"BRENT ELEIGH, (or Ely Brent), a parish in the hundred of Babergh, in the county of Suffolk, 6 miles to the N.W. of Hadleigh, and 7 N.E. of Sudbury, its post town and railway station. It is situated on the banks of the river Brett, a branch of the Stour, and was once a market town under a grant by Henry III. The living is a rectory* in the diocese of Ely, of the value of £369, in the patronage of Mrs. Brown. The church, a Norman structure with perpendicular tower, is dedicated to St. Mary, and contains in the chancel a parochial library of 1,500 volumes, founded by Dr. Colman, fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. Here are almshouses for 12 persons, established and endowed in 1730 by Edward Colman, the revenue of which is about £70 per annum. The charitable endowments amount to £120 a year. The principal mansion is Brent Eleigh Hall, once the seat of the Shelton family, and since of Sir Felix Agar.
Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Descriptions and photographs of churches in the parish may be found in Simon Knott's Suffolk Churches.
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