|Location Map ( geo)|
|Distance:||14.1 miles (22.7 km)|
|Meets:||A12, B1117, B1123, B1062, B1435, A143|
|Old route now:||B1332|
|Route outline (key)|
The A144 is a relatively unimportant rural B-road, now wholly in Suffolk.
It starts by turning west off the A12 near Darsham. This village is famous for being the location of the only level crossing on the A12 and the A144 follows the railway line (from Ipswich to Lowestoft) northwards. After going through Bramfield it climbs a road optimistically titled The Hill before passing the village golf course and crossing the railway line at a level crossing, which retains its crossing keeper's cottage, even though the crossing itself is now automated.
Under a mile further on the road reaches Halesworth. The entrance to the town is surprisingly leafy but soon a T-junction is reached. To the left is the B1117 and the A144 TOTSOs right into the town centre. At a roundabout the road bears right onto a relief road; the old route, London Road and Thoroughfare, is very narrow and now partly pedestrianised. The old and new roads meet once more before going over the railway line just to the north of the station.
Leaving Halesworth, the A144 passes an industrial estate and reaches a roundabout. The road to the right leads to the former RAF Halesworth, now owned by farming company Bernard Matthews (and source of an outbreak of bird flu in 2007), although an airfield museum also exists on the site. The A144 continues northwards. It goes over the railway line one final time before continuing along a dead-straight section for well over a mile.
The road finally bends on reaching the scattered settlement of Ilketshall St Lawrence. The church of this name is not passed for some distance and appears to be quite isolated to the right of the road. The road bends to the left by another isolated church (at Ilketshall St John) before crossing a low hill to reach Bungay. The B1062 crosses on the near side of town and the A144 continues along St John's Road into the town centre.
The B1435 is met before the road passes St Mary's church to reach the main square and an elongated roundabout. This marks the start of a one-way loop. Northbound traffic runs along Earsham Street and TOTSOs right into Popson Street to reach a T-junction on Broad Street, which carries southbound traffic back to the roundabout. Despite the name, the southern end of Broad Street isn't, hence the need for the one-way system.
On classification in 1922 the A144 was twice its current length. It left Bungay along Bridge Street (on a multiplex along the A143) rather than Broad Street and then continued north via Woodton and Poringland, to end on the A146 at Trowse Newton, on the edge of Norwich. This road existed until at least the 1960s but has since been renumbered B1332, thus truncating the A144 back to Bungay.