Wednesday, 3 August 2011


Like its near neighbour, Snape, Aldeburgh has an important musical legacy, largely due to the town’s association with the famous British composer Benjamin Britten. Britten was born further to the north, in Lowestoft, but he lived for 20 years in Aldeburgh, sharing his home, the Red House, with the singer Peter Pears who worked closely with the composer. It was during his time in Aldeburgh that Britten wrote one of his best-known works, the War Requiem. Moreover, it was Britten who founded the Aldeburgh Festival (see Snape post). Last month, it was announced that a lottery grant of £1.4 million will be used to expand the exhibition space at the Red House and to create an interactive learning room for schools groups. This is timed to coincide with the centenary of Britten’s birth.

We spent a very pleasant few days in Aldeburgh several years ago, and I remember it fondly for its mix of attractive period buildings, and its shingle beach with fishing boats hauled onto it and picturesque fishermen’s huts. Probably the most-photographed feature on the beach is the distinctive Scallop Sculpture by artist Maggi Hambling, which is dedicated to Benjamin Britten. One of the oldest buildings in Aldeburgh is the Moot Hall housing the Aldeburgh Museum, which was built in the first half of the 16th century, and which has been used for over 400 years for council meetings. On the last evening of my stay in Aldeburgh, I walked along to the mouth of the River Alde, where I managed to capture a glorious sunset, pictured below.

For a list of events in Aldeburgh, see here.

Map of the area.

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