as for driving such machinery as a saw bench, grist mill or chaff cutter.  On the road the machine could haul a load of 10 tons, enabling it to transport farm produce efficiently.  The “Suffolk Punch” was geared to a fast speed of 5 miles per hour in addition to ordinary ploughing speed.  The driver’s position at the front gave him a full and uninterrupted view of the road, and of the field when ploughing.  In general design it was arranged on
the principle of motorcar steerage, and the various controlling levers were situated so as to be easily accessible from the driver’s seat.  The boiler was of the locomotive type, and was fitted with a specially large firebox.  A superheater was fitted in the smokebox, thus increasing economy both in fuel and water consumption.  

Garretts was a family business from 1778 to 1932, after which the company passed into the hands of Beyer Peacock.  The works finally closed in 1981.  However, the historic core was preserved and opened as The Long Shop Museum, Leiston, in 1984.  It includes the sole surviving “Suffolk Punch” steam tractor on display.

In 1925 Garrett developed a ‘modern’ steam-powered tractor also known as the “Suffolk Punch” (see image, right).  It included a 40 HP engine and was designed for ploughing, pulling work and threshing.  It was too expensive to compete with other tractors and only eight were built.

Top of Page

Suffolk Billhook

In bygone days, tools and equipment for use on the farm and countryside were produced by the local blacksmith.  Since each craftsman was concerned to make tools specifically for his own locality, there was considerable variation in design to suit local conditions.  Thus, the simple billhook varies from region to region in the British Isles, and several hundred different patterns of billhook have come into existence.  The Suffolk Billhook (see picture, right) was designed for cutting undergrowth in banks and edges that were mostly below the level of the worker’s hands.  Consequently the blade was heavier at the front and, to deal with the rough sedge, rushes and roots, the Suffolk Billhook has a slightly convex blade with a short straight bevel (a projection from the edge) at the end for dealing with roots.   





Top of Page

The “Suffolk Boys”

In the last years before the outbreak of the First World War, the New Zealand government initiated a scheme of immigration for farm boys.  They were brought out to alleviate a shortage of farm labour.  Each contingent would comprise 50 boys mainly recruited from orphanages in the UK, who  were to be trained in all aspects of farming life.  The first group arrived in January 1911 on board the SS Athenic.  A second group came out in January 1914 on the SS Ayrshire, and the third contingent arrived in March 1914 on the SS Suffolk.  When war clouds gathered later that year, the scheme was abandoned.

The SS Suffolk arrived in Auckland on the 1st March 1914, and the 51 youths in the party were immediately dubbed the “Suffolk Boys”, although they actually came from all over the United Kingdom.  In fact, there was only one farm boy actually from Suffolk: Sidney Pledger from Stoke-by-Clare (standing at 6 foot and born in 1892, he was hardly a boy!).

These immigrants had to enter a contract with the New Zealand government whereby they agreed to work for an approved farmer for a period not less than one year at a wage of not less than 7s 6d (37½ pence) per week, with board, lodging and clothing.  Their wages were to be paid into a post office account under the control of the Labour Department from which they were given weekly pocket money.  If a boy reneged on the agreement, except in cases of serious illness, he had to pay the New Zealand government the full cost of the passage to the country (£8).

“The Suffolk boys appear to be intelligent, sturdy, well-mannered young fellows, who should very soon develop into first-class farm hands and good citizens” (Otago Daily Times, 5 March 1914).  We assume they lived up to this early promise, since the tag “a Suffolk boy” stuck for some time in New Zealand farming circles as a measure of praise.

Top of Page

The Suffolk Latch & Suffolk Hinge

Originating in Suffolk, England during the sixteenth century, the Suffolk Latch was in common use until the early part of the nineteenth century; becoming popular throughout Britain & spreading to Europe & America. Often used on garden gates, wooden doors & sheds, the Suffolk Latch incorporates a simple thumb actuated lever. It differs from the later developed Norfolk Latch in that it has no back plate to which the thumbpiece is attached. Originally hand forged by blacksmiths, Suffolk Latches have now become popular once again & are manufactured from a variety of materials such as wrought iron, steel, brass, pewter & wood.

William Twopeny (1797-1873), whose drawings of architecture, furniture, woodwork and ironwork were accumulated over many years of travel throughout Britain, is sometimes said to have given the Suffolk Latch its name.


A development from the Suffolk Latch is the Suffolk Hinge.  A hinge is a mechanism allowing a door, gate or shutter to swing on a fixed point or post.  Hinges come in various sizes and patterns, each with a different use. They are invariably described by the shape they most closely resemble.  The two classic hinges are the T-hinge and the L-hinge, and they can come in various decorative designs, but the most common are the penny (or bean)-head end and the arrow-head end.  With the Suffolk Latch, the latch part (the opening/closing mechanism on the opposite side of the door from the thumb actuated lever) was invariably shaped with a penny (or bean)-head end, and this has given rise in North America to this shape being referred to as the “Suffolk” type.  Thus, in North America hinges of this shape are known as Suffolk Hinges.  With the economy in language, let alone print-space, that this provides, this American definition is now becoming more prevalent on this side of the Atlantic.



In North America described as a Suffolk Strap Hinge (in Britain a T-shaped hinge with penny head end)





In North America described as a Suffolk L-Hinge (in Britain an L-shaped hinge with penny head end)



Top of Page

Suffolk Door, Suffolk Door Knob and Suffolk Rim Knob

A particular type of internal frame and ledge door is made in what is known as the Suffolk-style; in other words a “Suffolk Door”.  These have a distinctive look with a plain front containing vertical panels within a frame, and the back of the door has a raised frame with a matching single ledge running horizontally across the centre.  The central ledge makes it easy to create a half-glazed door that has the effect of providing greater light and brightness to the room.  

The Suffolk Door is a traditional design found in cottages, and certainly known from the 17th century, but is not especially specific to this county in England.  However, like many other traditional items associated with the rural countryside, it has come to be known as the Suffolk Door.  Traditionally, it was made from solid oak, but modern doors can be made of other material, including UPVC (plastic).  In North America this design is called the “Mexicano” and seems to differ only in the material used, which is traditionally from American White Oak.  

     Internal Suffolk                Internal Suffolk              Glazed Suffolk    
          Door (Front)                        Door (Back)                             Door


Suffolk Door Knob: There is also a “Suffolk Door Knob” (see image, below), although we are not sure how specific this is to the county, or whether it is really a particular design. 

Door handles/knobs are surprisingly recent. The first documented invention of the door handle with its turning spindle and spring mechanism was patented in the USA in 1878.  However, the use of handles and knobs on doors is documented by illustrations in sales catalogues, extending back into the 18th century.

Really traditional Suffolk Doors have the Suffolk Latch (see The Suffolk Latch  & Suffolk Hinge, above) rather than a door knob, and advertisements for cottages often have the phrase “Suffolk doors with Suffolk latches” as a selling point.  Our guess is that if a Suffolk Door has a doorknob instead of a latch, an astute salesman would undoubtedly call it a “Suffolk Doorknob”.

However, the Suffolk Rim Knob is certainly a recognised design (see image, left).  A Rim Knob is a pair of door knobs designed specifically to fit onto a Rim Latch.  They are available with or without a lock mechanism.  The main difference is that only one of the knobs will have a Rose Plate (the circular plate to which handles and knobs are attached), the other fits directly onto the Rim Latch/Lock.  The latter is a traditional latch or lock mechanism which is concealed in its own case and is fixed onto the inside face of a door rather than morticed into the frame. 


Top of Page

Suffolk Puffs

In the sewing world a Suffolk Puff or Yo-Yo is a little circle of fabric that is traditionally used in quilting and patchwork.  They are simply circles of fabric, formed in such a way that the fabric is gathered in the middle, giving them a puffed look in the centre.  The puffed look can be enhanced by putting some wadding or padding underneath. 

This technique dates back to before the Victorian era, and “puffs” are first recorded in 1601.  However, puffs made mainly from old worn out clothes and fabric scraps seem to have originated in Suffolk, England, in the 19th century among the families of the agricultural labourers, who were keen not to waste anything.  Pieces were sewn together to make quilts and Suffolk Puffs became the name of this type of patchwork by the end of the century.   

Suffolk Puffs were especially popular from about 1910 to the 1950s and were mostly used as one-patch units in random scrappy designs or geometric arrangements to construct coverlets, pillow shams
, cot quilts and the like. They were great for using small scraps and recycled fabrics and were often made by children and beginners as well as frugal homemakers.

In America the same type of quilting is now known as a “Yo-Yo quilt”.  It is thought that this name derived from the popularity of the toy of that name, and in some respects the round shape and bunching of material resembles the yo-yo toy.  The toy was known by this name in the Philippines in the 19th century, but is not recorded in America until 1916 when an article about Filipino toys appeared in the “Scientific American” magazine.  The toy was introduced to America in 1928 by a Filipino businessman, so the name given to the quiltwork probably originated after this year.    


Top of Page

Suffolk Bay Cocktail Tables

In 1943 the Hammary Furniture Company was established in Lenoir, North Carolina, USA, and took its name after its founder, Hamilton (Ham) Bruce and his wife, Mary.  From 1947 Mr Bruce began to manufacture a group of occasional tables, and soon the company started producing mahogany and gum tables with leather tops exclusively, all in genuine Honduras mahogany.

One of the range of designs manufactured by the company is the “Suffolk Bay” cocktail table collection.  This takes its name from the former name of a bay on the island of Saint Vincent (see The Ones That Got Away page).  The range was inspired by the stately plantations of 19th Century British West Indies; a colonial period that adapted the furniture styles of Georgian England with the materials available from the islands.  The tables are crafted from Honduras Pine with bases made from a combination of cast resin and aluminum, and have clear glass tops.  This wood provides a high durability, and the carved motifs on the panelwork reflect a Caribbean flavour. 

The American furniture manufacturer La-Z-Boy Inc. (pronounced “lazy boy”) based in Monroe, Michigan, acquired the Hammary Furniture Company in September 1986 and the latter is now a division of that group of companies. 

Top of Page

The Suffolk Chair

The Suffolk Chair (see photo, right) is an upright wooden chair with a thin curved seat set on a stool base, which evolved in Suffolk, England over the course of several centuries. Usually made from elm, oak or mahogany, the characteristic that makes the chair unique to Suffolk is the design of the back, which has small wooden bobbins (usually three) set between two horizontal rails.






Another type of chair originally from Suffolk is the Mendlesham Chair (see photo, left). Created during the period 1780 & 1820, by father & son Daniel & Richard Day in the village of Mendlesham in central Suffolk, the Mendlesham Chair has a solid wooden seat, with an inclined back which is a separate construction from the legs. There is also a “window” or gap at the base of the back frame.





As may be expected, the Suffolk name for chairs has been hijacked by brands that are nothing to do with the place nor have any connection whatsoever with a “Suffolk style”. It is noticeable that Suffolk again has the sense of ease and comfort since it is the settee, sofa and armchair that are the recipients of this award.  In Britain the Fairway Furniture Suffolk Range comprises the Suffolk Chair (armchair), 2 Seater Suffolk Sofa, 3 Seater Suffolk Sofa and Suffolk Storage Stool.  John Harding founded the company in 1856 in Plymouth.  J.Harding & Sons not only sold furniture which they made themselves, but were also timber dealers and undertakers.  In 1976 the company opened its first out of town store, under a new name - Fairway Furniture.  The business is still in the hands of a sixth generation of the Harding family.

In the USA, the Suffolk Rocking Chair by Klaussner Home Furnishings is of note.  It is an armchair placed on curving supports (rockers) - see image left.  Apparently the “rocking chair” is an American invention, so it is only appropriate that this piece of furniture seems to be popular in that part of the world.  This upholstery business in Asheboro, North Carolina, was founded in 1963 by Stuart Love.  He sold the company to European furniture magnate Hans Klaussner in 1979 and in 2017 it was acquired by New York-based private investment firm Monomoy Capital Partners.  The company also sells the Suffolk Swivel Glider which sits on a round base that allows the armchair to swivel round to face in any other direction.

North Carolina is also the home of another Suffolk Range comprising the Suffolk Sofa, Suffolk Love Seat, Suffolk Swivel Chair, Suffolk Swivel Glider, and the Suffolk Ottoman.  (A “love seat” is to Americans what us unromantic Brits know as a “two seater sofa”.)  These are made by the Hickory Chair Furniture Company which has been going since 1911.  The chairs are not made from the wood of that name.  It so happens that the company is located in the place called Hickory in North Carolina.  The beginnings of this company go back to two brothers George and Waldron Bailey who, in 1900, moved to Elkin, North Carolina, from New York to begin a chair factory (the Elkin Chair Company) that only made one style of dining chair.  George bought out his brother and invited local Elkin businessmen to join him in what was renamed the Surry Chair Company.  In 1911, George learned that the demise of the wagon industry of Hickory had left many woodworkers out of a job.  Hence, with labour in plentiful supply the Surry Chair Company relocated, the Hickory Chair Furniture Company was born and the company diversified its range of chairs.

Top of Page

Suffolk Lantern Clock

This is an antique piece that is occasionally seen for sale at auctions.  It is thought by many people to be a specific style of clock.  However, it basically describes an old lantern clock that was made in the county of Suffolk, England.  

A lantern clock is a type of antique, weight-driven wall clock that strikes the hours on a large overhead bell.  The name is probably a corruption of the French word “laiton” meaning brass, the main metal of which lantern clocks are made, although the clock’s shape resembles the rectangular lanterns of that period that were also hung on the wall.  They were the first type of clock widely used in private homes.  It is generally accepted that the first lantern clocks in England were made by Huguenots who had fled from Flanders and France to London at the end of the 16th century.  Lantern clocks became common in Britain from around 1620, and rapidly settled into an established design which continued largely unchanged for about 150 years.  

Before the invention of the pendulum in 1656, lantern clocks had a limited accuracy to perhaps 15 minutes per day and, as such, almost all lantern clocks have just one clock hand, the one that indicates the hours.  The pendulum increased the accuracy of clocks to such a degree that existing lantern clocks were converted with pendulums being added to the back.  However, clockmakers kept building most lantern clocks without minute hands as a matter of tradition.  Longcase clocks with 8-day timekeeping made lantern clocks obsolete, and lantern clocks disappeared from London in the first decades of the 18th century.  In rural areas they continued to be produced until the beginning of the 19th century.

Most clockmakers were in London before 1640, but after this date Bristol and Salisbury also became important locations for clockmaking.  The earliest reference to the craft in Suffolk is with Robert Sparke of Cockfield, who died in 1648 and is described as a clockmaker in his will.  The first lantern clock in Suffolk is believed to have been made by Luke Cocksedge of Bradfield St George, who was still alive in 1652.  Both these locations are on the outskirts of Bury St Edmunds, and this town in Suffolk became a major centre of clockmaking from the 17th to 19th centuries.

Although he was not the earliest clockmaker in the town, Richard Rayment (c.1686-1754) of Bury St Edmunds is the best-known and most prolific maker of lantern clocks from around 1714 until his death in 1754.  Rayment’s lantern clocks have an individual style about them, particularly with regard to the half hour markers between the numerals which are nearly always lozenge-shaped.  Other clockmakers of this period, especially in East Anglia, copied this style and, to this extent, it could be said that this represents the “Suffolk Lantern Clock”.   



Lantern clock by Richard Rayment c.1720

Top of Page

Suffolk Kiln

Brick making has taken place since the Roman period, but after the departure of the Romans from Britain there was little requirement for bricks; timber and stone being in plentiful supply.  The revival of brick making in eastern England in the late 13th and early 14th centuries was a result of an increasing shortage of good timber, and the influence of Europe where brickwork was used much more extensively.  By the Tudor period brickmaking is recorded in the Woolpit area in 1574 (see  Suffolk White Bricks, below).

Bricks are moulded from clay and sand mixed with water to the desired consistency, and then laid out to dry.  Even after drying in air the green (raw) bricks contain water, so the shaped clay is then “fired” (burned) to finish the drying process and achieve strength.  The simplest way to do this is with a large pile of bricks and fuel mixed together and ignited.  The main problem is there is little control over the final temperature.  The knowledge and experience of the brickmaker was critical to the process to know when the correct temperature was reached, and when the heat should be allowed to slowly dissipate over a period of time.  Overheating can cause distortion and cracked bricks, whilst others left under fired are too soft for use.  

There were very few kilns at first, and production was only seasonal.  Bricks were generally fired on site in “clamps” by itinerant workers near to the clay source.  A clamp was a temporary construction of unfired or green (raw) bricks which was dismantled after firing, and could be transported and erected near to the clay source.  Clamps varied, but there were general rules which most followed.  The floor had to be level and was made of burnt brick.  Channels were made in the floor and filled with fuel, usually crushed coke but any fuel would suffice, wood and charcoal commonly being used.  An average size clamp would take two or three weeks to burn out.

Eventually most sites developed some form of permanent kiln, the earliest of these being the updraught kilns.  The most basic was the Scotch Kiln that had four walls and was open at the top, with side doors to fireholes that led under a perforated floor onto which the bricks were stacked.  The heat passed up through the bricks and out of the top of the kiln.  It took approximately three days to burn off the moisture from the bricks, at which point the firing was increased for the final burn.  The whole cycle usually took about a week.

A later development came to be known as a Suffolk Kiln after the practice found in that county.  These were fired on the same principle, but the kilns were smaller and built into a bank.  One reason for this was to provide ease of access for loading and unloading from the side wall rather than from the end, and since the bank itself acted as a natural chimney, it enhanced the kiln’s draw and provided better insulation.  The Ebernoe Brickworks in West Sussex has a Suffolk Kiln, built before 1795, which is now a scheduled ancient monument.

The Suffolk Kiln and other early types of kiln are now obsolete.  Modern kilns are downdraught kilns where the heat is pulled through the bricks from the draught created by a large chimney above the kiln.

Please sign the Guestbook

Top of Page

Suffolk White Bricks

Suffolk White Bricks (sometimes known as Woolpit White Bricks) are made from Gault or boulder clay found in the area around the village of Woolpit in central Suffolk, England, that was laid down during the Cretaceous period around 120 million years ago.  The clay in this area contains a high chalk content unique to Suffolk that, when fired, turns the bricks a creamy white colour.  The deposits also contain red veins which were used to make the more conventional red bricks. Suffolk White Bricks, however, gained a reputation for being more durable & of superior quality, henceforth they were much sought after & became twice as expensive to buy compared to the red variety.


