The Dracula Society
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Society Suffolk Trip 2012
THE FOLLOWING ITINERARY IS FROM A PAST SOCIETY TRIP, AND IS PRESENTED FOR INTEREST ONLY, TO ILLUSTRATE THE TYPE OF TRIP THAT THE SOCIETY ORGANISES WITHIN THE UNITED KINGDOM
GHOSTS and WITCHFINDERS
In the footsteps of M. R. James and Matthew Hopkins "Witchfinder General".
A long weekend based in Bury St. Edmunds, visiting Aldeburgh, Great Livermere, Lavenham, Orford Castle, and the Priories at Thetford and Castle Acre.
Bury St. Edmunds
We make our own travel arrangements to the charming, historic market town of Bury St. Edmunds for a three night stay in centrally located guest house accommodation, within walking distance of the railway station. We shall meet in the evening for dinner at a local restaurant (price not included).
After breakfast, depart from the hotel and drive to the beautiful medieval market town of Lavenham, with its Tudor buildings.
As well as featuring in Michael Reeves’ film Witchfinder General, Lavenham was one of the stomping grounds of the real Matthew Hopkins.
Lavenham Town Hall
We will continue southwards to Aldeburgh - renamed Seaburgh in M. R. James’ A Warning to the Curious, and there we shall have lunch at The White Lion (called 'The Bear' in A Warning to the Curious). After lunch we visit the church where James worshipped with his grandmother as a child. Following in the footsteps of the protagonists of A Warning.... we shall take the path through the churchyard to the beach, and visit the Martello tower also mentioned in the story. Finally we drive south to Orford Castle, scene of the grisly climax to the film Witchfinder General.
Return to Bury St. Edmunds for evening at leisure.
Leaving Bury St. Edmunds we drive to Great Livermere, where M. R. James lived at the rectory during his childhood years from 1865 to 1873. This location provided the inspiration for his story A Vignette. We then continue our journey to visit the 14th century church and parsonage of St. John the Evangelist at Rushford. This church doubled as Brandeston Church, home of John and Sarah Lowes in Witchfinder General. Next we visit the remains of the 12th Century Thetford Priory, continuing on to Thompson for a lunch stop at the Chequers Inn. Finally we visit another splendidly romantic location, the ruined Castle Acre Priory, featured in Roger Corman’s The Tomb of Ligeia. Return to Bury St. Edmunds for dinner at a local restaurant (not included).
Castle Acre Priory
Depart Bury St. Edmunds at your own leisure or take the chance to explore the sights of this historic town, such as the Cathedral and Abbey Gardens.