Tea & a tour of Hadleigh & Boxford
PUBLISHED: 09:56 30 May 2017 | UPDATED: 09:56 30 May 2017
Just a few miles from Hadleigh is Boxford, is a pretty village set on the River Box
It’s quite large with approximately 1,200 people living in just over 500 homes, many dating back hundreds of years with beautiful timber frames and colour washes.
The village has a strong community spirit, . It has two popular pubs and a coffee shop, a butchers, Britain’s oldest garage, a grocery store and a post office/store – Britain’s oldest shop.
Boxford was once a very wealthy town which employed hundreds of people. During the period 1648 to 1672, the population minted their own small currency, or ‘brass farthings’ until they were pronounced illegal. And there were many mills in Boxford.
There is a record of a windmill being blown down in 1605, and there were others at Calais Street, Sand Hill, and Whitestreet Green, but no trace of these seem to exist. In more recent times Boxford smock mill was destroyed in a blizzard in 1881.
Boxford’s Church of St Mary dates from the early fifteenth century and is well worth a visit. Also, why not explore the lanes and surrounding countryside?
Hadleigh has some of Britain’s best kept natural beauty and heritage. It’s one of Suffolk’s old Wool Towns, which prospered from the 14th to 17th centuries, thanks to the woollen cloth industry. Those industrious days have gone, but today Hadleigh is a lovely market town with lots going on and a well preserved past worth exploring.
With 250 listed buildings, there is plenty to see. Look out for the Guildhall to the south of the church. The part of the building facing the churchyard was built in the 1430s, and a Market House and Wool Hall constructed. The building was owned and managed by the Hadleigh Market Feoffment, who still own the complex.
In the churchyard is the Deanery Tower, built by the Archdeacon of Suffolk, William Pykenham as a gateway leading to the Parsonage House, now the Rectory Garden. The Parsonage House was demolished in the 1830s and a new Rectory built attached to the Deanery Tower. Much larger than the current house it was partially demolished in the 1961 to make a more suitable house for the rector.
The town’s backbone is the high street, with an eclectic mix of shops, services, restaurants, cafés and pubs, renowned for their individuality, quality and caring service.
It’s worth taking a walk in the surrounding countryside, which inspired 18th century painters Constable and Gainsborough. Twentieth century artist Cedric Morris also spent 40 years in Hadleigh. A post impressionist and pioneering gardener, he founded a school with painter and sculptor Arthur Lett-Haines, whose students included Lucian Freud and Maggi Hambling.
More at www.visithadleighsuffolk.co.uk
There are some lovely walks around the village which you can find on the village website at www.boxfordsuffolk.com/footpaths.cfm
Stop for tea (or coffee!)
85 High Street, Hadleigh IP7 5EA
T: 01473 828191
Coffee Box, 4 Broad St, Boxford, Sudbury CO10 5DX
T: 01787 211863