Moot Hall

The Moot Hall 15 August 2002. © Keith Evans and licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons Licence.

The Moot Hall is one of the most important timber-framed public buildings in England. Dating from the first half of the 16th Century it originally contained six small shops on the ground floor and a spacious meeting chamber on the first floor. The Town Council still meets in the upper chamber.

The Moot Hall also now houses the Aldeburgh Museum.

The Moot Hall c. 1844

Town Council Meeting, 1970s

Museum

Aldeburgh Museum

The Moot Hall | Aldeburgh | Suffolk | IP15 5DS
Tel: 01728 454666
Website: www.aldeburghmuseumonline.co.uk
Contact: enquiries@aldeburghmuseum.org.uk

The Aldeburgh Museum is housed in the Moot Hall, one of the most important timber-framed public buildings in England. Dating from the first half of the 16th Century it originally contained six small shops on the ground floor and a spacious meeting chamber on the first floor. The Town Council still meets here today and it provides an attractive display area for the Museum.

Visit the Museum to learn about life in Aldeburgh through the ages:

  • Early settlers – Romans and Anglo-Saxons
  • Shipbuilding, trade and fishing
  • Aldeburgh witches
  • Regency resort
  • Slaughden and the Martello Tower
  • and much more

Opening Hours

Month Opens Closes
April 2.30pm 5.00pm
May 2.30pm 5.00pm
June 12.00 noon 5.00pm
July 12.00 noon 5.00pm
August 12.00 noon 5.00pm
September 2.30pm 5.00pm
October 2.30pm 5.00pm

The Museum is closed from 1 November to 31 March.

A glimpse inside the museum

2010: Aldeburgh’s high street history preserved online

As published by BBC Suffolk, 6 December 2010

Aldeburgh’s high street in 1894 – not a trendy jewellers in sight

The history of Aldeburgh’s high street is being documented on a website dedicated to the town.

Aldeburgh Museum Online charts some of the changes from 1790 to the present day, with a request being made for additional photographs.

“What we’re trying to do at the moment is put information on a database,” said Diana Hughes, the museum’s curator. “So every snippet is recorded and we can gradually build up a picture as to how the high street developed.”

The website is an extension of Ms Hughes’s book, Aldeburgh Revisited: A Portrait of a Seaside Town.

“I’m gradually going to put as many of the pictures as I possibly can so people can see what it’s like,” said Ms Hughes. “Before we started to do this, all the pictures were in these drawers and very few people got to see them.”

The website looks at several aspects of Aldeburgh’s history, from the Battle of Sole Bay, the affect of natural disasters on the town and even witchcraft. “We’ve got records of the witches,” said Ms Hughes. “Seven of them were hanged here – it was a nasty place in those days.”

History of the high street

Edward Butcher’s Supply Store on the high street, circa 1920

The archive photos show that the buildings which house shops today served the same purpose all those years ago. However, in many cases the products on offer are different.

“The whole nature of the high street has changed,” said Ms Hughes. “There are very few what you’d call basic shops now. We’ve got the Co-op, a bakers, and a greengrocers has opened up recently. But mostly it’s trendy jewellery, clothes shops, whatever they think will appeal to the visitor. Ice cream parlours, coffee shops, we’re reliant on visitors.”

Would residents welcome the return of shops from yesteryear?

“I think the locals would like it, but to be honest there aren’t that many locals, certainly not in the high street area,” said Ms Hughes. “If you look at the houses there, and off the high street, there aren’t that many permanent residents. They’re nearly all holiday accommodation, weekend cottages and the majority of local residents live outside the town. Anybody with any sense gets out and goes elsewhere – Waitrose, Tesco – for a big shop. It’s so much cheaper.”

If you have a photo of Aldeburgh you would like to share with the museum, e-mail: enquiries@aldeburghmuseum.org.uk