Brickmaking is first recorded in the Woolpit area in 1574 & continued for almost four hundred years; production finally ceasing in the early 1950s. Many buildings in Suffolk were faced with White Bricks from Woolpit, such as the Great White Horse Hotel in Ipswich, Hengrave Hall, & many buildings in & around Bury St Edmunds.  With the coming of the railways in the nineteenth century, Suffolk White Bricks began to be exported further afield.

Other places in Suffolk also made White Bricks, such as Ballingdon on the River Stour; once a separate village, but now a suburb of Sudbury. It was from here that White Bricks were transported to London for use in buildings such as the Royal Albert Hall.

There is a popular story that Suffolk White Bricks were shipped to America & used in the construction of the White House in Washington DC (built between 1792 & 1800).  There are even sources that suggest that the bricks were loaded onto ships from the barge quay at Martlesham, before setting sail down the River Deben on their journey to America. Sadly this seems to be no more than an “urban myth”, as the White House is built primarily of white-painted Aquia sandstone sourced from Virginia. It seems that someone equated “White House” with “White Bricks” & the legend grew up around this erroneous assumption.  However, if anyone knows any different, please let me know by emailing

Top of Page

Suffolk Sailcloth

“Suffolk”, as well as “Ipswich” & “Double Ipswich”, are three types of sailcloth known to have been exported from Ipswich during the late sixteenth & early seventeenth centuries, during a period when sail making flourished in the town. Sadly no records survive today to tell us exactly what qualities or features made “Suffolk” sailcloth unique.

Top of Page

Suffolk Hempen Cloth

This was a name given to a particular type of linen once renowned for its quality throughout Britain.  In the 18th and early 19th centuries the end product came from factories in Norwich, but such was its fame that the good people of Norfolk had to swallow their pride and it was advertised for sale as “Suffolk Hempen Cloth”.

Small scale flax production was once widespread throughout the eastern counties, but by Tudor times it had become concentrated in the Waveney valley on the borders of Norfolk and Suffolk, particularly at Bungay (in Suffolk) and Diss (in Norfolk).  In the 17th century the small town of Diss in Norfolk became the centre for the collection and distribution of Suffolk Hempen Cloth at its cloth-hall.  Later, the unbleached linen cloth was sent to better equipped factories at Norwich where it was dressed, improved and dyed.  The industry reached its peak in the early part of the 19th century during the Napoleonic Wars, but the return of peace brought competition from cheaper linen overseas, particularly from the Irish linen industry.  By the end of the 1850s the industry had become obsolete.  Attempts to revive it later in the century failed, and Suffolk Hempen Cloth passed into history.

Top of Page

The Suffolk Suit

Several styles of suits originated in England. The Eton and Rugby suits are named after the English schools where the styles originated.  Two styles carry the names of English counties. The Norfolk Suit was named after the Duke of Norfolk who first conceived of it.  The origins of the lesser known Suffolk Suit are not known, but it came about during the late 19th century.  Although not as popular as the Norfolk Suit, there are frequent advertisements for the Suffolk Suit in the newspapers of Britain, America, Australia and New Zealand up to 1914.  

It is believed that the Suffolk Suit evolved from a ploughman’s or horseman’s suit, made to a basic design, but tailored to the individual’s instructions.  Ploughmen and horsemen were exceedingly proud of their identity, and to show it off at shows and at the market place they wore a special uniform.  One of the special features was a horseshoe button on the pockets of the jacket.  The original early ones were made of horn and shaped like a horse’s hoof with a metal horseshoe on top.  It was important to place the button with the open end upwards ‘to keep ones luck from falling out’.  Unlike the Norfolk Suit with its aristocratic origin from the Duke of Norfolk, the origin of the Suffolk Suit was considered to be that of a rustic working suit, made to the liking of individual ploughmen.  Each suit was a bespoke design, and apparently it was much resented if another ploughman or horseman tried to copy the same design. 

The general design became fashionable for young boys’ wear by the end of the 19th century.  Suffolk Suits were advertised for boys from 6 to 13 years of age.  They were knicker suits consisting of a coat vest, and “plain” knickers.  “Plain” knickers meant that the kneepants were open at the hem, without buckles to fasten below the knee.  Knickers with straps or buckles to fasten below the knee cost extra.  The suit was belted and had a small, but distinct high set lapel.  While the Norfolk Suit was commonly worn with an Eton collar, it was less common to wear a Suffolk Suit with the Eton collar, although this was optional.  Suits came in a variety of materials, including navy serge, indigo dye soft finish, fancy tweeds, English tweed, fancy worsteds, and all wool sergette.

While the suit was created in England and most widely worn there, the style spread to most other English-speaking countries. 

Top of Page

The Suffolk Jacket & Suffolk Chef's Jacket

It seems that the Norfolk and Suffolk suits (see above) also gave rise to a style of jacket that is still common today.

A Norfolk Jacket traditionally has deep pleats running down either side of the front button opening, as if braces (suspenders) were incorporated in the jacket, and is single breasted with three pockets.  A Norfolk also has a full belt, either with a leather buckle, or with two leather buttons in the front.  The lower two pockets are often of the buttoning bellows with flaps variety, much like a Safari Jacket.

The related style, known as a Suffolk Jacket, is similar but used to have deep hidden pleats just behind the shoulder armhole, with a half belt sewn on the back of the jacket, or often without a belt at all, and deep bellows with flap pockets in the lower front.

In the US these are often called “hacking jackets”, and the pleated shoulder was highly favoured by golfers in the 1920s as the jacket was not likely to tear apart during the average golf swing.

Some authorities on clothwear consider the term Suffolk Jacket to be meaningless today, mainly because for some reason it has come to describe a chef’s double breasted white tunic.  However, there are plenty of advertisements that show this name to still be applicable today, although, as the illustrations below indicate, the name can nowadays apply to a wide range of different designs, all called a Suffolk Jacket, including longer womens coats & more formal jackets.








Suffolk Chef’s Jacket: There is no explanation as to why this style of chef’s wear is known as the Suffolk Chef’s Jacket.  Much of the chef’s uniform has developed out of necessity.  The jacket, for example, is double-breasted so it can easily be reversed to hide stains that may accumulate throughout the day; the double layer of cotton is also designed to insulate the chef’s body against the intense heat of the stove or an accidental splattering of hot liquid.  Even the knotted cloth buttons were fashioned for a reason - cloth will withstand the frequent washings and abuse buttons often take from contact with pots, pans and other heavy equipment.  The Suffolk Chef’s Jacket has the reversible front, a Mandarin collar, and a stud closure front. It is, naturally, unisex.

Latest models of this item of clothing have also been advertised as the Suffolk Stud Jacket.  The promotional write-up makes it clear that it is a chef’s jacket. 

(See also Suffolk Jacket in the Suffolk as a Product Brand Name section below, where various names for this garment are given.)


Have you signed the Guestbook yet?

Top of Page

A. L. C. Suffolk Dress

Launched in 2014 this (in fashion parlance) is “a plunge-front jersey dress featuring a deep V neck and pleating and draping at the front, with ruching at yoke and shoulders; an exposed zip and ruching at back; extra-long sleeves and a jersey lining at skirt”.  ‘Ruching’ is a series of folds or pleats that produces many small vertical ripples in the fabric.  A. L. C. stands for Andrea Lieberman Collection.

Born and raised in New York City, Andrea Lieberman graduated from the Parsons School of Design in Greenwich Village.  She went on to work with some of the best fashion houses, and after several years of world travel, Andrea returned to New York to open her retail store Culture and Reality. The store became a cult sensation and introduced her into the world of styling.

She created costume and wardrobe notably for Gwen Stefani, Jennifer Lopez, Gwyneth Paltrow and Cameron Diaz among others.  Now based in Los Angeles, Andrea Lieberman introduced her own ready to-wear fashion label, A. L. C., in 2009.  As the sales blurb says: “Andrea Lieberman’s clothing line, A. L. C., provides a smart and versatile wardrobe for alpha-females”.

We assume that the name ‘Suffolk’ is applied to evoke the usual image of a pleasant, warm and comfortable feeling associated with that county, either the one on Long Island which is in close proximity to Andrea Lieberman’s home town, or the county in England. 

Top of Page

Rag & Bone Suffolk Dresses and Suffolk Wool Peacoat

Another case where ‘Suffolk’ is used as a brand name by the designer house “Rag & Bone”, based in New York City.  It is used on two of their women’s dresses: the Suffolk Tie Dress in White (left image) released in 2014 and the Suffolk Denim Apron Sleeveless Dress (right image) released in 2016.  







The Suffolk Wool Peacoat introduced by Rag & Bone in 2022 (shown below) is an outer coat, generally of a navy-coloured heavy wool, originally worn by sailors of European and American navies.  Peacoats are characterised by short length, broad lapels, double-breasted fronts, often large wooden, metal or plastic buttons in two rows.  References to the pea jacket appear in American newspapers as early as the 1720s.  The term “peacoat” or “pea jacket” originated from the Dutch word pijjekker or pijjakker, in which pij refers to the type of cloth used, a coarse kind of twilled blue cloth, and jakker designates a man’s short, heavy coat.  

From its origins in New York in 2002, Rag & Bone instantly distinguished itself.  The irony is that people think Rag & Bone is American, but it was founded by two British school friends, David Neville and Marcus Wainwright.   
The two met at boarding school in Berkshire, England; neither has a connection with Suffolk.  Both worked in London, Marcus moved to New York where his future wife was then working and David soon followed.  In the beginning, all they had to draw on for inspiration was the New York tradition.  Using local American manufacturing craftsmanship and attention to detail as a guide, they brought a blend of English heritage in beautifully constructed designs that were about quality and authenticity, rather than about the brand.

The pair worked from home from 2002 to 2006 when they acquired their first office.  Rag & Bone opened its first store on Christopher Street in New York in 2008.  Today, there are 36 Rag & Bone stores in the United States.  Internationally, there is a single store in London in Soho as well as franchise houses in several other countries.  David Neville ran the business side and Marcus Wainwright directed the creative side, including design and marketing.  Both were co-CEOs until 2016 when David Neville relinquished his day-to-day responsibilities in order to pursue other projects.  Marcus Wainwright continues as sole CEO.  Neville remains one of the largest shareholders in the business, which now has a turnover of more than $300 million.

Top of Page

Lady Suffolk Bikini

The allure of the name ‘Suffolk’, conjuring up pleasing and tasteful fashions, has reached the Latin American shores of Colombia where the Maaji fashion house has produced this little number.  Its price tag in the USA was $128.00.  Somehow, we do not think the name ‘Lady Suffolk’ was inspired by the famous American race horse of that name (see entry below).  Unfortunately, the product has been sold out and is no longer available.  We will, however, repeat the promotional review: “A gorgeous reversible bikini top with soft cups, removable straps, floral print, multi-strap and ties at back.  The matching reversible low rise hipster bikini bottom has floral print.  The swimsuits are fully lined and fully reversible – flip them inside out for a whole new look.”  That is the boring bit over - see photo, left.

Maaji swimwear creations are said to have a high reputation.  It is a company started by two Colombian sisters, Amalia and Manuela Sierra, in 2003 in their native town of Sabaneta in Antioquia department in Colombia.  The name “Maaji” was inspired by a fish of this name (hence the allusion to swimwear) found off Japan and the East India Sea.  Its scientific name is Trachurus japonicus and the common English name is Japanese horse mackerel.  

The sisters started creating garments designed for women who wanted to feel pretty and comfortable with a laidback trendy style and a fresh attitude. Today Maaji is present in more than 57 countries and continues to expand globally.  Design and manufacturing are one hundred percent Colombian, and provide work for over 400 people both at their workshop and in the surrounding neighbourhood.  Maaji has expanded its product lines from swimwear into underwear, sandals, children’s lines and swimwear for men; 95% of its products are exported.

In April 2017 the owner of Australian swimwear brand Seafolly bought Maaji to create a new global swimwear and beach lifestyle business.  The original owners of Maaji remain a minority shareholder.  

Top of Page

Suffolk Bikini

A photograph of one lady wearing a bikini is enough to provide some idea of this concept (see Lady Suffolk Bikini, above). We can, however, report that the name ‘Suffolk’ is also used in Australia for this item of swimwear. 

The May & Hugo ‘Suffolk Bikini’ takes its name from Suffolk Park, probably following the success of that brand name in respect of the Rhythm ‘Suffolk’ Clothwear (see below). The ‘May & Hugo’ label was founded in 2015 by Emily May and Marcos Hugo Bello.  Marcos comes from Tenerife in the Canary Islands and worked in the media (video and photography) industry; Emily comes from the small town of Bellingen in New South Wales.  Although now based in Sydney, the couple began in the city of Coffs Harbour near to Bellingen.  These two locations are 232 km (144 miles) south of Suffolk Park, New South Wales.

Emily gained a degree in Design and specialises in swimwear.  The couple came up with the idea of designing and producing swimwear using sustainable fabric from recycled post-consumer waste, such as abandoned fishing nets, carpets, plastic bottles, etc.  These are broken down into raw material and then re-spun into yarn, thus avoiding landfill, helping to reduce world-wide waste and saving energy consumption since this method is cheaper than production from the original virgin materials.  The end-product is made wholly in Australia.  

Top of Page

Rhythm ‘Suffolk’ Clothwear

The name ‘Suffolk’ has been chosen for some of its products by the Rhythm brand.  In this case it relates to the Australian resort of Suffolk Park (see Suffolk Park, NSW page).  This should not be surprising since Rhythm was founded in 2003 by Australian surfers at Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast, Queensland.  Suffolk Park, a renowned surfers’ beach, is only 83km (52 miles) south of Burleigh Heads, and the company sponsored the local boy from Suffolk Park, Kieren Perrow, for a number of years.  Kieren was a professional surfer, ranked number 6 in 2003, a Pipeline winner, and regarded as one of the sports most fearless riders, achieving some notable “firsts” on the waves he rode. 
The ‘Suffolk’ name is attach
ed to the following Rhythm wear.  Rhythm Suffolk Trilby Hat in Black, Brown and Olive (see photos, left).  This hat, made of felt, has a classic wide brim style with a leather knot.  Although called a trilby, it is far from the traditional trilby that has a narrow brim and indented crown.   The Rhythm Women’s Suffolk Wool Felt Hat is very similar.

Rhythm Suffolk Jam Shorts (see photo, below) - for the uninitiated, this baggy and supposedly ‘Bohemian’ look was first popularised by surfers in the 1960s.  The word ‘jam’ is a shortened form of ‘pyjama’ bottom, which is exactly where the original cut-off design came from.  For the more discerning shopper, this apparel is also referred to as the Rhythm Suffolk Trunk Boardshorts.

There is also a line known as Rhythm Suffolk Knit.  This is a range of knitted jumpers and cardigans in various styles and colours for men and women.  

The Rhythm Suffolk Long Sleeve Shirt is yet another item in the Suffolk range (see below under Suffolk Check in Suffolk Stripe and Suffolk Check).

The Rhythm Suffolk Beanie was launched in December 2016.  In parts of the English-speaking world, this type of knitted hat is traditionally called a “beanie”, but in parts of Canada and the U.S., the word “beanie” is used to denote a completely different, less floppy, cap that is not knitted, but rather made up of joined panels of felt, twill, or other tightly woven cloth.  According to the Oxford Dictionary, the etymology is uncertain, but probably derives from the late 19th century slang term “bean”, meaning “head”.  The term “beanie” for this type of headwear came into use in c.1940 when knit caps were standard cold-weather apparel for the U.S. Navy.  This widespread use turned the humble knit cap into a postwar pop culture icon, known as the “beanie”. (There is also another hand-knitted Suffolk Beanie as shown in the next article).


Launched in Australia in 2003, Rhythm is a company influenced by surf and sound and its brand ethos is “The Sound of Change”.  The company was founded by surfers Jamahl Grey and Neal Purchase Jnr.  The latter not only surfs amazingly well, but he is also the guitar player of the group Haldane’s Daughters.  Rhythm brought together a group of designers, artists, musicians and surfers, with a shared dream of creating a livelihood doing what they love.  Together, they set out to make clothing that reflects adventure, creativity and individuality.  It became best known for its colourful boardshorts, but soon expanded into other areas of leisure clothwear with their geometric and unusual designs.  Rhythm entered the American and European markets in 2009 and 2010 respectively, and can now rightly claim to be an international 0peration.

Top of Page

Suffolk Beanie

This hand-knitted “beanie” (for explanation of name, see article above) is described as “a snug fit cabled beanie hat with ribbed double cuff hem.  A great essential for men and women and super cute on kids. One size fits most and is easily adapted.  This is a quick knit, worked on big needles with chunky yarn”.  Knitting instructions are published in ‘Jo Storie Hand Knit Patterns’ produced in Northumberland, England.

Jo Storie graduated from the Scottish College of Textiles and moved to New York where she worked as a senior designer for high profile labels.  Jo returned to Scotland in 2004 and launched her own knitwear label as above.

The Suffolk Beanie appears to have obtained this name because of its association with Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts.  This institution was founded as a law school in 1906 and named after its location in Suffolk County.  It became a university in 1937.  The tradition of freshmen wearing what is now called a ‘beanie’ in their school’s colours during their first semester (half the academic year) to distinguish them from upper classmen was observed at Suffolk University from the1920s until around 1968.  This was before the name became attached to this type of American headwear but, with the popularity of the naval woollen knitted caps known by this name after the Second World War (see previous section), it soon became known as the ‘Suffolk Beanie’.  All freshmen were required to wear their Suffolk Beanies and to obey the commands of their upper classmen.  In 1955 the freshmen were initiated to the social life of the university by the introduction of the ‘Beanie Dance’ given in their honour by the senior class.  These customs soon caught the eye of the media, and hence the ‘Suffolk Beanie’ became known to the wider general public. A photo of the initiation ceremony in the 1960s is shown above left.

Top of Page

Duke of Suffolk Slash Panelled Pants and Duke of Suffolk Faux Leather Doublet

According to the promotional write-up: “The Duke of Suffolk, a courtier at the Tudors was athletic, fun-loving, fashionable and high-spirited”.  That is sufficient for these products to get a place on our site, and they do have the name ‘Suffolk’.  However, we are not convinced that they were known by this name at any time in the past or have anything to do with Suffolk but, hey, they look good.
These garments are ideal for re-enactment and period costume displays, but we understand that they are becoming fashionable on their own account for the party-goer who wishes to make an entrance.  They are described as “black-on-black brocade paneled pants made of 100% cotton.  They feature open slashes and button-up front” and “Faux leather and cotton velvet come together to make this doublet” NB. Faux means ‘imitation’ (we would never have guessed!)

