Suffolk

The Talbot Trail

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Overview

The Talbot Trail is a series of 14 statues around Sudbury that depict various fascinating episodes in the town’s history over the centuries. The trail is an excellent way to navigate your way around Sudbury with many of the town’s ancient natural, historical and architectural gems to enjoy on route.

1. The Town Gaol

Originally this was the gateway to Sudbury Court where prisoners were locked up in the gaol below to await trial. Start off your trail with a look around Sudbury's Heritage Centre for some fascinating insights into Sudbury's history.

Learn more - The Town Gaol

2. 101 Dalmatians

This was the site where Pongo and Perdita stopped for water while searching for their lost puppies in 101 Dalmatians - the children’s book by Dodie Smith. (You'll find more information in The Heritage Centre on Gaol Lane).

Learn more - 101 Dalmatians

3. Boudicea

The Queen of the Iceni, Boudicea, is likely to have gained the support of the Trinovante at Sudbury in AD 44 on her way to rout the Roman garrison at Colchester with the intention of burning the town to the ground.

Learn more - Boudicea

4. The Rotten Borough

Sudbury gained a reputation for electoral corruption in the 19th century, and novelist Charles Dickens used it as the model for his 'Eatanswill' in The Pickwick Papers, written in 1836.

Learn more - The Rotten Borough

5. The Running Boy

Depicting a remarkable tale about a long distance runner. In April 1879, a young apprentice named James Bigmore , ran alongside the Norwich coach, all the way from Sudbury to Norwich, a distance of 60 miles in 6 hours!

Learn more - The Running Boy

6. The Great Blondin

In 1872 this world famous high wire artist made a visit to Sudbury. On a rope suspended across the yard behind The Anchor in Friars Street, Blondin demonstrated his unique skills by pushing a member of the public across the abyss, in a wheel barrow.

Learn more - The Great Blondin

7. Mr & Mrs Gainsborough

Thomas Gainsborough - in 1746 after his marriage to Margaret Burr, Gainsborough returned to Sudbury, specifically to 31a Friars Street, to work as a portrait painter for the local gentry and mercantile classes.

Learn more - Mr & Mrs Gainsborough

8. River Transport

Access to the North Sea and London by boat allowed Sudbury’s industries to thrive. A number of local products including wool and brick were sent by barge to London from the Quay in Quay Lane.

Learn more - River Transport

9. Dancing Bears

Depicting the shameful Victorian form of street entertainment the Dancing Bears. Bears were brought to Sudbury by Victorian showmen to entertain the local population.

Learn more - Dancing Bears

10. Amicia de Clare

Amicia, the daughter of the Earl of Gloucester, who in the 12th century, married into the powerful de Clare family and brought her wealth to Sudbury. She founded a hospital by Ballingdon Bridge and had a new bridge constructed with stone from northern France.

Learn more - Amicia de Clare

11. The Water Meadows

Sudbury's famous Water Meadows that nuzzle up to the town have been grazed continuously for a thousand years. In 1260 Richard de Clare gave the pastures to the burgesses of the town for a rent of 40 shillings a year.

Learn more - The Water Meadows

12. The Peasants' Revolt

As Chancellor it was Simon of Sudbury's job to support the king and raise funds for the war with France. He made every person over 15 pay a Poll Tax, something the poor bitterly resented. A rebellion in 1381 resulted in Simon being decapitated by an angry mob.

Learn more - The Peasants' Revolt

13. Simon of Sudbury

Simon Theobold, achieved fame by becoming Archbishop of Canterbury and Chancellor of the Exchequer. He used his wealth to establish a college for priests in Sudbury at the end of the 14th century. All that remains is the gate to the college.

Learn more - Simon of Sudbury

14. William Kemp's Jig

Will Kemp, an Elizabethan actor jigged his way from London to Norwich. On the fifth day of this spectacle, Kemp passed through Sudbury meeting many friendly locals on route including a Sudbury Milk maid who joined him all the way to Long Melford.

Learn more - William Kemp's Jig

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What to see and do…

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The Ship | Dunwich

St James Street, Dunwich, Saxmundham, Suffolk, IP17 3DT

Shadingfield Fox | Pub

London Road, Shadingfield, Beccles, Suffolk, NR34 8DD

Mandy’s Jewellery & Gifts | Sudbury

57 Station Road, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 2SP

Pop Nouveau Gallery | Sudbury

23 Friars Street, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 2AA

Duck in Boots – Independent Creativity | Sudbury

19 Gaol Lane, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 1JL

The Eight Bells Hadleigh | Pub

90-92 Angel Street, Hadleigh, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP7 5DD

The Guinness Arms | Suffolk

The Street, Icklingham, Suffolk, IP28 6PS

Wilderley | Farm Resort in Beccles

Church Farm, The Hill, Shipmeadow, Beccles, Suffolk, NR34 8HJ

Shoulder of Mutton | Assington

The Street, Assington, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 5LJ

The Lavenham Greyhound

97 High Street, Lavenham, Suffolk, CO10 9PZ

The Chestnut Collection

The Forge, Lower Green, Higham, Suffolk, IP28 6NJ

The Northgate | Bury St Edmunds

Northgate Street, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP33 1HP

About the The Talbot Trail Trail

Distance: 5 miles
Cities / Towns: 14
Number Of Businesses: 231

The Talbot Trail is a series of 14 statues around Sudbury that depict various fascinating episodes in the town’s history over the centuries. The trail is an excellent way to navigate your way around Sudbury with many of the town’s ancient natural, historical and architectural gems to enjoy on route.

​Come and explore Sudbury via The Talbot Trail.

You’ll find the first statue ‘The Town Gaol’ and the beginning of The Talbot Trail behind Sudbury Town Hall, in Gaol Lane, located near the impressive Victorian doorway that forms the entrance to Sudbury Heritage Centre & Museum.

Child Friendly
Free to Do
History
Walking

Along the Trail

If you work up an appetite on your way around there are many excellent independent pubs, cafes and restaurants to try. You will also find many other wonderful local businesses along the trail.

More Information

A full size version of The Talbot Trail Map can be found inside Ipswich Building Society on Market Hill. The project made possible with funds from The East of England Development Agency, ‘Action for Market Towns’ and supported by Sudbury Town Council and The Sudbury Society.

Photography & Artwork

Photos taken by photographer Bill Hiskett. We have permission to use the above photographs but these photographs are subject to copyright and cannot be used without the photographers prior consent. The ‘Talbot Trail’ bronzes were sculpted by Rob Pewsey and Robin Drury. Artwork by Robin Drury.

Also Nearby

The Ship | Dunwich

St James Street, Dunwich, Saxmundham, Suffolk, IP17 3DT

Shadingfield Fox | Pub

London Road, Shadingfield, Beccles, Suffolk, NR34 8DD

Mandy’s Jewellery & Gifts | Sudbury

57 Station Road, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 2SP

Pop Nouveau Gallery | Sudbury

23 Friars Street, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 2AA

Duck in Boots – Independent Creativity | Sudbury

19 Gaol Lane, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 1JL

The Eight Bells Hadleigh | Pub

90-92 Angel Street, Hadleigh, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP7 5DD

The Guinness Arms | Suffolk

The Street, Icklingham, Suffolk, IP28 6PS

Wilderley | Farm Resort in Beccles

Church Farm, The Hill, Shipmeadow, Beccles, Suffolk, NR34 8HJ