Thursday September 23rd 2021


October 6th, 2010 by
Categories: Suffolk Towns A-Z

Eye’s history dates back to Roman times. A small agricultural town south of Diss that sits on the River Dove.

William Malet built Eye Castle on the only high ground in north Suffolk. The castle was attacked in 1173 by Hugh Bigod, Earl of Norfolk. Although the attack failed it did result in the castle being rebuilt. During Henry VIII’s reign the Castle and the nearby Eye Priory (founded by William Malet’s son) fell into disuse.

Eye offers a number of attractive and historic buildings and streets which can best be appreciated on foot by following the “town trail”, The town does not have it’s own tourist information centre however copies of the “trail” can be obtained from local shops or Stowmarket Tourist Information Centre.

To visit nearby:
Wingfield College on the B1117 then B1118 from Eye, medieval building, Great Hall and gardens. Tel: 01379 384888.

Upon his death in 1361 Sir John de Wingfield left his manor house at Wingfield to be established as a college. In 1542 the college was dissolved and handed over to the Bishops of Norwich who leased it to a series of tenants and during this time a large part of the building was demolished.

The remains were remodelled over the years and a Georgian appearance hid the 14th century building. In 1971 Ian Chance acquired the College and during restoration work revealed once more the 14th century structure.

Wingfield College now runs regular concerts, recitals and lectures. In addition there are exhibitions of ceramics, textiles and contemporary art and a creative arts, visitor centre is now open.

The College sits in 4 acres of delightful gardens, which include ponds, old roses, garden sculpture and a children’s play garden.

Wingfield Castle is a fortified manor house surrounded by a moat that was built in 1384. The gatehouse and part of the wall still survive, however it is privately owned and not open to the public. It can be seen from Wingfield Green, on the Wingfield-Syleham Road.

Celebrity Connections
Ballet dancer and choreographer Sir Frederick Ashton had his home at Chandos Lodge until his death in 1988.
Where to Stay
Cornwallis Country Hotel,
Rectory Road, Brome, Eye, IP23 8AJ

Nestled in over twenty acres of gardens The Cornwallis hotel oozes with charm. Interesting features include Yew topiaries and a 60 foot well.

The Four Horseshoes,
Wickham Road, Thornham Magna, Eye, IP23 8HD

12th Century inn situated in the village of Thornham Magna.

Previous Topic:
Next Topic:

More Stories

Bury St Edmunds
Bury St Edmunds

Behind the faces of the many Georgian looking buildings in Bury St Edmunds are houses of the 17th Century and earlier. [Read More]

Wickham Market

Wickham Market is situated to the north-east of Ipswich. Take the A12 from Ipswich for 15 miles, signposted at the end [Read More]


Village situated on the A12 south of Lowestoft and 20 or so miles north of Ipswich. Comprising of some charming houses, [Read More]


Situated on the Deben Estuary. Once an important shipbuilding town Woodbridge centre retains it’s old worlde [Read More]


Today it is hard to imagine that Walberswick until the start of World War I was a thriving port trading in corn, bacon, [Read More]