Clare is an ancient small town dating to pre-Roman times. Until Domesday it was called Clara, which some link with the Anglo-Saxon 'Clara's place', but which perhaps comes from the Latin word 'clarus', meaning illustrious, renowned, or clear - the place of light or of clear water. The change to 'Clare' may have come when William the Conqueror translated the speech of the Norman language into the written word: it had certainly been made by 1198.

Nethergate Brewery was founded in premises on the High Street in 1986, but crossed the river to nearby Pentlow in 2004 as more space was needed. In 2017 the brewery crossed the Stour again with newly-built premises in Long Melford. The building which housed the brewery has been demolished for a residential development. Roughacre Brewery moved from Castle Camps (Cambridgeshire) to premises on Cavendish Road in 2021.

Chilton Street is a small hamlet in the north-west of Clare parish, which used to have a steam mill, a windmill and a pub. The (long-closed) pub and the windmill still stand, though the mill looks as if the artillery has been taking pot-shots at it (see the gallery).

Earthworks on Upper common are believed to be Iron age defences…




The 1841 census lists John Hammond as a Brewer, Nethergate Street, Head/55/born Suffolk.

The 1844 White's Directory lists Susan Jarvis (Bridewell Street) and John Rivett (Chilton Street) as beer house keepers.

The 1851 census lists:

Phillip Bird, Innkeeper, Calais [Callis] Street, Head/Married/39/born Saffron Walden, Essex.

Edward Starr, Pauper (Innkeeper) [may mean retired], Honey Hill, Head/Married/74/born Tickenham, Somerset.

The 1855 White's Directory lists James Bareham (Callis Street), Susan Jarvis (Bridewell Street) and John Rivett (Chilton Street) as beer house keepers.

The 1861 census lists…


(Some historical information from English Heritage's National Monuments Record)
(** news report reproduced with kind permission from Foxearth & District Local History).