THE Moot Hall in Aldeburgh is considered to be one of the best preserved timber framed public Tudor buildings in Britain. During the early sixteenth century Aldeburgh grew from being a small fishing village into a prosperous ship-building and trading town. In 1529 it was granted Borough status by Henry VIII and the building of the Moot Hall around 1550 reflects its growing importance. The sundial on the South gable was added in 1650.
But the Hall is situated very close to the seafront and is subjected to the vagaries of harsh weather from the North Sea. By the mid-nineteenth century it had fallen into serious disrepair. In addition to replacing most of the brickwork two tall chimneys were added, replicas of kitchen chimneys from Hampton Court.
Today the upper floor of the Hall accommodates the town museum.
Alderburgh’s most famous son is undoubtedly the composer Benjamin Britten. The opening scene of his opera Peter Grimes is set in the council chamber of the Moot Hall. The story of Peter Grimes is based on a poem by George Crabbe (born in Aldeburgh in 1754).