"DOWNHAM SANTON, (or Sandy), a parish in the hundred of Lackford, in the county of Suffolk, 4 miles N.W. of Thetford, and 2 miles N.E. of Brandon, its post town and nearest station on the Great Eastern railway. It is situated on the river Ouse. In 1668 this place was nearly overwhelmed by an immense drift of sand from the Lakenheath hills, 5 miles distant. The drift covered from 1,500 to 2,000 acres, and almost choked up the river. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Ely, value £59, in the patronage of Lord William Powlett, who is lord of the manor and owner of the whole of the soil. The church is dedicated to St. Mary. Downham Hall is the seat of Lord William Powlett.
Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)