The Town of Hadleigh in Suffolk

Hadleigh Suffolk Holidays

A visitors guide to the Market Town of Hadleigh in Suffolk. Tucked neatly into the valley of the River Brett lies the old wool and Market Town of Hadleigh, a sleepy village by all accounts, but with a gentle hum of activity. A place of both historical and architectural importance, Hadleigh was once considered one of the richest Suffolk wool cloth towns. The town can trace its history back even further with evidence of both 1st century and 5th century habitation found.

Hugging the outskirts of the town and running its full length is a lovely riverside walk along the babbling River Brett. Houses and cottages cuddle together in a fascinating higgledy piggledy jumble of different periods. Old-world images are conjured up by timber framed medieval dwellings many with lattice windows, pargeting and other forms of ornamentation.

The word Hadleigh is believed to come from the Norse word Haethlega - which means a heath covered place. In George Street on the edge of town, evidence was found of a Saxon settlement and the remains or a Roman villa have also been found. 
 
Hadleigh can lay claim to royal connections, as during the 9th century the Danish King Guthrum resided here, and is said to be buried in the churchyard of St. Marys. A further claim to fame was that the town was once painted by Gainsborough.

Near to the church is the eccentric Deanery Tower which dates from Tudor times, with ornamental towers rising over 50 feet.  It was built during the late 14th century by the Rector of Hadleigh - Archdeacon William Pykenham, who intended it as a gatehouse for his mansion house. Unfortunately William Pykenham died before his dreams of the manor house could be fulfilled. The intended gatehouse is now a private residence.

The church of St. Mary's is located close to the town centre, built over many centuries it is considered to be a very fine example with its high church spire. Overlooking its graveyard is the the wonderful three storied six hundred year old Guildhall. This timber framed building has worn many faces over the years. A market house, a cloth hall, workhouse, school, assembly room, guildhall and even a corset factory. It currently houses the town council, but tours are available through its venerable interior between the months of June and September.

There is much of interest in the town of Hadleigh with a plethora of things to look at and enjoy and many different and interesting walks to take.  Hadleigh is located some 9 miles from Ipswich and under two miles from the picturesque village of Kersey. It is also on the Cycle South Suffolk route as well as the Hull to Harwich Sustrans cycle route.
For Norfolk or Suffolk Holiday Accommodation - Click the Accommodation Link.s. In the 16th century Hadleigh had as its Rector Rowland Taylor. A very religious man who was exceedingly generous to the poor. Unfortunately when Tudor Mary ascended the throne the Rector was arrested and condemned to die. On 9th February 1555 with his nine children looking on he was taken out to Aldham Common where he was tied to a stake and burnt to death. A stone in the common marks the spot where he was burned.
For Norfolk or Suffolk Holiday Accommodation - Click the Accommodation Link.s. The George Inn in the high street was used by a gang of smugglers during the 18th century. They would plan their devilish deeds inside its very walls.

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