These have been on the market in America and Britain since 2018 in shops that specialise in historic outfits, particularly for the acting fraternity. They are, however, manufactured in India by the Windlass Group.  This is a diversified business group based in the city of Dehradun in Uttarakhand.  Windlass Steelcrafts was founded in 1943 by the late Mr Ved Prakash Windlass.  He started in 1941 by supplying “kukris”(curved knives) to the British Gurkha Regiments in pre-independent India.  It soon became the premier supplier of contemporary military dress, sabres and accoutrements, then expanded into historic replicas that found a market in motion picture and television props. It became renowned for the accuracy and quality of its replica props that could be delivered on time for some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters.

In the 1970s Windlass teamed up with the Atlanta Cutlery Corp., a small and relatively unknown American firm that began in 1971 in Conyers, Georgia, USA, specialising in hunting and other hard-to-find knives and knife making supplies. In 1995 full ownership of the Atlanta Cutlery Corp. and Museum Replicas Ltd was acquired, thus solidifying its foothold in the largest market in the world.

Top of Page

Suffolk Stripe and Suffolk Check

In Michel Pastoureau’s comprehensive book, The Devil’s Cloth: A History of Stripes, the author details how in the Middle Ages wearing stripes was a perilous act.  He recounts how in 1310, a cobbler in northern France was condemned to death because ‘he had been caught in striped clothes’.  Striped clothing was considered ‘demeaning and clearly diabolic’ and was worn by social outcasts, such as prostitutes, jugglers, clowns, cripples and convicts.  That is why bold black and white stripes went on to become prison uniform in the USA in the 19th century.

However, the American flag allowed stripes to become popular and by the end of the 18th century stripes had finally become chic.  Although striped cloth never entirely lost its connotations of danger and deviance, it acquired other associations.  In particular, striped clothing acquired sporting or leisure connotations: Victorian seaside scenes frequently show women strolling in long summer dresses of black-and-white or blue-and-white striped fabric.   As this association with the seaside suggests, stripes were then connected with the “marine” and “sea” so that naval shirts of the ordinary able seamen often comprised vertical stripes of blue and white.  The symbolic use of striped blazers in club colours by boating clubs and cricket teams at English universities gave way to neckties in diagonal stripes of prescribed colours and widths to identify members of military regiments, alumni of university colleges and clubs.  The associations of striped cloth with leisure and sporting pursuits also made striped canvas popular for the upholstery of outdoor furniture, beach umbrellas, shop awnings and the like.

Suffolk Stripe: This brand name seems to have arisen separately in England and the USA as there is no obvious connection or influence that we can discern for its origin in those places.

The triangle between Hadleigh, Sudbury and Bury St Edmunds in the county of Suffolk in England was the foremost broadcloth producing area in the country from the Middle Ages until the late 17th century.  This could be why the county name was given to a type of stripe, or the wool used could have come from the Suffolk Sheep.  However, we are not convinced that either of these can be the origin of the use of this brand name.  It is more likely to have been adopted for the reason that ‘Suffolk’ was already associated with quality, style and leisure products.

The earliest reference that we can find is from the September 1993 catalogue of Laura Ashley, which has a sofa done in a “bold Suffolk stripe” (left).  The fashion designer, Laura Ashley, was Welsh born and had no connections with the county.  The “Suffolk Stripe” seems to be a broad stripe with narrower ones either side, usually with a very thin or several very thin stripes in between or in the centre of the broad stripe, all in alternating colours or shades of a dominant colour.

Described as “new” in 2015 was
the Suffolk Stripe Rocking Deck Chair (right) followed by the Suffolk Stripe Camper Stool in 2017 by Jon Holloway who, after a career designing and developing garden products for leading retailers, established his own company (Garden Trading) in Burford, Oxfordshire, in 1994.  The promotional material states that “this colourful stripe is named after the seaside county of Suffolk”.

Sheridan Suffolk Riviera Beach Towel (below, left) and Sheridan Suffolk Wattle Striped Beach Towel (below, right): These products are found in Australia.  The stripes have the large and smaller stripes pattern alternating with a much larger main colour stripe.  “Sheridan Australia”™ was founded in 1967 by the Italian entrepreneur and textile designer Claudio Alcorso, who was brought up in the family textile printing business in Italy before migrating to Au
stralia.  The name ‘Sheridan’ was coined over a glass of wine.  The promotional write-up states that “Sheridan has a distinctly Australian style inspired by the unique Australian landscape”.  It is not revealed what they were drinking when they came up with the brand name ‘Suffolk’, although this could well be related to Suffolk Park, NSW, which is at least a beach resort in Australia.

The golden wattle (Acacia pycnantha) is a tree native to southeastern Australia that has golden flowers, hence that name. 

Suffolk Stripe Pants (left) were in a 2017 collection on offer by the design house “Conte de Florence” in that city in Italy.  We were easily fooled, but when enlarged it can be seen that the design consists of very fine stripes of the same width.  What this has to do with Suffolk or the stripe of that name is anybody’s guess.  






The Suffolk Regiment Stripe Silk Tie in woven polyester is handmade in the UK.  It has a narrow white stripe centred on a broad dark red one, alternating with a smaller yellow gold stripe that has a narrow black edge (right).

Suffolk Stripe” in North America seems to be more about the colour of the stripe rather than the type of pattern made by the stripes, and it is closely associated with Woolrich, Inc. in central Pennsylvania.

In 1830 John Rich left Liverpool in England for Pennsylvania.  Rich was an entrepreneur and with his partner, Daniel McCormick, he established a woollen mill at Plum Run in Clinton County, Pennsylvania, in 1830.  The wool was used to make clothing and socks for the lumberjacks and their families that were located in the mountains of central Pennsylvania.  Their growing factory operation required Rich and McCormick to establish another mill at a nearby community called Chatham Run in 1834.  The original mill was closed in 1845 but still exists as a residential building and is a listed historic building.  In 1843 Rich bought out McCormick’s interest in the company, thus becoming the sole proprietor.  The present factory is still in the same community that developed around the factory at Chatham Run.  This settlement was first called Factoryville, later Richville, and after 1888 was named Woolrich.  The company had several name changes until 1930 when it adopted the name of the settlement and was incorporated as the Woolrich Woolen Mill.  Though Woolrich has been forced by economic pressures to relocate much of its production overseas, it maintains the home plant in this community where it manufactures blankets, including those used by the US military, making it the oldest continuously operating woollen mill in America.  The Rich family still operate the mill.

The company made its reputation by manufacturing wool blankets for soldiers during the American Civil War.  Legend has it that the company made blankets for Union troops by day, a
nd for the Confederate army by night.  There are several different product names for the blankets, and the Woolrich Suffolk Stripe Blanket also known as the Woolrich Suffolk Stadium Blanket made an appearance about 2009.  The Suffolk collection of blankets is made of 100% natural, un-dyed wool and comes in four patterns ranging from the iconic buffalo check (see Suffolk Check next) to three regular blankets each comprising a different variation of stripes near the edges (see photos).  The blanket is unique in that there is not a single dye used.  All the colours are from natural wool, but what distinguishes these blankets is that they are all in a colour that is described commercially as “Buffalo Natural” but is properly called “beige”.   In France, a beige cloth was a natural woollen fabric neither bleached nor dyed and thus left in its natural colour (which is exactly how the Suffolk blankets are made).  As a colour it is variously described as a greyish tan or a light-greyish brown or a sandy colour.


The company expanded its product lines into lifestyle working and recreational outdoor clothing, and from 2014 the Suffolk Stripe made its appearance in the Woolrich Women’s Suffolk Stripe Blanket Coat.  

The promotional material
states that this was “inspired by the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the Suffolk Blanket Coat by Woolrich is designed to keep you warm and comfortable while experiencing a journey of your own” (see photo, below right).

The reality is that the “b
lanket coat” has been around for a very long time, and its inspiration comes from French-Canadians, not an American expedition.

It is a heavy, short coat of blanket material, usually woollen.  The original was a hand-made, wrap-around coat with a hood, called a capote, that was worn by French sailors in Canada in the mid-17th century.  Its use soon spread from the sailors to the fur traders and it was taken up by the indigenous Americans, who particularly liked a striped blanket version.  Although traditionally considered a male garment, its popularity developed after the wives of governors took to wearing it.  In 1922 the Hudsons Bay Company introduced the striped blanket coat as a commercial fashion item.

At the end of all this, we still have no idea why the name Suffolk was chosen, as there appears no connection with any of the localities of that name, nor do we think of Suffolk as part of the “great outdoors” where you would need to wrap up warm.

Suffolk Check: Like the Suffolk Stripe, the brand name Suffolk Check also seems to have arisen separately both in Britain and the USA.  As far as we can ascertain, it has no connection with a place named ‘Suffolk’.

In Britain this brand name has been around since 1997.  Ian Mankin opened his fabric shop in Primrose Hill, London, in 1984.  The fabric trade was already second nature to him since his father had a fabric shop in Soho.  When Ian Mankin decided to sell his business in 2009 to John Spencer Textiles Ltd, the trade name of Ian Mankin Fabrics was retained.  Ian Mankin’s fabrics are known for being traditionally made and are all either 100% cotton or linen (the company avoids using man made products in their goods) woven in a traditional Lancashire cotton mill.  The Suffolk Check design (right) comes in various colours, and is basically a very pale background in the selected colour with broad, horizontal stripes in a light version, and darker, narrower vertical stripes, of that colour overall.

The Suffolk Check in America seems to be more recent, the earliest reference we can find dates to 2015, but its antecedents are noteworthy.  It is a product of the Woolrich company mentioned above.  One of the earliest finished clothing items produced at their mill was the Buffalo Check™ Shirt in 1850.  The name was inspired by a herd of buffalo owned by the designer at the company who developed the pattern.  The Buffalo Check™ pattern became popular with the lumberjacks, railroad workers, and others who had to work outdoors for a living. The original buffalo check pattern is characterised by a red and black plaid (tartan). The pattern traces its roots to the Scottish clan tartans of the 18th century, namely the Rob Roy tartan of the clan MacGregor. 

The Buffalo Check™ design has since become synonymous with the Woolrich trade brand.  The iconic image of lumberjacks in the red and black checkered shirts later in the 20th century became fashion items for outdoor wear all year round.  After it became a fashion accessory, it was not long before the buffalo check was rendered in beige shades, and this was marketed as the Woolrich Chambray Buffalo Shirt.  When the Suffolk Blanket range came out after 2009, it also comprised a Woolrich Suffolk Buffalo Blanket with the original Buffalo Check™ in shades of beige (left).




La chemise à carreaux Suffolk or the Suffolk Plaid Shirt (often described as the Djab Suffolk Plaid Shirt) is produced by La Maison Simons in Canada (see right).  This department store and fashion retailer is a family business based in Quebec.  Peter Simons, born in Scotland in 1785, arrived in Canada in 1812, settling on a small farm near the city of Quebec.  A son, John Simons, opened a small dry goods shop in 1840 at the age of 17, and from there grew the present department store and fashion house, usually just called “Simons”.  His descendants still currently run the business.  
Simons’ product brands include “Twik” created in 1966, and “Contemporaine”, established in 1971 and were aimed for an exclusive market.  “Twik” was created for the ‘next generation’ of women offering denim and casual fashions at ‘fast fashion’ prices.  The popularity of these product brands led to expansion into further brands, each targeting a different customer gender and product niche.  In 2002 “Djab” was introduced as the male counterpart to “Twik” offering denim-focused casual street wear, described as for the ‘young, inspired by fast-moving trends, an impulsive and creative rebel’.  It is not recorded why the name ‘Suffolk’ was chosen, but the fact that this shirt has the same red and black checks associated with lumberjacks (see Buffalo Check™ in last entry above) may suggest that Saint-Émile-de-Suffolk, a well-known timber and resort town in Quebec, may have influenced the decision rather than sleepy, leisurely, rural Suffolk in England. 

The Suffolk Pink & Ligh
t Blue Check Shirt (left), the Suffolk Light Blue & Orange Check Shirt and the Suffolk Light Blue & Lavender Check Shirt: all by “Proper Cloth” located on Broadway, New York, an on-line shop that specialises in ‘custom dress shirts’ for men.  In 2008, Seph Skerritt, then a student at MIT’s Sloan Business School of Management was frustrated with the way he shopped for clothes, wasting time on trying garments in stores.  Often he settled on an ill-fitting item just to get the drudgery over with.  While on an internship in Shanghai, China, Skerritt had encountered the effortless way of having a tailor-made, custom-fit shirt.  Why not improve on that with an online service that fitted your shirts by asking you questions, and then mail you the garments?  Hence, in 2008, Seph Skerritt started “Proper Cloth”.  The MIT Sloan School of Management is in Cambridge, Middlesex County, Mass. next to Suffolk County, and New York City is not too far from Suffolk County, New York State.  So it is possible that this brand-name was subconsciously chosen because of the familiarity of the county name in this part of America.

And the Suffolk Check just keeps popping up on shirts.  There is the Rhythm Suffolk Long Sleeve Shirt released in July 2017 (right).  This is part of the Suffolk range of clothwear named after the Australian resort of Suffolk Park mentioned above (see Rhythm ‘Suffolk’ Clothwear).




Top of Page

Suffolk Fields Print

This is a pattern (right) that is widely used in the fashion industry for which Liberty London holds the design copyright.

The earliest version of the Suffolk Fields Print appears in an archival Liberty book from 1939.  Revived during the 1970s and redrawn for the Liberty’s Flower Show quilting collection.  This design was specifically for quilting, using Liberty’s soft Lasenby cotton base.  It is a typical Liberty ‘ditsy floral design’ (‘ditsy’ is apparently another word for “scattered”.  A ‘ditsy print’ is quite small in scale, and the design motifs are scattered at random rather than being ordered in a definable pattern.)  It is suitable for a range of products, including bedspreads, cushions and cosies.  It is a richly coloured design created by traditional screen-printing techniques.  The name ‘Suffolk Fields’ was undoubtedly chosen for all the right reasons – conjuring up images of this wonderful county.

Liberty London (commonly known as Liberty’s) is a luxury departmental store housed in a Tudor-revival building in the West End of London.  The store is filled with high-end fashion and luxury homeware, with its own fabric line, Liberty Fabrics.  This is a design institution, world-renowned for its historic 50,000-strong print archive, and for its in-house studio where new artworks are painted and drawn by hand.  Liberty London was founded in 1875 by Arthur Liberty (later Sir Arthur Lasenby Liberty (1843-1917)), a London-based merchant and the founder of Liberty & Co.  He began selling Oriental imports, particularly from Japan.  These were specifically decorative objects, rugs and fabrics.  During the 1890s, Liberty built a strong relationship with many English designers, many associated with the artistic styles of the day, known as ‘Art Nouveau’.  Arthur Liberty helped develop Art Nouveau through his encouragement of such designers.  

Liberty London recognised the popularity of its fabrics and, around 1920, it was decided to handprint all the patterns in England.  Today Liberty is known around the world for its close connection to art and culture; it is most famous for its bold and floral print fabrics.  In 2010, Liberty was taken over by private equity firm BlueGem Capital in a deal worth £32 million. In July 2019 Bluegem sold its stake in Liberty London to a consortium led by Glendower Capital, a global private equity company based in London, in a deal worth about £300 million. 

Top of Page

Suffolk Powder

This medicinal remedy was first reported in Chambers Cyclopedia 1753 as follows:

“Name of a medicinal powder, good for the bite of a mad dog.  It received its name from a Countess of Suffolk who used it with great success.  It is still kept as a secret in some private families, but seems to be only the ‘star of the earth’ or the ‘common buckthorn plantain’ dried and powdered, or this powder with some very trifling addition.  This plant has been famous for its virtues in this case a great while among us, and Thomas de Grey, in his ‘Compleat Horseman & Farrier’ (1639), gives the method by which he had cured dogs by it with great success.”  

The ‘star of the earth’ is the herbaceous plant commonly called Geum or Avens.  The Purging Buckthorn or Common Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) is a widespread European native species, in the past used as a purgative, although its toxicity makes this a very risky herbal medicine and it is no longer used.  The Avens plant is, however, still used as an herbal remedy.

Top of Page

Suffolk as a Product Brand Name

It seems that Suffolk evokes an image of pleasure, leisure and comfort, and it has been adopted as a brand name for many products that have little or no connection with any of the Suffolks.  Similarly, many designers and manufacturers wish to create an image of “traditional” handiwork, and they produce a range of items that are called the “Suffolk Collection” on the basis that this rural county in England portrays fine, authentic traditional craftmanship.  Quite often the manufacturers are not even located within the bounds of Suffolk which would at least have provided a tenuous link with the name given to their products.

Since our aim is to provide a comprehensive database of information regarding the name Suffolk, we feel that we should take cognisance of the types of product that use the name, and try to ascertain why that should be so.  Particular interest will be taken of any product bearing the Suffolk brand name that is of a unique design, or is so widely known within its own field that it is referred to as a specific type in its own right.  We are also conscious that this can be considered as an indirect form of advertising for that product, and we wish to emphasise that a mention on this website does not endorse any individual product or manufacturer, nor do we receive any remuneration for any such mention.     

Suffolk Bridle: In the USA one particular type of equipment that appears to generate much comment in equestrian circles is the Suffolk Bridle.  This is the brand name given to this particular item of equestrian equipment and, by extension, the name “Suffolk” is also given to a range of other accessories manufactured by Dover Saddlery.  This company was founded in 1975 by Jim and David Powers, who were top ranked “English riding” champions on the US Equestrian team.   Jim Powers was also a member of the 1972 US Olympic equestrian team.  In the equestrian world a distinction is made between “classic riding” that is generally seen throughout the world, and “western riding” that is more closely associated with North America and Australia where riders typically spent long working hours in the saddle.  In North America the “classic style” is referred to as “English riding”.  The two disciplines differ in their equipment, particularly in the bridle and saddle.  “English” bridles have closed reins that prevent them from dropping on the ground if a rider becomes unseated.  

The Powers brothers aimed to bring their unique understanding of the “English style” horse tack and riding apparel to riders in North America, and they opened a saddlery shop dedicated to providing a broad selection of the best tack available.  Their retail store opened in 1975 at Wellesley, Massachusetts.  Dover Saddlery quickly expanded beyond its retail store location, opening further stores in other States, and in 2001 moved its headquarters to Littleton, Massachusetts.   Dover and Wellesley are communities located in the southwestern part of the Greater Boston conurbation, and it would seem that the company name is derived from the community of Dover.  Although neither towns are in Suffolk County, it is surmised that the brand name was adopted because of the proximity of that county and the general “Englishness” of its name.

