This was our beautiful brand new rental house in Suffolk, England, from the very end of 1995 through the summer of 2001 – where we lived while I was assigned to HQ 3AF at RAF Mildenhall, UK.
We waited for a month in order to be able to move into the house once it was finished, and then our family was able to move into the first brand new home we had ever lived in – right here in Bridge Street Hamlet.
When we moved in, our new home didn’t have a name – so we named it “Meadow View Cottage” – as the house overlooked a very large water meadow behind it that flooded in the springtime from the creek that ran along our property.
This is a closer look at the name plaque that we named, designed and ordered for our new home in Bridge Street Hamlet, that we fondly called “Meadow View Cottage.” 🙂
Here is a view of our new house from the grounds of the Rose & Crown pub across the street from us – as seen through a planting of daffodils blooming bright yellow in the lawn – the two car garage belonged to the thatched roof cottage next door to us.
One day when we drove by our future home while waiting for it to be completed, the next door neighbor was working in his garage next to us which was his carpentry workshop – and I stopped the car to say hi to him as his future neighbor – a Yank from America! 🙂
During our time living in Bridge Street Hamlet, the owners of the thatched roof cottage became our very best friends in England – sadly he’s since passed on – but she remains one of our best friends to this very day.
Here is our neighbor’s beautiful 500 year old thatched roof cottage – as unique and beautiful on the inside as the cottage garden and gardens are behind it – and the two of them were the very best neighbors my wife and I have ever had during our 25+ years of marriage.
Up and across the street from our neighbor’s thatched roof cottage is this beautiful thatched roof cottage, and one day David and I were out for a walk and were invited in for tea to take a look at the home’s beautiful interior.
Here you see the side of the Rose & Crown pub – with the bright yellow daffodils, our neighbor’s cottage and the corner of our house – all gathered around where Bridge Street meets up with the A134 highway to the north of Long Melford and west of Lavenham in Suffolk County.
Another view of the Rose & Crown pub with the thatched roof cottage from two photos before in the distance – and the parking lot behind the pub along the main A134 highway that runs between Bury St. Edmunds in the north and Sudbury to the south – the Google Map satellite photo is an excellent recent view of our little hamlet.
This is the front of the Rose & Crown pub that was directly across the street from our house on Bridge Street – and with the bike leaning up beside the front door, it was like much of Suffolk County hadn’t changed for decades…if not centuries.
Here you can see where Bridge Street meets up with the A134, and if you take the A134 going this direction (south) you are in Long Melford in just a couple of miles – and beyond that is Sudbury where David joined the Sudbury Storms Swim Club. sudburyswimming.org
Here’s the view from our front door looking towards the A134 – you see our front yard, a small rest area behind the bus stop which is part of the old highway, along with the new conifers my next door neighbor and I planted after having cleared away centuries of brambles and reclaimed the rest area’s pavement – and across the A134 is a historic little thatched roof cottage that I believe had once been a blacksmith’s cottage.
Here is a look at our backyard from our side yard, looking out at the water meadow that would flood from the creek off to the right of the picture – and my landlord and I planted over a hundred beech trees to define the limits of our back yard – that we would grow into a very nice beech hedge over the next five years.
Another view of our back yard – there was a natural pond on our side of the large willow tree in the distance – and our neighbor’s garden and pond were next door on the other side of the fence – we both always had ducks, moorhens, rabbits and a giant heron that visited our two ponds.
I’m taking this photo from behind the bus stop next to the rest area, looking beside our house toward the water meadow, and this whole area was overgrown with a thick mound of thorny brambles that took my neighbor and I weeks to clear – along with the visible pavement of the rest area in the foreground – and you can also see the new conifers we planted.
Here’s a view of the small thatched roof cottage across the A134 that I believe was once a blacksmith’s cottage – to the right of this cottage was a large thatched roof cottage and a bridge where my wife often waited for my son’s bus returning home from school in Bury St. Edmunds.
This is the thatched roof cottage and bridge that I just mentioned, and living in this area we felt very blessed to live in such a splendid little hamlet – surrounded by historic properties as if time really had stood still. 🙂
Across the A134 from the Rose & Crown pub was this entrance drive to the prestigious manor house and property called Ford Hall – which I believe dates back to around the year 1450.
This is the long drive leading up to Ford Hall, with beautiful trees lining either side of the drive, along with fenced pastures on either side – and Ford Hall sits at the top of a circular drive with a beautiful pond in the middle of the drive’s circle.
This is a closer look at the historic Ford Hall, along with its circular drive and pond – with beautiful plantings of bright yellow daffodils in the lawn alongside the pond.
Another look at the historic Ford Hall reveals that it is an original half-timbered manor house that is very unique for both its age and splendid condition.
A view looking across the A134 from the intersection where Bridge Street continues on to Lavenham at the entrance to Ford Hall – looking towards the Rose & Crown pub, our house and the bus stop on the right.
To the left of the little blacksmith cottage across the street from us is this very impressive manor house – an elegant and beautifully taken care of property.
My wife and I were invited into this home on a couple of different occasions, and the fact that our house was surrounded by all these historic homes in Bridge Street Hamlet was quite a dream for us – and the best place we have ever lived.
A view of our house in Bridge Street Hamlet looking back from the A134 – the definition of a hamlet is a very small village that doesn’t have its own church – but we were special…our hamlet had a pub! :).
To the right of our house, across the creek that ran along our water meadow and on the same side of the A134 as us – was this very historic property – if you enlarge the photo by clicking on it twice – you see it dates from the year 1574.