Unique amongst Suffolk villages, virtually every building here dates from the period 1910-30, when the land owner, Stuart Ogilvy, created a purpose built resort and country club. Many of the buildings are mock-Tudor or half-timbered in design. One exception is the post mill, built in Aldringham in 1803, and moved to the present site to pump water into the 85 foot high storage tank nearby, The tank structure is also a habitable and is known as the "House in the Clouds". Central to Ogilvy's creation is the 65 acre boating lake, referred to as the Mere.
Thorpeness Station opened in 1914 on the Saxmundham-Aldeburgh line; it was closed by Beeching in 1966. The station platform still exists and the old track-bed is now a footpath.
White's Directory (1855) describes it as a small hamlet and fishing station of about 140 people. Local folklore stories of it relate to the area once being a route for smugglers into East Anglia. The hamlet is also a part of Aldringham parish. We have so far been unable to find a map showing the boundary between Aldringham and Thorpeness, so only the parish boundary appears on our map.
The 1861 census lists Maria Watson/Head/Widow/58y/born Westleton as an Innkeeper in Thorpe Hamlet, Aldringham with Abraham Watson/Son, Sailor/26y/Thorpe, Suffolk; Sophia Watson/Daughter, School Mistress/24y/Thorpe, Suffolk & Mary Watson/Daughter/19y/Thorpe, Suffolk.
The 1879 lists William Thomas Smith as a beer retailer (& carpenter) Thorpe (Crown?)
The 1900 Kelly's Directory also lists Alfred Smith as a beer retailer (& shopkeeper) (Crown?) (then par…