The Village of Debenham in Suffolk

Picture (c) by John Ashley Photography

A visitors guide to the village of Debenham in Suffolk, which lies close to the source of the River Deben in the heart of Suffolk. The village dates back to 550AD and its name means the village in a deep valley. It has many attractive timber framed buildings dating from the 14th and 17th century lining its streets. A large number of the older village houses were destroyed by fire in 1744, though the fire did not cross the road, which accounts for the varying width of the main high street.

The Kings of East Anglia occasionally held court here and tradition says the river was once wide enough to be navigable up to the town itself. An area known as Blood Field is said to have been the site of a great battle with some linking it to the battle with the Danes around 870 in which King Edmund was killed. In 1970 the centre of Debenham was declared a conservation area and in 1975 the village, described as “unspoiled without being a showcase”, was chosen to represent East Anglia in a festival of villages. 

One former resident of the village went on to found a large chain of High Street stores, which is named Debenhams after the place where he grew up. In Water Lane there is an Old Police House that is said to have been the earliest built police station in the country, it still has its cells! The ancient description for Debenham was "high church, low steeple, drunken parson, wicked people". 

There are a number of places to eat and drink as well as small range of interesting shops.

In the village is the teapot pottery where you can see teapots being made and painted by hand and after watching the crafts people at work, you can browse around the pottery shop and make a purchase.

Debenham has a fitness centre with; a sports hall, fitness room, squash courts, sauna, community hall/arts venue, two lounges, two bars, kitchen, all-weather bowls green, cricket and football pitches.

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