Open spaces

Eye Castle

The Eye Castle ruin is a scheduled ancient monument located within the town of Eye.

There is a walled, flat grassy area which is popular for picnics and in Summer children’s activities and outdoor theatre productions are held.

Views of the town and countryside can be seen from the folly on top of the mound (Motte). To see the view you need to climb some steep stone steps.

Eye castle grounds are open from Easter to October they are opened by volunteers each day and only at weekends during the winter months.

There is no parking on site. Please use the town centre car park, signage will lead you to the castle.

Interpretation boards at the Castle tell the story of Eye Castle and its links to both local and national events.

Eye is an attractive market town with a wonderful church, many old houses and places to eat and drink. It is worth a visit.

The castle had close associations with royalty since the Norman Conquest in 1066 and was probably used as a defensive site for many centuries before that.

The original castle was a small Norman ‘motte and bailey’ built around 1068 following the Norman conquest of England. The motte is the high defensive mound which would have had a keep on the top whilst the ‘bailey’ is the level area in front of the mound. Sections of the curtain wall that once circled the ‘inner bailey’ are all that remain of the 12th century castle.

Now the ruins of a folly built in the 19th century are at the top of the motte and can be accessed by a flight of steep stone steps.

The castle was important for about 200 years then fell into ruin in the late 13th century. The Castle grounds have been used as a jail, a workhouse and a school.

The Pennings

A short walk; 30 minutes around the site allows visitors to look for bird life along the river and wildflowers in the meadows.

From the Pennings there are longer walks on the Mid Suffolk footpath.

This site on the east bank of the River Dove and is managed as a hay meadow.

You can spot from the riverbank kingfishers and water voles.

Dog walkers are a welcome providing that they pick up after their dogs.

Access from Ludgate Causeway, off Hoxne Road.


Church Meadow Local Nature Reserve

This was the formal gardens of a large manor house that stood next to St Mary’s Church.

Church Meadow is no longer a formal garden but a space for nature.

In Spring you can find many birds in the hedgerows, Whitethroats and Yellowhammers can be heard.

Wild flowers grow in the meadow, Southern marsh orchids can found.

The lower meadow, has a small pond where dragonflies and grass snakes can sometimes be spotted.

You can still see some of the remains of the formal garden, the symmetrical field, a round pond and levelled embankments.

Visitors are welcome but dogs must be kept on a lead and clear up after them.

An information board is onsite with the history of the gardens.

Green’s Meadow

The area is a designated a County Wildlife Site, due to its rich variety of wildlife and ancient trees in the wooded area. 

There are grassy paths to walk on, in winter some areas do flood.

There are some Otters and Water vole.

In the old meadow you can find Adder’s Tongue Fern and Brown Sedge.

The area of willow scrub you can hear warblers sing in the Summer

Pike’s Meadow

Pike's Meadow is a recreation space close to the centre of Stowmarket the River Rattlesden runs alongside.

There are children’s play areas for younger and older children.

Football goals and basketball net.

Some meadow grassland and small wooded area.