Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Where is Eye?
Eye is a small market town just over the border into Suffolk. It is signposted off the A140 on the B1117. If you miss Eye youll end up in Halesworth, the last port of call for the B1117.
History of Eye
Eye is steeped in history and old buildings. The name Eye derives from an old Saxon word for island and it can be seen that the town is raised above the surrounding flat land.
The town also boasts a fine church with a 100ft high tower (pictured) and a guildhall.
The medieval and Norman Eye Castle stands on the only high ground in north Suffolk.
It was built by William Malet, one of William the Conquerors magnates. In 1173, it was attacked by the notorious Hugh Bigod, Earl of Norfolk. The attack failed, but the motte and bailey castle had to be rebuilt.
Associations with Royalty go back to the Norman Conquest in 1066 and the castle was probably used as a defensive site centuries before that.
Eye priory was founded by Malets son and in Henry VIIIs reign both fell into disuse, though a windmill stood on the motte from about 1690 to the early 19th century.
Nearby places to visit include picturesque Hoxne, in the Waveney Valley, Thornham Walks, which has 12 miles of waymarked footpaths through Lord Hennikers estate. Every year up to 30,000 people converge on the Eye showground over the August Bank Holiday.
Did you know?
The first green power plant in the UK fuelled by chicken litter was built at Eye Airfield industrial estate.