Aldeburgh: Trail launched to celebrate life of acclaimed composer Benjamin Britten

Walkers gather at the Moot Hall in Aldeburgh for the launch of the Britten Trail.

Walkers gather at the Moot Hall in Aldeburgh for the launch of the Britten Trail. - Credit: Archant

FOR years its quaint seaside charm and rugged coastline proved the inspiration for one of the country’s greatest composers.

And now visitors to Aldeburgh can learn first hand about the people and places that inspired Benjamin Britten.

A new self guided tour was launched yesterday as part of the celebrations to mark the 100th anniversary of the composer’s birth.

The Britten Trail features a variety of locations that nurtured and inspired the musical maestro for most of his adult life.

Conceived and created by local volunteers the route includes Aldeburgh Parish Church, where Britten is buried and commemorated in a window designed by John Piper. It was the poetry of George Crabbe, a curate here, that drew the composer back from wartime America to the Old Mill, Snape, to write his breakthrough opera, Peter Grimes.

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Also on the trail are the Moot Hall, where Britten received the Freedom of the Borough in 1962 and the Jubilee Hall, which was the main venue for the Aldeburgh Festival until 1967.

Artist Maggi Hambling’s tribute to Britten, the Scallop sculpture, also features, along with the Peter Pears Gallery, Snape Maltings concert hall and the Red House in Aldeburgh, where Britten lived and worked with Pears from 1957 until his death in 1976 and is now the home of the Britten–Pears Foundation (BPF).

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The trail can be explored in any order and free maps are now widely available throughout Aldeburgh and the surrounding area.

An illustrated booklet, sold at participating sites and other outlets, will tell the story in more detail, while more content is available at,

The Britten Trail project has been coordinated by the BPF and forms part of its Britten 100 project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

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