bringing the community together
Rattlesden village lies in a sweeping valley between the market towns of Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket. Unusually for the county of Suffolk, this portion is decidedly hilly. This enhances Rattlesden's natural charm with the pleasant reaches of the locally known River Rat, a pretty rivulet feeding the river Gipping. Rattlesden has a fascinating history concerning the River Rat, where surprisingly navigation plays a key role. A unique feature of the village are a pair of whalebones that span the river, sadly now replicas of the originals. There is a strong community spirit within the village which is evident in the church, chapel, two pubs, and numerous organisations. The post office and village shop which is run by volunteers, is yet an other example of the dedication and enthusiasm of village residents.
Rattlesden retains such a character and warmth thus making this rural parish a little gem!
The village sign at the entrance to the village was made by Edward Hitchcock of Gedding Mill Forge in 1991. Based on a design by Mrs. Linda Wood, the sign portrays an archway of whalebones within which are set the village church and stream, across them lying an anchor.
Rattlesden has long been connected in tradition with navigation (see history). In 1814 a visitor to the village was shown a ring on the church door as being made from an anchor found in the river bed, and later that century the owner of the nearby house set up the whalebones across the stream, these are the elements that make up the sign.
A small plate on the post beneath the sign depicts the "Rattlesden St. John the Evangelist", formerly part of a crucifion group, which was discovered in a ploughed field in the village. The experts date this figure to approximately 1180 and it was sold at Christie's for a considerable sum.