Clare Castle and Priory - Clare Camp - Chilton Street - Clare

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This walk explores the history of the Suffolk town of Clare and its surrounding countryside. It starts off at Clare Country Park with its towering Norman motte and ruined castle that overlook this wool town. The route leads along a short section of old railway line before heading out into the countryside and following a section of the River Stour.

The route passes by Clare Priory, which is free to enter and worth a little look, as the ruins are beautiful. The priory was founded in 1248 and although most of the church is now missing, there are some beautiful remains to be seen.

The walk heads across fields to reach Clare Camp, the third historical feature along the route (but not the last!) The camp is known as Erbury. Very little is known about these enigmatic earthworks and it's not even clear when it was constructed. Although it appears to resemble an Iron Age fort the location is not typical, with higher ground on the western side; and the sign in town calls it an Anglo-Roman fort, even though there are no traces of Roman activity!

The route continues along field edges past a nearby farm to head north to Chilton Street. Here there is a ruined windmill, a five-storey mill built in 1846. The route now follows the road back to Clare, but as you enter the town on the left there is an ancient chapel dating from 1190, now converted into a beautiful cottage!

England - East England - Suffolk - Countryside

Features

Ancient Monument, Birds, Castle, Church, Food Shop, Gift Shop, Industrial Archaeology, Mostly Flat, Pub, River, Wildlife, Woodland