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"REDGRAVE, a parish in the hundred of Hartismere, county Suffolk, 1½ mile N. of Botesdale, its post town, and 5 miles S.W. of Diss railway station. The parish includes the village of Botesdale, and is wholly agricultural. It is situated near the river Waveney, and is bounded on the N. by the Lesser Ouse, which separates it from the county of Norfolk. It was given by Ulfketel the Dane to Bury Abbey; and subsequently Lord Keeper Bacon and Chief Justice Holt resided here. The living is a rectory* with the curacy of Botesdale annexed, in the diocese of Norwich, value £889. The church, dedicated to St. Botolph, has a square tower of white brick. The interior of the church is decorated with paintings, and contains three sedilia of stone under canopies; also several monuments to the Bacon and Holt families. It was restored in 1850. The living was once held by Cardinal Wolsey. The parochial charities produce about £49 per annum. In 1561, Sir Nicholas Bacon, the eminent Lord Keeper, founded at Botesdale in this parish a free grammar school, with six exhibitions at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. There is a National school for both sexes. The Wesleyans have a place of worship. Redgrave Hall, the ancient seat of the Bacons, Holts, and Wilsons, is a square-built mansion. Its grounds and park are richly wooded, and stocked with deer. In front of the mansion is a lake, in which numerous English and foreign aquatic birds are kept. G. H. Wilson, Esq., is lord of the manor."

"BOTESDALE, a township and hamlet in the parish of Redgrave, and hundred of Hartismere, in the county of Suffolk, 4½ miles W. of Millis railway station, 6 miles S.W. of Diss, in Norfolk, and 8 miles to the W. of Eye, being 87 from London. It is situated 2 miles south of the river Waveney, not far from the Great Eastern railway. The name of this place is a corruption of Botolph's Dale. It was formerly a market town, and is a polling-place for the western division of the county. The living is a rectory, annexed to Redgrave, in the diocese of Norwich. The church, which is dedicated to St. Botolph, is in the perpendicular style of architecture. Here is a grammar school, founded by Sir Nicholas Bacon in 1576, with an exhibition at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. It was designed to educate six free scholars, two each from the parishes of Redgrave, Botesdale, and Burgate; for which the master receives £30 per annum, which is a rent-charge on certain lands in Norfolk, together with a residence to which is attached a chapel extra parochial, where Divine service is performed on Sunday evenings. A free school was established in 1825 by John Dyer, and endowed by him with lands worth £30 a year. A fair is held on Holy Thursday for cattle and toys, and a statute fair on the Thursday before Michaelmas for hiring servants. The churches of Rickinghall Inferior and Superior are situated near the town."

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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