Suffolk remains one of the most remote, attractive
and unspoilt counties in England as the
photographs in this book amply portray. While
its largest towns have all the vibrancy of modern
life, much of the county is rural, retaining its character
founded in earlier times: pretty villages with
timbered and brick built cottages, and isolated
farms as they have endured for centuries, set
solidly in the rolling landscape.
It is a county that
is imbued with history at every turn, and from
the earliest evidence of prehistoric times and the
Roman occupation, to medieval gems such as
Lavenham, and great country houses, each
appears in this superb collection of photographs.
As with its most famous artist, John Constable,
capturing the essential nature of Suffolk has been
the aim of photographer Mark Staples who, from
his home in Bury St Edmunds, has spent countless
hours travelling the county in search of
images for this book. From the most popular
attractions of the coast to intimate inland
locations that few others will have visited.
Portrait of Suffolk contains over 140 photographs
depicting a variety of colourful scenes from all
over the county, including Angel Hill with its
impressive Abbey Gate in Bury St Edmunds,
sailing boats on Oulton Broad and springtime
views of thatched cottages in Chelsworth.
Portrait of Suffolk is a beautiful keepsake for
visitors to the county and local residents alike.
Mark Staples came to Suffolk in 1994
as a newly qualified teacher of Modern
Languages and has remained here ever
since. His interest in photography began
in spring 2005, when Australian friends
on a visit to Suffolk took some rather
impressive images using a simple digital
compact. Inspired by these images and
having enjoyed drawing and painting as
a youngster, Mark decided to pursue this
newly discovered interest in digital
photography, and couple it with his
other love of travel. ‘My photography is
a complete hobby and helps maintain a
suitable work-life balance,’ he says. ‘I
particularly enjoy photographing monuments,
landmarks and landscapes where
architecture is a prominent feature, and
the challenge is to find that interesting
point of view or composition.’ His
images have been published in local and
national magazines, on postcards, in
calendars, in travel guides and in tourist
brochures both in the UK and abroad.
Imprint: Halsgrove. ISBN 978 1 84114 993 6, hardback, 214x230mm, 144 pages. Published April 2010.