"HARLESTON is a market town on the borders of Suffolk, head of a county court district and polling-place for the Southern division of the county, and station on the Waveney Valley branch of the Great Eastern railway, chiefly in the parish of Redenhall, that part of the parish of Mendham which is in the town is now added to Redenhall for parochial purposes, and on the north bank of the river Waveney, 19 miles south of Norwich, 10 north-east from Diss and 99 from London, in Depwade union, Earsham hundred, rural deanery of Redenhall, archdeaconry of Norfolk and diocese of Norwich. The church of St. Mary situated, in Redenhall, about a mile from the town, was rebuilt by Thomas of Brotherton, Duke of Norfolk, and is a very handsome gothic edifice . . . The register dates from the year 1558. The living is a rectory, yearly vale £1,005, with residence, and has 30 acres of glebe attached, in the gift of the Duke of Norfolk on the nomination of the Bishop of Norwich and held since 1874 by the Ven. Thomas Thomason Perowne B.D. Archdeacon of Norwich, late fellow of Corpus Christi college, Cambridge." [Kelly's Directory for Cambridgeshire, Norfolk & Suffolk (1883) - Transcription copyright © E.C. “Paddy” Apling]


The name may also be found as Harlestone.
It is part of the ecclesiastical parish of Redenhall with Harleston and Wortwell.
White's Directory of Norfolk for 1845 says "Harleston is a chapelry, and Wortwell a township, both in Redenhall parish."
See also Redenhall. and Wortwell.


Church Directories

  • In 1883 the parish was in the Deanery of Redenhall, in the archdeaconry of Norfolk.
    It could have been in a different deanery or archdeaconry both before and after this date.
  • The parish church is dedicated to St Mary and is in Redenhall.
    The church of St John the Baptist is in Harleston, and is a chapel of ease.

Church History

Church of St Mary (in Redenhall)
Description and pictures.
Church of St John the Baptist
Description and pictures.
Catholic Chapel of St Thomas More
Description and pictures.
Harleston Methodist Church
Address, minister, etc.
Killick, Stanley E.
The Congregational churches of Harleston Wortwell Denton and Alburgh: a short history.
[Ramsgate, Kent, The Church Publishers, 1967?]
Tilbrook, Iris
Harleston Methodist History, 1827-1996.
(no author)
The Parish of Redenhall with Harleston and Wortwell, illustrated church history and guide (St Mary, Redenhall and St John the Baptist, Harleston).
[Harleston, Harleston Press, 1980]

Church Records

These are included in Boyd's Marriage Index.
They are not included in Phillimore's Marriage Registers.

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Church Records


Civil Registration

For the civil registration of births, marriages and deaths between 1837 and 1930 (and for the censuses from 1851 to 1901), Harleston was in Depwade Registration District.

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Civil Registration


Description & Travel

Harleston Heritage Group
Whatever happened to Muskett's? Shopping in Harleston, 1851-2001.
Harleston Heritage Group, 2004]
Kennett, Helen
Some Postcards of Edwardian Harleston.
[Harleston, ecollectit, 2005]
Kennett, Helen
Some Postcards of Georgian (George V) Harleston.
[Harleston, ecollectit, 2005]
Peskett, Victor
A Stroll round Harleston.
[Harleston, 1985]
Riches, Roy
Harleston - A guide to present day Harleston and some aspects of the history of the district.
[Harleston, Brian Jakes, 1980]
Taylor, Sid
Harleston Cameo: Reminiscences of a Norfolk Man.
[Candler Publications, 1992]
Thomas, Chris
Harleston Hosiery Factory.
[Norwich, Norfolk Industrial Archaeology Society, in "The Journal of Norfolk Industrial Archaeology, vol.II, no.5, 1980]

See also Norfolk Parish Links: Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Harleston which are provided by:




Historical Geography

Harleston is in Earsham Hundred.

Parish outline and location.
See Parish Map for Earsham Hundred
Description of Earsham Hundred
1845: White's History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Norfolk

You can see the administrative areas in which Harleston has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference TM245834 (Lat/Lon: 52.402531, 1.298807), Harleston which are provided by:


Military Records


Poor Houses, Poor Law



Harleston and District Historical Society
A Brief History of the Harleston and District Historical Society.
[Harleston, 1990s]
Harleston Farmers' Club
Reports of the Harleston Farmers' Club, from its establishment in 1838 to 1849.
[Harleston, H. Cann, 1850]