In April 2015 the Powers Brothers sold Dover Saddlery to Webster Capital (later Webster Equity Partners) founded in 2003 as a private equity firm and based at Waltham, Massachusetts.  Seven years later, in April 2022, the Chicago-based Promus Equity Partners, another private equity firm, bought Dover Saddlery with the intention of expanding the business even further. 

Johnson & Murphy Suffolk Shoes: There is a range of shoe and boot styles bearing the name “Suffolk” distributed by Johnston & Murphy, a wholly owned subsidiary of Genesco Inc: Suffolk Plain Toe Boot, Suffolk Moc(casin) Lace-up, Suffolk Penny (a loafer or slip-on), and Suffolk Oxford Shoe.  The company is based in Nashville, Tennessee, USA, and has speciality shoe outlets in the USA and 15 other countries. The manufacture of its branded products moved to independent, third-party contractors overseas in the late 20th century, first to Mexico, then India and finally to China because of the cheaper labour costs.  Finally, in November 2017 Johnson & Murphy shut down their sole US factory in Tennessee.  The Suffolk brand is still sold but now made in China.

The company has no links with any Suffolk.  It is presumed that the style-name was adopted because of the connotation of quality and tradition associated with the name.  It should also be noted that the name “Ipswich” was already associated with quality footwear in America (see Ipswich Shoewear Brand Names on the Ips Misc. page of

The original company was founded in 1850 by William J. Dudley, an English traditional shoemaker, born in Northampton, who established his shoe factory in Newark, New Jersey.  Dudley teamed up with James Johnston in 1880 and, after Dudley’s death in 1882, Johnston went into partnership with another Newark businessman, William Murphy, in 1884.  In 1895 the company passed into other hands but it was already a recognised brand, so the name Johnston & Murphy was retained.  In 1951 Genesco (then General Shoe Corporation) purchased Johnston & Murphy.  The Newark location was closed in 1957 and its operations were moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where Genesco had its headquarters.  As a goodwill gesture the original company donated a pair of shoes to President Millard Fillmore in 1850.  This started a tradition and since then Johnston & Murphy has custom-made a pair of shoes for every president. 

The Tuffa Suffolk Country Boot: This brand name has become associated with a specific style of boot that has unique leg straps for a secure fit (see photo, right).

Tuffa International Footwear is a family owned business specialising in the design, production and distribution of footwear and accessories, and the company is best known for its Suffolk Boot.  The company started in 1997 and sell mostly in the UK, but have expanded into markets worldwide.  It is based in Thetford, Norfolk, but has chosen to name its best selling product after the neighbouring county.  It would appear that Suffolk yet again conjures up the image of a rural setting for countryside pursuits.

It seems that the “Suffolk” image has caught on to such an extent that other companies who have no connections with the county have used the name for their particular boots as well.


There is the Sperry Top-Sider Suffolk Boot: A waterproof boot mainly for the ladies, fashionable in the most unpleasant weather.  Usually sold as the “Suffolk Women’s Waterproof Boot”.  It is fully seam-sealed, waterproof leather with lug soles.  A full-length side zipper provides on/off ease.  The rubber lug outer sole provides the ultimate traction on both wet and dry surfaces.  It could be said that the Suffolk name was acquired from the county in which Boston is located; the history below makes clear the association with that county.

Sperry or Sperry Top-Sider is the original American brand of boat shoe designed in 1935 by Paul A. Sperry.  Commonly known as ‘Sperrys’ or ‘Top-Siders’ (because they could be used on the top
side of a boat), they were the first boat shoes introduced into the boating and footwear markets.  The Sperry brand is owned by Wolverine World Wide and is headquartered in Lexington, Massachusetts.

While sailing on the Long Island Sound, sailor Paul Sperry slipped on the deck of his boat and fell overboard.  He was able to pull himself back on board, but the experience drove him to develop a non-slip shoe.  He noticed his dogs’ ability to run down an icy hill without slipping because of the grooves on its paws.  Sperry cut  groove patterns into a natural rubber sole and obtained a non-slip shoe.  Being a Connecticut man, Sperry first offered the patent to the United States Rubber Company of Connecticut.  That company turned him down.  Sperry then offered the patent to the Converse Rubber Company in Boston, Massachusetts, which agreed to make blank rubber soles and return them to Sperry for assembly and sale.  In 1939, the United States War Department specified Sperry Top-Sider as one of the official shoes of the Navy and it became the official footwear of the casual uniform of the United States Naval Academy.  Paul A. Sperry sold the Sperry brand to the U.S. Rubber Co. in 1940.   In 2012 it was sold to Wolverine.  

Another sailor entrepreneur is Keith Musto.  This British businessman competed at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo and won a silver medal in the Flying Dutchman class.  As well the Olympics, Musto won medals at the 1963 and 1969 World Championships again in the Flying Dutchman class.  After the Olympics he set up a sailmaking business in his home county of Essex.  Eventually he concentrated solely on the production of specialist sailing clothing with his company Musto® Outdoor Clothing, established in 1965.  The trouble was that, due to the summer bias of the sport, customers tended only to order sails in the early spring, leaving the rest of the year idle.  To fill the void Musto went into clothing and accessories full time in 1982, and in 1987 he launched his Country Range for equestrian and shooting enthusiasts.  Among the product brands is the Women’s Suffolk Gore-Tex® Boot.  The Gore-Tex® lining is a waterproof, breathable fabric membrane made by a company of that name.  At least the boot is made in Essex, the county next to Suffolk.

Toggi Suffolk Pull On Jodhpur Boots also known as Toggi Suffolk Horse Riding/Yard Boots (see right) is yet another equestrian product introduced within the last few years where the name has little association with the county.  To be fair, most Toggi products are named after places, and there is also a “Norfolk Riding Shoe”.

Finest Brands International is the parent company of the Toggi Riding & Clothing Equipment brand.  The parent company was founded in 1991 by a team of enthusiastic equestrians who came up with the idea to create and manufacture high quality and affordable rider apparel (riding boots, jackets and coats).  The main instigator was John Ayres (died 2013) a co founder who was well-known in equestrian circles and who, with his wife, was already in the saddlery business and dedicated to rider safety through his Champion company (riding helmets).  The Toggi brand was launched a few years after 1991.  Presumably it adopted this name from the British slang words for clothes - “togs”, giving it an Italian sounding ending to indicate a certain quality often associated with the continental stylists.  Toggi is the official supplier of performance clothing to the British Equestrian Team, 2016-2017.  The headquarters of this organisation is based in Leeds, Wesr Yorkshire.    

(It should be noted that “Toggi” was also the name of a Swiss chocolate brand.  With the increasing success of the chocolate in the international markets in 1958, the company (Kägi) created a new brand name: Toggi, corresponding with the Toggenburg valley, where the company is located.  However, that company reverted to Kägi, the family name, in 2013. )

Coach Suffolk Patchwork Bootie: A multi-textured, leather patchwork stitched together by hand to create these monochromatic black booties with stretch goring along the sides, and a pull-loop on the back.

Coach was founded in a Manhattan loft in 1941 as a family-run workshop with six artisans using skills handed down from generation to generation.  In 1985, the original founders Miles and Lilian Cahn sold Coach Leatherware.  Under different ownership, Coach was expanded from the relatively small company that it was in 1985 into the worldwide-known brand that it is today.  It is a leading American design house of modern luxury accessories with its corporate headquarters remaining in mid-town Manhattan, New York City, on the site of the original workshop.  The business changed its name from Coach, Inc. to Tapestry, Inc. in October 2017, although “Coach” still trades as a subsidiary of the parent company. Although there is of course the county of Suffolk on nearby Long Island, the name has presumably been given to this brand because of the usual association with comfort and leisure.


Schöffel Suffolk Ladies’ Shirts: As a specialist countrywear brand, Schöffel Country Clothing has chosen Suffolk as the rural county in England that best represents the typical quality and class of the English countryside in the promotion of their range of ladies’ shirts (see left).  The company was founded by Georg Schöffel in 1804 at Schwabmünchen, Bavaria, in Germany, where it is still located, and it is at present run by the 6th generation of the family.





The Altuzzara Suffolk Silk-Fringed Blazer in white (shown right) and the Altuzarra Suffolk Fringed Crepe Blazer in black are two fashion accessories from the designer of that name.  Born and raised in Paris of Asian parentage, Joseph Altuzarra has a multi-cultural background.  After his college years in Paris, Joseph moved to New York to enhance his design ambitions.  In 2008 Altuzarra was launched as a luxury women’s ready-to-wear and accessories brand based in New York City.  Joseph has received numerous accolades for his work; in 2014 he was named the Womenswear Designer of the Year and in 2017, the Accessories Council’s Designer of the Year.  By then it seemed inevitable that any designer of merit had to have a ‘Suffolk’ in his collection.

The name ‘Suffolk’ has become attached generally to outdoors activities, originally to equestrian and country pursuits and soon after the name became associated with camping, hunting, fishing and sailing pursuits.  We show below a number of “outdoor garments” with ‘Suffolk’ as a brand name, but rarely do they have any connection with a place of that name.

Musto® Outdoor Clothing is mentioned above with reference to “Suffolk Boots”.  Included in their Country Range for equestrian and shooting enthusiasts is the Musto Suffolk Lady’s Riding Coat and Musto Suffolk Coat.  The riding coat (left) is extra-long, waterproof and windproof with a hood and shoulder cape to wear when riding, as well as leg straps to keep the long coat in place.  The Musto Suffolk Coat is a spin-off from this for normal non-equestrian wear when at country pursuits.   






This next collection goes under a number of different names by various fashion houses: Suffolk Waistcoat, Suffolk Padded Waistcoat, Suffolk Body Warmer, and Suffolk Gilet.  A common misconception is that there is a big difference between these garments, and certainly their designers will maintain this.  However, for the most part the names are interchangeable and relate to the same thing, although there are undoubtedly differences in the padding, pockets and other parts of the garment.  A ‘waistcoat’ is basically a sleeveless, collarless upper-body garment usually worn over a shirt.  A ‘gilet’ is also a sleeveless and collarless garment.  The gilet originally had a more streamlined fit, sometimes with a kind of fur being added, and this body-hugging style is usually retained today when describing a garment as a ‘gilet’.  The word is derived from the French (who are usually the first in style), and ultimately from Turkish ‘yelek’, a familiar garment in that part of the world.
The word ‘vest’ is also often used for this style of clothing, although in this case it is down to the usual distinction in the English-speaking world whereby the British and non-British usage of this term differs, and is geographical in context.  In Britain, the garment referred to as a ‘waistcoat’ is in North America usually referred to as a ‘vest’.  In Britain a ‘vest’ is generally used for only two articles of clothing: the undergarment and “high-visibility safety vests” worn outside all other clothing.  

Compared to the normal style of waistcoats, the “Suffolk” generally seems to have deep pockets, often multi-pockets rather than the usual two, and the modern ones are zip fastened rather than having buttons, although this is optional.  It rather depends on whether the waistcoat is going to be used for outdoor activities or whether it is just worn as a fashion statement.  For outdoor wear they frequently have extra-padding for warmth.

The earliest use of the name “Suffolk Waistcoat” (right) seems to have originated with Dublin Clothing.  Despite what the name might suggest, Dublin Clothing was actually formed in Melbourne, Australia, in 1979 and specialised in jodhpurs, although it has now grown to become one of the best known equestrian brands in the world, broadening its reach to include a full range of clothing.  We have no idea why the names “Dublin” and “Suffolk” were selected, but do acknowledge that the Irish are renowned equestrians, and maybe we know a thing or two about horses with our Suffolk  Punch.
                                                                                                                                                                                            Dublin Suffolk Waistcoat

As we mention above, this garment goes under a number of different names by various fashion houses, but one such designer is not taking any chances.  The garment shown left is advertised as the “Multi Pocket Suffolk Padded Gilet Hunting Fishing Waistcoat Body Warmer”.  Enough said.


South Suffolk Safety Vest:  This high visibility vest (or waistcoat) is a New Zealand product originally manufactured with the New Zealand farmer in mind, and named after the ‘South Suffolk’ breed of sheep.  This breed was developed in that country and is closely associated with the farming community (see Suffolk Sheep page).  This product was soon marketed with the hunter and fisherman in mind, as well as the farmer.  It is made of high quality Australian oilskin which is waterproof, lightweight and warm, with a high visibility outer fabric cover and reflective tape.  The garment is marketed by Mountain Mac Apparel, a 100% owned New Zealand company, based in the small town of Waikanae, about 60 km (37 miles) north of Wellington on the southwestern coast of North Island.  The company was incorporated in October 2014 by the local Goldsack family.

A jacket ca
n be considered nothing more than a “sleeved waistcoat”, sometimes with a collar, so it should come as no surprise that Suffolk Jackets are similar in style to the Suffolk Waistcoats with large pockets and extra padding.  There are at least four designers who have used the “Suffolk” name for their jackets, going under the names of the Outdoor Suffolk Jacket, Suffolk Waxed Jacket, Suffolk Quilted Jacket, and the Suffolk Antique Waxed Jacket.  Apparently clothing that is described as “antique” refers to a style produced before the 1920s rather than the year of make.  We show the Suffolk Antique Waxed Jacket (left) which is described as made with “a fabric that enhances a rugged and distressed look that is very masculine and only gets better with age”!

(See also The Suffolk Jacket & Suffolk Chef’s Jacket, above.)


Suffolk Shooting Socks: Made in Scotland from Merino wool and sold from a Lincolnshire farm, Suffolk Shooting Socks with matching Garters were launched in 2015 as a product of the Tom Lane brand.  Jayne Ireland, the designer behind the Tom Lane brand of country clothing and accessories, runs her business from the family farm near Sleaford.  “Tom Lane” is the name of the road that runs through the village and lends its name to the brand.  We are not sure that “Suffolk” is that much of a ‘shooting country’ to lend its name to this product when compared to the Highlands of Scotland.  But, who are we to complain about another association with our county?

The Suffolk Canvas Backpack by Forbes & Lewis (left) is another product that does not seem to have much to do with the county.  Forbes & Lewis was launched in 2013, based in Exeter, Devon, England, a long way from Suffolk.  The name of the company derives from the founders’ names, married partners Samuel Lewis Windridge and Katie Forbes.  This in-house team of two emphasises that all their products, many of which are unisex, are utilitarian and stylish without fuss.  Well, all Suffolk people can identify with being utilitarian, stylish and we never make a fuss.  Not sure where the other description fits in though.



Suffolk Bow Tie: Another clothwear accessory where four different firms have used the county name for this type of necktie.  In America we have the coloured patterned Suffolk Bow Tie from Trumbull Rhodes (see image, right).  Trumbull Rhodes, established in February 2014, is a trading name of the Barnegat Trading Company LLC (founded in 2008), located in Marblehead, Massachusetts. This organisation primarily operates in the Men’s and Boy’s Neckwear business.  Hand crafted in America, Trumbull Rhodes uses the finest Egyptian cotton fabrics from Liberty of London.  There is no connection with Suffolk but, as at 2018, it is one of the 30 different patterns which are utilised, all named after counties, towns and places in England, e.g. Norfolk, Essex, Falmouth, Henley, Mayfair, Piccadilly.

Another American company, R. Hanauer of Fort Mills, South Carolina, (established in 1985 by the owner Randy Hanauer) specialises in handmade bow ties for gentlemen, although it also makes neckties and cummerbund sets.  This company marketed a Suffolk Pine Bow Tie (see image, left).  We have no idea why this name was adopted, and know of no Suffolk Pine that is this colour, although pine as a pattern on ties and fabrics is common.  It is essentially small repetitive images that are reminiscent of pine kernels (seeds) or pine cones. The same company also has a Blue Suffolk Medallions Bow Tie and a Blue Suffolk Medallions Necktie.  In fashion parlance a “medallions” motif is when there is an image in the shape of a medal repeated in the design.  The image (medallion) referred to has nothing relevant to the name ‘Suffolk’, but that doesn’t seem to matter to the fashion trade.

Designed excl
usively by The Brothers at OTAA, the Suffolk Donegal Blue Wool Diamond Kid’s Bow Tie (image right) is described as having an “ebullient blue palette complemented by white alternating stitching to give a fresh outlook to your daily attire”.  The Brothers at OTAA (Online Ties Accessories Australia) is a Melbourne company formed in 2011 by the brothers Fameez and Shaheen Haroon, who both quit their chosen career paths to start a men’s fashion accessories label, initially working out of their mother’s garage.  ‘Donegal’ refers to a handwoven tweed manufactured in County Donegal, Ireland.  Donegal has for centuries been producing tweed from local materials and is best known for a plain-weave cloth of differently-coloured warp and weft, with small pieces of yarn in various colours woven in at irregular intervals.  Such fabric is labelled as ‘donegal’ (often with a lower case ‘d’) regardless of its provenance.  Why Suffolk?  Why not, everybody else is getting in on the act.

And this is one we really appreciate.  The Liberty of London Suffolk Fields Dog Bow Tie by Moo Moo & Bear (see image, left).  This is a Yorkshire based business handcrafting the finest collars, leads and accessories for the canine companion.  Moo Moo & Bear’s collars are made from 100% cotton fabric with a nylon inner webbing which gives added strength and stability.  The collar is finished with a high-quality plastic side-release buckle and metal hardware.  Apparently Lolah Moo Moo and Minny Bear are two Miniature Schnauzers who seem to own a lady by the name of Nadia Sidebottom, the creator of quirky and contemporary dog collars and accessories.  They live at Horsforth in West Yorkshire and have been in the business since March 2015.  Yes, we checked that Nadia really exists and is known to Companies House, but cannot guarantee the relationship of Moo Moo and Bear, although they look like small dogs to us.  (See article above on Suffolk Fields Print for that part of the name.) 


And one that really comes from Suffolk - The Suffolk Fedora with Gamebird Feather.  Despite our policy of not including products made in the county since the reason for its name is obvious, we think this deserves inclusion, not least because the name tickles us!  

The Fedora is a hat with a soft brim and indented crown, typically creased lengthwise down the crown and pinched near the front and on both sides.  This style of hat first came to note in 1882 when the famous French actress Sarah Bernhardt wore such a hat in the role of Princess Fédora Romazov, the heroine of the play Fédora.  The hat became a popular fashion for women and the women’s rights movement adopted it as a symbol. Later, in the 1920s
it became popular among men.

