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"BARKING, a parish in the hundred of Bosmere and Claydon, in the county of Suffolk, 1 mile to the S.W. of Needham-Market, its post town. It is situated on the river Orwell, and contains the chapelry of Needham-Market, and the hamlet of Darmsden. The living is a rectory* in the diocese of Norwich, value with that of Darmsden, £840, in the gift of the Earl of Ashburnham. The church is dedicated to St. Mary. There is also a district church at Needham-Market, the living of which is a perpetual curacy, in the gift of the rector. A free school was established here in 1650, by Francis Theobald, which has now a revenue from endowment of £55. The parish has the benefit of several other charitable bequests, amounting (with the school) to £132 per annum."

"DARMSDEN, a hamlet in the parish of Barking, hundred of Bosmere, in the county of Suffolk, 1¼ mile S. of Needham Market station, and 6½ miles from Ipswich. The living is a curacy in the diocese of Norwich, value with the rect of Barking, £840, in the patronage of the Earl of Ashburnham, who is lord of the manor."

"DORMSDEN, a hamlet in the parish of Barking, hundred of Bosmere and Claydon, in the county of Suffolk, 2 miles S.E. of Needham-Market."

"NEEDHAM-MARKET, a hamlet, chapelry, and post town, in the parish of Barking, hundred of Bosmere, county Suffolk, 3½ miles from Stowmarket, and 8¾ N. by W. of Ipswich, and 74 N.E. of London. It is a station on the Great Eastern railway. It is situated on low ground on the bank of the river Gipping, near Bosmere Lake, and on the road to Ipswich and Bury St. Edmund's. It is a petty sessions and polling town for East Suffolk, and was formerly a market town. It is tolerably well built, and is lighted with gas. There are a bank, public library and reading rooms, also paper and glue manufactories. Petty sessions are held every alternate Wednesday at the Swan Inn. The Stowmarket and Ipswich navigation passes along the north-eastern boundary of the chapelry, and is crossed by a bridge leading from the town to Stonham. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Norwich, value £91, in the patronage of the Rector of Barking. The church, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, is an ancient structure, built about 1450, with a wooden bell-turret. Dr. Priestley first settled at Needham-Market with a small congregation on a salary of £30 a year. The parochial charities consist of almshouses for eight poor persons, also the late Mrs. Lucy Maw's almshouses for four aged persons, besides other donations realising about £60 per annum. The Independents and Society of Friends have each a place of worship with schools attached. The Earl of Ashburnham is lord of the manor. An annual fair is held on 28th October."

Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)


Church History

Descriptions and photographs of churches in the parish may be found in Simon Knott's Suffolk Churches.


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Historical Geography

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