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"STOWMARKET, a parish, post, and market town in the hundred of Stow, county Suffolk, 12½ miles N.W. of Ipswich, and 14 S.E. of Bury. It is a station on the Great Eastern railway. It stands nearly in the centre of the county, at the confluence of the three rivulets that form the river Gipping, which stream was made navigable in 1793 with fifteen looks, and is occasionally called the Stowmarket canal. It is mentioned in Domesday Survey as Thorns, or Thorne market, at which time it had two churches, which were given by Henry II. to Osyth Abbey. Stowmarket is a polling and petty sessions town. It stands on the road from Ipswich to Bury and Cambridge, and consists of several streets paved and lighted with gas. Petty sessions are held at the courthouse every alternate Monday, where also county courts are held monthly, and a court baron annually. The town has two banks, a corn exchange, a mechanics' institute, assembly rooms, new county court, gasworks, and union poorhouse. The malt trade is carried on to a considerable extent, and a large business is done in coals, slate, and timber. There are also breweries, iron foundries, a patent sawmill, and several small factories for making ropes, twine, and sacking. At Pleshwood is a Roman camp.

Near the town are extensive nursery gardens and hop plantations. The living is a vicarage, to which is annexed Stow Upland, in the diocese of Norwich, value £380. The church is dedicated to SS. Peter and Mary. The church was rebuilt about 17300 by the Abbot of St. Osyth, in Essex, enlarged in 1838, and restored at a cost of about £2,500 in 1865. It contains the Tyrell chapel, separated from the rest of the building by a carved screen, and the grave of Dr. Young, tutor of the poet Milton, whose room, and the mulberry trees planted by him, are still to be seen at the vicarage. There is also the district church of Trinity, the living of which is a perpetual curacy, value £100. The parochial charities produce about £303 per annum. There are National and infant schools for both sexes, and a British school. The Independents, Baptists, Primitive Methodists, and Plymouth )Brethren have chapels. On the S.E. side of the town a cemetery has recently been made. The union poorhouse is situated at Onehouse. Market day is Thursday. Fairs are held on 10th July and 12th August, the former for pleasure and the latter for the sale of lambs."

"CHILTON, a hamlet in the parish of Stowmarket, in the county of Suffolk, 1 mile N. of Stowmarket."

"GIPPING, a hamlet and picturesque village in the parish of Stowmarket, hundred of Stow, county Suffolk, 4 miles N.E. of Stowmarket, its post town, and 6 W. of Debenham. It is situated on the river Gipping, the principal tributary of the Orwell. The living is a donative curacy in the diocese of Norwich. Gipping Hall is the principal residence. C. Tyrrell, Esq., is lord of the manor."

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.

Description and Travel

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  • A description of Stowmarket transcribed from Stephen Whatley's "Gazetteer of England" (1750) by Mel Lockie © 2011.
" STOW-MARKET, (Suffolk) 3 m. from Needham, 8 from Mendlesham, and 60 cm. 73 mm. from London, is a large T. the center of the Co, and on the banks of the Orwell, with a well stored Mt. on Th. several good inns, a mf. of tammies, and other Norwich stuffs, and a ch. sc. It has a spacious beautiful Ch. with 8 tuneable bells, a large steeple, and lofty spire, hardly to be matched in this Co. being 120 feet high. Its Fairs are Whitson-Fr. and June 19, and a lamb Fair Aug. 1. The manor anciently bel. to the abbey of St. Osyth. "

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Historical Geography

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