Owners should be commended

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Alan Moore’s letter deserves a reply, if only to put the record straight.

The ground elevation of The Anchor, recently removed and replaced with a shop frontage, only dated from the late 1930s.

It was an attempt at that time to link two buildings of different styles behind a uniform mock Tudor facade on the ground floor only.

The present owners have done the same thing with a style in keeping with the other shops nearby. The upper floors remain intact.

When it functioned as a pub, it had two doors on to the street. One was in Friars Street, which served the original Anchor, the other was officially on Market Hill and was the entrance to what is the last remaining fragment of the old White Hart Inn, which closed in the 18th century.

The Anchor started life as a cloth merchant’s house in the late 14th century, with extensive accommodation at the rear.

The earliest recorded date when it became an inn was 1651, when Thomas Polley founded a charity whereby 19 dozen loaves of bread were given at certain times out of proceeds of a house called “The Anchor”.

In 1724, Susan Gurling of Sudbury, a widow, by her will left the property in trust to supply 50 shirts and 50 smocks yearly for those receiving coats through Thomas Carter’s charity.

The White Hart next door took its name from the emblem of Richard II who was crowned by Simon of Sudbury and was built in the late 14th century to accommodate merchants attending Sudbury’s annual fairs (of which there were three) and for pilgrims on their way to St Edmunds shrine in Bury.

It also accommodated Rowland Taylor for one night on his way from London to Hadleigh in 1555 to be burned at the stake in the reign of Mary I.

By 1766, Charles Hurrell of Brundon Hall was trying to find a buyer but failed. Ten years later, it was sold off in lots and the owners of The Anchor bought the fragment which is easily identified with its overhanging upper floor. This had contained an assembly room on the upper floor and a shop beneath, which still remains.

The Anchor sign is of no great age (1936). It is always sad when a pub closes, but it does look good in its new guise and we should be grateful for that and for the courage of the new owners to take it on – well done.

Barry Wall

Alphamstone