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A-Z of Suffolk villages: Debenham

PUBLISHED: 10:54 31 May 2016 | UPDATED: 10:54 31 May 2016

Debenham high street

Debenham high street

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Exploring some of the county’s hidden treasures

Debenham high streetDebenham high street

Debenham, as its name suggests, is close to the source of the River Deben and appears to derive its name from old English words meaning ‘the village in a deep valley’. Ancient it certainly is, steeped in history, as they say.

Roman and many other pre-Conquest coins have been found in and around Debenham and it’s mentioned in the Domesday book of 1086. Charters from the reign of Henry III, refer to Monday and Friday markets and a fair. A policeman was appointed in 1839 and the old police house in Water Lane, which still has its cells, is said to be one of the earliest purpose-built police stations in the country.

The Sir Robert Hitcham endowed school was established in 1668 and in 1835 a National School was opened which still flourishes as Sir Robert Hitcham’s primary school. A high school, leisure centre, plus independent shops, pubs, and the essentials of modern life ensure Debenham continues to thrive in the 21st century.


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