The Suffolk Fedora (right) features a cluster of natural feathers fastened behind a black, brown or other coloured band.  The fedoras come in various colours: navy, brown, black, camel, fuschia, olive, etc and the coloured feathers are from traditional gamebirds and other large birds such as ostrich and peacock.

Designed by the fashion house Hicks & Brown.  Sisters Alice and Rosie Thorogood were born and raised on their family farm (Hicks Farm, near Sudbury) in Suffolk, England.  The sisters initially had different careers in London, but both maintained their connection with the rural way of life, in particular the equestrian and country sporting worlds.  Together Alice and Rosie would make clothes to wear themselves and for their family and friends.  The idea of establishing a fashion label of their own came in 2014 at their local Suffolk Show.  A couple of years later they returned to their Suffolk home where they established the design
studio for Hicks & Brown, the farm providing the first part of the brand name (we do not know where the ‘Brown’ comes from).  Their versatile clothing collections cater for both men and women, comprising jackets, gilets and waistcoats, as well as their distinctive and popular Suffolk Fedora Hats.


Lady Suffolk Hat: This made its appearance in 2018 from a New York atelier (the posh name for a workshop or studio, especially one used by an artist or designer).  We trust that the name of this hat is not a reference to the famous mare mentioned elsewhere on this site, and rather alludes to the type of person expected to be seen at high society events.  Indeed, this product is suggested as being best worn at Royal Ascot week.  By definition the Lady Suffolk is a “Blush Pink Derby Hat with Silk Flower and Quill”.  It is hand-made by Genevieve Rose Atelier of Manhattan, New York.  Genevieve Foddy, the owner and founder of Genevieve Rose Atelier, was born in Melbourne, Australia.  In 2010 she moved to London to study millinery at the London College of Fashion, where she developed mastery over the refined styles and techniques of British society millinery.  In 2013 Genevieve moved to New York and established Genevieve Rose Atelier, specialising in impeccably hand-crafted hats, fascinators and European style wedding hair accessories.

Genevieve custom makes each piece entirely by hand in her Greenwich Village studio, using traditional, couture millinery techniques and beautiful materials.  Her work has been seen on British society ladies, the Royal Family and at the New York and Paris Fashion Weeks, and is frequently seen in the pages of Vogue, New York Magazine, Bridal Guide and Brides Magazine.  Her aim is to “encourage American women to adopt the British love of hats and special headpieces.  In the UK, ladies take any formal occasion, such as a wedding, christening or garden party to wear a fabulous headpiece.  The British are experts at the pomp and ceremony of formal and royal events, where there is a lot of tradition and etiquette about clothing in particular, such as royal females have to wear a head covering before 6 o’clock at an event, other ladies attending will follow suit, hence the popularity of light weight fascinators.”


Handbags: As part of their autumn/winter 2013 collection, the British fashion house Mulberry has brought out a range of women’s bags called the Suffolk. Described as a ladylike version of a doctor’s bag, the Mulberry Suffolk comes in two sizes, small & regular, as well as a variety of colours such as pheasant green, teal, yellow, emerald, pink, oak, midnight blue & black. They are available in different leathers, such as (printed) Hair Calf, Ostrich, Classic Calf and Shrunken Calf. Other features include soft gold components, postman’s lock closure, leather top handle with D-ring attachment, detachable & adjustable leather shoulder strap, hanging fob with hidden padlock, metal feet on base, suede lining, internal zip pocket & phone pocket, internal metal Mulberry fob. Mulberry Suffolk bags can sell for up to £5,000, although an average price is more in the region of £1,500. Why the name Suffolk has been used for this collection is not known.

The Mulberry company was founded by local boy Roger Saul and his mother Joan in 1971, in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, England.  Roger Saul used a £500 21st birthday present from his parents to start Mulberry, which was named after the large tree that grew in the grounds of his old school.  He built the company into an award-winning international brand.  In 2000, although Mulberry was a strong company with a £30 million turnover, extra finances were needed in order to expand the business, particularly in the United States.  A joint venture deal was agreed with Christina Ong of Singapore, one of the richest women in the world, and her company Challice.  The Ong family invested £7.6 million in Mulberry intended to bankroll the group’s expansion in the USA and obtained 51% of the company’s shares.  However, Roger and Christina Ong clashed over the agreement reached, with Roger accusing the Ongs of reneging on the deal.  The upshot was a boardroom coup in 2002 which saw Roger Saul and his family ousted from the business.  Mulberry is now under the control of the Challice company and has expanded into several different fashion brands and outlets.  The company still owns and uses ‘The Rookery’, the Somerset factory established by the Saul family.


Another company to also use the name Suffolk for their handbag range are London Fog. The range includes the Suffolk Saddle Bag (right), Suffolk Tote Bag (left), Suffolk Satchel & Suffolk Crossbody Bag, all of which come in a wide variety of colours. 

The American company London Fog was established by Israel Myers in 1923 as the Londontown Clothing Company. It was initially based in Baltimore, Maryland, but moved most of its offices to Seattle, Washington in 2000. The company was bought by Iconix Brand Group in 2006. Other accessories by London Fog have used English place-names for their products, such as Chelsea, Knightsbridge & Oxford. No other connection has been found to link the company with Suffolk.

Vans ‘Suffolk Wallet’: Another one where we have no idea why the manufacturer should choose this name.  Vans is an American manufacturer of shoes, clothing and related apparel, based in Cypress, California.  Brothers Paul Van Doren and James Van Doren with two other associates opened their first Vans store under the name ‘The Van Doren Rubber Company’ in 1966 at Anaheim, California, manufacturing shoes and selling them directly to the public.  From the outset, Vans aimed its products at the skateboard community.  Skateboarders liked Vans’ sticky rubber sole on the shoes that made them so good for gripping a skateboard.  Soon, Vans began to branch out to produce shoes and clothing for other sports, such as motor cross and surfing.  In 1988 Paul Van Doren sold the Vans company and name for US$74.4 million.

The earliest reference we have found for the Vans ‘Suffolk Wallet’ is from 2012.  It is a 100% polyurethane bi-fold wallet designed for the back pocket with numerous card slots, snap closure coin pocket and mesh ID window.  Although sold world-wide, it is obviously for the American market since one review complained that “British notes do not fit into this wallet.  You have to fold them to get them in at all.”

Earl of Suffolk Wallet: Its sales blurb says “Simple and sophisticated, the Earl of Suffolk Wallet is a patent genuine 100% leather construction in a polished black hue, making it perfect for everyday use”.  We have no idea why it should be named after that person; maybe he gets royalties for the use of his title.  But perhaps not, since similar wallets are named the Earl of Lincoln, Earl of Kingston and the Earl of Glasgow.  These can all be purchased on-line from THE ICONIC.

THE ICONIC (always written in capital letters) is a Sydney-based, Australian on line fashion and sports retailer.  The company was launched in 2011 and is one of Australia’s largest fashion, sports, beauty, kidswear and homewares destinations.  The founders of the company were local boy Adam Jacobs and two German boys, Finn Age Haensel and Andreas Otto.  After studying in their own countries, the three met up with each other at the Boston Consulting Group, a big management consulting company in Boston, USA, where they collaborated and exchanged ideas.  They eventually decided to give up their steady jobs for a new experience.  They started an on-line fashion retail shop in Sydney, Adam’s hometown.  All three have since moved on to other ventures.  Finn and Andreas went back to Germany to work on different projects, whilst Adam has recently started a new company called Hatch.  THE ICONIC is now part of the international Global Fashion Group (GFG) established in 2014.

Suffolk Lavender Perfume: This is a perfume launched in London by the fragrance house Shay & Blue in 2013.  It is described as an Aromatic Fougère fragrance for women and men.  Fougère, meaning “fern-like”, is one of the main families into which modern perfumes are classified.  “Aromatic Fougère”, a derivative of this class, contains additional ‘notes’ of herbs, spice and wood.  With a scent of pine or fir, it is particularly popular as a fragrance for men in what is perceived as the aroma of the English countryside.  Hence the name “Suffolk” is again used to evoke images of a peaceful, summer’s day in the country.  

Lavender has been a staple of herbal lore for centuries, and is popular as an oil and fragrance used around the home to induce sleep, ease stress and relieve depression.  
The perfume itself is described commercially as: “Deep and intense, Suffolk Lavender is a natural scent blended with deliciously smoky incense, a sensual cluster of spices, and a hint of melon.”
Professionally, Suffolk Lavender is described as: “Top note is lavender; middle notes are incense and melon; base notes are praline, musk and pine tree”.  ‘Notes’ are descriptors of scents that can be sensed upon the application of a perfume, and are separated into three classes; ‘top notes’, ‘middle notes’, and ‘base notes’ which denote the scents which can be sensed with respect to the time after the application of a perfume from the knowledge of the evaporation process.  ‘Top notes’ for example are the scents that are perceived immediately on the application of a perfume.

From its founding in London in 2012 there has only been one creative team at Shay & Blue.  Owner and creative director Dom de Vetta and perfumer Julie Massé.  Dom de Vetta previously created fragrances for Jo Malone and Chanel while Julie Massé has worked with a number of fashion design and fragrance houses including Courreges, Giorgio Armani, Lalique and the Fine Fragrances department at Mane SA.

China/Tableware: Between 1966 & 1973, the Japanese tableware manufacturers Noritake produced a range of dinnerware with a pattern that they named “Suffolk” (Pattern no. 7549). The Suffolk pattern is described as  gold & orange flowers with brown leaves on an ivory background (see photos left & below right).

So why “Suffolk”? In exclusive correspondence with Planet Suffolk, David Spain of the Noritake Collectors Society said “I know from conversations I have had with a few people at the Noritake Company that the pattern names, of which there are MANY, were picked for almost random reasons so I think it highly unlikely that there was any special reason for using “Suffolk” as a pattern name”.

Over the years, Noritake has indeed produced literally hundreds of different designs of tableware, so it may never be known for certain why the name Suffolk came to be used. The Suffolk design is now a collectors item.

Noritake Co. Limited is a tableware & technology company based in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan, which originally grew out of a trading company founded in New York City by the Morimura Brothers in 1876. In 1904, members of this trading company established Nippon Toki Gomei Kaisha, the forerunner of the present company, in the village of Noritake, a small suburb near Nagoya, Japan. The aim of this company was to make tableware for the European & American markets. Since the late 1920s, consumers and collectors referred to the tableware as “Noritake” and the parent company wished to change its name to this.  However, since Noritake is the name of a place, the company was prohibited from registering the name as a trade name until 1981, when it obtained official permission to change its name to the Noritake Co. Limited. 


Between 1994-2004, as part of their English Country Cottages series, the Royal Doulton Company, under their Royal Albert brand, produced a china tea set (cup, saucer, side plate) named Suffolk. The shape of the cup is known as the Montrose (see photo, left).  There were twelve counties represented in this series, the others being Cornwall, Cumbria, Devonshire, Hampshire, Kent, Norfolk, Oxfordshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire & Yorkshire.

The Royal Doulton Company was originally  founded as a partnership between John Doulton, Martha Jones & John Watts in 1815 in Lambeth, London. In 1882 they acquired a factory in Burslem in the Potteries region of Staffordshire. The company was granted the Royal Warrant by King Edward VII in 1901, allowing the business to adopt the name Royal Doulton. The factory closed in September 2005 and was demolished.  The company and brand names Royal Doulton and Royal Albert passed to subsequent owners and, since July 2015, have been owned by the Fiskars Corporation, a Finnish company (one of the oldest companies in the world having been founded in 1649).  This operates as an integrated consumer goods company, with products relating to homeware and household goods, garden and outdoor activities, interior decoration and giftware.

Suffolk Shaped Mug: Dunoon Ceramics are a Staffordshire based family business that began producing Fine Bone China in 1974. They now produce a wide array of different shaped mugs, mostly with either Scottish (Jura, Lomond, Cairngorm etc.) or English (Richmond, Henley, Kent, Dorset etc.) place names. The Suffolk Shaped Mug has delicately sweeping curves, holds a capacity of 310 ml, has a height of 106mm & a rim diameter of 72mm (see photo, right).  They come in a wide variety of decorative designs, many with flora, fauna or oriental themes.

In correspondence with Planet Suffolk, Dunoon Ceramics explained that “Suffolk was chosen for this shape of mug as it was a quintessential English county and our product was typical English Fine Bone China”.


Royal Suffolk: One of the most sought after collectible dinnerware is the “Royal” line of the world famous Crown Devon Pottery in Stoke, England.  The owners, S. Fielding & Co Ltd, produced an enormous quantity and range of domestic and ornamental earthenware over the life of the business.    The Royal Devon was introduced in 1891 and proved extremely popular.  This led to a wide range of other patterns named “Royals”: Royal Chelsea, Royal Clarence, Royal Stuart, Royal Essex, Royal Sussex, etc).  The Royal Suffolk was introduced in 1898 with a backstamp of a lion on a crown.  The design has purple and pink flowers on a cream background, trimmed with gold (see photo, left).  

In 1870 Simon Fielding (who was not a potter) lent his life savings to three potters who had previously worked for Wedgwood.  They established their firm, known as Hackney, Kirkham & Co, at The Railway Pottery in Suth
erland Street, Stoke-upon-Trent, Staffordshire, for the manufacture of high quality ‘General Ware and Art Ware’.  The company ran into debt in 1878 and it was Simon’s son, Abraham Fielding, who paid off the debts and took charge of the company, henceforth known as S. Fielding and Co.  In 1891 Abraham Fielding enlarged the works, installed modern equipment and by 1892 the factory had seven of the largest kilns in the Potteries (the name of the district around Stoke).  

The circular Crown Devon backstamp appeared on a number of patterns from the 1880s.  This was a royal crown encircled by a band bearing the words Crown Devon.  In 1882 the company introduced the vellum ware and this became the best selling product for the next 20 years.  (Vellum or satin glaze is a finish with a medium reflectance, in between matt and gloss.)  The “Crown Devon” name thus became associated with vellum-coloured earthenware painted with a floral decorating style. It was soon synonymous with Fielding Pottery. The Crown Devon name became so popular that the Railway Pottery was renamed the Crown Devon Pottery in 1911.  It is not known why any of the names were adopted by the company.  None of the principals were particularly associated with Devon, and even less with the other counties, towns and rivers used in their lines.  It is intriguing that the county of Staffordshire nor Stoke were ever honoured in this way.

The last Fielding director retired in 1967 and the company passed into other hands.  However, mounting losses caused by the economic recession and overseas competition led to the pottery closing in 1982.  The products consequently are now more sought after than they have ever been.

Kitchenware and Relishes: The name Suffolk, when applied to kitchenware and food preparation, seems to bring to mind traditional, rustic settings.  More than one manufacturer has used the term “Suffolk Collection” to cover various items found in the kitchen, each of which is described as “Suffolk”, e.g. Suffolk Storage Jar, Suffolk Teapot, Suffolk Jug, Suffolk Butter Box, Suffolk Sugar Bowl, Suffolk Casserole Dish, etc.  

Within the county of Suffolk, England, Henry Watson’s Potteries at Wattisfield have been producing traditional terracotta earthenware since 1800, with its distinctive colour and texture.  The terracotta tradition they follow has origins that stretch back more than 4,000 years.  As the potteries are Suffolk based, the products are justifiably described as the “Original Suffolk Terracotta Collection”.

Another well-known “Suffolk Collection” in acrylic and wood kitchenware is that of David Mason Design.  This company began with salt and pepper mills, and has since expanded into other areas of kitchen accessories.  The first pepper mill with its grinding mechanism was invented in France in 1842.  The present company has its roots in London where Cole & Mason was founded in 1919 by Julian Cowan and was a family run business.  David Cowan established David Mason Design in London in 1962.  Today the company is run from Chesterfield, England, by his two sons.  As can be seen, there is no obvious connection with Suffolk, England.   

Another interesting brand name is that of “Suffolk Mud”.  This is one of the three brand names of the company Stokes Sausages Ltd at Rendlesham, Suffolk.  Richard Sheepshanks and Peter Kerr set up this company as Essfoods Ltd in 2004, and changed its name in May 2013.  Its policy is to provide an alternative to mass-market production. The aim is to produce in small batches, focusing on natural ingredients and traditional processes, free from artificial preservatives, colourings and flavourings, with animal welfare being high on the agenda by the avoidance of any battery-farmed produce.  The products are made in a converted coach house in the heart of rural Suffolk, England, at Rendlesham, and cover a range of jams, mayonnaises, sauces, mustards, relishes, chutneys and dressings.  The end products are all exotically named, and include: Suffolk Mud Bloody Mary Ketchup with Chase Vodka, Suffolk Mud Chilli Jam, Suffolk Mud Beetroot Relish, and so forth. 

Some of the products have “Suffolk” in their name as well, such as “Suffolk Mud Suffolk Dressing” and “Suffolk Mud Suffolk Mustard”, although there is nothing really specific to the county other than the ingredients being grown in Suffolk.  Another line is to combine their product with a well-known Suffolk alcoholic beverage.  So we have names such as “Suffolk Mud Bramley Apple Sauce with Aspall Cyder” and “Suffolk Mud Cyder & Horseradish Mustard” in partnership with Suffolk’s Aspall Cyder.  Then there is a partnership with St Peter’s Brewery at South Elmham to produce “Suffolk Mud Wholegrain Mustard with St Peter’s Honey Porter”, and “Suffolk Mud Farmhouse Chutney with St Peter’s Best Bitter” (originally just “Suffolk Mud Real Ale Chutney”). 

“Suffolk Crown” is the brand name that is used on a range of bacon products: Suffolk Crown Sweetcure Back Bacon produced using a traditional “age-old Suffolk recipe gently smoked over beechwood”; Suffolk Crown Smoked Rashers Bacon, Suffolk Crown Smoked Back Bacon and the same either Unsmoked or Lightly Smoked.  The name derives from the fact that the original producer, Lark Valley Foods, was located in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.  The county of origin with the crown indicates a high quality product.  Lark Valley Foods was founded in 1984 and soon gained a reputation for its quality bacon, particularly the “Suffolk Crown” brand.  As a consequence it was acquired in 1998 by Direct Table Foods.  Ownership subsequently passed to a Danish company in 1999 and then in 2016 to a German company.  However, the “Suffolk Crown” brand still continues to be produced in the factory at Bury St Edmunds under the name of Direct Table Foods, which is now a subsidiary company of Tönnies Holding, a German family business in the meat industry.         

