Plan to make Red Lion roar

The Red Lion, Icklingham
The Red Lion, Icklingham
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Elveden Estate hopes Icklingham’s Red Lion could become a draw for visitors to the historic village.

The estate, which owns the Red Lion and The Plough at the other end of the village on the A1101, wants to see the historic inn reborn in the same way it has developed the Elveden Inn.

The Plough Inn and All Saints Church

The Plough Inn and All Saints Church

A spokeswoman for the estate said: “We don’t think the village can support two pubs so we’re talking to the planners about a change of use for The Plough then the Red Lion can be developed.

“We would develop the Red Lion in line with the character of the building, do a sympathetic restoration and add to it, hopefully with things like rooms.”

The estate would also like to open up the pubs overgrown garden, which runs down to the river.

Both pubs have been empty for some time, with the Red Lion only finding use as a stopping place for the mobile library.

Icklingham village sign

Icklingham village sign

The spokeswoman added: “If we can get the permission we need, the pub could be a thriving place and that would bring a lot of life into the village. It’s on the road from Bury To Mildenhall with the air bases nearby.”

The estate hopes The Plough could become housing, retaining the current building and building new homes on the land beside it.

The Red Lion used to be a popular watering holes for walkers using the Ickneild Way, a long distance ancient trackway that runs through the village.

Footpaths linking to the trackway include a walk along the River Lark to Mildenhall.

The area is also popular with bird watchers because of the neighbouring Cavenham Heath national nature reserve, with its stone curlews and nightjars, and the wetlands around the river.

The village also boasts two churches, the larger St Jame’s is still in use and has its own fund raising group, while the redundant 11th century All Saints, with its unusual thatched roof, is cared for by the Churches Conservation Trust.