Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for EYE

EYE, a town, a parish, and a sub-district, in Hartismere district, Suffolk. The town stands at the terminus of a branch from Mellis of the Great Eastern railway, 20 miles N of Ipswich. It was known to the Saxons as Eay, signifying "an island;" and it took that name from being nearly surrounded by a rivulet. It is irregularly built, and contains many thatched houses. It is a seat of petty sessions and of a county court; it had a castle, built by the Malets, soon after the Conquest; and it has a head post office, ‡ two banking offices, two chief inns, a modern town hall and corn exchange, gas-works, a church, two dissenting chapels, remains of a Benedictine monastery, the Hartismere workhouse, a grammar-school, with £40 from endowment, alms-houses with £22, and other charities with £389. The church is large and handsome. The Benedictine monastery was founded by the Malets; was a cell to Bernay abbey; contained the Red Book, or St. Felix's copy of the Gospels in great Lombard letters; and was given, at the dissolution, to the Suffolk family. The grammar school has two exhibitions at Cambridge. A weekly market is held on Tuesday; and a fair, on Whit-Monday. Flax-working, brewing, and iron-founding are carried on. The town was chartered by King John, and is a borough by prescription; it is governed, under the new act, by a mayor, 4 aldermen, and 12 councillors; and it sent two members to parliament from the time of Elizabeth till the act of 1832, and now sends one. The municipal borough is conterminate with the parish; and the parliamentary borough includes also the parishes of Braiseworth, Brome, Denham, Hoxne, Oakley, Occold, Redlingfield, Thorndon-All Saints, Thrandeston, and Yaxley. Pop. of the p. borough, 7, 038. Houses, 1, 405.-The parish, or m. borough, comprises 4, 320 acres. Real property, £11, 564. Pop., 2, 430. Houses, 489. The property is subdivided. The manor was given, by William the Conqueror, to Robert Malet; belonged to the late Marquis Cornwallis, who took from it the title of baron; and belongs now to Sir EdwardKerrison, Bart., of Oakley Park. A leaden box, containing several hundred Roman gold coins and medals, was found, in 1781, in a field near the town. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Norwich. Value, £451.* Patron, Sir E. Kerrison, Bart.—The sub-district contains thirteen parishes. Acres, 19, 042. Pop., 6, 547. Houses, 1, 278.


(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a town, a parish, and a sub-district"   (ADL Feature Type: "cities")
Administrative units: Eye CP/AP       Eye SubD       Hartismere PLU/RegD       Suffolk AncC
Place names: EAY     |     EYE
Place: Eye

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