This week I’m visiting my niece, her husband, and my great-niece in Mildenhall.  He’s in the Air Force and was stationed here recently.  The U.S. has 3 bases in the area, the largest being Lakenheath.  Turns out Mildenhall is part of Bury St. Edmunds, an ancient market town.  We’ll be going to visit the gorgeous Abbey Gardens there tomorrow, so come back and have a peek!

Since Mildenhall houses the Air Force, I was expecting to see a lot of gray government-type buildings, a smart efficiently laid-out neighborhood – strictly boring.   But Mildenhall surprised me.  This little town is made up of cozy old cottages, sprawling meadows filled with sheep, cows, and horses, and winding tree-lined roads.  And Mildenhall has a very rich history.

The town's lineage goes back to Anglo-Saxon times.  The Domesday Book records Mildenhall as being well-established in 1086, with a church, a mill, 64 families, and 1,000 sheep.  A real swinging hotspot!  :)  My niece and I decided to go to afternoon tea and as we walked through the town we passed an ancient-looking structure that we later discovered is called the Market Cross.  It’s been the site of the Mildenhall Market since the 1400s, and also where the abbot of Bury St. Edmunds had criminals hanged.  During the 1381 Peasants’ Uprising, John de Cambridge, the prior of the abbey at Bury St Edmunds, was murdered on Mildenhall Heath.

Traces of settlement from the Old Stone Age onwards have been found in the marshy fenland of Mildenhall and the Romans had a ring of farmsteads around the fen edge.  The fabulous Mildenhall Treasure - thirty-two pieces of silver tableware from the Roman period, now in the British Museum - was discovered near one of these farmsteads during the Second World War.

We had afternoon tea at a lovely place called The Riverside Hotel.  My first official British teatime!  Sooooo yummy and fun.  We sat outside in the garden, by a little stream.  Heaven.  So today I’m posting pics of our tea, and some of me with my niece and little grand-niece Scarlett.

See you tomorrow in the Abbey Gardens!


08/06/2013 6:28am

Ohhhh, it all sounds (and looks!) so lovely!


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