A canine safe haven in Suffolk
'Pawsing' with Dodie Smith at St Peter's in Sudbury
Beloved author Dodie Smith lived just outside Sudbury in Suffolk for over 60 years and was a familiar sight in the town. Her affection for the town is clear in one of her most famous books: Sudbury's landmark St Peter's Church features as a brief safe haven for Pongo and Missis in Smith's first book for children, 101 Dalmations...
"Just before midnight they came to the market town of Sudbury. Pongo paused as they crossed the bridge over the River Stour. 'Here we enter Suffolk' he said, triumphantly. They ran on through the quiet streets of old houses and into the market square. They had hoped they might meet some dog and hear if any news of the puppies have come at the Twilight Barking, but not so much as a cat was stirring. While they were drinking at the fountain, church clocks began to strike midnight. Missis said gladly: 'Oh, Pongo, it's tomorrow! Now we shall be with our puppies today!'"
Visitors to the church today can still see the fountain where Pongo and Missus paused in their epic journey!
Following a major project in 2023, Sudbury Arts Centre is now the cultural hub of the town.