Suffolk Sea Salt” was the brand name and company name of the product derived from the sea (see image, right).  Suffolk Sea Salt Limited was incorporated on 29 February 2012.  This Ipswich business revived a traditional Suffolk industry as it was the first salt producer in the county for more than 100 years, the last operation being Southwold Salt Works, which shut down in 1900.  Architect Robert Stephenson set up the business when he realised that the main ingredient for the product could be gathered for free.  The salt was harvested from the sea water of the estuary of the River Orwell and collected at Levington Marina within quantity limits set by the local authorities.  The water was certified independently for quality and the salt that was extracted checked for its purity. There were four people involved in this business, but it ran into difficulties and ceased trading in 2018, finally closing its doors on 26 February 2019.

Bridalwear: Another “Suffolk Collection” is that of bridal fashion designer Stephanie Allin.  It is a mystery to us why Suffolk should so be represented.  Stephanie Allin is an award winning bridal fashion designer of over 20 years.  She is Welsh; each of Stephanie’s gowns is said to be handmade in Wales, not Suffolk, and the flagship shop is in Westminster, London! 

Curtain & Fabric Designs: Chess Designs of Chesham in Buckinghamshire, England, is a family business founded in 1995 that has a “Suffolk Collection” of curtain designs.  This is described as a traditional range of co-ordinating jacquards available in four patterns named after the Suffolk towns of Aldeburgh, Hadleigh, Melford and Sudbury.  A jacquard is a fabric with an intricately woven pattern.  The Aldeburgh is a vertically striped pattern, the Hadleigh has a stylized floral motif, whilst the Sudbury features a leaf design. All three come in a choice of four colours: red, mulberry, marine & blue. The fourth design, the Melford, features a Paisley style pattern, but has a slightly different colour range of red, aubergine, marine or blue.


                   Aldeburgh                                                   Hadleigh                                                   Melford                                                   Sudbury

But why should a company in the Chilterns name its product after Suffolk towns?  The reason has as much to do with the part played by these towns in the history of weaving in England as with the warm image conveyed by Suffolk.  

The southern part of Suffolk was very strong in the dense, woollen broadcloth industry as early as the late 12th century, and the market towns of Hadleigh, Long Melford, Sudbury and Lavenham were the chief manufacturers of this cloth (see The Wool Towns section on the Suffolk, England page).  By the end of the 16th century the Suffolk broadcloth industry was in decline, but in the early 19th century Dutch and Huguenot weavers, with their lighter fabrics, moved away from London because of high taxation.  They settled in these towns in Suffolk, where there was a source of labour already familiar with the weaving processes, thus bringing a revival of the traditional industry.  We do not know why Aldeburgh should also be included as one of the four pattern designs since this was not a weaving town.  However, it could be that Aldeburgh is better known to the outside world for its cultural association with the composer Benjamin Britten, and the musical festival he founded in that town.    

Suffolk Rugs & Carpets: Another product name that, as far as we can tell, has nothing whatsoever to do with Suffolk.  Several manufacturers and design houses have used this title for their products.  None of the world’s Suffolks are particularly renowned for the production of carpets and rugs, and none of the companies concerned are based in a Suffolk.  Nevertheless, carpets and rugs do have connotations of leisure and warmth, so we guess this is the reason why they are so named.  It will be noted that, with one exception (Kingsmead Carpets), the following rugs and carpets are not actually made in the countries where they are largely sold (USA, Britain and Australia).   

Probably the largest number of rugs produced with the county name are the Rizzy Home Suffolk Collection Area Rugs*.  The producer’s brand name is “Rizzy Home” and their products are usually referred to as the Rizzy Suffolk Oriental Medallion Rug, the Rizzy Suffolk Oriental Floral Rug, the Rizzy Suffolk Abstract Rug, the Rizzy Suffolk Black Ikat* Rug and so on.  Rizzy Home introduced the Suffolk Collection in 2016.  

* An “area rug” in American English is a rug that is intended to cover only part of a floor.  In general, an area rug is larger than a rug and neither, unlike a carpet, covers the entire floor.  “Ikat” is a weaving style and dyeing technique deriving from the indigenous cultures of south-eastern Asia.

Rizzy Home is the North American arm of Rizwan Export House based in New Delhi, India.  It remains a family business that began in 1950 when Bhullan Ansari, entered the wool business, buying from shepherds in India, and after hand-spinning the fibres, selling the yarn on to the rug weavers.  His son, Illiya Ansari, evolved the company into the manufacture of handmade wool rugs in 1971 and began to export Indian rugs to the United States and Europe.  From 1992 the grandsons, Rizwan and Shamsu Ansari, assumed control and the name “Rizzy Rugs” was adopted from the older brother’s first name.  By 1997 Rizzy Rugs was the largest exporter of handmade rugs from India.  In 2001 a division called Home Texco (textile company) was formed.  In 2007 the Ansari brothers were the first manufacturers in India to create and export machine made area rugs.  That same year they established the American operations, known as Riztex USA, in Calhoun, Georgia, renamed Rizzy Home in 2010.  

An organisation trading under the name Royale Rugs has a Suffolk Collection which are said to be handmade by skilled weavers in India with a heavyweight 100% wool pile.

In the USA, the Calvin Klein Prairie Suffolk Rug is actually manufactured in India.  

A New Suffolk Rug is sold by Nordic Home Interiors in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a direct importer/retailer for the “finest home-interior products from Scandinavia”.  This rug is made by Everest Handicraft Industries Rugs; a company founded in 1999 by Mrs Ang Lami Sherpa in Kathmandu, Nepal, with a mission to promote handicraft products of Nepal.    

Couriston, another New York company, sells the Couriston Easton Suffolk Area Rug which is stated to be “crafted in Belgium”.  The ‘Suffolk’ is a particular pattern used on the rugs.

“Antrim Carpets (USA)”, based in Dalton, Georgia, is a leading importer and wholesaler of hand-loomed, broadloom carpet and custom area rugs, and it has a product named Suffolk Rug.  However, none of their products are made in the USA (which is why the use of the country’s name in the company’s title is of some concern to Americans).  We cannot tell where the “Suffolk Rug” is made, but we can be pretty certain that it is not Suffolk.

The Kingsmead Stoddard Suffolk Berber carpet is made by Kingsmead Carpets who offer a variety of colours, and it is designed for both domestic and office factory wear.  The name comprises two manufacturing brands (Kingsmead and Stoddard), and a type of carpet (Berber), but has nothing to do with Suffolk.  “Berber” ¬is a type of weaving based on the traditional handweaving of North African people who used handspun yarns made from the undyed wool of local sheep.  

The brand names come from former companies that were involved in the carpet industry in Scotland.  This industry flourished in the counties of Renfrewshire and Ayrshire to the southwest of Glasgow in the 19th and most of the 20th centuries.  Stoddard & Co. was actually founded by an American entrepreneur, Arthur Stoddard (1810-82), who was born in Northampton, Massachusetts.  He came to England in 1844 as a commercial agent and in 1853 moved to Elderslie in Renfrewshire, where he entered into partnership with a failing carpet manufacturer.  Stoddard revived the business and in 1862 took over the company which soon became one of the big names in the carpet industry.  Kingsmead began manufacturing in the Ayrshire town of New Cumnock in c.1967 and soon made a name for itself for the quality of its carpets.  

Both companies were subject to several take-overs by other weaving companies, although they were retained as subsidiary companies because of their prestige.  Both brands came under the same parent organisation in 1980 when the Guthrie Corporation (who had already taken over Kingsmead) acquired Stoddard.  Kingsmead Carpets was then merged with Stoddard, thus bringing these two names together for the first time.  Stoddard (with Kingsmead as a subsidiary) was launched as a separate company again in 1988, but it hit hard times at the turn of the century and had to sell off its subsidiaries before closing down completely in 2005.  Kingsmead Carpets was bought by the Headlam Group in 2004 and, with the imminent closure of the Scottish factories, it relocated to its present factory at Tamworth, Staffordshire.  In a reversal of fortunes, the Headlam Group bought the Stoddard name after that company’s demise, this time merging it into Kingsmead Carpets, thus the brand is now known as “Kingsmead Stoddard”.

Three “Suffolk Carpets and Rugs” advertised are actually the colour of the material.  These are: Suffolk Rye Sensation Twist Carpet manufactured by Lancashire based Cormar Carpets; Classic Suffolk Heather Carpet by Burmatex in Ossett West Yorkshire; and Monaco Suffolk Stone Rug by Safavieh in New York.  We know that the Suffolk paint manufacturer, Ingilby Paints in Glemsford, Suffolk, England, has a colour called “Suffolk Stone”.  However, we have no idea where “Suffolk Rye” and “Suffolk Heather” come from.  That they are colour descriptions is apparent from the advertisements which state this fact, and they may well be their own specific shades that have been invented by the manufacturers and given the ‘Suffolk’ name. 

Lighting - Suffolk Table Lamp and Suffolk Floor Lamp: These two products are frequently advertised by different manufacturers, both in North America and Britain, and are described as “traditional Suffolk”.  However, we cannot see why they are so described, where and when the design first originated or which particular manufacturer began this line.     

      Traditional Suffolk Table Lamp                           Traditional Suffolk Floor Lamp

They are defined as goose-neck lamps attached to an adjustable shaft to allow the user to position the height and angle of the light source without moving the item to be illuminated.  The “Suffolk Lamp” is invariably finished in Antique Brass and is supplied with a cream fabric shade to give it this “traditional” look.  The word “traditional” has to be taken with a ‘pinch of salt’ because it seems that this design first appeared in the 1920s in the USA, not Suffolk, England.  

Before the advent of electricity, both floor and table lighting was possible by candle and, later, gas illumination.  Fittings that could be adjusted by height were first introduced in France at the end of the 17th century, and the goose-neck design was a common feature; however, neither candle nor gas could illuminate whilst pointing downward, as seen with the “traditional Suffolk”.  This had to wait for the incandescent bulb and electricity.  The American Thomas Edison began the commercial exploitation of the electric bulb in 1880, and another American, Louis Tiffany, is credited with producing upright table lamps using incandescent bulbs from 1895 on a commercial basis.  However it was not until electricity reached the majority of homes that table and floor lamps became a part of everyday life, and from the 1920s adjustable height lamps, such as the Suffolk, began appearing in the USA.  It is presumed that some enterprising salesman decided (and we quote from an American advert): “this is reminiscent of the outstanding natural beauty of the Suffolk England countryside, and will add a touch of English to your home”.
Lighting - Suffolk Lantern: a lantern is a portable lighting device or mounted light fixture used to illuminate broad areas, usually outside.  In North America three different lighting companies have given the brand name “Suffolk” to a range of lanterns that can be fixed to the wall, mounted on a post or hung from an overhead structure.  These are variously known as the Suffolk Lantern, Suffolk Wall Lamp, Suffolk Post Lantern, Suffolk Hanging Lantern and Suffolk Mount Light.   

     Suffolk Hanging Lantern (Northeast)                 Suffolk Post Lantern (Hanover)        
Suffolk Wall Lantern (Acclaim)
The three companies are Northeast Lantern (founded in 1987) based at Exeter, New Hampshire; Hanover Lighting, New Jersey, a trading name of the world-wide Philips Group of the Netherlands; and Acclaim Lighting (founded in 2003) in Los Angeles, California.  All three companies claim that their “Suffolk Collection” lanterns are in a traditional or classic style based on 17th century English craftsmanship with colonial characteristics.  Each company has a specific style ranging from the lattice-work box lantern, to lanterns with differently shaped domes or tapered roofs.  In Britain, such designs are just referred to as an “Outdoor Box Lantern” or “Outdoor Wall Light”.  We know of no reason why such lanterns should be named after Suffolk, unless it is by association with the antique Suffolk Lantern Clock (see above) or the earlier Suffolk Table Lamps.   

Furniture: There are “Suffolk Collections” to be found with several different major furniture suppliers in North America and Britain who are not connected with the place-name.  As will be seen, the common factor is that ‘Suffolk’ implies craftsmanship, taste and tradition.

Kingsmill’s Suffolk Collection: In 1865 Thomas Frazer Kingsmill, an Irish immigrant, opened a dry goods store on the main street of London, Ontario, Canada.  Kingsmill’s was one of the last remaining independent department stores in Canada, and it continued to be owned and operated by descendents of the founder up until its closure.  The store had a Suffolk Collection of bedroom furniture (beds, dressers, wardrobes, chest of drawers).  Their publicity for the Suffolk Collection states that it “recalls the halcyon days of the British Empire in its fine attention to detail and craftsmanship”.  Shopping habits change and what was once London’s main shopping strip had already lost all the other large department stores.  The great-great grandson of the original Irish founder decided to retire in 2014 and the store closed on 10 August 2014.  It is now the site of the downtown campus of Fanshawe College; the campus opened in August 2018. 

Neptune’s Suffolk Collection: Neptune Outdoor Furniture Ltd, established in 1963, are based in Winchester, England, and originally concentrated on producing outdoor furniture.  The company provides the background to its ‘Suffolk’ brand name.  “We were first inspired by a beautiful series of old English antique chairs.  After careful research we discovered that these were first produced in a few workshops in the middle of Suffolk between 1790 and 1840.  Our original chair has been a great success and has led us to further research the East Anglian tradition of furniture making.  This saw the launch in 2001 of the full Suffolk Collection of tables, sideboards, dressers and occasional furniture, all incorporating the classic East Anglian look of pared back simplicity set to a perfect proportion.  No adornments are needed here as the elegance is plain to see.”  The company has recently launched a Suffolk Kitchen range to complement its Suffolk Collection.

Flexsteel Industries’ Suffolk Collection: This American Group has been making and importing furniture since 1893.  They are currently one of the largest manufacturers in the industry, and their products are sold worldwide.  The furniture part of the Group started in 1893 as the Rolph & Ball Furniture Company in Minneapolis to meet the demands of the westward pioneers.  This company went through various name changes until in 1929 it was incorporated as Northome Furniture Industries, Inc.  In 1948 the company acquired the Flexsteel Spring Corporation of Dubuque, Iowa, and in 1958 the company adopted this name for the Group.  From one small factory in Minneapolis it grew into a nationwide multi-plant Group, selling its products through retail stores worldwide.  It has absolutely no connection with any Suffolk.  However, it did have a Suffolk Collection that comprised sofas, ottomans, armchairs, etc. made in leather, and is described as their “traditional” range with “craftsmanship a bonus”.  This particular line is now described as Latitudes-Suffolk and is wholly 100% manufactured in China under subcontract from Flexsteel Industries.  We have no idea of the origin of the “Latitudes” name.

Casual Elements’ Suffolk Collection: Based in Sacramento, California, Casual Elements is family owned and has operated since 1996.  This firm specialises in hand-crafted, high quality garden and outdoor furniture using kiln-dried teak or mahogany wood.  Its “Suffolk Collection” comprises a dining table set (table and chairs) and dining bench which has the “traditional farm house look with distressed finish” (‘Distressed finish’ means to have signs of ageing artificially applied.)  Once again, we have the traditional, rustic and ancient associated with Suffolk.

‘Health Products’: Another use of the name ‘Suffolk’ can be found in a category of goods that come under the general heading of ‘Health Products’.  These products claim to have therapeutic qualities, and once again the brand name conjures up the image of being desirable and beneficial to the user.  Three such items follow.

The Kenroy Home Suffolk Indoor Table Fountain: Water rolls over a tiered, inclined face of the fountain which is bridged by an incense holder.  This purports to appeal to the senses of sight, sound, and sm
ell which have the effect of aiding relaxation and the relief of stress.

Tabletop water fountains are not new.  They were quite fashionable in Victorian days and are known to date back to Classical times.  Today, of course, they are powered by electricity.

Kenroy Home is a decorative lighting and home décor design and marketing company in Jacksonville, Florida, that has been going since 1957.  However, this product is no longer made.

As far as we know there is no connection with any Suffolk.


Suffolk Saddle Stool: In therapy this is a stool with a specially shaped seat designed to improve posture and relieve back pain.  We have seen more than one supplier that uses the terminology of a “saddle stool” with the same claim to improve posture.  The image shown here of the ‘Suffolk Saddle Stool’ is from Therapy 2000.  This was “a company in the beauty and medical market” established by Philip Redman on 24 June 2003 based in Bromsgrove, England.  It went into a voluntary liquidation because of insolvency in February 2017 and was finally dissolved on 27 June 2019.




Suffolk Rehab Chair: Kirton Healthcare Group have designed a special rehab chair  which they have named the Suffolk (see photo, left).

With a highly mobile metal frame, foot rest, wheels, adjustable head & back rest & pressure relieving padding, the Suffolk has been created for stroke & head injury victims & the elderly, for use in specialist care & rehabilitation units, hospices & care homes.

Based in Haverhill in Suffolk, Kirton Healthcare were founded in 1980 & produce specialist seating & furniture, as well as shower, toilet & commode chairs for what they refer to as ‘challenging environments’.  In May 2017 the company was acquired by the Direct Healthcare Group Ltd, based in Caerphilly, Wales.  The chair is still made, now under the name of this company, and it is currently called the Suffolk Care Chair.




Whyte ‘Suffolk’ Road Bike: Jon Whyte came from the world of Formula 1 Motor Racing where, as the senior suspension designer at Benetton, he helped Michael Schumacher to win his first World Championship in 1994.  That year the American bicycle manufacturer Marin, operating through ATB Sales in the UK, sought the help of Jon Whyte to produce a full-suspension mountain bike to meet the needs of the 1990s.  At the time mountain bikes were “hard-tail”, i.e. having a front suspension fork without rear suspension.  In 1995 the new design went into production and, hence, Jon Whyte is known as the “father of the full-suspension mountain bike”.

In 2000 Jon Whyte established his own UK based design facility at Cirencester in the Cotswolds where he lived, and launched the widely acclaimed PRST-1.  Although Whyte retired in 2006, his research facility remains at Cirencester, and “Whyte Bikes” continues today as a well respected brand name in the bicycle world.  Research and development is accomplished in the UK, the bicycles are manufactured in Taiwan, and then distributed to shops in the UK and the rest of the world.  Whyte Bikes soon diversified and, as of 2015, their range of bikes includes trail, fold-up, road, terrain, commuter as well as mountain bikes.

