Then & Now – Crag Path: Between the Lookouts

Crag Path – c.1900


Postcard View of Crag Path looking south c.1900

Crag Path – July 2011


Crag Path looking south via Google Street View July 2011

A tale of two halves!

The first image was taken from the top of the North Lookout, something the Google camera car could not match in the second image.

Apart from the Crag Path now having tarmac, a continuous wall, delightful yellow lines, bollards and cars, there is no major change to the buildings that feature. In the foreground, are the former single storey shops where you could once pop in for some light refreshments and a haircut.


The single storey buildings courtesy of Paul Payne June 2015

But left of the wall, the picture is very different. This part of the beach is now devoid of all evidence of Aldeburgh’s  fishing and tourism industries. Not a fishing boat, winch or bathing machine is now in sight. The only objects now made of wood are the benches conveniently placed to gaze out to sea and ponder what the scene may have looked like a century ago.


Many thanks to Paul Payne for the photo of the former shops and for prompting memories of them in our Aldeburgh Past facebook group.

Can you help?

Do you have any old photographs of Aldeburgh ‘then’? Or could you take photos of Aldeburgh ‘now’ from a similar angle to old postcard images we have? If so, please get in touch by emailing us at

 1911: High Seas at Aldeburgh – Dramatic Description of the Invaded Cottage

The ravages of the sea caused considerable damage at Aldeburgh on Saturday, and the appearance of the beach at the south end of the town is very alarming. A large slice of the crag path has been taken out just beyond the south end of Brudenell Terrace.

At Slaughden the extraordinary appearance of the house that has been filled up with shingle on the ground floor can scarcely be adequately described. The door of the house is on the north side of the building, and the house at normal times is quite a good distance from the sea, yet the waves not only piled up shingle on the outside of the house to a most inconvenient extent, but, bursting open the door, filled the two apartments on either side of the door with pebbles from the beach. At the back is the kitchen and in the front the sitting-room. The couch has had one of its “feet” knocked off, and littered over with all sorts of articles which are not usually found in a parlour, including a long-handled brush. The whole of the central portion of the room is filled with shingle, piled up three or four feet deep. It is an extraordinary sight, and large numbers of people have peered in at the windows to see it. Myriads of small stones covered the stairs leading to the bedrooms.

Fortunately, the occupiers, Mr. and Mrs. John Smith, were spending the night on board a fishing smack in the river for safety. Mr. Smith, about one o’clock on Sunday morning, visited the house to see what had happened, and found the door burst open, while the seas were dashing over the porch outside. A wave knocked him over as it dashed past the house, and he was wetted to the  skin. He has lived in the house eight years, and has had shingle washed into it before, but never to anything like such an extent.

There are two or three buildings in ruins a little further to the south.

Framlingham Weekly News, 7 October 1911