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
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
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
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.