Monday, March 11, 2024

10 Fascinating Things About Suffolk Pink

As I delved deeper into researching my family tree recently, I unearthed a wealth of information linking generations of my ancestors to
Suffolk County. Births, marriages, deaths—all intricately woven into the fabric of this historic region. Despite my familial ties, Suffolk County remained a mystery to me until I embarked on this genealogical journey.

Curiosity piqued, I turned to the boundless expanse of knowledge at my fingertips—the internet. In my quest for understanding, I stumbled upon an unexpected revelation: Suffolk Pink. A color previously unknown to me, yet intrinsically linked to the land of my forebears.

Suffolk Pink, with its soft, rosy hue and earthy undertones, seemed to embody the essence of the county itself—timeless, rustic, and steeped in tradition. Imagining the quaint cottages and weathered farmhouses adorned in this gentle shade, I felt a sense of connection to a heritage I had only just begun to explore.

As I continued my journey of discovery, Suffolk Pink became more than just a color; it became a symbol of my ancestral roots, a tangible link to the past. With each revelation, I found myself drawn deeper into the rich tapestry of Suffolk County's history, eager to uncover the stories of those who came before me and the legacy they left behind.

Traditional Suffolk Pink refers to the characteristic color seen in the architecture of Suffolk County in England, particularly in older buildings like cottages, farmhouses, and rural structures. Here's a description:

1. Soft Rosy Hue: Suffolk Pink is a soft, warm, and slightly rosy hue that exudes a sense of charm and tradition. It's not a bold or vibrant pink; rather, it's a subtle, muted shade that blends well with the surrounding countryside.

2. Earthy Undertones: This color often has earthy undertones, leaning towards tones of terracotta, peach, or coral. These undertones give it a rustic and organic feel, evoking a connection to the natural landscape.

3. Whitewash Mix: Traditionally, Suffolk Pink is achieved by mixing natural pigments such as earth oxides or iron oxide with whitewash or lime wash. This mixture results in a soft, weathered appearance that ages beautifully over time. 

4. According to research, Suffolk Pink dates back to the 14th century, when these shades were developed by local dyers by adding natural substances to a traditional limewash mix. Additives used in this process include pig or ox blood
with buttermilkelderberries and sloe juice.

5. Weathered Patina: Over the years, exposure to the elements causes Suffolk Pink buildings to develop a weathered patina, enhancing their character and adding to their rustic appeal. This patina varies in intensity, giving each building a unique and timeless quality.

6. Complementary Accents: Typically, Suffolk Pink buildings are accented with contrasting elements such as white or cream-colored trim, doors, and window frames. This contrast highlights the architectural features and adds visual interest to the overall appearance.

7. Regional Identity: Suffolk Pink is deeply rooted in the architectural heritage of Suffolk County, representing a sense of regional identity and cultural heritage. It's a cherished characteristic of the landscape, reflecting the history and tradition of the area.

8. Locals and historians often state that a true Suffolk Pink should be a "deep dusky terracotta shade", rather than the more popular pastel hue of modern times. This has caused controversy in the past when home and business-owners alike have been reprimanded for using colours deemed incorrect, with some being forced to repaint to an acceptable shade. In 2013, famous chef Marco Pierre White had his 15th-century hotel, The Angel, in Lavenham, decorated a shade of pink that was not traditional Suffolk Pink. He was required by local authorities to repaint.

9. The historic Suffolk Pink colour has also inspired the name of a British apple.   And so when a new apple variety was discovered in Suffolk in the late 1970s, with attractive pinkish-red skin over a pale yellow background, the name Suffolk Pink was an inspired choice. Suffolk Pink is the best early apple, ripening by mid-August. It is a hardcrisp apple, with a pleasantly juicy flesh, and a flavour offering a good balance between acidity and sweetness. Its flavour is good, moderately intense. 

Today there are several shades of pink used for historic Suffolk houses, such as rose pink, shell pink, raspberry and geranium, and there are often restrictions on the colour that can be used in the case of a listed house.

Overall, traditional Suffolk Pink embodies a sense of warmth, harmony with nature, and a connection to the past, making it an iconic feature of the English countryside.

At the heart of my being lies the fervent spirit of a researcher, and nothing brings me greater joy than delving into the intricate branches of my family tree. Each discovery, each connection unearthed fills me with a profound sense of fulfillment. With each ancestor uncovered, I piece together fragments of a puzzle that is my heritage, tracing the footsteps of those who came before me. It's not just a hobby; it's a passion that resonates deep within me, driving me to unravel the mysteries of my ancestry and forge a stronger bond with my roots.  My cheeks are rosy (Suffolk Pink) with sheer delight!

Patti xo

COPYRIGHT 2007-2024 Patti Friday b.1959.

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