This striking five-bedroom Grade II-listed townhouse is found on Market Cross Place, a terrace of seven houses on Aldeburgh’s lovely seafront, a short walk from its pretty high street. Built in the mid-19th century, this Victorian house has fantastic proportions and large windows framing far-reaching sea views. Recently and carefully restored by the current owners, the house has been returned to its former glory. Unfolding over 3,200 sq ft, it is complete with a double garage along with a sundrenched south-west-facing terrace to the rear.
Setting the Scene
The terrace, previously called Wentworth Terrace, was built circa 1850. Each house is three storeys tall, with a four-panel door beneath a plain fanlight and, next to it, a canted bay window. Handsome buildings, they are defined by their red-brick patterns and banding and curvilinear gables. Each first floor is also home to wrought-iron balconies, with corrugated-iron canopies above. Internally many original features also remain, from the maids’ bells to the floorboards and elegant fireplace surrounds. The current owners stumbled across an etching of the terrace from 1868, which they have hung in the hallway; it looks almost unchanged. For more information, please see the History section.
The Grand Tour
Market Cross is set back from the pavement and approached through a pleasing low flint wall. The ground floor is home to a large reception room, with a bay window overlooking the seafront flanked by newly installed shutters. Original cornicing crowns the room. At the back of the house is an open-plan kitchen and dining room, where a pair of French doors open onto the courtyard garden. The kitchen is defined by its grey-painted cabinetry, some of which is glazed, perfect for displaying crockery. A generous island sits in the centre, providing additional workspace and storage. There is also a double butler sink. A pantry is accessed via a door which sits adjacent to the original call bells still mounted on the wall.
A corridor leads from the kitchen, past a useful utility room, guest WC and shower room, to a sunny sitting room. Here further glazed doors open onto the courtyard. The double garage sits behind that, a functional space which could be used as further accommodation, such as a study/office. It already has running water and electricity.
The first and second floors are home to further living accommodation, which could also be configured as bedrooms. A large drawing room is found at the front of the house, with tall sash windows that have been cleverly converted into doors. These bestow further commanding views over the seafront, as well as access to a small balcony with its attractive balustrade. A fireplace with a marble surround and original overmantel provide another focal point for the room. Two rooms lie behind, one a generous bedroom, and another, currently used as another living space with French doors leading to the sun terrace. There is a shared shower room on this floor.
The second floor is home to a further bedroom, currently used as a library, and two additional bedrooms, both with en suite shower rooms. The rear bedroom is accessed via a door leading through a study/dressing room (which could make a sixth bedroom). There is also another shared family bathroom on this floor. New column radiators have been installed throughout the house.
The Great Outdoors
The outdoor space unfolds across two levels; an enclosed courtyard garden off the kitchen and a terrace above, a metal staircase linking the spaces. Both face southwest and are bathed in the sun throughout most of the day. Brilliant for eating outdoors, they also offer ample space for potted plants and planters. On the first floor, the covered balcony, which is accessed from the drawing room, provides wonderful views of the beach and sea. The double garage below the terrace has electrically operated doors opening onto Wentworth Road. There is also coded gate access to the road from the rear courtyard adjacent to the garage.
Out and About
Aldeburgh is renowned as one of Suffolk’s most attractive coastal towns, minutes from the river. It has beautiful marshland walks, with fantastic bird watching – particularly wading birds found on the famous Hazelwood salt marsh. These lead to the Sailors Path, a route to Snape Maltings Concert Hall.
The town has a broad selection of independent shops, cafés and restaurants lining the high street. In the centre sits the Old Stage Coach Hotel, home to a superb seafood restaurant, The Suffolk Sur-Mer and Ballroom Arts – a contemporary gallery converted from the old hotel ballroom. Artisan bakers The Two Magpies has a lovely coffee shop, and Slaughden Wines has a substantial selection of vintage Bordeaux and Burgundy. Lawson’s and Aldeburgh Market Deli & Kitchen have an extensive range of seasonal fare and delicatessen.
There is an independently run cinema, the UK’s oldest privately operated movie theatre. Snape Maltings, the home of the internationally renowned Aldeburgh Music Festival founded by Aldeburgh resident, Benjamin Britten, is around five miles away.
In addition to its proximity to the town and seafront, the house is a short walk from the River Alde at Brick Dock. It is well placed for walks along the old railway track to Thorpeness, a unique holiday village built in the early 19th century. It has an Emporium great for antique shopping, and The Kitchen café, Meare Café and The Dolphin Pub.
Sailing facilities and a golf course are also within easy reach, and Aldeburgh Tennis Club has four championship standard courts. Thorpeness Meare boating lake and inset islands are a short stroll from Aldeburgh Beach. The RSPB Minsmere reserve is nearby, an idyllic place to walk and spot an impressive array of birds.
The picturesque market town of Woodbridge, which has an excellent variety of eateries and an independent cinema, is around a 30-minute drive west, with the popular Suffolk towns of Orford – famous in part for the popular Pump Street Bakery – and Southwold also nearby.
For rail connections to London, Saxmundham railway station is approximately 15 minutes away by car, with services to Liverpool Street via Ipswich in a little over two hours. There are regular buses to Saxmundham station as well as Ipswich and other local towns. Norwich and Stanstead Airports are each about 70 minutes by car. Norwich Airport has scheduled KLM flights to Amsterdam’s Skipol International Hub.
Council Tax Band: G
Aldeburgh, whose name comes from ‘Alde Burgh’, meaning “old fort”, was once a critical Tudor port. Indeed, its shipbuilders built Francis Drake’s ship, The Golden Hinde, which he captained between 1577 – 1580 to circumnavigate the world. Over time though, the River Alde silted up, impacting the town’s fortunes, while coastal erosion swept away much of the centre of the old town.
Still, many wonderful historic buildings survive, including Moot Hall, the Norman Church and the Martello Tower.
Pevsner desribes the Moot Hall: “in the Regency and near Regency surroundings, which are the charm of Aldeburgh, the Moot Hall stands as incongruously as if it were an exhibit. It must once have been in a little town centre, before the sea pushed its relative position back. It is of c1520-40, timber-framed, with brick nogging on the upper floor which was inserted in 1654”.
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