Sunday, 28 October 2007


Polstead is where Maria Martin was murdered. She also lived in Polstead for most of her life with the exception of some alleged wayward fluttering around London and elsewhere. The red barn, where the deed took place, is no longer there. Nowadays the farmland where it sat is just that, farmland. I had an opportunity to visit Polstead and using a map I got from Moyse's Hall in Bury St. Edmunds I took a look around. Since then I have found a few other maps in books.
(From - The Red Barn Mystery: Some New Evidence on an Old Murder)

Along with a cohort I had a look for the red barn and managed to find the area where it was. According to the map I was looking at and the little I read about its location I figured it to be about 50 metres or so off the road we were on (Martin's Lane). But since it was on private property decided not to venture any closer. Since it was burnt down in 1842 there is nothing to suggest anything much ever took place there, except grazing.

We also stopped at
St. Mary's Church, where Maria Martin was buried. Her tombstone has been gradually chipped away to nothing by souvenir seeking visitors. I found a picture of the location where Maria Martin was buried before the tombstone had completely disappeared. The remnants are slightly below the cross hair.
(from Buried Passions: Maria Martin and the Murder in the Red Barn)

There's little to suggest that the churchyard is anything other than the final resting place for the people of Polstead. Although there is a weathered wooden panel that is fixed to a shed around one side of the church.


This blog is a way for me to provide a few musings about the Red Barn Murder. I won't outline what actually took place. This has already been done to a very good standard on the St Edmundsbury Borough Council website. There are a lot of images, mainly taken from the St Edmundsbury site, on the net. I have found a few others which are from out-of-print books I have managed to get hold of. I will endeavour to put these on soon.

(from Buried Passions: Maria Martin and the Murder in the Red Barn)