The Talbot Trail | Historical Walking Guide of Sudbury
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
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.
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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