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Ancient House in Clare (c) Visit England

SUFFOLK'S ICONIC ARCHITECTURE: THE ECLECTIC 8

Suffolk’s iconic architecture comes in many shapes and forms, from houses floating above the trees to abandoned lighthouses on mysterious shores. We’ve put together an eclectic list of eight must-see buildings in Suffolk:
The Balancing Barn in SuffolkThe Balancing Barn in Thorington
Photo (c) Living Architecture

THE BALANCING BARN

This precarious-looking holiday cottage was dreamt up by Living Architecture, a social enterprise creatively led by Alain de Botton. Suspended over the Suffolk countryside, it was designed to provoke a gut reaction to nature and architecture. One of the most unique holiday homes in the country, the Balancing Barn is an inspiring piece of iconic architecture.
Ancient House in Clare (c) Evelyn SimakAncient House in Clare
Photo (c) Evelyn Simak

ANCIENT HOUSE

This lovely house in Clare displays one of the finest examples of pargetting (a method of decorating walls with plaster) in the UK, dating back to 1473. The house is now part museum, where you can see such treasures as a one-pound note from Clare Bank.
Orford Ness Lighthouse (c) Tony PickOrford Ness lighthouse on The Suffolk Coast
Photo (c) Wild Days Conservation

ORFORD NESS LIGHTHOUSE

Standing at the edge of an ancient shingle spit swamped with secrets, legends and UFO sightings, Orford Ness lighthouse has seen more than most. Decommissioned in July 2013, it’s expected to crumble into the hungry North Sea within the next few years, taking its memories to a watery grave.
Bury St Edmunds Abbey (c) Dave CatchpoleThe West Front of the former Abbey of Bury St Edmunds
Photo (c) Dave Catchpole

THE WEST FRONT OF THE FORMER ABBEY OF BURY ST EDMUNDS

The West Front of the former Abbey of Bury St Edmunds is not necessarily a beautiful building, but it has a peculiar charm. Houses have somehow been inserted into the ancient flint walls, making the building look, as one journalist wrote, “a little bit Hobbit, a little bit Antoni Gaudí.”
Lavenham Guildhall (c) Martin PettittLavenham Guildhall
Photo (c) Martin Pettitt

LAVENHAM GUILDHALL

 Once the trade centre of one of England’s richest towns, the magnificent Guildhall of Corpus Christi is a perfectly preserved reminder of Lavenham’s former opulence.
Willy Lott's Cottage in Suffolk (c) Alastair RaeWilly Lott's Cottage in Flatford
Photo (c) Alastair Rae

WILLY LOTT'S COTTAGE

Depicted in several of John Constable’s pastoral landscapes, Willy Lott’s Cottage is an emblem of Suffolk’s rural past. Today the 16th century cottage is owned by the National Trust, and can be viewed of their buildings of Flatford tours.
The House in the Clouds in Thorpeness, Suffolk (c) Martin Pettitt

The House in the Clouds
Photo (c) Martin Pettitt

THE HOUSE IN THE CLOUDS

This surreal holiday cottage in Thorpeness was once an unattractive water tower, until it was transformed in the 1920s by Glencairn Stuart Ogilvie to fit in with the mock-Tudor and Jacobean style of the private fantasy holiday village he was creating.
Martello Tower in Aldeburgh (c) Landmark TrustMartello Tower in Aldeburgh
Photo (c) The Landmark Trust

MARTELLO TOWERS

These peculiar towers were built all along the eastern coast of England during the Napoleonic wars to protect against a French invasion that never came. Today many of them still remain and are used for a variety of purposes.

FEELING INSPIRED BY SUFFOLK'S ARCHITECTURE?

If you've found a Suffolk building whose architecture amazes you, why not send us a photo of it via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram?