Botesdale Village Sign
The Village Sign was erected in April, 2003. It has two identical faces, cast in light metal, that show painted panels in relief. These panels symbolise the developmental history of Botesdale. The sign is mounted on a brick/pebble plinth and supported by an oak post.
The modern name of Botesdale appears on the sign although many villagers still refer to it by its former name of Buddesdale. It is generally assumed that the village derived this name from St Botolph, and was formerly known as St Botolph's Dale but other sources cite a local tribal chief called Botwulf who gave the early hamlet the name Botwulf's Dale.
The coach and horses featured at the top of the sign refer to the time when the village was on a main coaching route and the Post Mill signifies the strong presence of six Botesdale windmills, none of which have survived.
The figure of St Botolph at the lower-centre is shown in a traditional form of abbey and monastic order. Hence the scroll and the model building. The depiction is of the exact monastic order to which St Botolph belonged, namely the Benedictine Order but the church is merely symbolic.
The ears of wheat and vegetables refer to the long-standing agricultural activities in Botesdale whilst the books and mathematical instruments indicate the links with the several scholastic establishments that have been in the village, most notably the Grammar School, founded by Sir Nicholas Bacon (Keeper of the Seal to Elizabeth I) in 1561. The parents of each child entered into the Grammar School had to provide, amongst other things, books, pen and ink and candles. The building housing the Grammar School was returned to the village in 1883. It is now known as The Chapel of Ease.
The wild flowers shown on the sign are purely for decorative purposes.
(With acknowledgement to Mrs Lesley Greenhough and Mr Brian Chandler)
28th April, 2003: Villagers attended a short ceremony when the Chairman of the Parish Council, Mr Tom Hodson used a convenient pole to unveil the new Village Sign.