"DEBENHAM, a parish and market town in the hundred of Thredling, in the county of Suffolk, 11½ miles N. of Ipswich, and 7 N.E. of Needham station. It is situated on a hill, near the source of the river Deben, which is supposed once to have been navigable. The kings of East Anglia had a palace here. The manor belonged to Butley Priory, and passed from the Framlinghams into the possession of the Gandys, of Crow's Hall, the Pitts, Bridges, and other families, till it came to Lord Henniker, the present lord of the manor. The town, which is situated on the slope of a hill, extends along the road from Ipswich to Eyre. In the market-place is an ancient cross erected in 1448. The trade is chiefly in agricultural produce. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Norwich, value £210, in the patronage of Lord Henniker. The church is dedicated to St. Mary, and has a tower, containing a peal of eight bells. In the interior are some ancient tombs and a brass to J. Framlingham. The charities amount to £46 per annum. The Independents have a commodious chapel, and there are National and free schools. The market day for corn is on Friday. A fair is held on the 24th June, and another for cattle on the 1st September."
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.
A description of Debenham transcribed from Stephen Whatley's "Gazetteer of England" (1750) by Mel Lockie © 2011:
" DEBENHAM, (Suffolk) 68 cm. 86 mm. from London, is a pretty clean T. on a hill near the r. Deben, but in so dirty a country, that it is little frequented. Its Mt. is on F. Fair June 24; the profits of which last bel. to Sir Cha. Gawdy, whose seat was at Crows-Hall in this T. which was sold, and was lately that of Mr. Pitts. Some of the poor of this place are, by the will of Sir Rob. Hitcham, intitled to the workhouse and fr. sc. at Framlingham. "
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