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Long Melford

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"MELFORD-LONG, a parish, and formerly a market town, in the hundred of Babergh, county Suffolk, 3 miles N.W. of Sudbury, to which is a branch line from the Great Eastern railway, and 22 W. of Ipswich. The village, which is situated on a branch of the river Stour, extends for near a mile in length, from which circumstance it is called Long Melford. Silk weaving was formerly carried on. Petty sessions are held every fortnight, and a court baron annually by the lord of the manor. In the village is a literary institute, founded in 1849, with reading and lecture rooms. On the E. side of Melford Green is Melford Hall, an old Elizabethan mansion, with four small round towers in the front, situated in a park on the banks of the rivulet, and at present the residence of Lord Alfred Paget.

In the neighbourhood are several other mansions, as Kentwell Hall, a little N. of the village, and Melford Place, the ancient seat of the Marten family, at the S. end of the village, with pleasure-grounds. On Cranmer Green in this parish is a petrifying spring. The tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £830. The living is a rectory in the dioc, of Ely, value £839. The church, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, is a Gothic structure, about 180 feet long, with a small square tower of more modern erection, containing a peal of eight bells. It contains several ancient brasses, and monuments of the Martyn, Parker, and Cordell families, especially one of Sir William Cordell, Speaker of the House of Commons in the reign of Philip and Mary. The register commences in 1559. Near the church stands the hospital, a plain brick building, enclosed with a wall. It was founded and endowed in 1573 by Sir W. Cordell for a warden, twelve brethren, and two poor women, being old and decayed housekeepers of Melford. The Independents and Methodists have each a place of worship. There are National and Sunday schools. An annual fair of three days is held in Whitsun-week, Tuesday and Wednesday for pleasure, and Thursday for cattle."

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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