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The following people either
lived and worked in Saxmundham or had some bearing on the town.
(1810-1873) Landscape painter and member of the Norwich Society
of Artists or 'Norwich School' (John Sell Cottman and J B Chrome
are the most well-known of this group). Born in Saxmundham in 1810
in Ashford House (now the offices of Flick & Sons), son of famous
clockmaker Jerome Bright.
in London, during which he gained commercial and critical success,
he returned to Saxmundham in 1858 to live at Park Lodge in South
Entrance. Following further periods in London and abroad he settled
in Ipswich, where he died in 1873.
Thomas Thurlow was born and lived in Saxmundham
(1813-1899) Renowned sculptor
who created memorials in various churches in the area, including
a bust of the poet George Crabbe in Aldeburgh Church. His father,
John Thurlow (b. c1784), was
a builder and stonemason who built 'The White House' (now Holly
Lodge) in the High Street. Both are buried along with other members
of the Thurlow family in the churchyard of the parish church.
Thomas Thurlow was born in North Entrance in Saxmundham and went
to a school in Brook Cottage; Henry Bright went to the same school,
and in Thurlow's memoirs he also claims Newson Garrett (who later
built Snape Maltings) as a school friend. As a teenager he would
turn his hand to anything such as wood and plaster carving, polishing
stones, and he even made a violin, succeeding at the second attempt.
At the age of 23 he left home for London where he was engaged by
a monument manufacturer in Regents Street. During his spare time
he took lessons in oil painting, something he pursued throughout
his life (some of his paintings are in the Moot Hall in Aldeburgh).
After a time employed with the London Marble Works, where he gained
valuable experience of stone carving, Thurlow returned to Suffolk
first opening a business in Halesworth and then settling back in
Saxmundham in 1839.
During his life, Thurlow
completed many works for local people and various churches, including
a memorial to Sir C. Blois in Yoxford Church, a life-size statue
of Samuel Clouting in Kelsale Church, a marble bust of Richard Garrett
III in Leiston Church, and a commission from William Long of Hurts
Hall to carve a rose and spray for the entrance to his mansion.
As well as paid works, he exhibited widely including at the Royal
Academy and the Ipswich Fine Art Club.
active in the town being appointed the Secretary and manager of
the Saxmundham Gas Works (which was in Gas Hill now New Cut), he
was an Overseer for the Parish making and collecting the Rates,
he was the town Surveyor supervising the building of Gurneys bank
in Market Place amongst others, and in 1847 he acquired the License
for Photography for the County of Suffolk which he practised for
a time. He is reported to have given 'Penny Readings' in the Market
Hall reciting from Dickens to packed audiences.
webmaster is grateful to Les Higgs, editor of the Heritage Coast
Gazette who published a very interesting account of Thomas Thurlow
and granted permission for parts of it to be used here.
Richard Garrett III
was the successor to the world-renowned Richard Garrett & Co.,
Engineers of Leiston in Suffolk. He was a pioneer of the assembly
line method of production when he built the 'Long Shop' in 1853
for the large scale manufacture of traction engines.
with Saxmundham is that he lived at Carlton Hall (1/2 mile north
of Saxmundham) during the 1860s at the height of the success of
Garretts. The Hall overlooks Carlton parish church where Garrett
is buried with his wife. An invoice from J Woolterton of Saxmundham
in 1867, shows that he commissioned the jeweller to 'wind &
keep going' four clocks at Carlton Hall and a further four clocks
at the Leiston Works for the annual sum of £5.0.0.
The Long family have
been associated with Saxmundham from the 17th century, originally
coming from Wiltshire; there are several memorials to the Long family
in the parish church. South East of the town is Hurts Hall, the
seat of the Long family until the 1950s. The much older sub-manor
of the Swan family was absorbed into the Long manor in about 1778.
Samuel Long (1638-1683) was appointed secretary to the Jamaica Commissioners
after the conquest of that island. Lt Col Charles Long (1679-1723)
bought the Hurts Hall estate in the early part of the 18th century.
He was MP for Dunwich. A later Charles Long (1760-1838) became Lord
Farnborough and was MP successively for Rye, Midhurst and Haslemer
(but never for Dunwich as is sometimes cited). There is a monument
to the later Charles Long in Saxmundham Church but he did not live
According to the 1840 census, William Long lived in Hurts Hall with
his wife Ellenor, their five children, a governess, five male servants
and ten female servants. It was William who built the Market Hall
(originally a corn exchange), the school rooms next to the parish
church, and he donated the Town Pump.
When the contents of Hurts Hall were sold in 1958, the portraits
of the Longs were given to the Christchurch Mansion gallery in Ipswich
where they can be seen, and the records of the estates in Suffolk
and Jamaica were given to the Suffolk County Record Office.
Bright (1770-1846), a distinguished clockmaker who is included
in Bailey's [Baillie's?] Watchmakers and Clockmakers of the World.
At some time he worked at 23 High Street (now Kerseys) where one
of his clocks made around 1790 can be seen today. He was Henry Bright's
Stopher (b.1767) held many positions in Saxmundham including
Overseer, constable, and assistant commissioner of taxes; he was
auctioneer and postmaster.