Facts about Aldeburgh
The name “Aldeburgh” derives from the Old English ald (old) and burh (fortification), although this structure, along with much of the Tudor town, has now been lost to the sea. In the 16th century, Aldeburgh was a leading port and had a flourishing shipbuilding industry. The flagship of the Virginia Company, the Sea Venture is believed to have been built here in 1608. Aldeburgh’s importance as a port declined as the River Alde silted up and larger ships could no longer berth. It survived mainly on fishing until the 19th century when it also became a seaside resort. Much of its distinctive, whimsical architecture dates from that period.
Aldeburgh is an English town on the North Sea coast in the county of Suffolk, to the north of the River Alde. It was home to the composer Benjamin Britten and has been the centre of the international Aldeburgh Festival of arts at nearby Snape Maltings, founded by Britten in 1948. It remains an arts and literary centre, with an annual poetry festival and several food festivals and other events.
As a Tudor port, Aldeburgh gained borough status in 1529 under Henry VIII. Its historic buildings include a 16th-century moot hall and a Napoleonic-era Martello Tower. Second homes make up about a third of its housing. Visitors are drawn to its Blue Flag shingle beach and fisherman huts, where fresh fish are sold daily, by Aldeburgh Yacht Club, and by its cultural offerings.