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29 October 2014

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You are in: Suffolk > History > Abolition > Grave history lesson for Suffolk children

Clarkson graves, Playford

Clarkson graves, Playford

Grave history lesson for Suffolk children

Pupils from Holbrook High School near Ipswich made a visit to Thomas Clarkson's home. He lived at Playford from 1813 and died there in 1846.

A trip to the Hall

(Reporter: Kyle Richards with the help of Jamie Fookes and our history teacher Mrs Byrne.)

We walked up the curved gravel pathway to Playford Hall, Clarkson's former home on the outskirts of Ipswich. We arrived at the spectacular entrance and crossed the walkway over the walled moat.

Holbrook High School pupils

We turned our backs on the green of the grounds and entered the gravel courtyard via an iron gate. The wisteria was so old that it had almost taken over the side of the grand residence. When we started to explore we saw formal gardens, flowers and even a stone birdbath with carvings around it.

We saw a painting of Clarkson standing next to the biggest tree in the courtyard just 4 weeks before his death. The tree is no longer there. My mate Jamie was lucky enough to go inside Playford Hall.  When he reappeared he said enthusiastically: “Wow! That was the greatest house I have ever been inside. There were loads of oil paintings with classic golden frames and a chandelier the same size as me."

The current drawing room had been Clarkson’s study and he died in it in 1846. Jamie said " it was a strange feeling: "It was weird to think that I had stood where Clarkson too had stood and that I had been so near to the spot where he had died." Jamie described the atmosphere in the house as incredibly warm.

We feel privileged to have been able to go to Playford Hall, it has helped us to feel close to Clarkson as an individual. We have learned a lot about his personality based on where he spent his final years.

Playford Church

(Reporters: Maia Green, Alex Dell and Josh Ling.)

We visited St Mary's Church in Playford, which is the final resting place of local hero Thomas Clarkson.  Thomas Clarkson did so much for the abolition of the slave trade and is remembered by the proud memorials in the grounds and inside the church.

On the other side of the grand lych-gate a long gravel path leads you to the glorious building. On the left is the towering memorial that represents Thomas Clarkson's achievements.  Among the many graves on the right of the path are the graves of his wife, son and Thomas Clarkson himself enclosed by iron railings.

Suffolk Records Office

Holbrook High pupils at the Suffolk Records Office

Our reporters Peter Loveland and Flo Cocker interviewed the Playford historian Brian Seward.  He spent over six months tracking the Clarkson family for a special celebration and lunch at the church hall.

Overall we thought it was a great experience to have been able to visit such an important place at such a special time. To be able to see where Clarkson was buried and the plaque was really interesting. They showed off his greatness as a revolutionary man in British history. We think that everyone enjoyed being there, and could only wish that we could go again!

Many thanks to Brian Seward and the other people associated with the church, David Jones from Ipswich Museum, Lesley Walker, Mrs Byrne, Mr Mower and all the people at BBC Radio Suffolk who made it possible.

last updated: 11/04/2008 at 13:21
created: 16/05/2007

You are in: Suffolk > History > Abolition > Grave history lesson for Suffolk children

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