Village Businesses

Village Businesses

Rolfes of Walsham | Clarkes of Walsham | The Blue Boar | The Six Bells

A butcher, a baker, and a candlestick maker…

Walsham may no longer have a baker or a candlestick maker, or many other commercial enterprises but what it does have is done very well. This includes the excellent Rolfes Butchers, a similarly long- established builders’ merchant, Clarkes of Walsham, two pubs, the Blue Boar and The Six Bells.

Rolfes of Walsham | 01359 259225 |

Rolfes of Walsham from the opposite side of The Street

Rolfes premises on The Street in Walsham le Willows has been the location of a butchers for over 130 years. Paul Hubbard, the current owner, has run Rolfes of Walsham since April 2001. Rolfes employs seven staff, and remain true to traditional butchering methods sourcing local produce wherever possible.

As well as what you would usually expect from a good butcher Rolfes also stocks newspapers and flowers, as well as offering a prescription pick up service.

Rolfes were awarded Suffolk’s Best Butcher 2007 by the East Anglian Daily Times’ Suffolk Food and Drink Awards.

At Christmas Rolfes draws custom from far and wide and on Christmas Eve the Salvation Army Band stops by to play a few tunes outside.

Clarkes of Walsham | 01359 259 259 |

Clarkes of Walsham logo

Founded by Horace F. Clarke, of whom a drawing featured in the WEEKLY DISPATCH of 1898 on account of his ‘remarkable successes at swimming’.

Horace was the son of a well-known auctioneer and took over his father’s business in the early 1900’s. The auctioning of agricultural requisites led to his establishing a timber yard, which after the First World War had become the builders’ merchant, Horace F. Clarkes.

In 1954 this business became a limited company and today is still a family business of four generations. The premises occupy a discreet 10 acresite in the unspoilt village of Walsham-le-Willows.

Clarkes of Walsham, aerial view of yard from the east

The last 30 years have seen steady expansion with Clarkes now employing 100 people and running a large fleet to deliver their goods throughout England from what is a very well organised and maintained site.

Clarkes are one of the largest independent suppliers of building, farming and garden materials in East Anglia, and fast becoming the number one outlet for Cartridge and Shooting Accessories in East Anglia and beyond.

Public Houses

Walsham-le-Willows is fortunate to have not one, but two pubs, both with their own distinct characters and clientèle as well as long histories.  The Walsham History Group review number 29 has more on that history for the Six Bells and the Blue Boar from from 1398 and 1447 respectively.

The Blue Boar | Betty | 01359 256 944 |

Free standing pub sign. Above a large circle “FREE HOUSE” and below “BLUE BOAR”. In the circle is the head and shoulders of a strange looking blue boar who has bright red tusks – a slightly fantastical style of drawing.

This Public House was first recorded as brewing and selling ale until 1360 and the first mention of its medieval name of Bays was when John and Alice Bray surrendered 1/2 an acre of land to a John Redwood and his wife Joan.

In 1817 it was recorded as being a public house named the ‘Boat’.  The Blue Boar website has details of what is on offer at this pub where there is good food and regular entertainment.

The Six Bells | Gordon | 01359 259726

A cream coloured thatched two story building on the corner of one part of the crossroads. Gold lettered sign on side “Six Bells”.

The first record of this establishment selling ale was in 1423. This house was known as ‘Fullers’ from around 1476 when John and Margaret Fuller lived there. The present building was said to be ‘newly built’ in 1523, and it finally became known as a Public House in 1844. It is first recorded as being named the Six Bells in the 1861 census.

Find more detail about the history of this public house on the Historic Trail Walk page and also in the History Group Review, number 19 and number 29.

The Six Bells is a Greene King house and is a traditional country pub.  Food can be provided to order, for example, soup and rolls for the Bank Holiday walks that are involve a large group of walkers from the village. There are also regular barbeques that are held throughout the summer.

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