copyright©2011 Fettigrew Hall. All rights reserved

VOICES THAT WILL NOT BE DROWNED      8-08-2016

Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=589556

Aldeburgh (pronounced "old brer"), means “old fort.” Located 87 miles north-east of London, it was once a thriving port and ship building center. The fort and much of the Tudor town is gone – lost to the sea. As with other prominent towns along the coast, it is now a favorite tourist center. But, in its hay days Sir Francis Drake's Golden Hind was built in Aldeburgh. The flagship of the Virginia Company, the Sea Venture is believed to have been built here in 1608.

 

Aldeburgh is the home of the famous composer, Benjamin Britten, who founded the Aldeburgh Festival of Arts in 1948. The town has since become renowned for cultural events of all types. Visitors are attracted by its shingle beach and fisherman huts, built in the 19th century. Two fish and chip shops are cited as among the best in the UK.

 

In 2003, Maggi Hambling designed a striking sculpture of a scallop shell. It stands starkly alone on the beach, rising 15 feet high. The Scallop, dedicated to Benjamin Britten, who used to walk along the beach in the afternoons, is made of stainless steel with two interlocking scallop shells, each broken.  The words "I hear those voices that will not be drowned” are punched out of the metal. These words are taken from Britten's opera Peter Grimes. People are encouraged to sit on it and listen to the sea. The sculptor has said, "An important part of my concept is that at the center of the sculpture, where the sound of the waves and the winds are focused, a visitor may sit and contemplate the mysterious power of the sea." The sculpture has been very controversial, repeatedly vandalized and the subject of petitions for removal.

The shore consists of a chesil beach, one of three major shingle structures in Great Britain. It is covered in small pebbles rather than sand.
The town’s historic buildings include a 16th century Moot Hall. It is still in use for council meetings and serves as the local museum. There are over 60 listed historic buildings and monuments in the town.