is located in a picturesque setting on the north of the River Alde, five miles from the North Sea coastal town of Aldeburgh. Set in an area of outstanding natural beauty, often portrayed by views of the famous Maltings Concert Hall with its backdrop of the marshes, the parish comprises of around 380 households and 1700 acres of land of which about 300 are open heath and common land. The village has a rich history that includes the site of a Saxon burial ship, discovered in 1862 and dating back to between AD410 and AD650; it is also listed in the Domesday Book survey ordered by William the Conqueror in 1086. By 1155 the village had a Priory built by William Martell, a local landowner, who later took part in the Third Crusade. The Priory remained open until 1525 when Cardinal Wolsey closed it and stripped its assets to use, at least in part, to set up Ipswich School.
The already thriving port at Snape was bought by the Victorian entrepreneur Newson Garrett in the 1800s and he built what is now the world famous Snape Maltings for the malting of barley. Produce from the maltings was sent on barges to London and exported to mainland Europe but, after 120 years, they ceased operation and by 1965 the buildings had fallen in to disuse. Benjamin Britten lived in Snape for a time; it was when he was here that he wrote much of his first opera, Peter Grimes. In 1948 Britten established the Aldeburgh Festival which, by the early 1960s, had grown to such an extent that Britten sought to establish a concert hall for it. This lead, in the mid 1960s, to the lease and conversion of the largest malt house in the now redundant maltings complex. Snape Maltings Concert Hall was opened by the Queen in 1967 and along with the Aldeburgh Festival has since established a world class reputation. Today Snape Maltings is a popular visitor site, home to a range of fashionable shops, galleries, restaurants, Aldeburgh Music’s creative campus and, of course, the beautiful Concert Hall.
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