Hadleigh  Suffolk


In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Hadleigh like this:

HADLEIGH, a town, a parish, and a sub-district in Cosford district, Suffolk. The town stands on the river Bret, at the terminus of a branch of the Great Eastern railway, 9½ miles W by S of Ipswich; was known to the Saxons as Headlege; possessed for some time the rank of a corporate town, but surrendered its charter in the reign of James II.; and is now a seat of petty sessions, a polling place, and a centre of considerable country trade. ...

The branch railway to it deflects from the Eastern Union line at Bentley junction; goes west north westward; is 6¾ miles long; and has stations at Capel and Roydon. The town is neatly built; comprises a main street nearly a mile long, besides other streets; and has recently been much improved. Its chief public buildings are a townhall, erected in 1851; a police station, in which the petty sessions are held; a corn exchange; a church, three dissenting chapels, national schools, and extensive almshouses. The church was rebuilt in 1849, and repaired in 1855; is a commodious edifice, with tower and spire; and contains an old font, three brasses, and the supposed tomb of Guthrum, the famous Danish sea king, who is thought to have been buried here in 889. The previous church was ancient; measured 143 feet by 63; and had a wooden steeple. The old font and the three brasses were brought from it to the new church; and one of the brasses, of date 1592, is to a native of the town, a learned and eccentric divine, of the name of Alabaster. The cemetery is on the way to Corham Street, a hamlet about a mile to the W. A principal charity, which includes alms houses for 32 persons, with a chapel, has £742 from endowment; and other charities have £161. The town has a post office‡ under Ipswich, a railway station with telegraph, two banking offices, and three chief inns. A weekly market is held on Monday; and fairs are held on Whit Monday, the third Monday of Sept., and 10 Oct. A woollen manufacture here was formerly notable; and there are now a very large silk mill, an iron foundry, machine works, malt houses, and corn mills. Pop. of the town in 1861, 2, 779. Houses, 626. The parish comprises 4, 288 acres. Real property, £16, 085; of which £136 are in gas works. Pop. in 1851, 3, 716; in 1861, 3, 606. Houses, 818. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Ely. Value, £929.* Patron, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Dr. Rowland Taylor, the ancestor of Jeremy Taylor, and Rector of Hadleigh, was burnt on Aldham common, in 1555; and the spot where he suffered is commemorated by a stone. The rectory house, which he inhabited, has been much modernized; but still bears, on the doorway, the date 1490.—The sub-district contains thirteen parishes. Acres, 25, 586. Pop., 9, 634. Houses, 2, 139.

Hadleigh through time

Hadleigh is now part of Babergh district. Click here for graphs and data of how Babergh has changed over two centuries. For statistics about Hadleigh itself, go to Units and Statistics.

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Hadleigh, in Babergh and Suffolk | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 25th February 2024

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