Pictures of Sizewell
in the county of Suffolk
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In latter day history Sizewell is perhaps best known for the huge nuclear power stations built here in the 1960's. These dominate the shore for miles, but centuries ago when it was naught but a sleepy village it was renowned for the smuggling activities of the notorious Hadleigh Gang of the 17th century. Their exploits are still talked of to this day, and often they are mentioned in the history books covering the region. Boats crammed with illicit cargo would anchor off-shore awaiting the dead of night when goods would be off-loaded and taken to "safe" houses or buried beneath the sandy soil of the common until it was safe to move the contraband on. Legend tells us that a record 8,000 gallons of gin was landed in just one night, and there are tales of bloody battles between the smugglers and the Dragoons, which often resulted in death. But Sizewell was not just a den of villains' it had many decent residents, some left behind them tales of seeing up to one hundred carts gathered on the beach and up to three hundred horses - for those involved in smuggling there were rich pickings to be had.
The Vulcan Arms is an atmospheric pub believed to date from the 17th century, but this is uncertain as present pub records only go back to 1844 when it was owned by a Mr. Joseph Baxter. However, it is probable that an inn may have stood on this spot since medieval times, certainly there is talk of an inn there during the heady days of smuggling, when it would have been an important meeting place for the smugglers, who would have doubtless plotted their adventures over a jug of ale!
Today the village acts purely as a destination for tourists and holidaymakers. It has a wealth of wealth of wildlife, Minsmere Wildlife Sanctuary lies a few miles up the coast and Sizewell is often visited by birdwatchers. It is also an excellent yachting centre, and is particularly good for angling off-shore. One of the delightful sights of the area, although marred by unsightly shadow of Sizewell's nuclear power station, is of the colourful up-turned small fishing craft beached-up on the shingle and sand beach.
Pleasant hotels can be discovered and next to the Vulcan Arms there is a caravan site. Holiday cottages are also available. There are scattered cottages and a few shops, but for larger stores try nearby Aldeburgh.
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