Thorpeness and Lavenham: A lofty house and a town that time forgot..sort of..
A recent venture East led me to the charming little seaside town of Thorpeness. The main Hotel and Golf club has some great views of the lake and also offer access to two of the towns remarkable and interesting features. These being The House in the Clouds and the windmill.
The House in the clouds was built in 1923 by Braithwaite Engineering Company of London as far as I can ascertain and was conceived as a water tower, fed by the windmill which is situated just a few yards away. In order to stay in keeping with the surrounding houses, the tower was designed by Glencairne Stuart Ogilvie with F. Forbes Glennie (architect) & H. G Keep (works manager) to look like a house. When you first spot it, it appears to float above the treeline and you simply have to get closer for a better look!
It was damaged by anti aircraft fire from the guns at Thorpeness in World War 2, but was repaired using its own steel. This did reduce its water capacity but eventually was made redundant as a water tower with the arrival of water mains in 1977. At this point the tank was removed and it was converted in this house.
The Medieval town of Lavenham is about an hour and half inland of Thorpeness (and very nearly on our way home). Having seen so many films that have used Lavenham as a set (such as Harry Potter), I was really looking forward to seeing it. In many ways it is a town that the Industrial Revolution and war just hasn’t affected and has over 320 buildings of historical significance. Having made a huge impact in the world of wool around 500 years ago, it was one of the wealthiest places in the country. It fell into a slightly unloved state for a while but is now back in some style and well worth a visit.