Remains of Clare Castle home of our patrons the De Clare’s, Earls of Gloucester

On Tuesday, 4th July, I had the great privilege and pleasure to accompany a group of Gloucester freemen and women on a venture to Clare and Sudbury in Suffolk. We were driven, in a mini-bus by President Mr Lee Hensley. The journey from west to east being around 170 miles to Clare. (340-50 m. round trip). Although there was heavy rain at times we had a very comfortable and happy voyage.

In good time we arrived at Clare Country Park to view the remaining Keep of the castle, flying the chevroned flag of the De Clare’s. The Motte may well be the tallest remaining in the England. After some refreshments we travelled on eight miles to the ‘Mill’ at Sudbury. We joined (as guests) the Sudbury Freemen, and rangers. for their annual walk over the Common Lands.

The Gloucester Freemen stretch their legs and view the castle motte.

Ranger Nick Shimwell discussing the grazing conditions.

Fortunately, the rather wet weather held back for our excursion. At 4.00pm we strolled over to the Christopher Centre for a generous ‘high tea’ and conversations with the Sudbury freemen and other guests. The Sudbury freemen drew their ‘Common Monies’ before we began heading back to Gloucestershire. A good time was had by all and perhaps we can arrange a reciprocal visit by the Sudbury Freemen to Gloucester.

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