W for Woodbridge

Watery and Wordless are two adjectives that have memed themselves to Wednesday -as well as Wildlife and Weather – all together these best describe my attachment to Woodbridge in the wetland of the Deben estuary of Suffolk.

Naturally boats are in evidence everywhere here with clubs, quays and harbours for all kinds of sailors and rowers – and there is even a model boat lake. I’m a mere onlooker having never taken to the aquatic side of life though I fantasize about sculling like a water boatman.

serenity at anchor

Viking longboats were a 7th century feature of this waterscape with their settlement on the hilly right bank of Sutton Hoo whilst Woodbridge evolved some three centuries later on the left bank as a monastic endowment of the Bishopric of Winchester

Grey skies mute the colours of Woodbridge harbour and its famous Tide Mill

Being less than 12 miles from the mouth of the river at Felixstowe, the Deben is tidal with “a tendency to be fringed by mud rather than water for a large half of each tide”.*  These exposed mudflats are a lure for assorted wading birds and their cries are often the only sounds to break the silence.

ebb tide reveals skeletal remains of a quay

The jostling back and forth between earth and water leaves sand bars and saltmarsh in a mosaic of islets

sunlight battling with heavy cloud turns the wet shoreline from grey to silver

As far as the eye can see across this flat landscape, the Deben meanders languidly all the way to the sea.

the green boat is one that really caught my eye

Tomorrow I visit these same spots in a Black and White medium in an attempt to capture the minimalist ambience I am drawn to.

*Navigating the Deben
Suffolk Saltmarshes

It’s appropriate to be joining  ‘Travel with Intent’ as Debbie’s theme this week is Wet


6 thoughts on “W for Woodbridge

    1. it is that stillness of water which settles the jangled nerves of a city dweller! p.s. by rights I should have used the term Anglo-Saxon (though a debateable term in itself) as these were Germanic settlers rather than the later raiders/pirates or Vikings of Denmark and Norway

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