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Hadleigh

Photo from Hadleigh

Where pubs have been renamed, we usually list only the most recent known name here. Other names can be found in the Pub list tab. (For closed pubs which only traded for a short time under a newer name, we generally list them under the longer-established name) Ancient pubs are defined as those which are believed to have closed before the middle of the 19th century.


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Hadleigh in Domesday

Population (2011) of Hadleigh: 8253.


Local licensing authority for Hadleigh is Babergh.

Overview | Gallery | Historical info | Map | Pub list | Street-by-street

About Hadleigh

Hadleigh is a much-underrated gem. It's a small town with plenty of beautiful timber framed buildings, many with decorative plasterwork (pargetting). Take time to stroll along the High Street, Angel Street and Benton Street in particular and admire the wonderful architecture. And don't miss the impressive Deanery Tower and Guildhall, both of which are hidden west of the High Street close to the church (see the gallery).

The town was recorded in Domesday as "Hetlega" and appears on John Speed's 1610 map as "Hadley". The Danish ruler of East Anglia, Guthrum lived here for 12 years after conversion to Christianity by King Alfred.

The town's most prosperous period was from the 12th Century onwards, when weavers turned it into a woolen production centre. The 15th Century Guildhall, Deanery Tower and medieval Toppesfield bridge (leading to the old market place) reflect this past status. Religious martyr, Dr Rowland Taylor was burnt at the stake on nearby Aldham common in 1555. His memorial can be seen from the by-pass. In the mid-18th Century the town gained a reputation for smuggling with the "Hadleigh Gang" operating from Sizewell Gap, moving contraband (mainly tea) via a series of safe houses into the town. Their leader, John Harvey, was finally apprehended and transported to Australia for 7 years.

During the Great War, the Royal Flying Corps operated an airfield north of Pond Hall Road, between 1916 and 1918. The airfield was used by the Suffolk and Eastern Counties flying club between 1926 ad 1930, when the club moved to Ipswich.

Hadleigh Railway Station was the terminus of a line which joined the Norwich to London line at Bentley. It opened in 1847 and closed in 1965, though passenger traffic ceased in 1932. Today there are good walks both along the course of the old railway line towards Raydon and along the banks of the River Brett.

The tourist information centre is sited in Toppesfield Hall.