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Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Sitting quietly by the roadside in rural Suffolk is the unassuming village of Frostenden.
Frostenden is squarely in the middle of an unremarkable area of North East Suffolk.
The name means frogs valley and is pronounced without the t. With fewer than 200 people living in the hamlet, the village is not the most imposing place in a string of communities that separate Lowestoft from Southwold.
But what it lacks in numbers it more than makes up for in an unusual history and charm.
All Saints Church, adjacent to Frostenden Hall and complete with a round Saxon tower, is a short distance from the former village school on the A12.
The parish registers date from 1538. Frostenden and South Cove Village Hall in Gipsy Lane was the first to be built by voluntary labour in East Suffolk after the second world war.
The Domesday Book shows that, 1000 years ago, sea-going ships tied up here - now three miles of farmland separate the village from the sea. There were also two churches here, and a thriving community.
Also the tiny stream that now runs through the village is only big enough to sail a model boat on or bathe a duck in. There is, however, a ditch marking the bed of the old river.
The brickworks which operated at Clay Common and at Frostenden Corner had ceased production by the 1950s.