Tuesday, 26 July 2011


Moving towards Ipswich along the River Orwell, you will come to the popular beauty spot of Pin Mill. The name reportedly derives from the wooden pegs that were made there for use in boat-building. Each year in late June or early July the Pin Mill Sailing Club hosts a Thames Sailing Barge Match involving an array of ornately painted barges, with the Butt and Oyster pub as the focal point. The pub dates from the 17th century, the name a reflection of the former importance of this spot for oyster fisheries. It is also associated with the stories of Arthur Ransome. During high spring tides, visiting yachtsmen are able to order their drinks through the window of the pub without stepping onto land.

The village of Woolverstone has an important role to play in sailing for leisure, being the home of the Woolverstone Marina and the Royal Harwich Yacht Club. The latter is housed in the intriguingly named “Cat House”. This house used to belong to a man who was sympathetic to smugglers, to the point that when his cat died he had it stuffed and displayed it in the window of the house to indicate to would-be smugglers that the coast was clear and there were no customs patrols in the area. A short distance along the River Orwell from Woolverstone is Freston Tower, a six-storey folly dating from the mid-16th century, named after the village where it is located. The tower is now available to let as a holiday home through the Landmark Trust.

Map of the area.

'Pin Mill' photo (c) 2008, Nick - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

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