Whyte name all their road bikes after places in London, e.g. Whyte Whitechapel, or counties in England.  This seems to have been a practice copied from their association with Marin, since the latter name all their models after locations in Marin County, California.  In 2014 Whyte introduced a range of disc-braked aluminium road bikes, among which was the Suffolk.  The other two models were named the Sussex and Dorset.  It appears that the Sussex and Suffolk have been named because these are considered good “cycling counties”.  The other county names have a West Country bent: Dorset, Cornwall, Somerset and Devon.  

The cycling world liked the bikes, but was less enthusiastic about the names.  As one correspondent said: “On the subject of names, Suffolk and Sussex are pretty lame unless you live in them.  I would be far more impressed if they had used Cumbria or Northumberland as these are suggestive of tough, challenging outdoor exploits rather than tractor drivers and commuting drones.”  Those of us who live in the county can console ourselves in knowing that the Suffolk is the most expensive of the bikes.  


The Suffolk Rear Pannier is yet another item named after Suffolk. To save you looking it up: “a pannier is a basket, bag, box, or similar container, carried in pairs either slung over the back of a beast of burden, or attached to the sides of a bicycle or motorcycle.  The term derives from a Middle English borrowing of the Old French ‘panier’, meaning ‘bread basket’” (see photo, right).

This product is sold by Brooks England, a major bicycle saddle and accessories manufacturer.  Brooks of England and Ortlieb of Germany got together in 2015 to produce the Norfolk (front) and Suffolk (rear) panniers.  Although neither manufacturer has anything to do with these two counties, it is not difficult to imagine why these names were chosen.  Norfolk and Suffolk are prosaic couplets that frequently go together, like Lancashire and Yorkshire, salt and pepper, and bread and butter.  Both counties, being relatively flat, are considered excellent cycling country, hence their names are readily associated with this leisure pursuit.  The Norfolk and Suffolk panniers are waterproof and practical bags, designed to meet the demands of cycle travel.  Rather than being welded waterproof fabric, the panniers are made of a cotton-canvas-style material with a waterproof coating, and they are stitched, rather than welded.

Brooks England is based in Smethwick, West Midlands, England.  It has been making leather goods since 1866, when it was founded in Birmingham.  In the 1880s, the production of bicycle saddles began, the first saddle patent having been filed in 1882.  This began when John Boultbee Brooks, a horse saddle manufacturer, turned to using a bicycle after his horse died, but found the wooden seat, as then used on bicycles, to be very uncomfortable.  It remained a family firm until the Raleigh Bicycle Company bought Brooks in 1962.  When Raleigh collapsed in 1999, Brooks was sold in 2002.  It is now owned by Selle Royal Spa of Italy, today the world’s largest manufacturer of bicycle saddles.  

Ortlieb Sportartikel GmbH is a German manufacturer of outdoor equipment based in Heilsbronn, Germany, which specialises in waterproof bags.  Founded in 1982, it is a leading manufacturer of waterproof panniers for bicycles.


The Suffolk Track Top (also sold as the Suffolk Gilet) is a cycling accessory but is not related to the bike of that name.  It is a creation of Road Rags Ltd based at Taunton, Somerset, in England.  As the name of this company indicates, it was founded in 2011 by Vaughan Hobbs to provide cycling wear that was stylish, practical and comfortable for its enthusiasts.  The Road Rags Suffolk Track Top, introduced in early 2016, is a seamless merino wool jersey with a full zip.  The Merino wool used is bought from Italy and then manufactured into a seamless jersey in the Midlands.  It is designed for both men and women and is also “great for skiing, fishing, golfing and the pub”.  Nothing to do with ‘Suffolk’ other than the usual connotation of pleasure.  Who are we to argue with that? 


Suffolk Pasture Topper & Suffolk Sweeper Collector: John Graham has over 50 years experience in farming and farm machinery, with his own agricultural contracting business (J E Graham Ltd) located at his farm in Brundish, near Woodbridge in Suffolk, England.  In 1999 John used this experience to design the Suffolk Pasture Topper (see photo, right).  A Pasture Topper is a piece of machinery that is attached to the back of a tractor and is designed to cut the top off areas of long growth within pasture fields.  It is used to keep pastures free from weeds and coarse grasses.  It does not cut the grass as short as a mower would do.  This helps establish a more even growth of the grass.


The success of the Topper led Graham to expand his range of pasture maintenance equipment to include a number of other implements, among them being the Suffolk Sweeper Collector for pastures and parks (see photo, left).  This runs independently on four rubber wheels in order to follow the contours of the ground.  There is an adjustable rake height and depth control.  The purpose is self-explanatory and grass is rejuvenated by removing dead and loose materials, thus keeping paddocks and parks well maintained.

The product range name of ‘Suffolk’ emphasises both the rural nature of the equipment and the location of the business.


Suffolk Silversmiths: “Antique Suffolk Silversmiths trays” are often up for sale, and unscrupulous dealers state that they are “Victorian made in sterling silver by an English silversmith”.  The facts are somewhat different.  They are not “Victorian”, not “sterling silver” nor made by an “English silversmith”.  In fact there has never been a company called “Suffolk Silversmiths”. 

The Suffolk Silversmiths castle silverplate mark (see photo, right) was registered by the Gorham Manufacturing Company, one of the largest American manufacturers of sterling and silverplate, which operates from Provide
nce, Rhode Island, in the USA.  So, why “Suffolk”?  

This story begins with the Alvin Manufacturing Company founded by Willia
m H. Jamouneau at Irvington, New Jersey, in 1886.  This company manufactured fine sterling silver flatware (cutlery) and also hollowware (metal tea sets, bowls, trays, etc).  In 1895 The Alvin Manufacturing Company relocated from New Jersey to Sag Harbor, Long Island, New York State, where it began manufacturing popular silverware based on historical patterns.  In 1905 it introduced onto its sterling silver tableware a floral scroll pattern that was  given the trade name “Suffolk” (see photo, left), after the county in New York State in which Alvin was located. 

Alvin changed hands and names several times over its history, and in 1919 it became Alvin Silver Co.  Alvin’s profitable historical reproductions brought it in direct competition with the prominent Gorham Company of Providence, Rhode Island.  Gorham thus negotiated the purchase of Alvin in 1928 and changed the name to Alvin Corporation.  The new owners retained t
he “Suffolk” trade name and registered it as “Suffolk Silversmiths” with the castle silverplate mark (see right).  They then began producing silver plated serving items under this mark from out of their Providence factory.  There never was a separate company of that name, and articles were never made in sterling silver.  Far from being “Victorian”, items with this mark basically date from the 1920s and 1930s, although 5 piece Suffolk Silversmiths silver plated tea and coffee serving sets continued to be produced into the 1960s.    

Textron purchased Gorham in 1967.  The silvermark was registered by Textron in 1969, but it was allowed to expire and was no longer used.  Gorham ceased production under the Alvin name in c.1970, and it was subsequently purchased by several other organisations until it came to Lifetime Brands in 2007.  This American company is a leading global provider of kitchenware and tableware products.  The previous year, it had acquired one of America’s oldest and most respected brands, the Towle™ Silversmiths which traces its history back to a small colonial silversmith in 1690 Massachusetts.  The Gorham patterns included the Suffolk name and this has now been revived under the Towle brand with the “Towle Silversmiths Suffolk 8 Piece Carving Set” (see photo, left).



Suffolkia: There is nothing much known about this particular item.  It was a brand name of a blade produced by the company Carl Wittgens located in Solingen, Germany.  Solingen is called the “City of Blades”, since it has long been renowned for the manufacture of fine swords, knives, scissors and razors.  Solingen today remains the knife-centre of Germany.  There is little known about the company founder himself.  Carl Wittgens (1865-1932) was born and lived his whole life in Solingen.  He was obviously a bladesmith who founded his own company some time before 1896.  The company was small-time among the more famous knife manufacturers in Solingen and it specialised in pocket knives.  It patented two lines: “Iroka” and “Suffolkia”.  There is no clue as to why such names were chosen.  “Iroka” is a surname common in Nigeria and it is also a Japanese word and a name given by them to girls.  We can only speculate that “Suffolkia” derives from Suffolk, but cannot guess why a German producer should adopt it.  Of the two lines, only “Iroka” proved profitable and “Suffolkia” was soon discontinued.
The only notable matter about the Carl Wittgens factory was that in 1953 it patented a pocket knife in the shape of a revolver.  This never caught on and the company soon after changed to the manufacture of cutlery.  Around 1955 the family sold the company and the factory was relocated elsewhere in Solingen by the new owners.

Suffolk Watches:  As far as we can tell, there have been three occasions when companies have given the name ‘Suffolk’ to watches that they have made, yet none of the three companies have had any direct connection with Suffolk.

The first company did call itself the Suffolk Watch Company but it was only in operation for a few short months in 1901.  It was based in Waltham, Massachusetts.  This is in Middlesex County which we acknowledge is next to Suffolk County in Massachusetts.  Its story begins in 1896 when The Columbia Watch Co. was founded by Edward A. Locke in Waltham.  Locke was a successful businessman who had just arrived in the city and had already been involved in the manufacture of pocket watches.  He was well aware of the prestige attached to a watch “made in Waltham” because of the dominance of the American Watch Company in this market.  The latter company had been making watches in Waltham since 1851 and by the late 19th century a “Waltham watch” was understood to be a watch of a particularly high quality made by this company.  In July 1898 the American Watch Co. began a series of injunctions against various jewellers and watch dealers selling Columbia watches because the watches were inscribed with the names “Waltham” and “Waltham, Mass.”  Although “Waltham” was thus used in a geographical sense, the American Watch Co. argued that it had acquired a secondary meaning as a designation of watches of a particular class, and they sought an injunction to prevent other watchmakers from using this name.  The court
found in their favour in July 1899.

This ruling an
d the fact that another older watch company in Illinois had the same name led to The Columbia Watch Co. being renamed.  It was incorporated as the Suffolk Watch Co. in Maine on 19th December 1900.  Events now moved fast.  Since the court ruling had prevented the Suffolk watches from being known as “made in Waltham”, the financial future was now uncertain.  In May 1901 the Suffolk Watch Co. was bought by the Philadelphia Watch Case Co., and on 29 June 1901 the Suffolk Watch Co. was dissolved.

Approximately 26,000 Suffolk watches were produced.  The photograph left shows the face dial.  Note that it only states “Suffolk USA” in accordance with the court ruling.  

In the early 20th century Lady Suffolk was a brand name given to pocket watches and pendant watches made by the Swiss watchmaker Achille Hirsch (see photo,  right).  We presume that this name was adopted from the title of the English aristocratic Howard family (see Suffolk as a Title, above) because of the prestige that this would bring, rather than after the American trotting champion mare (see Lady Suffolk  in the Horse Racing section, below).  Many Swiss watchmakers are based at La Chaux de Fonds in the canton of Neuchâtel.  Achille Hirsh & Co. was registered there in 1899.  This company became one of the biggest producers of watches.  In 1914 the company, called at that time Les Fils de Achille Hirsch, merged with the Compagnie des Montres Invar, by which time the Lady Suffolk brand had been discontinued.  Today, this product brand commands good prices in the vintage watch market.

Daniel Wellington watches are designed in Sweden, manufactured in China and use a quartz movement made in Japan.  The company name, however, derives from a “dapper British gentleman”, and it markets its products under the names of British towns and counties.  This Swedish company was founded in 2011 by 26 year old Filip Tysander.  In 2006, when Filip was backpacking through Australia, he met Daniel Wellington, a British gentleman of impeccable style who had a particular fondness for wearing vintage watches on old, weathered “NATO straps”*.  

* It is difficult to provide a simple definition of a “NATO strap” and the reader is advised to refer to Wikipedia.  Suffice it to say that in 1973 the British MOD pioneered a functional and hardwearing alternative to leather and metal watch straps that would remain secure, but where the strap could quickly be changed if required.  The most notable feature of a NATO strap is its single-piece construction that passes underneath the watch; most other watch straps are composed of two separate pieces.

This made an impression on the young Swedish man and, when back home in Uppsala, after a spell in the fashion industry, Filip decided to create his own line of stylish, but cheap, watches.  Filip felt it was important to make the watch thin and elegant which provides a classic quality look for the wearer.  The watches were initially inspired after Filip met Daniel Wellington and the NATO straps were a fundamental element of the design that was decided on from the outset.  These interchangeable straps come in half-a-dozen colourful nylons and a few leather options.  In a range of colour combinations, each strap is interchangeable and the choice of which one to wear can suit any occasion and any mood.  It soon became apparent that a watch with a minimalist dial and interchangeable NATO straps had a wide-ranging appeal.

Apparently giving a British name to the watch embraces this concept of elegance and suaveness, reinforced by the brand styles being named after British locations.  The ‘Suffolk’ was introduced in 2016 supposedly as a “limited edition”, but this may well be a marketing ploy to encourage sales.  As noted elsewhere on this page, the county of Suffolk brings forth images of warmth, quality and well-being.  The name is not inscribed on the watch, only the initials DW (with the D reversed) above the full company name below in smaller letters (see image, right).  
Within five years this 26-year-old who could not afford a Rolex had built a $200 million watch empire.  In February 2017, Daniel Wellington was named the fastest growing company in Europe.  This success was brough
t about by having the watches made in China which keeps costs and the selling price low.  The other factor in its success is that unlike other brands that aim to stay exclusive by selling to selective, quality outlets, Daniel Wellington will distribute to any retailers that want its product.  Finally, the company uses social media to increase its brand exposure and broaden its customer reach.  Daniel Wellington has more than two million followers on Instagram, thereby dwarfing competing watch brands.

Suffolk Parade Bracelets: Handmade bracelets, crafted from sterling silver and made in the UK (see photo, right).  Suffolk Parade is an exclusive on-line fashion brand that was launched in August 2016.  Developed by Toby Dudfield, these products were designed and some made prior to there being a business or even having a name.  The goal was to create a classic yet contemporary looking bracelet that focused on quality, individuality, chic minimal sophistication, grace and classic elegance, and also promoted the locality of the UK design.  Then one day, Toby was walking down this street in Montpellier, Cheltenham, and the brand, Suffolk Parade, was born.  Suffolk Parade is located in the area known as The Suffolks, within the very popular Montpellier district.  This area was originally developed in the 1830s and many of the buildings have maintained their Georgian styling and classic, elegant feel (see The Suffolks, Cheltenham, on the Other Suffolks page).

Suffolk Parade Ltd was incorporated by Toby Dudfield in September 2015.  He lives at the village of Berrow in Worcestershire, England, near to Cheltenham.  Either he realised it was going nowhere or that he was just bored with the whole thing, Toby voluntarily dissolved the company on 8 December 2020. Toby is a young entrepreneur who studied Business Management at the University of Wales, Swansea.  He is also involved in promoting Overeen single malt whisky in the UK, imported from the Old Hobart Distillery in Tasmania, Australia. 


Suffolk Duck Dog Food: This is what it says: dog food primarily comprising of duck.  Whether the duck had anything to do with Suffolk is immaterial because the name of the company that sells the product is The Suffolk Group.  This is a family-run business based in Lowestoft, Suffolk.  The full product name is “Akela 80:20 Suffolk Duck Grain-Free Working Dog Food” (see image, left).  The 80:20 is the proportion of duck to fruit and vegetables in the composition of the foodstuff.  The emphasis is on it being completely free of grain, thereby providing a better dietary supplement for working dogs.  The trade name “Akela” comes from the fictional character in Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book stories.  He is the leader of the pack of Indian wolves and is the mentor and protector of the lost boy Mowgli.   




Suffolk Cottage is a name frequently given to residences in the county of Suffolk.  As such, we do not usually record it on the Planet Suffolk website.  However, we place this one on record because the name is used by a company outside the county.  Sawyers Park Homes is an independent family run business involved in the construction and management of park homes.  These are locations where a number of single level units are in a “park” with managers on each site providing for the maintenance and needs of the residents.  They specifically cater for the semi-retired and retired.  The company has seven basic models, one of which is the “Suffolk Cottage” (see photo, right).  The advertisement states that it has the “appearance and feeling of a classic country cottage. Wood is the main feature of this home with stained beams to the ceiling and a large timber fireplace”.  Sawyers Park Homes was incorporated in 2002; it is based in Kent and has five parks located in Kent and Essex.  


Suffolk Garage is a timber garage in the Dutch style marketed by Garden Affairs Ltd in Trowbridge, Wiltshire (see photo, left).  This company, established in July 2001 by Richard Squire, designs and installs high quality garden buildings: garden offices, summerhouses, studios, log cabins, gazebos, timber garages and garden sheds.  The company’s range of timber garages have various names for the different styles, but there does not seem to be any commonality about these: Colorado, Indiana, Kentucky and Oklahoma (after American states); Cleveland, Kent and Suffolk (after English counties).  The name “Suffolk” is also given to a style of garden shed and a style of garden store (barn) made by the company.  The “Dutch style” refers to the roof having four eaves on all sides which better protects the upper part of the walls from rain and snow.  There seems no particular reason to connect this style specifically with Suffolk in England, although buildings reflecting Dutch influence are found in Suffolk, New York, because the adjacent territory had previously been under Dutch colonial control. 

Suffolk Urn is the name given to a style of funerary (cremation) urn manufactured by Border Concepts, Inc. in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA (see image, left).  This company was formed in 1990 and is an independent garden centre that designs and makes its own garden and lawn pottery.  The practice of cremating bodies and preserving the ashes in a container has been around since 7000 BC.  The Suffolk Urn is made of a fibreglass and clay composite and is 9 inches in height.  There are four styles, three of which have been given names of localities around Hampton Roads in Virginia: Portsmouth, Suffolk and Newport (after Newport News).  The fourth style is Wickford which presumably is named after that place in Rhode Island.  We do not know why the designer chose these names, but it does seem that there may have been a connection with that area of Virginia. 

Another company in the USA has the same name of Suffolk Urn for the receptacle shown right.  The company is Campania International based at Pennsburg, Pennsylvania.  It was founded in 1983 and describes itself as the premier designer, manufacturer and distributor of fine garden articles to independent garden centres throughout the United States and Canada. 





We had to look up the definition of an “urn” when we came across this Suffolk Urn by Victoriaville (pictured left).  The definition is that “an urn is simply any container that holds cremated ashes.  As long as the remains fit into the urn, there are no regulations or requirements concerning how large or small or what shape the urn should be.”

This is a metal urn made of stainless steel, ready for engraving an image or commemorative inscription on
the sides.  The height, length and width can vary, but the general specifications are 7 x 4 inches (length and width) and 9 inches height.

