How many more of these Suffolk village signs do you know the meanings of?
- Credit: Geograph/Geographer
Reported to have the second largest number of village signs in the UK, every corner of Suffolk is full of weird, wonderful and interesting signs.
Here are seven more village and town signs, and what they mean.
Residents of Melton may have noticed the village sign and the bridge depicted on it. While the Wilford Bridge that spans across the River Deben only has one arch, why does the bridge on the sign have two? That’s because the bridge on the sign is the village’s former bridge, which was replaced with its current one-arch structure in the 20th century.
Also on the sign are the settlement’s two churches - Melton Old Church on the left and St Andrew's on the right. The former is a Grade II-listed medieval church, declared redundant in 1977, while the latter was built as its replacement in the mid-19th century, and designed by Frederick J. Barnes.
You may also want to watch:
Onlookers can be sure to spot other nods to Melton on the sign – including a wheatsheaf, a ploughed field and a blacksmith’s anvil.
- 1 Engineers repair water main which flooded A14 roundabout
- 2 Matchday Recap: Blues cruise to victory at Fratton Park
- 3 Caravan owners furious after park suddenly blocks sales of properties
- 4 Portsmouth 0-4 Ipswich Town: Blues deliver Cook's biggest win as boss
- 5 Former Suffolk school leaders found guilty of professional misconduct
- 6 Family pay tribute to former Suffolk headteacher who has passed away
- 7 'Our most complete performance of the season' - Cook on 4-0 win at Portsmouth
- 8 Ratings: How the Ipswich Town players performed in their 4-0 win at Pompey
- 9 The Suffolk pub serving a gourmet Sunday lunch three days a week
- 10 Framlingham taxi driver lives double life as Chateau Diaries star
Just west of Eye is the village of Yaxley, a tiny settlement of no more than 600 residents. Depicted on its village sign are a cuckoo bird and Sexton’s Wheel – the former making reference to the village’s name, which means ‘cuckoo-clearing’.
The Sexton’s Wheel on the sign represents the one that hangs inside of the village’s church. Measuring two feet and eight inches in diameter and comprised of two wheels, it revolves on a single axis. While its purpose is uncertain, many speculate that it was once used simply as an ornament on the church doors. Yaxley’s Sexton’s Wheel is only one of two left in the region – with the other in Long Stratton, Norfolk.
The village of Brundish proudly displays a village sign designed by none other than the late Mary Moore, who was famed for creating dozens of other village signs across the county. The sign pays homage to the village’s historical roots, and symbolises its bonds with the land and the St Lawrence parish church. In the centre of the sign is Sir Edmund de Brundish, a 14th century priest.
The sign’s typeface was designed exclusively for Brundish, and behind it lays the River Alde, the source of which begins in the settlement. The sign’s unique shape was taken from the perpendicular east window on Brundish Church, with its tracery recreated in the top portion of the sign. On the top left is a crowned king, and on the top right is a caricature of a demon. Wheatsheaves are on either side of Sir Edmund de Brundish, depicting the settlement’s rural ties.
East Anglian Daily Times reader David Mulrenan, who was involved in the research for the design of the sign, says: “It was the last piece of work of its kind by the late Mary Moore of The Forge at Brandeston, near Framlingham. She retired soon after its unveiling in 2008. In my opinion, she was the finest artist there was in this genre and many say that Brundish, her swan-song, was her masterpiece.”
Birthplace of the Suffolk Punch, Ufford’s village sign proudly depicts this claim to fame within the top half of its wrought-iron roundel. The breed dates back to the 18th century, and all Suffolk Punches can trace their lineage back to one horse – Crisp’s Horse of Ufford, who was foaled in 1768.
The sign’s creation was organised by the Ufford WI in 1985, with president of the village’s WI Stella Pugh fundraising the £1,000 needed to create the sign. It was then designed by Mr J Reid, who won a village competition. The lower portion of the sign depicts a crown, which represents King Wuffa, or Uffa, where the village takes its name from, and waves, which represent Uffa’s ford.
Located on the Suffolk coast is the hamlet of Sizewell, which is home to one of the more vibrant signs on this list. Financed partially by Suffolk painter Maggi Hambling and designed by Jenny Toombs, the shield-shaped monument has been divided into four sections, with each portion representing the settlement’s heritage.
The top left features a coastguard lookout, the top right depicts a seabird, the bottom right pays homage to Sizewell’s history of smuggling ,and the bottom left depicts the settlement’s fishing heritage. At the top of the sign is a nuclear atom symbol, in reference to Sizewell’s nuclear power stations.
Hambling donated one of her paintings to auction, which helped Sizewell get the £4,000 it needed to produce the sign. Other contributors to the sign include EDF Energy, Galloper Wind Farm and Suffolk Coastal district councillor Ian Pratt’s community budget.
Majestically stood at the landward end of Southwold High Street is the town’s sign – and on it is a fascinating, seafaring history.
The two ships in the centre of the sign represent the nautical battle that was fought off the coast of Southwold – the Battle of Sole Bay – in which English and French allied forces were engaged in battle against the Dutch in 1672. Local brewer Adnams’ Broadside bitter was created in honour of the historic battle. The top of the sign also features Southwold’s town seal, with the town motto ‘Defend They Ryght’.
Just five miles north east of Stowmarket is the village of Mendlesham. The top of this settlement’s intricate sign depicts a wheatsheaf and scythe, in reference to Mendlesham’s rural roots. Beneath that is the parish church of St Mary, a Grade I-listed medieval church that has since been restored, and beneath that is a Mendlesham chair. Similar to a Windsor chair, a Mendlesham chair is made from fruitwood and elm, and is one of the village’s pride and joys.
On the right-hand side of the sign, onlookers can see Marian martyr Adam Foster being burnt at the stake in 1556 after he refused to attend Roman Catholic mass. He was part of the Mendlesham Christian Brethren, a group of Protestant dissenters. On the left-hand side is a memorial to John Knyvet, a 14th century English Member of Parliament and landowner who was born in the village.
Do you have a favourite Suffolk village or town sign that didn’t make the list? Get in touch with email@example.com to share yours.