Victoriaville is a town in central Quebec, Canada, and the company concerned takes its name from the town. Victoriaville & Co. is a fourth-generation family business that employs hundreds of people in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom.  It was originally founded as a lumber mill company in 1907 by J.E. Hébert who received financial support from Joseph-Adélard Dumont, the latter becoming a formal partner in 1939.  In 1945 the company was renamed Victoria Industries and diversified into the manufacture of furniture using the timber from the mill.  In 1948 J.A. Dumont decided to commit the company exclusively to the funeral industry and it was renamed Victoriaville Caskets Ltd.

From 1975, by a number of acquisitions and mergers, the company expanded its business to become the third largest casket manufacturer in North America and one of the most important distributors of funeral products.  In 2002 Alain Dumont became the CEO and he consolidated the Group’s operations under the name of Victoriaville Funeral Supplies Inc.  In 2017 it acquired J & R Mfg., the only privately-owned funeral merchandise company in New York City (since 1923), which provided a valuable base for further expansion.  The Group now became J & R Victoriaville & Co.  

Suffolk Fairies is a product that we include with some reluctance because we can anticipate the comments of our Norfolk neighbours.  Be as it may, this is a well-known product line with regard to “outdoor garden décor”.  The product comprises little fairy statuettes from 3 to 18 inches in height, each of which are given a personal name, such as Chloe, Olivia, Peter Suffolk Fairy.  The occasional “fairy name” such as Candytuft Suffolk Fairy appears, and there is the ever popular Dreamer Suffolk Fairy (see image, right).  These have become collectibles of which there are at present 24 statuettes, including a set of 6 Suffolk Fairy Pot Plant Sitters.  These hand-crafted resin garden fairies are individually finished with an antique bronze patina.  The advertising material states that “each Suffolk Fairy has its own character and personality, and can be placed amongst the plants and rocks outside or inside a home, where they add magic to any room.”

The major purveyor of these collectibles is a company known as Efairies Com, a privately owned, single location business in Lakewood, State of Washington, USA, where it has a gift shop.  This company is categorised under Mail Order General Merchandise and was incorporated in 2003.

Credit for the concept is given to the fine art sculptor Trevor Kenny who designed the first statuettes, and because he lives in Suffolk, England, the fairies “bear the name of that beautiful place in the British Isles”.  We will not disagree with the latter part of this promotional description.

The Efairies Com business closed down in 2021. 

Click here to sign the Guestbook

Top of Page 

Suffolk Jaguar SS100 and Suffolk XK C-type Jaguar

The Suffolk Jaguar SS100 sports car has been created as a visually exact reproduction of the legendary Jaguar SS100.

The original Jaguar SS100 was designed in 1935 by William Lyons and built between 1936 and 1940 by SS Cars Ltd of Coventry, England.  Although only 314 of this 2-seater sports car were ever made, it is widely accepted as the high point of English sports car design prior to the start of World War 2.  The 100 refers to the theoretical maximum speed of the car as being 100 mph. As was the trend at the time, an animal name was thought appropriate for this model, with “Jaguar” being chosen. After the war, the use of the initials SS was thought of as having Nazi connotations, and the company became Jaguar Cars in 1945.

Due to the small number produced, original SS100s are such collectors’ items that they change hands for millions of pounds.  And for this reason, several replica and re-creations of the Jaguar SS100 have been manufactured since the 1960s. The best known and most accurate of these being the Suffolk Jaguar SS100.

Based in Woodbridge, Suffolk, England, the firm Suffolk Sportscars has been producing the replica Suffolk SS100 since 1990. The brainchild of company owner Roger Williams, more than 200 have been manufactured, and have been exported all over the world.  The Suffolk SS100 is thought of as being the most visually and dimensionally accurate of all replicas of the original on the market and, with its painstaking attention to detail, has become so popular that it has been accepted by Jaguar enthusiasts, specialist classic car registers and the Jaguar Company itself, as acceptable for entry into races and events as the Suffolk Jaguar.

As well as the SS100, Suffolk Sportscars also manufacture the Suffolk XK C-type Jaguar. Launched in 2006, this is a faithful replica of the Jaguar XK120-C, a racing sports car originally built and sold from 1951 to 1953 (the  C” standing for “Competition”). The cars were a success in the racing world, most notable at the Le Mans 24 hours race; winning there both in 1951 and 1953.  As only 53 C-Types were ever manufactured, they, like the SS100, have also become collectors’ items and sell for extortionate sums of money;  one auctioned in America in August 2009 fetching $2,530,000.

Both the Suffolk Jaguar SS100 and the Suffolk XK C-type Jaguar were built to a specific customer order, or they could be supplied in component packages for self assembly.

Unfortunately, on 10 August 2020 Suffolk Sportscars went into liquidation mainly because Jaguar Land Rover, who own the copyright on the original models, began legal action for copyright infringement against Suffolk Sportscars and others who had used images of the cars without paying royalties.  Suffolk Sportscars owed just over £850,000 of whom the largest creditor was Roger Williams, who had ploughed £575,000 of his own money into the company, which he will not be able to get back.

Top of Page

Whitehall ‘Suffolk’ Tobacco Smoking Pipe

We deal with general information regarding tobacco pipes relevant to the Whitehall ‘Suffolk’ in the first part of this article, and then proceed to outline the evolution of the two names by which it was known.

The majority of pipes sold today, whether handmade or machine-made, are fashioned from briar.  Briar is cut from the root “burl” (US terminology; in the UK referred to as “burr” – a knot in the wood) of the tree heath (Erica arborea), which is native to the rocky and sandy soils of the Mediterranean region.  Briar is particularly well suited for pipe making since it is hard, has a natural resistance to fire, an inherent ability to absorb moisture and does not affect the aroma of pipe tobacco.  

Collecting smoking pipes is a hobby and like most hobbies the enthusiasts w
ill portray an in-depth knowledge of the style of pipe and its shape, which will differ dependent upon the supplier, the brand name, the maker and country of origin of the briar.  As such the brand name and country of origin are marked on the stem of the pipe as a stamp of authenticity, as shown in this photograph of a ‘Handmade Suffolk Algerian Briar Tobacco Smoking Pipe’.  Pipe brands are generally believed to have specific character or qualities that affect the flavour of the tobacco.

Pipes fall into two broad categories that are defined by the course of the smoke
channel (shape).  These are simply straight or bent.  However, there are more variations on shapes and styles than can be imagined.  In addition, since pipes are hand-crafted, the value of individual pipes (which may look the same to the observer) will vary according to any one aspect that could be different in its supplier, materials, type (or style), shape, brand name, specific model, imprint, colour, banding, finish, the craftsman (maker) and country of manufacture.   
The name ‘Suffolk’ has, therefore, been applied to several different models sold by the Whitehall Company, some of which are shown here.  The name of the country in which it is made is important to the collector.  


 Whitehall ‘Suffolk’ Bent Briar Tobacco Smoking Pipe Italy








Whitehall ‘Suffolk’ Rusticated Straight Billiard Briar Smoking Pipe England

(A pipe’s surface is described as being rusticated when its surface is given a rough texture rather than smooth.)








Whitehall ‘Suffolk’ German Briar Silver Band Estate Pipe

(An estate pipe, by the simplest definition, is a pipe that has had one or more previous owners and is being re-sold.  In some cases it may have been owned by a collector and kept in pristine condition.)





In the 1960s and 1970s Whitehall was a major distributor of tobacco smoking pipes in the U.S.A. and the ‘Suffolk’ was a very popular make.  The irony is that these were “American” pipes usually made in England from imported Italian or French briar.  Whitehall Products Co. was an American firm, but nearly everything else was derived from Europe, and from England in particular.  The names ‘Whitehall’ and ‘Suffolk’ seem to be quintessentially English.  It has to be said at the outset that the sources do not know with any certainty exactly when the names first appeared and how they originated.  

The ‘Whitehall’ name is said to have come from The Civic Company Limited of London.  This was formed in 1921 out of the Imperial Tobacco Co which was located in Hammersmith, London.  The Imperial Company itself was formed in 1901 in response to an aggressive takeover raid in Britain by American Tobacco and involved the pooling of tobacco retail outlets.  In 1902 Imperial purchased the Salmon & Gluckstein retail empire, which included a section that finished briar pipes, originally made in France, for sale in Britain.  It is this unit that in 1921 became The Civic Company Limited.  In 1928 it merged with other companies as part of Cadogan Investments.  The book “Who Made That Pipe?” by Herb Wilczak & Tom Colwell (1997) shows ‘Whitehall’ as an English made product by Civic/Ben Wade.  It seems that more than one pipe manufacturer used the name ‘Whitehall’, including Civic in the 1920s and 1930s, and Ben Wade in the late 1950s and early 1960s.  ‘Whitehall’ is a world famous name as the centre of government in Britain.  As a common and well known place name it cannot be protected as a trade mark.  

Nevertheless, ‘Suffolk’ as a brand name for a tobacco pipe is stated to be a “North American brand sold by Whitehall Products in the USA and Tyler & Co in England”.  The various sources indicate that ‘Whitehall’ was a great name in American pipes and tobacco, and that the pipes were made usually by Ben Wade and some by Civic Co in England from briar gathered in the south of France and Algeria, although one line was from Gasparini in Italy from briar harvested in Tuscany and Greece.  The pipes were made specifically for sale in the U.S. market.  However, as we indicate below, the facts do not exactly fit this picture.

The name ‘Whitehall’ in America is first recorded in 1936 as a brand name for pipe tobacco manufactured by the Christian Peper Tobacco Company of St Louis, Missouri.  At the end of the 19th century, St Louis was the largest processor of chewing and pipe tobacco in the United States.  Christian Peper, born in Germany, was a pioneer tobacco merchant who began his tobacco business in St Louis in 1852.  The latter company had acquired or started the brand name of ‘Whitehall’ of its own accord in 1936.  

Tyler & Co is recorded as a “tobacco manufacturer” in 1899 in Nottingham, England, and was later based at the intersection of Bank Street and Snig Hill in Sheffield.  It was still going in the 1940s and 1950s, but the firm folded in the 1960s.  Its location may be pertinent to the fact that it is said to have sold the ‘Suffolk pipe’ in England.  Presumably these were made by Ben Wade at Leeds.  The cities of Leeds and Sheffield are only 36 miles from each other.  

Bloch Brothers began selling pipes in 1948.  In 1952 they acquired Christian Peper Tobacco Company and the ‘Whitehall’ name came with it.  It seems that this name was then used for the Bloch Brothers pipe division at Wheeling, West Virginia, and this year was when the ‘Whitehall’ name became associated with tobacco pipes and the city of Wheeling.  It cannot be determined when the brand name ‘Suffolk’ first came into use by Whitehall, but it does not seem to have pre-dated 1960.  In 1969 Bloch Brothers was bought by the General Cigar and Tobacco Company who placed the Wheeling factory under the control of its subsidiary Helme Products, a New Jersey manufacturer of pipe and chewing tobacco.  

It is with Helme Products that the Whitehall ‘Suffolk’ pipe is most associated.  This is why some sources mistakenly indicate that the ‘Suffolk’ pipes came from Helmetta in New Jersey.  That location was the headquarters of Helme Products.  Whitehall Products Co. was a division of Helme Products and it marketed the ‘Suffolk’ pipe from Wheeling.  It ceased pipe sales in 1975 when the division was closed down.  However, old stock is known to have been sold up to and including 1980.

Ben Wade is one of the great names in English pipe making.  This family company was founded by Benjamin Wade in 1860 in Leeds, Yorkshire, England.  He was renowned for his high quality hand-made tobacco smoking pipes, and the family carried on this tradition after his death in 1929, continuing the company under his name.  The company continued to hand-carve the finishing to the basic pipe mould, and it is possible that the name ‘Suffolk’ was introduced by them as a new design around 1960.  However, it could be that the brand-name ‘Suffolk’ was suggested by their client in Wheeling, West Virginia, since this was where the marketing policy was dictated, and it was already known that this county name evoked images of relaxation and warmth.   

Herman G Lane, a New York City pipe manufacturer, wishing to expand his product base, bought both Ben Wade of Leeds and Charatan of London pipe brands in 1962.  In 1965 he closed the factory in Leeds and moved manufacture to London.  So this was the end of Ben Wade pipes stamped “Made in Leeds, England”.  However, using the well esteemed name of Ben Wade, Lane Ltd started the fabrication of entirely machine-made pipes at Charatan’s Prescott Street factory in London.  The stamping now read “Made in London, England” or just “London”.  Nothing was left from the quality of the pipes once made in Leeds.  

The situation got worse for pipe-collectors as the manufacturers were only too eager to make a profit out of a reputable name.  In 1971 a young Danish pipe-maker, Preben Holm, because he was having difficulty in establishing his hand-carved pipes in the American market, approached Herman Lane.  It did not take long before both parties realised that Preben Holme would be able to sell his pipes at a very much higher price under the Ben Wade name which was now owned by Lane Ltd.  Within a very short time Ben Wade pipes, carved in his very own personal style in Denmark, but now of a much higher quality, were being sold by Lane Ltd in far much larger quantities than Preben Holm had ever dreamed of.  Although they were marked “hand made in Denmark”, this did little to assuage the feeling among collectors that the Ben Wade name was being purposely manipulated for pure profit.  This led to the degradation of the Whitehall ‘Suffolk’ pipes to a second-class brand and a decline in sales, such that production ceased in 1975.  The Ben Wade brand continued to be produced until the untimely death of Preben Holm in 1989 at the age of 41.

In reality the popular “American” Whitehall ‘Suffolk’ tobacco smoking pipe only lasted around 15 years; it was not made in America; its reputation of being hand-carved by the Ben Wade company was only true for 5 of those years; it was only made in England for 11 years; and for 6 of those years it was not even hand-carved.  The briar out of which it was made, however, was undoubtedly from the Mediterranean.

Top of Page

Suffolk Maid

Butterworth & Son is a family run business originally specialising in tea and coffee.   The family’s interest in tea can be traced back to the end of the 19th century when Harry Butterworth was a tea dealer in the Manchester area.  His grandson, Robert Butterworth Snr, founded the present business in 1976 at Bury   St Edmunds when he developed a blend of tea that was suitable for the hard water conditions found in this part of East Anglia.  A few years later when Butterworth’s was well established, a strong and full-flavoured blend of tea was produced called Suffolk Special Blend, and soon after another one was made carrying the county name, Suffolk Gold Blend (see images, below).

As public demand grew for Butterworth quality so other products of local interest were added and in 1988 two brands were created to ensure distinctiveness and products of a traditional flavour: Old Colonial and Suffolk Maid.  The latter name was deliberately chosen as an allusion to “Suffolk Made”.  Butterworth & Son sell many varieties of tea under the Suffolk Maid name: Breakfast, Earl Grey, Peppermint, Russian Caravan (see below) to name a few.  In addition to the two blends of tea mentioned above, the name ‘Suffolk’ is also to be found in the Suffolk Regiment’s Malabar Chutney (see below).  This is a spicy tomato chutney recalling the regiment’s days in Imperial India.  It is specially prepared by hand in the UK from natural ingredients made by traditional methods.

Another notable feature of Suffolk Maid is that it continues the tradition of placing tea cards in its packaging.  This is covered in the following article. 

Top of Page

“Suffolk” Cigarette and Tea Cards

In order to stiffen the cigarette packaging to protect the product, American tobacco companies used to insert trade cards into the packs.  These were also used to advertise their other cigarette brands.  In 1875 the Allen and Ginter tobacco company began the practice of depicting actresses, baseball players, Indian chiefs, and boxers on their cards.  These are considered to be the first cigarette cards.  This was an astute marketing strategy as sales of cigarettes increased when customers attempted to collect complete sets of the individuals depicted.  Other tobacco companies soon followed suit and the practice spread to the UK and elsewhere.

Individual cigarette cards within a set of similarly themed cards did include pictures of Suffolk features.  There are many examples of these, particularly with regard to the Suffolk Regiment (included in “Uniforms of the Territorial Army” and “Territorial Regiments” J
ohn Player & Son); the Suffolk Punch in “Types of Horses” (John Player & Son); “Marine Series” (Clarke’s Cigarettes) includes HMS Suffolk; the Ancient House, Ipswich, and Abbot’s Bridge, Bury St Edmunds, both appear in “British Royal and Ancient Buildings” (Westminster Tobacco Company).  However, there was one company that produced a couple of sets specifically devoted to Suffolk.  This was from the firm of W A and A C Churchman of Ipswich.  This had started as a small pipe tobacco manufacturer in 1790, but by the end of the 19th century cigarettes were the largest part of its output.  In 1912 the company issued two sets containing 50 cards in each set devoted to: West Suffolk Churches and East Suffolk Churches.  These were photographs shown in a sepia tone (see image of Hasketon Church, part of the East Suffolk set, right).  In 1922 a further set of 50 cards depicted the Rivers & Broads of Norfolk & Suffolk.

In 1939 as war broke out across Europe, Britain experienced significant paper and board shortages.  This meant that issuing cigarette cards became untenable and so production in the UK ceased.  Although there were sporadic attempts to revive the practice after the war, cigarette cards were never issued on any significant scale again.  

However, from 1954 until 1999, packets of Brooke Bond tea included illustrated cards, usually 50 in a series, which were collected by many children.  Other tea manufacturers also adopted this practice.  In 1993 Robert Butterworth Snr, a keen local historian and traditionalist as well as an avid collector of picture cards, put together a set to be included in every packet of tea sold.  This first set depicted historic scenes of Bury St. Edmunds.  A second set of 18 colour picture cards was produced in 1999 depicting historic battles and uniforms of the Suffolk Regiment throughout the ages.  With children becoming more immersed in computer-based technology, the novelty of collecting tea cards wore off.  The major tea producers stopped adding them to their packaging some years ago, but Butterworth’s Suffolk Maid has kept faith with the tradition.  Most of the sets are on topics relating to the county, but five of them are specifically named Suffolk, as outlined below with the number of tea cards in the set shown in brackets:

The History of the Suffolk Regiment (18) issued 1999.
Suffolk Steam Railways (12) issued 2006; a further (6) issued 2009.
Suffolk Regiment Land Rover Series (6) issued 2011.
A re-issue of the 1912 Churchman sets w
as made in colour:
East Suffolk Churches (25) issued 2015.  
West Suffolk Churches (25) issued 2016.

The London to Ipswich 1909 Machine Wagon Low Loader transporting a stuffed giraffe for Ipswich Museum is particularly striking (part of the Suffolk Steam Railways series).  The giraffe was carefully angled to pass under overhead obstacles.  The giraffe is still on display in the museum - see image below. 

Top of Page